- Wednesday, June 23, the Congress of the United States
passed an incredible resolution. By a vote of 407 to 9, the House passed
Concurrent Resolution 460 to give total support to Israel's hard right
Likud government to annex the great bulk of Palestine and make it part
of Israel. The Resolution, which appears to have been passed with little
discussion or debate, expressed two main thoughts:
- It strongly endorses the April 14, 2004 George W. Bush
letter to Ariel Sharon that gives US approval to Israeli Likud plans for
the West Bank and Gaza.
- It supports efforts to build Palestinian institutions
to fight terrorism that will "prevent the areas from which Israel
has withdrawn from posing a threat to the security of Israel."
- But the really devastating language of this resolution
is in the whereas clauses, those statements made to justify the resolution.
Those clauses in summary affirm that:
- President Bush and Ariel Sharon already have made a deal,
and the Palestinians, the United Nations, and all third parties no longer
have anything to say on this subject.
- "The United States will do its utmost to prevent
any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan." (emphasis added).
- In light of 'new realities,' mainly because the Israeli
settlements exist (they are called 'Israeli population centers' in the
Bush letter) they have become part of Israel.
- The Palestinian refugee issues can be resolved only "through
the establishment of a permanent alternative and the settling of Palestinian
refugees there rather than in Israel.(emphasis added).
- "The United States remains committed to the security
of Israel...and to preserving and strengthening the capability of Israel
to deter enemies and defend itself."
- Stripped of any polite language, this resolution is a
total commitment of the President and the Congress of the United States
to creation of the Zionist dream of a greater Israel. To the Palestinians,
this resolution says any territory they retain in this deal will look like
a piece of Swiss cheese and include no more than 10% of their ancestral
home. Israeli peace activist, Ury Avnery, called this plan "a recipe
for continuing the war."
- Particularly to Arab states, the resolution is take it
or leave it: "All Arab states must oppose terrorism, support emergence
of a peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly that they will
live in peace with Israel."
- Moreover, the resolution leaves no doubt that the United
States will continue to arm the Israelis. Arming them also means that the
United States will continue to look the other way while (contrary to US
law) Israeli forces use modern, powerful, US supplied weapons to repress
the Palestinian people.
- Why would Bush and the Congress do this now? The Bush
letter, says the Resolution, "will enhance the security of Israel
and advance the cause of peace in the Middle East." Such an outcome
is devoutly to be wished, but the Bush statement is pious nonsense.
- In fact, even considering the chaos in Iraq, the Congress
of the United States has just codified the most powerful terrorism generator
that has come into existence since 9-11.
- While most signs have been at best ambiguous for several
years, this resolution tells the Palestinians that they should abandon
hope, recognize that their future will be worse than their past, but get
in line, and cooperate with the inevitable. The prospect this paints for
them is that they not only must accept loss of their homes and property,
and the withering of any viable Palestinian state, but they should expect
no compensation and they must look elsewhere for a place to live. Not only
are Palestinian extremists strengthened by this, but their support bases
will grow among the Palestinian people and among other peoples of the region.
- On the day before this resolution, it already appeared
clear enough that Osama bin Laden was having no problems recruiting new
adherents to al Qaida. On the day after, bin Laden is probably ready to
thank the Congress for making his job so much easier.
- What is most striking about the situation is that the
Zionists have to know that the risks of Palestinian terrorist attacks,
as well as attacks by sympathizers, will greatly increase. Perhaps the
Zionists are so dedicated to the idea of greater Israel that they do not
care, but as several analysts recently have concluded, and as the overall
tone of the Congressional resolution suggests, Sharon could not move ahead
with his plans, and he certainly would not receive promised levels of US
support, if the terrorists stopped attacking.
- Probably no members would concede that this resolution
makes the President and the Congress responsible for coming rounds of terrorist
violence and military reprisals in Palestine, as well as attacks on Americans
abroad, but that is the simple fact. In a slavish bid for political support
in November, both the President and the Congress have bought into Zionist
plans. Neither seems aware that polls show the majority of American Jews
oppose Sharon's plan but are too intimidated by the Zionists to object.
In any case, in order to get themselves elected, Congress and the President
have assured continuing violence in Palestine and they collectively have
chosen to make the world less safe for Americans.
- Author's Note:
- This writer wishes to note that he has the utmost respect
for believers in the traditions of Zionism that existed well before the
writings of Herzl early in the last century. What has happened since Herzl
is, itself, a tragedy. The Herzlites adopted an extreme right political
agenda that hijacked the name of Zionism and perverted its values toward
the land grab and hard line treatment of Palestinians that is now manifest
by Likud and other followers of Ariel Sharon.
- In addition to spending mountains of money on political
lobbies, the Herzlites have done two things to protect their position:
They have had unfortunate success in labeling the Jews who object to or
criticize the extremist agenda as 'self-hating Jews.' They have labeled
all Gentiles who object or criticize that agenda as anti-Semitic.
- Christian Zionists have bought into the Sharon/Herzlite
lead; they have warped the values of Christianity toward a repressive treatment
of the Palestinian people and support for the hard line Zionist extremist
agenda. Christians and Jews alike must speak out against the distortions
of their faith by these extremists. Both should object strenuously and
in writing to the pandering to those distorters by the US Congress in passing
Concurrent Resolution 460.
- The writer is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer
of the US Department of State. He will welcome comments at firstname.lastname@example.org