Friday, January 11, 2008
While George Bush talks up the prospects for peace, in reality he backs Israel's assault on Palestinians' legitimate national aspirations
By Karma Nabulsi
(Karma Nabulsi is the fellow in politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and university lecturer at the department of politics and international relations, Oxford University. She was a PLO representative from 1977-90)
".....In Israeli hallways yesterday, Bush was celebrated as the unwavering supporter of Israel's expansionist policies that he truly is, as he pressed ahead with a public relations campaign that began at Annapolis - talking future statehood for the Palestinians in theory, but backing occupation policies in practice - standing by as Olmert spoke of increasing settlements in illegally annexed Arab East Jerusalem. For the massive construction of Israeli settlements on expropriated Palestinian land over the last few years - illegal under international law and condemned by almost every country in the world - is only made possible by uncritical American financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel.
The accelerated illegal settlements activity that kills all hope for progress is not taking place in spite of President Bush's role in the Middle East, but is, obviously, directly connected to it: he will do nothing to stop it......
So when Palestinians today express despair about the present administration's commitment to their freedom, it does not mean they are despairing about the desire for a better future, or that they are not committed to peace, or that they do not possess the capacity of hope. It simply means they have a more realistic and pragmatic appreciation of their current predicament than those who insist that Palestinians should draw their hope from Bush's deadly rhetoric. "