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October 15, 2010

Breaking Mideast Negotiationsí Back

Roy Meachum

In the hurly-burly of life these days, you almost certainly did not notice how hard-line Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week tried again to break the back of the stalled negotiations with Palestinians.


The first blow came from his conservative coalition’s decision to resume building on the West Bank, despite protests from the United States and its “powerful” European allies. Development there is highly illegal; it flies in the face of the United Nations Resolution 242 that the Security Council unanimously endorsed two weeks after the 1967 Six-Day War.


The war itself was judged as naked aggression. The code of conduct among nations forbids any invader to profit from unprovoked war. The following May, the Israeli ambassador to the UN formally expressed his country’s position:


“My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement of a just and lasting peace. I am also authorized to reaffirm we are willing to seek agreement with each Arab State on all matters included in that resolution.”


Put simply, Mr. Netanyahu’s predecessor government accepted fault for staging an aggressive war against its neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordon. Israel officially promised to vacate the property, including the West Bank. That was long before the settlement movement chose to announce Amman’s territory was part of Greater Israel that must not be abandoned to religiously different hand. Even after Jerusalem ceded to Egypt the Sinai Peninsula, seized in 1967, they kept Gaza, to the future rue of other peoples.


Instead of being branded a leper nation, which on the record it deserves, Israel was actually courted by the United States. Ronald Reagan specifically denounced Resolution 242 and in great detail.


Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Wednesday that in exchange for recognizing Palestinian rights to land owned by their ancestors for more than several generations, Israeli Arabs must take an oath acknowledging present-day Israel as the Jewish state, which nullifies all claims in the former British colony, going much further than the Balfour declaration cited for the country’s legitimacy. Jerusalem has become as racist as old colonist London, confining Muslims and Christians to second-rate citizenship.


Viewed in the light of UN Resolution 242, both West Bank settlements and the latest demands for domestic Arabs to take a loyalty oath are both ridiculous and illegal. I understand full well the pressure from American Zionists for Washington to join in lock-step with Jerusalem. Their lobbying contributed to the loss of two Washington television newsroom jobs. On The Frederick News-Post George Delaplaine’s integrity and dedication to the Constitution saved my columnist’s neck.


Crying anti-Semitism covers up numerous spurious allegations. I will make no claim based on my friendship circles. If anybody finds legal, unemotional proof that West Bank new towns and settlements are justified, please let me know.


Remembering UN Resolution 242, I presently look down on the construction as criminal, no matter what Benjamin Netanyahu and his gang claim; asking Israeli Arabs to swear a loyalty oath insults their kith and kin in the Palestinian diaspora.


Guaranteed to incite more world violence and death, keinanahorah. (Let none of the 40,000 buzzing furies hear my words.)


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