Trump’s Peace Plan Has Been Designed to Fail – Exactly Like Its Predecessors

By Jonathan Cook

July 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   Donald Trump’s supposed “deal of the century”, offering the Palestinians economic bribes in return for political submission, is the endgame of western peace-making, the real goal of which has been failure, not success.

For decades, peace plans have made impossible demands of the Palestinians, forcing them to reject the terms on offer and thereby create a pretext for Israel to seize more of their homeland.

The more they have compromised, the further the diplomatic horizon has moved away – to the point now that the Trump administration expects them to forfeit any hope of statehood or a right to self-determination.

Even Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and architect of the peace plan, cannot really believe the Palestinians will be bought off with their share of the $50 billion inducement he hoped to raise in Bahrain last week.

That was why the Palestinian leadership stayed away.

But Israel’s image managers long ago coined a slogan to obscure a policy of incremental dispossession, masquerading as a peace process: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

It is worth examining what those landmark “missed opportunities” consisted of.

The first was the United Nations’ Partition Plan of late 1947. In Israel’s telling, it was Palestinian intransigence over dividing the land into separate Jewish and Arab states that triggered war, leading to the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of most of the Palestinians’ homeland.

But the real story is rather different.

The recently formed UN was effectively under the thumb of the imperial powers of Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. All three wanted a Jewish state as a dependent ally in the Arab-dominated Middle East.

Fuelled by the dying embers of western colonialism, the Partition Plan offered the largest slice of the Palestinian homeland to a minority population of European Jews, whose recent immigration had been effectively sponsored by the British empire.

As native peoples elsewhere were being offered independence, Palestinians were required to hand over 56 per cent of their land to these new arrivals. There was no chance such terms would be accepted.

However, as Israeli scholars have noted, the Zionist leadership had no intention of abiding by the UN plan either. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, called the Jewish state proposed by the UN “tiny”. He warned that it could never accommodate the millions of Jewish immigrants he needed to attract if his new state was not rapidly to become a second Arab state because of higher Palestinian birth rates.

Ben Gurion wanted the Palestinians to reject the plan, so that he could use war as a chance to seize 78 per cent of Palestine and drive out most of the native population.

For decades, Israel was happy to entrench and, after 1967, expand its hold on historic Palestine.

In fact, it was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who made the biggest, unreciprocated concessions to peace. In 1988, he recognised Israel and, later, in the 1993 Olso accords, he accepted the principle of partition on even more dismal terms than the UN’s – a state on 22 per cent of historic Palestine.

Even so, the Oslo process stood no serious chance of success after Israel refused to make promised withdrawals from the occupied territories. Finally, in 2000 President Bill Clinton called together Arafat and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to a peace summit at Camp David.

Arafat knew Israel was unwilling to make any meaningful compromises and had to be bullied and cajoled into attending. Clinton promised the Palestinian leader he would not be blamed if the talks failed.

Israel ensured they did. According to his own advisers, Barak “blew up” the negotiations, insisting that Israel hold on to occupied East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa mosque, and large areas of the West Bank. Washington blamed Arafat anyway, and refashioned Israel’s intransigence as a “generous offer”.

A short time later, in 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Peace Initiative offered Israel normal relations with the Arab world in return for a minimal Palestinian state. Israel and western leaders hurriedly shunted it into the annals of forgotten history.

After Arafat’s death, secret talks through 2008-09 – revealed in the Palestine Papers leak – showed the Palestinians making unprecedented concessions. They included allowing Israel to annex large tracts of East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ expected capital.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat was recorded saying he had agreed to “the biggest [Jerusalem] in Jewish history” as well as to only a “symbolic number of [Palestinian] refugees’ return [and a] demilitarised state … What more can I give?”

It was a good question. Tzipi Livni, Israel’s negotiator, responded, “I really appreciate it” when she saw how much the Palestinians were conceding. But still her delegation walked away.

Trump’s own doomed plan follows in the footsteps of such “peace-making”.

In a New York Times commentary last week Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, candidly encapsulated the thrust of this decades-long diplomatic approach. He called on the Palestinians to “surrender”, adding: “Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission.”

