Kathleen Christison

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 12:00 PM

Between the acts of God and the acts of war, it's a nightmare. Welcome to 2005. In the Middle East, the charade continues, as it must if the politicians in Washington are to keep feeding at the public trough. Should you have the time to read an excellent dissection of the current outlook for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian "conflict", please study “The Trouble with Optimism” which appeared a few days ago in CounterPunch.

The author, Kathleen Christison, is a former analyst with the CIA, but don't hold that against her. Obviously, there have been some decent, patriotic, level-headed people in there...like Kathleen and her husband, and the outspoken Michael "Anonymous" Scheuer. Christison warns us not to buy into the idea that peace and justice could be right around the corner. She sure got that right. My outlook is similar, but more sour.

To begin with, Christison considers the problem from the charming and refreshing perspective of right v. wrong. She thinks in terms of the American government doing the right thing and redressing past injustices. Washington and Tel Aviv do not for a nanosecond think in those terms, Bush's blather about "democracy" and his "vision" of a Palestinian state notwithstanding. With Bush, it is all an act, a political game. It is a joke. We are returning to square one.

The joint Tel Aviv/Washington strategy now, as it was under Bill Clinton, is to see just how far the Palestinians can be enticed, cajoled, conned, tricked and bulldozed into accepting the intolerable. All this talk about a "Palestinian state" by Bush and his sidekick, Tony Blair, is so much rubbish, and everyone knows it, including Bush and Blair. The facts on the ground, created by Tel Aviv and Washington working hand-in-glove over several decades have thoroughly preempted any possibility of that kind. The door is closed on that option.

Thanks to Tel Aviv's control over the politicians in Washington, the subjugation of Palestine is a done deal. As a practical matter, in fact, trying to backtrack now would result in a full-scale civil war inside Israel, with the "settlers" refusing to leave their extensive settlements on the West Bank. It would be explosive. Accordingly, all Tel Aviv (and Washington) wants at this point is some kind of ritual acceptance of the conquest of Palestine by the conquered. Beyond that endgame, which reduces the Palestinians to helots, there is no real interest.

But what, you might wonder, about all those Palestinians not living under military occupation, numbering in the hundred of thousands, outside of Israel proper and outside "the territories"? (The "State of Israel" considers those bits and pieces of Palestine, mostly walled off, not yet formally annexed and still populated with Palestinians,  as "the territories".) For Tel Aviv and its cheerleaders in America, those Palestinians do not exist. Please understand, the Palestinians on “the outside”--the Arab refugees of 1948 and 1967--cannot return to their own country, to their own homes, to their own villages.

For Tel Aviv and Washington, the issue has been redlined, not open for discussion, a taboo. The Israeli attitude is: the refugees can go to the deserts of Arabia and north Africa or wherever. There is plenty of empty space. Or, in the alternative, if they want to sit in refugee camps for the rest of their lives, fine, let them. It is none of our concern.

Kind of ironic, don't you think? I mean, on the one hand, the Jews of Eurasia, the Ashkenazim, are completely entitled to "return" en masse to Palestine after almost two thousand years of purported exile, and yet, on the other hand, the Arab Palestinians, who have been living in situ for centuries, cannot return to their own homes and villages, from which they were expelled only several decades ago. Under other circumstances, this would be called what it is: ethnic cleansing.

Don't even consider the fact that the far-distant ancestors of Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, and the rabid ex-Russian "human rights" activist, Natan Sharansky, et al., never even set foot inside Palestine to begin with. These gentlemen are Khazars, not Semites, and they are not descendants of the ancient Hebrews. Nevertheless, they now possess more rights in Palestine than the Palestinians. In fact, these Russian and Polish Jews have all the rights, whereas the native inhabitants get a bone thrown at them from time to time, if they are lucky.