Thursday, June 3, 2010

Patrick Seale on the Freedom Flotilla . . . and Obama's Dilemma

Patrick Seale (via Agence Global) has a must-read piece that places the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla squarely within the historical trajectory of the overall Zionist project.  That trajectory has, from the start, been sustained by Israel's quest for - and success in - military domination of the Middle East.  But Seale also raises the disturbing possibility - indeed, probability - that, besides serving warning to the world that it will brook no interference with its strangulation of Gaza, the attack may have been designed to throw a monkey-wrench into the George Mitchell - led "proximity talks" and, more broadly, the entire process of negotiation.

To realise its expansionist ambitions, Israel has always sought to avoid serious negotiations with the Palestinians because, if negotiations were to succeed, they would inevitably mean ceding territory. Israel detests Palestinian moderates, who want to negotiate -- like Mahmud Abbas, the luckless president of the Palestinian Authority -- and far prefers Palestinian radicals, like Hamas, with whom no negotiation is possible. A familiar Israeli refrain gives the game away. ‘How can you negotiate with someone who wants to kill you?’

The attack on the flotilla off the Gaza coast must be seen as Israel’s latest attempt to radicalise the Palestinians, and hence torpedo, even before they have properly started, the so-called ‘proximity’ talks, which George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, has laboriously set up. Mahmud Abbas will now be under great pressure to withdraw from the talks or risk being denounced as a traitor by inflamed Palestinian and Arab opinion.

Most frightening is that the majority of the Israeli population are covering Netanyahu's rear and would love nothing more than to retain the West Bank and obliterate the Palestinian resistance, and that (as a recent editorial in The Nation points out) Netanyahu can count on the support of Capitol Hill and the Christian evangelical Right to eviscerate any intestinal fortitude that Mr. Obama might be inclined to show in dealing with Netanyahu.  And if Netanyahu wanted to offer even the teensiest of "concessions" (God, do I hate that word when it's applied to this situation) to the Palestinians, the political fallout would likely bring down his government and/or touch off a civil war.

Seale suggests that the way out of Obama's dilemma may lie in the possibility that enough Israelis will be worried by their country's isolation to demand Netanyahu either modify his course or else make way for a new government.  But I truly can't see that happening, unless tensions between Israel and Turkey reach the point where their respective militaries are put on high alert - which could indeed happen if, as has been promised, the Turkish navy are brought in to help the next flotilla deal with Israel's blockade.

No comments:


Blog Archive

Cluster map

Search This Blog

ICAHD - 18,000 Homes Campaign (large banner)