The peace process was always leading to this moment. Trump has simply cut through the evasions and equivocations of the past to reveal where the West’s priorities truly lie.

It is hard to believe that Trump or Kushner ever believed the Palestinians would accept a promise of “money for quiet” in place of a state based on “land for peace”.

Once more, the West is trying to foist on the Palestinians an inequitable peace deal. The one certainty is that they will reject it – it is the only issue on which the Fatah and Hamas leaderships are united – again ensuring the Palestinians can be painted as the obstacle to progress.

The Palestinians may have refused this time to stumble into the trap, but they will find themselves the fall guys, whatever happens.

When Trump’s plan crashes, as it will, Washington will have the chance to exploit a supposed Palestinian rejection as justification for approving annexation by Israel of yet more tranches of occupied territory.

The Palestinans will be left with a shattered homeland. No self-determination, no viable state, no independent economy, just a series of aid-dependent ghettos. And decades of western diplomacy will finally have arrived at its preordained destination.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

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Trump Admin Dangles $50Bn Bribe for Palestinian Surrender

Image result for Trump Admin Dangles $50Bn Bribe for Palestinian Surrender
Finian Cunningham
July 3, 2019

President Trump’s senior aide on Mideast affairs Jared Kushner tried last week to sell his much-vaunted “deal of the century” for a Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement. The core of it was a purported foreign investment plan worth $50 billion.

The sales pitch made at a conference in Bahrain amounted to a $50Bn bribe dangled at the Palestinians to accept permanent illegal occupation of their ancestral lands in exchange for foreign investment. Kushner rebranded it as the “opportunity of the century”.

He claimed that political peace depends on a viable economic plan. Others would see that formulation as back-to-front: economic development and prosperity depends on a political solution to decades of injustice against Palestinians.

American diplomacy has been an utter failure for decades with regard to settling this bitter dispute. It would therefore be impossibly naive to expect the Trump administration to succeed. More likely, its blundering and bias will only make this historic problem a whole lot worse.

That’s no doubt why so many regional players decided to give the Bahrain event this week a clunking big miss.

Like his father-in-law in the White House, Kushner comes from a real estate background before Trump appointed him as his top aide on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. For the past two years, Kushner has been working on a “master plan” to end the eight-decade-old conflict. That conflict has been at the center of most other disputes and tensions in the region. Trump has billed his son-in-law’s peace plan as the “deal of the century”.

In Bahrain, the Trump administration gave the first-ever preview of its peace plans. Skeptics of Kushner’s ability to deliver a realistic, workable framework were not to be surprised. The boyish-looking Kushner looked way out of his depth as he presented his vision of business and investment as the supposed key to peace. He invited the audience to “imagine” Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza bustling with enterprise and trade. That entrepreneurial “promised land” would arrive if the Palestinians accepted Kushner’s vision of a $50Bn foreign investor fund.

What that boils down to is Palestinians accepting the present status quo of illegal occupation by Israel and in effect surrendering their historic claims for sovereign statehood. Moreover, the $5oBn in investments that Kushner was swooning about are not existing funds. They are only promises of potential investment, which may never actually be delivered.

Nowhere in the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” is there any attempt to redress historical violations of Palestinian national rights. There is no mention of the right of return of millions of Palestinians displaced by the 1948 war that established the sate of Israel. Nor of returning land annexed during the 1967 war. Illegal occupation is merely a fact on the ground that needs to be officially recognized as Israeli territory, according to the Trump administration. In the same way that Trump earlier this year officially recognized the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Kushner’s bias in a supposedly peace mediator role is flagrant. He is Jewish and a family friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, is a convert to Judaism. Last year, she personally unveiled the controversial new American embassy in Jerusalem, which Trump had promised to Netanyahu on his election in 2016 in recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. That move was seen by Palestinians as a betrayal of their historic claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

During the past two years, the Trump administration has cut off development aid and diplomatic links with Palestinian authorities. Respected Palestinian negotiators like veteran envoy Hanan Ashrawi have been denied travel visas to the US. The consultation conducted by Kushner with the Palestinian side in formulating his peace plan has been minimal.

