Thursday, February 7, 2008

Potholes Bigger Than Ever for Palestinians

Justice Unlikely in Near Future


"......The most important of these powerful forces in the U.S. arises from a critical element in the U.S.-Israeli relationship that one can see in Washington almost every day. This critical element is the competition that has grown stronger and stronger between the Republicans and the Democrats over which party can demonstrate the greater support for Israel. The competition, which overrides everything else in the U.S. affecting Palestine, will not just be important from now until the presidential election in November. It will last well beyond that and will still be important in future elections through 2012 and beyond. The Republicans are trying to replace the Democrats as the party receiving the most support from Jewish-Americans, and Democrats are trying to prevent that from happening. The battle may continue for years, and, to repeat, it underlies everything affecting Palestine.

Next, we need to broaden the discussion beyond just this competition between the two major U.S. political parties. All the policies of the U.S. in the Middle East and Central Asia are interrelated. Everyone here today knows this. But under the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. side of the uniquely close Israeli-U.S. partnership either concentrates on, or fails to concentrate on, Palestinian affairs depending in part on how involved the U.S. is at any moment in other parts of the region such as Iraq or Iran. The 80 or 90 percent of the U.S. electorate that is generally apathetic to all international affairs is even more willing to ignore anything that is happening in Palestine when the corporate-controlled and Israel-lobby-dominated U.S. media is devoting its limited international attentions to, say, Iran. At such times, the inclination of U.S. governments is to let the Israeli government, supported particularly by those U.S. officials most friendly to Israel, do practically anything it wants to the Palestinians, as long as Israel does it without making too much noise about it.

Anyone who is realistic simply must recognize that the situation of the Palestinians, and the future outlook for them, is bleak today, and for the next five years, and possibly even for an unknown length of time beyond that......"

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