Last week Netanyahu spoke at the UN General Assembly: “We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State.”
Negotiate together? Demilitarize Palestine? One and only Jewish State? One would find it hard to believe the possibility of reaching a legitimate mutual compromise could occur when he addresses the attempt with such a contradictory statement.
He continues: “We protect the right of all our citizens, men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians, all are equal before the law.”
Indeed, Israel does protect the rights of all citizens, unless of course, they are Palestinian.
Convenient for him that Palestinians are not considered “citizens”, rather, as UN Resolution 242 states, they are a “refugee problem.”
And while Abbas used this opportunity to speak only of the Arab-Israeli conflict, quite literally begging for the prevention of a new al-Nakba, Netanyahu spent all of five minutes addressing the Palestinian Question, as Iran is becoming a much larger fish to fry these days.
Obviously tensions are high with Ahmedinijad publicly and repeatedly denouncing the existence of the State of Israel, but shouldn’t the 535 attacks on the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the beginning of this year be addressed before the mere threat of an attack from Iran? Since before 1948 both sides are to blame for the innocent lives lost, however, at least Abbas acknowledges the urgency for a negotiation with sincerity; Netanyahu’s feeble attempt to recognize the conflict shows where his priorities truly lie.
However trite Netanyahu’s speech was, the comparison of a nuclear Iran to a nuclear al-Qaeda was his most transparent plea to Obama, as he consistently referred to Iran’s aggressive history as evidence that they cannot be trusted.
Instead of repeating his already well-known stance on Zionism, what Ahmedinijad should have spent his time doing was explaining that Iran hasn’t attacked any bordering countries since 480 BC, and that the last war they fought was when Iraq invaded them, using chemical weapons provided by the United States. Or, he could have just pointed out that Israel has an estimated 400 nuclear bombs and has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed in 1968.
“Bibi’s” approach to the Iranian issue is comparable to his understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Just as Palestinians must accept the “one and only Jewish State”, without any mention of a Palestinian State; Iranians must not develop nuclear weapons without any mention of his already developed nuclear weapons. Patronizingly presenting us with a cartoon, “this is a bomb; this is a fuse”, Palestinian comedian and author Amer Zahr had a better suggestion: “I have an important piece of paper I’d like to show the Prime Minster of Israel. And there’s something I need to tell him about it: This is a treaty, this is where you sign it.”
As we learnt from the recently leaked tapes of Romney, political thinking during campaign season is to just keep kicking the can down the proverbial road. If the Palestinians can be sure of one thing, it is that their statehood will not be the primary concern of the Middle East so long as Israel and Iran continue their relentless threats.
– Danielle Morland
(Featured photograph: IsraelinUSA, Flickr, Creative Commons)