During a recent interview in the US, Kushner revealed his colonial-type mindset when he asserted that the “Palestinians were not ready yet for self-government”. In other words, in this supposed mediator’s view, he is saying that there will be no foreseeable state of Palestine. That is, the Palestinians must accept their inferior status as an occupied people while the state of Israel is permitted to continue annexing more and more of their ancestral land. Indeed, Kushner is believed to have personal business investments in the construction of new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

It’s no wonder then than his so-called “deal of the century” amounts to a shallow business plan bereft of any deep historical, political issues. Palestinians are expected to shut up and surrender their historic rights for statehood by accepting a quixotic vision of economic wonders descending on them while living under permanent marginalization and deprivation. A UN report last year found that Gaza will no longer be habitable in a few years due to water and power shortages.

The Trump-Kushner proposal is the sort of con job that real estate agents excel at. Everything is reduced to the value of money while prospects are talked up with the most ludicrous glamor. Unscrupulous real estate agents would have the temerity to sell a cardboard box as if it were a penthouse suite. Trump and his son-in-law would seem to be of that same wheeler-dealer ilk.

After two years of bragging about its big Middle East “vision”, what people saw this week was little more than a glossy brochure of hype over historical realities. Indeed, it would seem that the purpose of the hype is to bury the hard historical problems that underly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The excessive emphasis on billions of dollars of investment by Kushner is an attempt to seduce Palestinians into relinquishing their political and moral rights.

This week, however, while the Trump administration was making its sales pitch in Bahrain, it was notable that there was no Palestinian delegation present. All across the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians shut their businesses in protest and took to the streets to burn effigies of the “deal of the century”.

Israeli government representatives were also not in attendance. That was only after the White House belatedly pulled their invitations in the weeks before the Bahrain conference took place. No doubt that hasty move by the White House was meant to minimize the embarrassing spectacle of a Palestinian boycott by also not having an official Israeli delegation.

Russia and China also gave the Kushner presentation a miss. Some Arab countries, such as Iraq and Lebanon, did not attend either. Iran, a major regional player and supporter of the Palestinian cause, was not represented. The European Union sent only technical-level officials; EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was not present.

The glaring absences reflect the lack of international credibility of this White House’s peace efforts for the Middle East. The “deal of the century” is more seen as the “con of the century”.

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Netherlands recognizes Gaza, West Bank as official Palestinian birthplaces

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

Authorities in the Netherlands have allowed Palestinians living in the country to register the besieged Gaza Strip and the West Bank as their official places of birth, instead of registering under such designations as ‘the Israeli-occupied territories’ or ‘unknown’.

Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops, in a letter addressed to the House of Representatives in The Hague on Sunday, stated that he intends to add Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, to a list of official states used by the Dutch civil registry.

Knops added that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas.”

The Dutch minister further highlighted that the new category was named based on the Oslo Accords and the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Dutch news outlets reported that the new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces displaced some 700,000 Palestinians, forcing them to flee to different neighboring countries. Israeli soldiers also wiped nearly 500 Palestinian villages and towns off the map, leaving an estimated total of 4.7 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants dreaming of an eventual return to their ancestral homeland more than six decades later.

The Israeli-occupied land was the only birthplace available to Palestinians registering in the Netherlands up until 2014. The category “unknown,” also known as code “0000,” was made available to Palestinians living in the country after opposition to listing Israel as their birthplace.

While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, the Netherlands has refused to do so.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.

The Palestinian people’s principal problem is their own leadership

Abbas at the UN

September 27, 2018

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ address to the UN General Assembly was disappointing. It repeated the same phrases used in his last eight speeches. Nothing new at all. The same appeals for international sympathy. Even the wording of his complaints about Israel’s failure to respect agreements was unchanged. And his declaration that the US is not an honest broker but biased towards Israel we have heard a million times before.

So it was neither strange nor surprising that the chamber was almost empty of delegates and delegation heads, and that the warm applause came mostly from the Palestinian delegation.

