By Paul I. Adujie, New York
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with U.S.President Barack Obama in the White House today. But even before the two leaders could meet, Mr. Netanyahu had already arrogated to himself and set out broad outlines or layouts of what amounted to preconditions.
In his view, there is a broad swath of non-negotiable, non-discussable items. It did take some temerity, nerve, and overconfidence on Mr. Netanyahu’s part which has not been strange.
Mr. Netanyahu’s attitude and pronouncements does raise the question as to which other nation or political leader would set preconditions for America this way?
The world watched today and saw that the rules of engagement were the same, despite the so-called Arab Spring and despite the demise of Osama Bin Laden.
It was clear that, at minimum, the government of the United States was courageous to inform Mr. Netanyahu that there is a new era, and a new day in the world, particularly in the Middle East which he has to come to terms with.
And that it is crucial to formulate and fashion new relationships with Israel’s neighbors predicated upon negotiated peace, real, and lasting peace.
Israel has for far too long been complacent and relied wholly or partly on military might and or her safety insurance guaranteed by the United States of America
President Obama should have informed Prime Minister Netanyahu that peace with Israel’s neighbors is in Israel’s best interests, and as a consequence, it will no longer be business as usual, in which there is so much loud talks about Peace-Talks, when in fact there is no peace-making between Israel and Palestine
I had hoped that the United States would have had the backbone to pointedly inform Mr. Netanyahu of a paradigm shift in the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the unfolding Arab Spring
The United States of America is a democracy. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people! It is often said that a nation deserves a form of government it deserves, all things being equal, even though things are hardly ever equal anywhere anymore.
The people of the United States, therefore, can be said to deserve the governments or various administrations which are chosen by the people of the United States. The domestic and foreign policies of any American administration are pursued in the name of the people and for the benefit of the people.
It is the case that Americans are for the most part, fair minded and, relatively speaking, just people. It is also the case however, that the majority of the American people have very short attention span, particularly in the foreign policy arena.
Consequently, many unreasonable, unjust and even counterproductive foreign policies are pursued in the name of the American people by various administrations, through lies and deliberate obfuscations intended to confuse the American public.
It is strongly believed that were the American public truly aware and conversant with certain policies and their effects, impacts and implications, say in the Middle East, fair minded Americans would have opposed such policies vehemently, vigorously and in the most robust manner.
Many group and corporate interests, through lobby and campaign contributions to political parties and candidates, ensure that issues are narrowly defined and nuanced, which in the end protect such narrow group or corporate interests, at the expense of the American people.
Too often, wrong-headed domestic and or foreign policies are shaped not by the American people, but rather by parochial groups and or corporate interests. And too often, these wrong-headed policies require sacrifices by way of blood and treasure on the part of the American people in whose name these policies are ostensibly supposed to be pleased or beneficial; and too often, contrary is the case: the Americans are not pleased or benefited.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq and lax regulations which led to economic debacle are cases specific in point. And the continuing lopsided and unreasoned support of Israel by each and every administration of the government of the United States is the best example in this regard
American Middle Eastern policy is modulated by an unflinching and unyielding support for Israel under any and every circumstances, and this has led to no love lost between America, and the Arabs, Persians, and for that matter, the so-called Muslim world.
As a matter of fact, one does not have to be a Muslim or an adherent of the Islamic faith to observe and discern the regularity with which the United States protects and defends Israel at every turn and at every forum, particularly, at the United Nations, regardless of how egregarious the government of Israel behaves.
America’s wrong-headed policies in the Middle East and her relationships with sundry dictators, tyrants, authoritarian and archaic monarchies in the region is dictated by her relationships with Israel, desire for Middle East oil flow, and to some extent, geopolitical strategic interests.
In view of the foregoing, it’s rather shocking that Mr. Netanyahu and his government have not realized that times are changing. Instead of being amenable to peace in light of new dynamics and reality in the Middle East, he is setting preconditions out of arrogance or overconfidence.
