Over at Politico former AIPAC spokesman, Josh Block, argues that President Obama and Secretary Clinton better damn well get on top of this Palestinian statehood thing!
Of course, Obama and Clinton are on top of this issue to such a degree that it begs the question, if the statehood declaration is only symbolic and largely meaningless, why is Israel, the Israel Lobby and the Obama administration flipping out about it and expending a huge amount of diplomatic capital trying to strong-arm the rest of the world, not to mention the Palestinians, into vetoing it?
Block argues there should be consequences for this Palestinian intransigence. Can you believe that? He thinks the statehood declaration violates international law. He thinks it’s unilateral action. He’s got brass ones, doesn’t he? And what does he think about the unilateral action of the illegal settlements that change the facts on the ground and make a two state solution less likely with each passing day? Well, you know the answer to that.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Obama administration and Congress have rightfully taken a firm stance against unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State. But with every sign indicating that the Palestinian leadership won’t be changing course, it’s time for the White House to assert a more active approach to blunt the potential impact of this collision.
The United States must begin a vigorous public effort to lobby other countries, large and small, to oppose the Palestinian effort and join President Barack Obama in pressuring the PA to call it off. Acting decisively now, we can persuade the Palestinians not to press ahead with this damaging course – which undermines our quest for peace and risks anti-Israel terrorism and violence on the Palestinian side, when carelessly raised hopes are dashed.
Seriously? The administration has been doing exactly that.
There are no shortage of reasons to oppose a unilateral declaration of independence, not the least of which is that recognition of this Palestinian government would be the recognition of a terrorist state — given the Hamas-Fatah unity pact.
This is made clearer by last weekend’s assault on Israel — for which Hamas has claimed partial “credit.”
Ok, that last bit is just misleading. From Haaretz today:
Defense officials told the cabinet that so far, Hamas had not participated in the rocket fire; it had all come from smaller terrorist groups like the Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Jihad, the officials noted.
Netanyahu, who has refrained from blaming Hamas for either last Thursday’s cross-border attack from Sinai or the subsequent rocket fire from Gaza…
So why would Block lie outright? Because he knows when it comes to Israel, facts don’t matter one bit. He also knows that when it comes to foreign policy, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, Americans are in a permanent state of stupid.
Ok, back to Block’s Politico article. Now this bit is particularly loaded:
There are the legal reasons, discussed in Foreign Policy magazine. These underscore that the fictional Palestinian state conjured up for the United Nations doesn’t meet international law standards. Its legislature hasn’t met in nearly five years; it can’t hold elections as required under its own law, and it doesn’t have defined territory — instead claiming land once held briefly by Jordan, where Jews have been the majority population since the 1800s, and now under Israeli sovereignty.
There’s a whole other page to the article- it’s pretty long, but I’ll spare you.
That last highlighted bit above is key. Shorter version: You Palestinians don’t have any rights or historical claims to this land, only We (Jewish people) do. This is a common tactic used by the Lobby- erase Palestinian history and essentially deny their existence. I have seen people on blogs and on Twitter actually put the word “Palestinian” in quotation marks to make the point that they don’t really exist. Of course, that whole existence issue is a tricky thing, isn’t it? Israel certainly doesn’t like it when it’s historical claims or right to exist are questioned, and rightly so. And why draw the line at 1800? According to Sergio Della Pergola’s Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications, the population of Palestine in 1800 was 7,000 Jews and 246,000 Muslims. By 1890, the population was 43,000 Jews and 432,000 Muslims [h/t Mondoweiss]. Just sayin.’
Given all of the above, the question is why is this article in Politico, given the U.S. administration already seems to be expending a HUGE amount of effort preventing the Palestinian statehood bid, even though it will certainly undermine our credibility in the region and show a large, gaping hypocrisy on our part? We will do everything and anything to prevent the Palestinians from seeking international redress and impose consequences for their intransigence while we allow the illegal settlements to multiply like horny rabbits. The reason for the article is it is a shot across the administration’s bow. It is a reminder that in the time remaining prior to the 2012 election, President Obama had better step smartly to the dictates of the Israel Lobby or he will be labeled anti-Israel (or worse) and risk losing the Jewish vote.