US President Donald Trump will not heed Abbas’ demands that he rescind his recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Nor will East Jerusalem be capital of a Palestinian state, because there will be no Palestinian state at all. Not according to the US’ ‘Deal of the Century’, which has rapidly begun entering the implementation stage – with US support, the collusion of some Arabs, and Palestinian security coordination.

***

The US and Israel will not fret about Abbas’ threats regarding their non-compliance with the agreements signed with them. Nor will that arouse the sympathy of UN member-sates. So long as he continues talking Mother Theresa-like about peace, renouncing violence, and joining the fight against terrorism in any part of the world – as he affirmed in his speech – nobody will listen to him or take him seriously.

It was regrettable that the Palestinian president used the UN podium to discuss the agreements he signed with the Hamas movement and threaten not to abide by them. That is the only one of his threats he will actually carry out: to cut off what remains of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s aid to the Gaza Strip. This amounts to around $90 million in electricity subsidies and salaries, the vast majority of which go to members of Fateh, the PA’s party. Is this the place to make such threats? Does the world benefit from hearing them?

The international community will not thank Abbas for promising not to resort to violence or revert to ‘terrorism” i.e. legitimate resistance to occupation. How could such thanks be forthcoming from UN delegates when so many of their countries gained their freedom through resistance, not by imploring and lamenting the loss of their rights at international forums.

Abbas has been saying for the past ten years or so that peaceful popular resistance is the only option. We ask:

Where is this resistance? Why do the PA’s security forces repress all political activists and throw them in jail, or inform on them to the occupation authorities to facilitate their arrest?  Enough lies and deception, please. Respect your people’s intelligence, and their martyrs and prisoners.

***

We ask President Abbas:

Why did the US administration cut off all aid to schools, hospitals, PA institutions and UNRWA, while increasing its aid to the Palestinian security forces, at a time when he announced a boycott of any meeting or dialogue with the US? What good did this boycott do in this case?

The fault does not lie with UN, the US, or Israel. It lies with President Abbas, his leadership and administration, his Authority, his security coordination, and his speechwriters and cheerleaders.

When Palestinian leaders chose the course of resistance and sacrifice, the US and Israel and the West in its entirety sought to meet and negotiate with them, recognized them, and feared them.

This farce needs to be ended at once, and the actors stripped of their masks. It has gone too far, and the Palestinian people, both in the homeland and the diaspora, must not remain silent about this situation.

NYT: Trump’s Twitter Threats Put US Credibility on the Line

08-01-2018 | 13:24


US President Donald Trump has begun 2018 where he left off. Since the first of the year, he has attacked a variety of countries in Twitter posts, urging protesters to overthrow the Iranian government, threatening to blow up North Korea and calling for cuts in aid to the Palestinians.

Us President Donald Trump

Two things stand out about the foreign policy messages Trump has posted on Twitter since taking office: How far they veer from the traditional ways American presidents express themselves, let alone handle diplomacy. And how rarely Trump has followed through on his words.

Indeed, nearly a year after he entered the White House, the rest of the world is trying to figure out whether Trump is more mouth than fist, more paper tiger than the real thing.

Countries are unsure whether to take his words as policy pronouncements, or whether they can be safely ignored. If Trump’s threats are seen as hollow, what does that do to American credibility?

In a series of Twitter posts on Saturday, Trump reacted to questions about his mental fitness by calling himself a “very stable genius.”

Even if there is a recognition that Trump’s tweets may be largely intended to let off steam or reassure his domestic base, there is an increasing sense that the credibility of the administration, and the presidency itself, is being eroded.

However, Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said the words of the US president matter, he added in a Twitter message: “That is why so many of this president’s tweets alarm. The issue is not just questionable policy on occasion but questionable judgment and discipline.”

The bottom line, Haass said, is that Twitter posts should be handled as seriously as any other White House statement, lest the currency of what the president says comes to be devalued.

But the Twitter posts have already devalued the president’s words, argues R. Nicholas Burns, a former career diplomat and ambassador to NATO.

