A curious turn of events is taking shape in Latin America, one that demonstrates at least two levels of international change. The leaders of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have stated their recognition of a Palestinian state within the ‘green line’, the 1948 armistice line between Israel and the Palestinians.
The first level of international change is the recognition of the green line itself as the Palestinian-Israeli boundary, representing an area about forty-five per cent larger than the area proposed for the Israeli state by the UN General Assembly. In that sense, even recognizing the green line is a significant concession to Israeli claims and makes a very generous offer of Palestinian land to be recognized as Israeli territory. As it stands now, with the settlement patterns breaking Palestine into four or five bantustans, with Gaza nothing more than a large open air prison, there truly is no manner in which a sovereign contiguous state of Palestine existing side by side with an Israeli state can be formed. This of course is exactly what the Israelis wish and have always wished for since the Six Day War of 1967. In truth it is a demographic fear of the original Zionists that the population of the Palestinians would either be too strong a minority or conceivably overwhelm the Jewish settlers by sheer numbers and make the establishment of Eretz Israel impossible. The Zionist leaders understood full well that they would face resistance to establishing settlements in then British controlled Mandatory Palestine. The 1948 nakba served the purpose of the new Israeli state by destroying hundreds of villages and towns and causing the displacement of about 700 000 Palestinians into refugee camps scattered within and throughout the region. Returning to the present, it is ironic that with a de facto single state of Israel, the population ratio is very close to 1 : 1 with another 5 million or so refugees in surrounding countries potentially able to exercise their right of return under international law.
In response to the Latin leaders recognition, P. J. Crowley of the US State Department, whose interests lie in homeland security and internet advocacy of US interests (propaganda in other words, it’s always better to change one’s image rather than one’s actions according to most US State Department personnel) stated:
“We believe earnestly that final status issues should be negotiated between the parties…um…and we…uh…think at this stage…you know…um…bringing these issues to the United Nations will just distract us from the important business at hand of…of charting a way forward and tackling the core issues.” al-Jazeerah, December 11, 2010. “Palestine turns to UN for statehood”]
Negotiation between parties? This is a misleading myth that is perpetuated continually in western and US media, operating under the implication that the two parties are equal contenders in the situation. The reality is that one (Palestine) is completely dominated by the other (Israel) and without outside support there can be no fair and equal negotiations. The US has pretended to play the role of mediator but its ongoing support of Israel economically and militarily, and its ever declining ability to say anything against Israeli wishes as witnessed by Obama’s capitulation, there is no chance the US can act as an honest broker in the situation. US actions speak only of support for Israel while it seeks its own control of the Middle East for hydrocarbon resources and geopolitical control of Russia and China. That of course is truly “the important business at hand” for the US, while for Israel it is creating more and larger facts on the ground called settlements, illegal under international law.
There is no “charting a way forward” for a peaceful resolution with the Israeli leaders. Again, it is about demographics and an illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Under the Bush administration, Ariel Sharon received approval that “ensured, irrespective of the demands and requirements of international law…permanent control over large swathes of the West Bank, and all of Jerusalem.” The result of the Sharon-Bush agreements according to Dov Weisglass, Sharon’s senior advisor, was to have received “The formaldehyde that’s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” By freezing the process, “you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state…the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely…with authority and permission [and the] blessing and the ratification of both Houses of Congress.” [Saree Makdisi. Palestine Inside Out - An Everyday Occupation. W.W. Norton & Company, N.Y. 2008. p. 91.]
Anyone watching and studying the current President Obama’s cave-in to Israeli settlement demands and reading Netanyahu’s total disdain for Obama and the US in general, will know the truth behind Sharon’s statements. As the only powerful third party to be involved, a highly emasculated power at the present, the US has done nothing to assist with the “consideration of the settlements” - except as a media smokescreen - the major form of “confrontation” utilized by the Israelis in the global context.
Behind all this of course is the Israeli created myth that there “is no partner for peace,” a rather difficult situation when the “partner’s” leaders are systematically killed in extrajudicial murders or are imprisoned or are in conflict with each other through the manipulations of Israel as the dominant power.
The second area of international change? Foremost is the ability of those long repressed or intimidated, economically or militarily, to stand up and be heard, against the authority of the US. The sane voice of the three Latin American countries now realizing their true strength, released from the shadow of US dominance, recognizes and calls for a much firmer consideration of the Palestine-Israel problem based on the 1948 green line. The weight of even more independent Latin American voices will help overcome the tired inertia of the US supported ‘peace talks’ and create a more positive approach towards an internationally recognized legal settlement.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews. Miles' work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.