Hillary's 'shop-worn' ME paradigm has AIPAC approval UPDATE
by MainStreet, Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 05:50:38 AM EST
Open this document to see the latest ICAHD analysis of demolished homes, estimated at some 23,500 in total since 1967, which includes over 3,600 homes estimated to have been destroyed in the recent Gaza conflict, according to preliminary figures provided by UN OCHA.
Lest one believes that Hillary has in some manner gone anti-Israel recently, Phillip Weiss posted this comment on Mondoweiss, Hillary seems stuck in 'shop-worn' paradigm of Fatah only, which puts a different light on her Middle East diplomacy. For that matter, her most recent statement concerning Israel's planned demolitions of more Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem as "not helpful," sounded more like a late afterthought (see above). Still, it's better to be late than never, I suppose.
Perhaps more disturbing is her recent statement excluding Hamas from negotiations, while there are reconciliation efforts being conducted by Fatah, as well as the Arab League. It suggests that she is adopting a pro-Israel stance: a conformance with Bush style State Department propaganda condemning Palestinians as "terrorists."
The Mondoweiss piece goes further:
Jim Lobe has a devastatingly-smart analysis of the new State Department, including the bad news that Dennis Ross seems to have legs, on the 7th floor, guiding Iran policy, and that Hillary is reading neocon thinktank papers. Ideas, ideas, ideas--the ideas are bad. Ross was for colonies in the West Bank in the early 90s, the neocons were for the Iraq War. Today on NPR Tom Ricks says that the Iraq war was "the greatest mistake in the history of American foreign policy." It came out of bad ideas.
Is there some reason to believe that Ross is now for dismantling those colonies to make way for a Palestinian state? Doubtful. Every "Lobby" man is a Likudnik by definition.
Here's some of Jim Lobe's analysis, focused only on the Palestinian state issue.
Ross Is Clearly a Major Player
Since Secretary of State Clinton set out for the Middle East over the weekend, it has seemed increasingly clear to me that Dennis Ross, contrary to my earlier speculation, pretty much got the job that he and WINEP were hoping for. Not only has he claimed an office on the coveted seventh floor, but Obama's conspicuous placement of Ross' name between those of Mitchell and Holbrooke in his speech on Iraq at Camp Lejeune last week strongly suggested that he considers Ross to be of the same rank and importance as the other two.
Adding to my growing sense that Ross occupies a critical role in policy-making, at least in the State Department, are what Clinton has had to say so far on her trip about Gaza, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority. As Marc Lynch reports in his truly excellent blog, also on the Foreign Policy website, "her remarks suggest that rather than seize on the possibility of Palestinian reconciliation, Clinton prefers to double-down on the shopworn `West Bank first, Fatah only' policy" strongly advocated by Ross. In that respect, you should definitely read Tuesday's extended colloquy between Lynch, Brookings' Tamara Wittes (who is more optimistic), and Carnegie's Nathan Brown, who shares Lynch's "disappointment" about Clinton's performance. As Lynch notes,
...it seems that Clinton is stuck "in a bit of time-warp" regarding Hamas' power in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority's abject failure to enhance its legitimacy, and the Arab League's renewed efforts to both unify itself and to reconstruct a Palestinian government of national unity. This insensitivity to Palestinian and Arab public opinion bears all the hallmarks of Ross' failed Mideast diplomacy during the 1990's.
I also have the impression that Ross and the so-called "Israel Lobby" whose interests he represents believe that enhancing conditions on the West Bank, combined with diplomatic engagement with Syria, will somehow be sufficient for Washington to regain its credibility in the region...
Aside of Iran, that notice about "enhancing conditions in the West Bank" is precisely what Netayahu proposed, a pacification of the Palestinians by filling their stomachs, while the land-grab proceeds on course.
So we must now ask: just what kind of a Palestinian state does Hillary have in mind? Until we have reason to believe otherwise, we must assume that Israel intends to complete the Apartheid state it has been working on for over 40 years.
Interesting and relevant article just published on the Electronic Intifada:
DID CLINTON SABOTAGE A PALESTINIAN RECONCILIATION? By Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2009
On her first visit to the Middle East as US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has made the same demands of Palestinians as the Bush administration. But it is ludicrous to insist that the stateless Palestinian people unconditionally recognize the legitimacy of the entity that dispossessed them and occupies them, that itself has no declared borders and that continues to violently expand its territory at their expense. Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah comment.
Has Israel still not recognized the right of Palestine to exist, for the Palestinians to live free and self-determined in a country of their own?
If Hillary can get this recognition from Israel, all of our Middle East problems will be over.