“Even when Mr. Trump is right, … there’s always some excess or some objectionable statement that undermines American credibility, and it’s hard to win that back,” he said. “Allies and opponents invest in your judgment and common sense.”

He pointed to Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds [Jerusalem], however delayed or symbolic. That broke with years of international policy consensus, which called for the status of al-Quds to be settled in so-called “peace” talks.

“When you give away the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] unilaterally and get nothing from ‘Israel’ and anger the Palestinians and challenge the world and then you lose, it’s a disastrous example of lack of US credibility,” Burns said.

The decision infuriated the Palestinians and the Europeans. Then, Trump and his United Nations envoy, Nikki R. Haley, threatened to cut off aid to any country that opposed the new US position in a vote in the General Assembly.

In the end, the vote was a humiliating rebuke of the US, 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions. Most European allies voted against the US, and even European allies in Central Europe, who consider Washington a key guarantor against Russia, did not vote with Washington but abstained.

A senior European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly, called the al-Quds episode destabilizing and said it had come when the Middle East and the world did not need it.

As much as the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has annoyed Trump with his criticism of the al-Quds move, saying that it disqualified Washington from a serious role in any so-called “peace” talks, even the “Israeli” entity has urged Trump to abandon his threat to cut off aid to the United Nations agency that looks after millions of registered Palestinian refugees.

On North Korea, despite Trump’s Twitter posts, Pyongyang has gone ahead with tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and has given no indication that it will agree to denuclearize in exchange for talks with Washington. Instead, it has gone around Washington to reopen talks with Seoul.

Even on Pakistan, where Trump followed through last week on threats to suspend aid over the country’s ambiguous support for the American battle against the Taliban, the president was for the Pakistanis before he was against them.

In one of his first calls with a foreign leader after being elected, Trump spoke with the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and gushed that he was a “terrific guy.”

“Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people,” Sharif’s office said in a statement describing the call. “Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people.”

More recently, Trump switched to threatening them, saying on Twitter that Pakistan had “given us nothing but lies & deceit” and accusing it of providing “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”

The public humiliation outraged Islamabad, giving an opening to China, which moved within 24 hours to praise Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. Pakistan then agreed to adopt the Chinese currency for transactions, to improve bilateral trade.

François Heisbourg, a French defense and security analyst, commented tersely about Trump’s anger this way: “Pushing Pakistan into an exclusive relationship with China.”

Trump has been equally changeable with the Chinese, whom the president repeatedly threatened to punish for what he termed trade dumping and currency manipulation, only to say in December that he had “been soft” on Beijing, needing its help on North Korea.

Some suggest that Trump’s Twitter posts should not be taken so seriously. Daniel S. Hamilton, a former State Department official who directs the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, said that Trump “uses these tweets and social media to secure his political base,” and “whether the tweets turn into a policy or not is a whole different question.”

While allies do not necessarily take his Twitter posts as policy pronouncements, they still create significant confusion, said Pierre Vimont, former French ambassador to Washington and former top aide to the European Union foreign policy chief.

Even in areas where allies agree – for example, on the threat posed by North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un – “we have a hard time understanding the real policy line from Washington,” Mr. Vimont said.

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

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The United States: Destroyer of Nations

The United States: Destroyer of Nations

WAYNE MADSEN | 30.12.2017 | OPINION

The United States: Destroyer of Nations

After the Donald Trump administration’s decision to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, the national aspirations of the Palestinian people to live in their own state have been severely dashed by Washington’s move. Ever since the formation of the United States, it has been American policy to destroy aspirant nations like the internationally-recognized State of Palestine.

The first nation destroyed by the United States was the Cherokee Nation, or Tsalagihi Ayeli, which, beginning in 1794, was slowly decimated by forced removals from territory in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. If Tsalagihi Ayeli was given its rightful independence and sovereignty, it would be seated in the United Nations General Assembly between the delegations of Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia.

