Kerry: special pleading and avoiding responsibility

Palestinians have an absolute right to justice and for Kerry to say, as he did, that the injustice “. . . can only be resolved between the parties” is to place the desperately defenceless Palestinians forever at the mercy of the Zionist state.

The Times of Israel reports US Secretary of State John Kerry saying on Friday that “a permanent peace agreement must ultimately involve the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian territories, and warned that the failure of the current round of talks to yield an accord would be catastrophic for both parties.” Having admitted that the Palestinians need assurances ”that at the end of the day their territory is going to be free of Israeli troops, that occupation ends,” the US envoy then gave reasons why Israel had every right to delay any end to its belligerent military occupation, saying, “But the Israelis rightfully will not withdraw unless they know the West Bank will not become a new Gaza . . . “ Heaven help the Palestinians of the West Bank, who suffer enough already, if Israel plans to inflict its air strikes, sonic booms and drone surveillance upon the West Bank also.

The Times of Israel showed Israel's contempt for the democratic process, where Palestinians are concerned, with the comment “Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Strip.” Never mind that Hamas won an election that all observers agreed had been exemplary and fair. It was Israel and its allies that deprived the Palestinian people in the rest of Palestine of the democratic outcome to which they were entitled. One thing is certain, Israel's withdrawal from any Palestinian territory is not in itself a guarantee of security for the Palestinian people. It seems that it is only Israeli security that matters to the so-called peace envoy — he also said, “. . . there cannot be peace unless Israel’s security and its needs are met.” No recognition at all of the Palestinian right to security or of Palestinian needs.

But as The Times of Israel reminds us, ”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that an agreement with the Palestinians must involve Israeli security forces stationed along the strategically critical Jordan Valley even after Palestinian statehood; Netanyahu said earlier Friday that he would not dismantle settlements either. And Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon has derided Kerry’s high-tech security package as inadequate to fight terrorism on the ground.” For the Palestinian people, deprived of adequate access to their own water, with their crops constantly bulldozed, olive trees set on fire and their children dragged from their beds in the middle of the night and subjected to acts of cruelty, 'terrorism on the ground', both from settlers and their Israeli Army, is a daily reality.

“Kerry lauded Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s commitment to non-violence and negotiations”, The Times of Israel tells us, so just as on the one hand 'security' is only allowed to be of concern to Israel so too, on the other, 'non-violence' is to be demanded only of Palestinians. In any case, Israel has already made it plain that it would never permit a so-called Palestinian state to have full sovereignty over its borders and air space.

By its actions in supporting the demands of Zionist ideology, the world community has placed the Palestinian people, through no fault of their own, in a position of abject subservience to military occupation. Israel itself attempts to justify its territorial ambitions by reference to the United Nations and yet, as the The Times of Israel reveals, Kerry asserts that “this issue cannot be resolved at the United Nations.” It is precisely at the United Nations, the chief forum for the international community, where a return to respect for international law and human rights should lead us to shoulder the responsibility we share for the plight of the Palestinian people. Palestinians have an absolute right to justice and for Kerry to say, as he did, that the injustice “. . . can only be resolved between the parties” is to place the desperately defenceless Palestinians forever at the mercy of the Zionist state.

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