How Come? And, how it is that Prime Minister Netanyahu is able to set preconditions for the United States perennially and every time. Why?
The answer is found in American lop-sided support for Israel… which is the source and major factor in the animosity towards the United States from Arabs, Middle Easterners and the so-called Muslim World.
When there are reactions or anger towards the United States as a consequence of her myopic-parochial Middle East policy, some wonder why the anger or animosity towards America?
But here we go again!
Mr. Netanyahu has literally dictated the pace and tenor of American Middle Eastern policy again and if we follow his dictates as shown here today at the White House, the anger, the disdain and ire of those negatively impacted by it, would be directed at America again of course.
All through this so-called Arab Spring, statements and public pronouncements by public officials in Israel gave the impression that Israeli leaders have preference for dictators and tyrants or puppets in the Middle East who are not accountable to their own people.
Israel, instead of supporting the Arab Spring for democratization, has made statements which portrayed it as being only self- interested in the false security, false stability imbued in dictatorships in the Middle East for far too long. This is laid bare, after decades of the now seeming farce, that the reason to support Israel, is because she is the only democracy in the region.
But why the reluctance or even aversion for democratization of the Middle East now?
America continues to act as an enabler, facilitator, and an unthinking supporter of Israel even when Israel flouts numerous resolutions passed by the United Nations.
I expected today that the United States would have demanded and insisted that Israel behaves itself regarding Jewish Settlement expansions in Palestinian territories which have been occupied for far too long by Israel, and above all this, America must have demanded that Israel stops or gets over its own unnecessary intransigence and learn to live with an independent nation-state of Palestine
Mr. Netanyahu currently, as in the past, merely repeats a regurgitation of “No one to negotiate peace with in Palestine” when it is the case that his intransigence and untenable preconditions have made meaningful negotiations impossible. After all, it’s the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, who once said that you do not negotiate peace with your friends but with those with whom you disagree.
America should stop giving winks and nods to Israel or risk being seen as a dishonest peace-broker with biases. America must discourage Mr. Netanyahu’s arrogance; otherwise, onlookers will conclude that America is in connivance, collusion, and complicity with Israel.
America cannot be seen as an honest broker if unable to be fair and just between the parties. America is seen as duplicitous for continuing to support Israel no matter how unreasonable or illogical the circumstances.
Only this week, The New York Times reported that “Sunday’s protests, involving thousands of Palestinians who live in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank” took place simultaneously against Israel to bemoan the occupation of Palestine by Israel and their long sufferings in the hands of Israel. Israel reacted by mowing down 12 Palestinians.
Why should Palestinians who are peacefully protesting be killed by Israel and nobody raises an eyebrow or bat a lid? These protests were televised for the whole world to see, they were peaceful protests and it was not as if these protesters were armed or threatening or had Rifle Propelled Grenades, why kill them, then?
Palestinians who demonstrated on Sunday were peaceful and unarmed; nonetheless, 12 of them were killed needlessly as if Israel were engaged in swathing desert flies.
Israel knows that there would be no criticisms from anywhere, not even at the United Nations because the United States guarantees Israel’s protection from the prying eyes, ears and pronouncements of the United Nations. As far as the UN is concerned, regarding Israel, it is, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil and mouth-no-criticism.
In January 2009, Israeli military actions led to the deaths of over 1400 Palestinians in one full swoop. And on Sunday May 15, 2011, 12 Palestinians peacefully protesting against Israel met their untimely death in the hands of Israeli troops.
And in all of this, no one is talking about war crimes. Where is José Luis Moreno Ocampo Esq. of the International Criminal Court,( ICC) when you need him? ICC seems quite selective in its cherry pickings.
And where is a “NATO No Fly Zone” for Palestine?
I’m I the only person seeing all these? Or, everyone can see these exceedingly glaring hypocrisies and double standards?
There is a new opportunity for lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. There is a brand new opportunity for American leadership in this regard. America must act as an honest peace broker now, or break with Israel