In what was known as the 1830s “Trail of Tears,” the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation and its dependencies of Lenape-Delaware, Natchez, Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa, Shawnee, and Cherokee Freedmen (freed African-American slaves of the Cherokee) sub-nations to “Indian Territory” in modern-day Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation was all-but-destroyed through disease, famine, and outright genocidal extermination. The Cherokee Nation was led by a chief, or “uku,” and maintained a functioning capital city in New Echota, a few miles north of what is present-day Calhoun, Georgia. The Cherokee Nation maintained a legislature called the Council House, a Supreme Court, and a Cherokee language newspaper. The Cherokee Nation maintained low-level relations with the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and France until the US government took over Cherokee foreign relations. After European-Americans — mostly ancestors of the present-day white racists who dominate Georgia and the Carolinas and wholeheartedly support Trump — began forcing to the west the Cherokee and protectorate tribes out of the southeastern United States, New Echota became a ghost town.

Re-established as an exiled government in Tahlequah, in the Oklahoma Indian Territory, the Cherokee Nation was disbanded by Washington in 1907. In 1938, the Cherokee Nation was reconstituted, however, its sovereignty was limited by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The bureau, influenced by corporate mining, oil drilling/pipeline, and casino interests, continues to suppress the sovereign tribal rights of hundreds of recognized Native American tribes. A successor state to the Cherokee Nation boasts of recognition by the State of Palestine, which is fitting given the similarities of American involvement in the genocide of the Cherokee and Palestinian peoples. The Cherokee and Choctaw Nations are legally entitled to non-voting delegates in the US House of Representatives. However, unlike the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guahan (Guam), American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas, the US Congress has taken no action to seat Native delegates.

The destruction of the Cherokee Nation was the first of many such actions taken by US imperialists, actions that continue to this very day in Palestine, Puerto Rico, Guahan (Guam), and other nations and territories around the world.

While not as distinct a nation-state as the Cherokee Nation, the Choctaw Nation, which mainly existed in what is now Mississippi, revolved around not a capital city, but a 600 BC religious mound, Nanih Waiya, or “Mother Mound,” built by the Choctaws’ ancestors in what is now Winston County, Mississippi. Like the Cherokee, the Choctaw were forcibly removed from Mississippi to Oklahoma Indian Territory by the US government, acting at the behest of European-American settlers who invaded and occupied their lands. Today, the descendants of these white occupiers constitute the pro-Trump Republican governing authorities in Mississippi. The Choctaw Nation maintained relations with Great Britain, France, and Spain. The first American president and arch-imperialist George Washington decided that the Choctaw and other Native American peoples should be “culturally transformed” to American citizens because their societies were “inferior” to European-Americans. President Thomas Jefferson continued Mr. Washington’s policies.

The Creek Confederacy was also systematically destroyed by the United States. Known as Este Mvskokvlke, the Creek or Muscogee Nation was forcibly removed from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle to Oklahoma Indian Territory. There was not a single capital city of the Creek Confederacy but there were four major towns: Abihka, Coosa (Kusa), Tuckabutche, and Coweta. The Creek Confederacy consisted of a multitude of tribes banding together in a commonwealth of sub-nations. The Creek Confederacy consisted of the Yuchi, Koasati, Alabama, Coosa, Tuskeegee, Coweta, Cusseta, Chehaw (Chiaha), Hitchiti, Tuckabatchee, Oakfuskee, and several other tribes. In 1799, William Bowles, a native of Maryland who supported the British during the American Revolution, proclaimed the State of Muskogee, with its capital at Miccosuki, near present-day Tallahassee in Florida. Muskogee maintained relations with Great Britain, Spain, and First French Republic. Bowles, an agent for British King George III, was recognized by London as the Ambassador for the “Creek and Cherokee Nation.” Bowles later denounced Native treaties with the United States and Spain. Eventually, he was captured by the Spanish and died in a Havana prison in 1805.

The next major Native American nation to be destroyed by the United States was the Seminole Nation and its Miccosukee and Black Seminole dependencies in Florida. In 1821, the US Army began the forced removal of the Seminole people from Florida to the Oklahoma Indian Territory. Prior to its destruction by the United States, the Seminole Nation maintained relations with Great Britain and Spain. The Seminole Nation never signed a peace treaty with the United States, making it the only Native American nation to refuse a treaty with the federal government, one which would have eventually been violated by Washington, in any event.

