Friday, September 23, 2011
Why Mahmoud Abbas' speech matters a lot
I just finished listening to Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the UNGA and I have to say that I was very impressed. God knows I am no supporter of Abbas, but listening to him the thought crossed my mind that maybe the old man decided to redeem himself as much as possible at the 11th hour of his career?
I am under no illusion about what this speech can or cannot achieve. First, neither Israel nor its subservient bouncer-thug (the USA) give a damn about international law, the UN or anything else besides brute force or money. The reality is that neither the UNGA nor even the UNSC have any kind of power over the "only democracy in the Middle-East". Hezbollah does. The UN does not. Hezbollah can force the Zionists out of the land they conquered (they did it twice, already), whereas over 120 UN resolutions had exactly zero impact on the crazed minds of the Zionist leaders.
And yet, what Abbas did today will fundamentally change the game. Not the recognition, or not, of Palestine by the UNGA or UNSC, but the recognition within the 1967 borders including the Arab part of Jerusalem. Yes, I know, not only does international law specifically mandate these borders (since no state can change any border by means of war, even a defensive war), numerous UN resolutions have also affirmed and upheld this fact. However, for the first time in many years the PA and the OLP have specifically re-stated this demand, thereby overturing all the semi-official compromises they had offered or hinted at. Not only that, those countries who will vote in favor of a recognition of Palestine as a state in the 1967 will make it impossible for the Israelis to ever try to "legalize" their colonies.
Now, I personally do not believe at all in the so-called Two State Solution. The only solution which can bring peace to the Middle-East is one which comprehensively rejects any form of racist separation (or Apartheid) and which fully upholds the principle of one man one vote in a united, non-confessional, Palestine. However, the value of Abbas' move is not in the 'solution' is advocates as it is with the crisis it will now trigger for the last racist regime on the planet.
Yes, Abbas says that he is not attempting to delegitimize Israel (why not? But nevermind that); he only wants to delegitimize the settlements. But what are the settlements if not the material expression of the very core of what the state of Israel really has been built on and stands for: violence, racism, expropriation, violation of human rights, violation of civil rights, violation of international law, etc. Whether Abbas understands this or not, there cannot be any "Jewish state of Israel" without settlements and without the mindset and policies which made them possible in the first place.
For Israel to give up these colonies means to give up its fantasy of being a only-human Chosen People who can ignore the beast-like sub-human goyim. It means to give up the fallacy of using the text of the Old Testament as a real estate deed. It means to give up the dream of having a racially pure Jewish state. In other words, this means giving up on the very essence of what the "Jewish state of Israel" stands for.
So this is what the UN will really be voting for. A choice between two models. One, as racist as Nazi Germany or Apartheid South Africa, and the other, the humanist idea that humans cannot be discriminated against on the basis of race or religion. On one hand a model which says that "might makes right", and on the other, that the rule of law must be upheld. These are not trivial issues, they are civilizational core questions which define the kind of world we all live in.
The other beautiful thing which Abbas' speech will achieve is an embarrassingly shameful isolation of the USA and a few of its puppets and colonies. I mean, really, how can anybody with just a basic ounce of civilization seriously stand behind the ugly and crazed policies of the Zionists? Voting with the last openly racist regime on the planet is now tantamount of sticking a sign on your back saying "I am a prostitute paid by the Zionist regime and its lobbies worldwide". Sure, many will still do it, but this will be exquisitely disgraceful for all of them.
I still don't like Abbas and everything he stands for. But I think the Palestinians who dismiss it all as a useless farce are quite wrong. There will be a 'before' and an 'after' what happened today at the UN.
What we are witnessing is the hammering of yet another nail in the (admittedly large) coffin of the last openly racist state on the planet and its ugly ideology.
Congrats Palestinians! You deserve it.