Thursday, June 27, 2002

Bush's new 'peace' plan for the Palestinians contains the elements of a classic Catch-22: they can have a state only if they demonstrate the attributes of a mature democracy and end the terrorist attacks, both of which are impossible with the institutional mechanisms they have been denied or that Israel has recently destroyed. Requiring them to end the terrorism is a particularly ironic twist, as the ability of the Palestinian Authority to do this has been completely destroyed by recent Israeli war crimes, and it is clear that the main goal of the terrorist attacks is not to destroy Israel directly (as that would be impossible using suicide bombers), but to destroy the Palestinian Authority and the current Palestinian leadership and replace them with more radical anti-Israeli leaders (and in this odd way the goals of Sharon and the instigators of the suicide bombings are identical). Bush's long-promised plan had been delayed, ostensibly because he had not wanted to release it after some terrorist act, thus 'rewarding terrorism'. This cannot be the real reason for the delay, as the plan is so slanted to Israeli interests (a fact which the Israeli right has not hesitated to trumpet) that it could not possibly be construed as a reward for the Palestinians. The real reason for the timing is clearly to wait until the Israelis could establish their current military control and effective 24 hour curfew over the West Bank. The makes it crystal clear to the Palestinians that there is no hope for them to be able to comply with Bush's preconditions, and thus is effectively a part of the long-term Israeli plan to so completely demoralize the Palestinians that they will voluntarily leave the West Bank, or at least consent to be some sort of non-voting second-class citizens of Greater Israel (another Sharon plan is to forcibly move Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, a plan that will apparently start when he begins to move the families of suicide bombers, but will no doubt slowly escalate by extending the definition of 'family'). The other kicker is that Sharon does not have to stop building settlements or pull back the existing settlers until the Palestinians meet the conditions that Bush knows Sharon can ensure cannot be met. Therefore, Bush's new 'peace' plan is the first express American sanction to the creation of Greater Israel by the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the West Bank. Even if by some miracle the Palestinians could meet Bush's conditions, they will then only obtain a 'provisional state'. This is presumably just another method for the Americans to impress upon the Palestinians just how hopeless their cause is. It has become obvious that there is no hope for the Palestinians until the hegemony of the American Empire is over (and given the way things are going, that may be sooner than many think).