Today, a US government-coopted Seminole Nation, many of its leaders being Republican supporters of Trump, exists in Oklahoma, with a capital in Wewoka. The Miccosukee Nation, however, continues to exist on a reservation bordering Everglades National Park in southern Florida. The unofficial capital is the Tamiami Trail Reservation. One thing that makes the Miccosukee Nation stand out from other tribal nations is the rightful absence of the US flag anywhere on the reservation. The Miccosukee flag of horizontal bands of white, black, red, and yellow is ubiquitous. The US flag is obviously treated as not only a foreign flag but the flag of an illegal occupier.

The Sac Nation (Thakiwaki) existed on and near the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Constantly relocated by the federal government, they joined the Black Hawk War against the European-Americans in 1832. The Sac and Fox Nation was eventually forcibly removed from the Upper Middle West to Oklahoma Indian Territory.

The Black Hawk or Sauk Nation, which dominated northern Illinois and Iowa along the Mississippi River, maintained a capital at Saukenuk, near present-day Rock Island, Illinois. The Sauk put up a spirited defense of their lands, fighting against the forces of the American genocidal president Andrew Jackson. US troops conducted their own scalping campaigns against Sauk refugees, killing those Native peoples attempting to escape the American Army during the Black Hawk Wars of the early 1830s.

The genocide of the Native American peoples would be repeated with wars against the Navajo, Lakota Sioux, Dakota, Ute, Hopi, Cayuse, Yakima, Klikitat, Mohave, Spokane, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Goshute, Nez Perce, and the Cheyenne Nation (Tsêhéstáno) and the Kingdom of Hawaii. European-American racism against Native Americans continues under Trump, who recently grabbed 85 percent of the Bears Ears and 50 percent of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, both sacred to Native American peoples, to hand over to uranium mining companies and natural gas fracking firms. Trump and his supporters are no different than the genocidal Americans of the past who systematically destroyed peaceful Native American cultures and emergent nation-states. Americans should forever live in shame over their Holocaust of the Native American peoples and nations.

كلام باسيل وانزعاج ريفي

كلام باسيل وانزعاج ريفي 

ناصر قنديل

ديسمبر 29, 2017

– كلّ مؤمن بالقضية الفلسطينية كقضية حق قومي وإنساني، وبشرعية الحق الفلسطيني بما هو أبعد من قيام دولة على الأراضي المحتلة عام 1967 وضمان حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين، بل بصفتها قضية شعب أُخرج من أرضه واغتُصبت دياره ليقوم عليها كيان عنصري يجب أن يزول وأن تعود الأرض لأهلها، لا يوافق كلّ كلام عن سلام مع «إسرائيل» ولا يقبل كلّ كلام عن تطبيع معها، ولا يقبل كلّ كلام عن أمن متبادل بيننا وبينها ولو طبّقت القرارات الدولية كلّها، ففلسطين من البحر إلى النهر لأهلها وأمّتها، و«إسرائيل» إلى زوال.

– كلّ مؤمن بهذا الحق الفلسطيني الثابت وغير القابل للتجزئة وغير الصالح للتفاوض، يرفض المبادرة العربية للسلام ومندرجاتها، وكلّ كلام ينبثق منها ويعبّر عن ثقافتها، وكلام وزير الخارجية اللبناني جبران باسيل ليس خارج هذا السياق، فهو كلام يدعو لتقبّل فكرة التساكن مع «إسرائيل» والتعايش مع وجودها، على قاعدة أنّ أمنها مضمون عندما تعيد الحقوق التي طلبتها المبادرة العربية للسلام. ولذلك فهو مرفوض كما هي حال المبادرة العربية جملة وتفصيلاً.

– كلام الوزير باسيل في الجامعة العربية وكلام الرئيس ميشال عون في القمة الإسلامية ينتميان لمنطق يقبل المبادرة العربية للسلام، بقدر ما هو إعلان انحياز للحق الفلسطيني في لحظة المواجهة الراهنة. وهذا السقف الذي تمثله المبادرة العربية للسلام لم يغِبْ عن كلمة الرئيس عون وكلام الوزير باسيل في تبنّي الحقوق الفلسطينية، وهو سقف الالتزام العربي الرسمي ومنه لبنان منذ العام 2002.

