Comment by Khalid Amayreh in Occupied E. Jerusalem
“The mountain went into labor, then it gave birth to a rat ,” so says the famous Arab proverb. This adage is likely to caricature the outcome of the upcoming American-sponsored “peace conference,” slated to take place on 27 November, in Annapolis , Maryland .
Forecasting the failure of the Annapolis meeting is more than speculation. It is a realistic assessment of an event that is not intended to be successful, even if the declared desire suggests otherwise.
Indeed, apart from the pleasantries which are meant to create positive atmospherics, Israel and the PA have failed to reach any modicum of agreement on the core issues that define the Palestinian problem.
A few weeks ago, PA officials were almost euphoric about the conference. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas vowed to boycott the Annapolis meeting unless Israel agreed in principle at least to end its occupation of the West Bank , Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem , as well as accept a just settlement of the refugee problem pursuant UN resolution 194. But Israel, of course, agreed to non of that.
Now, the PA will go to Annapolis without any assurance policy, relying mainly on George Bush’s “good will,” (whatever that means in real terms).
I asked one high-ranking PA official in Ramallah this week how come the PA leadership was going to Annapolis, despite the clarion fiasco of the protracted meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials..
Embarrassed by the question, the official said “we are going to Annapolis to demonstrate to the world the justice of our cause and the need for a just and durable peace in this volatile region.”
I reminded him that “we have been doing this for ages but to no avail.” Disquieted by the rejoinder, the official looked rather attentively at me, saying “what else can we do, if you have some ideas, convey them to Abu Mazen?”
There will be several categories of participants and attendees at the Annapolis conference: First, the master of disaster, George W. Bush, the Fuhrer of the White House who has invaded, occupied and destroyed two Muslim countries and killed or caused the death of over a million innocent human beings under the pretext of ridding the world of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be nonexistent.
The man, who claimed that God had told him to do what he did, has never had the moral courage to say “I made a mistake, Mea Culpa.” Instead, he concocted all sorts of pretexts, canards and lies to justify his criminality and evil designs. After all, criminals show no concern about their crimes.
Which really begs the following question: can the peoples of the Middle East in particular and humanity in general count on one of the world’s most premier murderers and liars to force Israel to make peace? Let us not forget that this is the man who had described Ariel Sharon, the certified Israeli war criminal, as a man of peace.
Then there is the perpetual murderer, liar land thief, namely Israel, a state that murders school children and calls the murder self-defense and then lies about its crimes and calls the lying hasbara and public relations, a state that claims to have ended its occupation of Gaza while continuing to tightly control Gaza’s borders, border crossings, territorial water, skies and the region’s very lifeline.
The leader of this nefarious state, Ehud Olmert, is going to the Annapolis conference, not to make peace and show good will towards Israel’s victims, but rather in order to make sure that no substantive progress will come out of it.
Olmert, a man notorious for his criminality, mendacity and deceitfulness, will heavily indulge in prevarication, verbal juggling and red herrings, but will shun the real issues, namely ending the hateful occupation of the Palestinian homeland and brutality against the Palestinian people.
Olmert will not even allude to millions of miserable Palestinian refugees languishing in squalid refugee camps all over the Middle East because a state calling itself a light upon the nations wouldn’t allow them to return to their homes and villages from which they were uprooted when that state was born sixty years ago.
He will not mention East Jerusalem whose Arab Christian-Muslim identity successive Israeli governments have sought to decapitate, humanly spiritually, demographically and economically.
And, of course, he will completely ignore the sinister Israeli blockade of 1.4 million Gazans who are being tormented and starved to death because Zionism can’t forgive Palestinians for electing a political party that Israel doesn’t like.
Instead of dealing honestly and seriously with the real issues, Olmert, will launch a charade about strengthening PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and encouraging “the forces of moderation and peace” as if the real problem in Palestine was the absence of moderation and peace among Palestinians, not the Nazi-like Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.
And then there is Abbas, the American-backed PA leader who apparently thinks that now is the best time for making peace because America’s conscience has suddenly waked up from its slumber and George W. Bush has undergone a graceful metamorphosis, from an evil man to a saint.
Abbas looks really very pathetic. He had already placed all his eggs into the American basket which means that he won’t be able to say “No” to the Americans even when he must.
This is why all he can do to save his Palestinian Authority, which is actually devoid of any real authority, is to day-dream and implore the werewolf of the White House to press Israel to demonstrate true desire for peace. Day-dreaming, psychologists say, represents the highest degree of frustration.
But, as the famous Arab poet Zuheir said more than 1400 years ago, he that doesn’t respect himself shall not be respected by others. Abbass should have himself to blame. He trusted Bush and Olmert too much to the extent that he has become a vanquished supplicant at their doorsteps. He maltreated his people and did many things that should not have been done, all to please and appease Olmert and Bush, but to no avail.
In a nutshell, beggars can’t be choosers.
And then there will be the usual horde of Arab despots who are at America’s beck and call and who always value the legitimacy that comes form America’s acceptance more than which comes from their own masses’ acceptance.
Most of these kings and presidents-for-life are quite tired of the enduring Palestinian cause and are very much eager to sell out whatever has remained of Arab honor and Arab rights, probably including the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. This inertia, this exhaustion, can be detected in the tone of their voices.
However, these tyrants would like to see the Palestinians themselves do it first so that they would be able to tell their respective peoples “look! we can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians.”
These are the same so-called leaders who are now quietly colluding with Israel to decimate and starve to death the people of Gaza in order to appease America and obtain from it a certificate of good conduct.
Then there is the European Union (EU), whose leaders continue to curry favor with Israel , despite its wicked treatment of Palestinians. This is the same EU that has proven ad nauseam that it won’t miss an opportunity to succumb to Israeli and Zionist pressure, even at the price of seeing innocent civilians starved and killed.
A few days ago, France ’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner assured Israel that France would always seek to ensure Israel’s security. You see the moral whoredom! The security of Israel, a country that possesses 300 nuclear weapons, 700 state-of-the-art fighter bombers, and 4000 battle tanks and several nuclear-fit submarines, must be protected and preserved, while the Palestinians who can hardly put food on the table for their starving children, must be blockaded and punished.
We shouldn’t forget Tony Blair, the deceitful and duplicitous former British Prime Minister, who has tons of Iraqi blood on his dirty hands. This war criminal is now trying to bribe the Palestinians with “economic projects,” in the hope that this would make them forget some of their inalienable rights, including the right of return for the refugees and Jerusalem .
Finally, Annapolis will be honored to have the comical Ban Ki-moon attending the conference. For those who don’t know, this Ki-moon must always watch his tongue very carefully lest he inadvertently says something Bush and Condoleezza Rice don’t like.
Well, with such a great company, the Palestinians need not worry!! Their cause is in honest hands.!