Canadian Arab News November 24, 2005
In my last column, I showed why Remembrance Day is now an anachronism. Continuing to focus on the “good” world wars as a cultural and geopolitical reference point perpetuates a false good/evil dichotomy at a time when the victors and victims of World War II have become the new fascists. So long as Isramerica continues to terrorize the Muslim world, any celebration of a romanticized past amounts to abetting this new fascism.
This year, the world added to its selective amnesia by solemnly observing the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. A grand ceremony took place in Israel with former U.S. president Bill Clinton delivering the keynote speech.
Meanwhile, the world utterly ignored the first anniversary of the death (murder?) of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Rabin.
Strange, isn’t it? The two Middle East leaders who started the Oslo “peace” process die in the same month, yet one is lionized as a champion of peace and the other is deliberately forgotten. That Arafat should be slighted in this manner is particularly galling because there is no excuse for forgetting the day he died—Remembrance Day, 2004.
On the other hand, perhaps not so strange, given the way Isramerica has rewritten history to make Arafat the scapegoat for the collapse of the Camp David peace talks.
The demonization of Arafat is one of the great betrayals of history, since he alone was prepared to work for a peaceful solution. Against all reason, he entered into negotiations where the onus for concessions was all on the Palestinians. Israel, the occupying power, was under no obligation to give up anything, and the servile Clinton administration did everything possible to support this perverse arrangement.
This observation from New York Times reporter Deborah Sontag shows the true face of Isramerican duplicity:
“Two weeks before Camp David, Arafat and I saw Clinton at the White House. Arafat told Clinton he needed more time. Clinton said, ’Chairman Arafat, come try your best. If it fails, I will not blame you.’ But that is exactly what he did.”*
To this day, the lie that Arafat was responsible for the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks is still widely believed, as is the lie that Ehud Barak made a “generous offer” to Arafat of more than 90 percent of the Occupied Territories. How this could have happened is a mystery, since Barak refused to put anything in writing.
Still, the failure to sign a peace treaty has not stained the reputation of Saint Yitzhak. In his speech, Clinton invoked the man himself:
“If he were here, he would say, ’There is enough of all this missing. If you really think I lived a good life, if you think I made a noble sacrifice in death, than for goodness sakes take up my work and see it through to the end.’”
This maudlin drivel by the man most responsible for the failure of the talks would have us believe that the “peace process” might have worked had Rabin lived, but that’s nonsense. After all, this
is a man who five years earlier told the army to intensify violence and break the limbs of Palestinians.
The only reason Rabin agreed to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization at all, much less accept Arafat as its leader, was because he
could not stop the intifada. If Rabin couldn’t murder and maim the Palestinians into submission he would con their leadership into thinking peace was possible, thereby disarming the Palestinian resistance and stealing whole swaths of land.
In fact, Israel betrayed this fact almost immediately after Rabin and Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles, which was premised on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. These stipulated that Israel had to withdraw from all territory illegally occupied during the 1967 war. Coincidentally, these resolutions also reflected Arafat’s negotiating objectives.
From 1992 to 1996, the West Bank “settler” population expanded by 39 percent to 145,000, of which only 16 percent was due to births. Israel also built a major network of access roads in preparation to annex several large settlement blocs.
In East Jerusalem, the Jewish population grew by 800 percent over this period to more than 170,000, and the Rabin and Peres Labour governments authorized completion of 10,000 subsidized housing units begun by Yitzhak Shamir. Also in violation of international law and Oslo’s principles, Rabin and Peres reaffirmed Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.
U.S. acquiescence toward Israel’s premeditated land grab was made clear when Peres, who succeeded Rabin, declared in 1996: “We have exhausted our requests. President Clinton has answered all our needs. There has been no American president in history like President Clinton, in his support of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Well, there you have it. Rabin and his successors along with the corrupt Clinton administration conspired to steal Palestinian land while ostensibly negotiating to give it back. The tactic almost worked, but at the last minute Arafat came to his senses and stood up to Isramerican coercion.
|Israel refused Arafat's wish to be buried near the Al-Aqsa Mosque or anywhere in Jerusalem, citing widespread security concerns. Israel also feared that his burial would strengthen Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem. Israeli cabinet minister Tommy Lapid stated that "Jerusalem is the burial place of Jewish kings, not of Arab terrorists"|
Eventually, history will vindicate Arafat, and Rabin will be remembered as just another in a long line of Zionist strongmen bent on ethnic cleansing. In fact, in 1956 he supported the mass expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank.
The one thing we can do is refuse to allow propagandists to implant false memories. Remember history as it happened, not as Isramerica says it happened.
One final note: this month marks another tenth anniversary. On Nov. 12, 1995, I wrote my first column on the Middle East. I made the point that Rabin’s assassination highlighted a glaring contradiction in Israeli society: it could be a democracy or a Jewish state, but it could not be both. These two possibilities are irreconcilable, since the former is based on common citizenship and the other is based on religious chauvinism.
I thought this to be a self-evident truth—it is—but the Jewish community went berserk in letters to the editor. Because of this extreme reaction, I decided to dig deeper into the history of Palestine. I suppose I should thank them.
* Deborah Sontag, “Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed,” New York Times, July 26, 2001. For an excellent analysis of the breakdown of the talks, see Gary D. Keenan, The Truth Regarding the 2000 Camp David Summit, Sept. 17, 2005 (www.canpalnet-ottawa.org).