Barack Obama doesn’t know the value of peace. He doesn’t know how to achieve peace at all. Now, one can be sure that we cannot expect a viable peace plan for the Middle East from a person who received a Nobel peace prize within 13 days of his rule, even before he began signing government papers. We cannot expect a promising peace from a person who confirms wars are needed to establish peace while receiving the Nobel peace prize. That is what Mr. Obama proved by his latest peace plan for Palestinians. It is actually more like maintaining the status quo for the Israeli state rather than delivering a peaceful state for Palestinians.
It is no wonder Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is confident of convincing his pro-settler cabinet to accept the new Obama-sponsored peace deal. One is well aware of Netanyahu’s far-right views on Palestinians and their leaders, which came to light through a leaked video. It was revealed in that video that Netanyahu preferred continuously beating Palestinians till they accept what was imposed by the Israeli state as a peace deal. Given such views, his acceptance of the Obama-sponsored peace deal means a death blow to the national aspirations of the long-suffering Palestinian people.
Some features of Obama’s new peace deal are:
- A declaration by Israel of an additional suspension of construction in the West Bank for a mere 90-day period that does not include East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 war but not accepted by the international community.
- A pledge not to seek any extension to the settlement freeze after the expiry of 90 days even if the talks are not concluded.
- A guarantee to veto any resolutions deemed to be anti-Israelbrought to the United Nations Security Council and other international organisations that seek to impose a political settlement on Israel.
- A supply of $3 billion worth of war planes to Israel to maintain its qualitative edge in the region.
- Signing of a more comprehensive deal by the US to enhance its substantial security aid to Israel as part of any future agreement with the Palestinians.
This is a completely one-sided deal prepared for the advantage of the Israelis. A peace deal should not be partial to either party, but should confirm the genuine aspirations on both sides.
Disrespecting International Community
First of all, the construction of settlements on occupied territories is itself a deviation from international agreements reached at the UN. Now the US is ready to violate UN resolutions in the name of peace, which is not acceptable to Palestinians and for that matter even to the international community. And the US is certifying to Israel that it is very magnanimous in accepting the 90-day construction freeze, especially considering the Israeli state did not even consider ceasing to be cruel to the Palestinian people.
A genuine peace process does not impose any time limit, if both parties and mediators really want peace to prevail. One should wonder how the US and Israel are planning to achieve peace with Palestinians who aspire to make East Jerusalem their capital for a future Palestinian state, while exempting that place from a settlement freeze. If one party does not seek to respect the views and national aspirations of the other party, it invariably confirms that the peace process is not going to begin. It proves that the US and Israel are not up for achieving peace but something else.
The US is planning to disrespect the international community, the UN, and its resolutions by agreeing to veto any resolutions deemed to be anti-Israel. So, the US is not in the mediator role, but has already begun taking sides with Israel, preempting any Palestinian contentions even before the beginning of the peace talks. It is another manifestation of the imperial intentions of the US in the region, further confirmed with the agreement to supply more war planes worth $3 billion to Israel.
President Obama has failed to convince his counterparts at the recently concluded G-20 and APEC summits of his case on the financial front. He tried, through a proposal by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to limit the trade surplus to 4.5 percent of GDP of each country in a bid to reduce the US’ trade deficit with China. He had to withdraw the proposal in the face of fierce opposition from his allies Germany and Japan. He has also faced opposition to the Fed’s move to inject $600 billion into the US economy from the EU as well as the emerging market economies. The G-20 and APEC conferences concluded without success for Obama’s push for checking China’s trade surplus and yuan policy. He has failed to extend an expired strategic deal with the US’ closest ally, South Korea. Obama has had to accept the bitter truth that the US imperialist hegemony has begun to crumble.
Against this background of increasing signs of losing economic supremacy, Obama chose the military front to retain the US’ supremacy and hegemonic interests over the world. He chose the Middle East conflict to show that the US still should get its way international matters. The Middle East and South Asia have been integrated by the US into a single entity as a battlefield for retaining global supremacy. It may be recalled that Obama’s recent tour to India fetched a $10 billion trade deal and more than 50,000 jobs for America.
Now Israel and the US are in need of each other. The US has no intention of achieving peace in the Middle East and installing a Palestinian State against the interests of its ally Israel. If it angers Israel the US may have to lose its say in the Middle East region also. Instead of losing it, the US has found an opportunity to regain its global leadership. Hence the new deal with Israel has followed, preempting any viable peace deal in the Middle East. This is quite against the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.