– المعترضون على كلام باسيل أصحاب حق إذا كانوا من رافضي المبادرة العربية للسلام ومن دعاة زوال «إسرائيل». فهل يقع كلام الوزير السابق أشرف ريفي ومَن ينتمون مثله لمعسكر العداء لحزب الله والمقاومة ضمن هذا السياق، والمبادرة العربية للسلام صناعة سعودية، وهم يصفقون لكلّ ما هو سعودي قبل الاطلاع عليه. ومشكلة الرئيس عون والوزير باسيل أنهما يقولان للسعودية وجماعتها، من موقع التمسك بالمبادرة التي تحمل اسم الملك عبد الله، تعالوا نضغط على «إسرائيل» وأميركا لنيل ما طالبت به المبادرة كشرط لتحقيق السلام والتطبيع، كما نصت المبادرة، بينما يقول وزير الخارجية السعودي عادل الجبير علناً، لا نزال نتعاون مع الأميركيين على مبادرة متكاملة لحلّ القضية الفلسطينية، ولم يسقط الأميركي كوسيط نزيه بنظرنا، ولدينا روزنامة متكاملة للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل» عندما تتحقّق فكرة الدولتين، ومن دون أن يضيف أنها مشروطة بالقدس الشرقية عاصمة لدولة فلسطين، ورغم كلّ ذلك لا يرفّ جفن ريفي ولا مَن مثله ولا مَن معه، وربما إذا أحرجوا بالسؤال عن الكلام، لقالوا هذا هو الموقف العربي الصحيح، فكيف أزعجهم كلام باسيل؟

– بعض منتقدي كلام باسيل من رافضي وجود «إسرائيل» والمؤمنين بالصراع الوجودي معها، يقفون في ضفة الحق، لكن لا يحق لهم القول تفاجأنا، فهو ككلّ قول منتمٍ لمنطق المبادرة العربية للسلام يقبل حلاً سلمياً تبقى بموجبه «إسرائيل» آمنة ومعترفاً بها، وبتطبيع شامل معها كما تقول المبادرة بصورة صريحة، شرط تطبيقها للقرارات الدولية، وما يحقّ لهؤلاء هو التساؤل عن جدوى هذا الكلام لباسيل في هذه اللحظة والتسبّب بالإحراج لقوى المقاومة، والتفوّه بكلمات توقيتها وساحتها قد يكونان في لحظة مختلفة وسياق سياسي مغاير. لكن لا جديد ولا مفاجأة، والخلاف بين صراع قانوني وحدودي أو صراع وجودي مع «إسرائيل» قائم، لكنه ليس بداهم، لأنّ «إسرائيل» ظاهرة خارج القانون، هكذا ولدت وهكذا تبقى، حتى تزيلها إرادة الشعوب ومقاوماتها، فليس أمامنا على الطاولة لا الآن ولا في المستقبل المنظور استعداد «إسرائيلي» للتأقلم مع القرارات الدولية والقانون الدولي كي نشهر الخلاف مع دعاة سلام على قاعدة القانون الدولي، بل المشكلة والخطر لهما مصدر آخر هو مشروع متكامل لإعلان وفاة المبادرة العربية للسلام، ليس لصالح مشروع التحرير الكامل، بل لحساب مشروع دولة فلسطينية بلا القدس، ولاحقاً بلا حق العودة، وتقف السعودية وراء هذا المشروع علناً، وأن ينبري مَن يُشهر بوجه السعودية مبادرتها التي تريد دفنها لحساب الرضى الأميركي «الإسرائيلي»، هو ما فعله الرئيس عون والوزير باسيل في الجامعة العربية والقمة الإسلامية واستحقا عليه التقدير.

– منتقدو باسيل من موقع الثناء على السعودية أو من موقع التمسك بالمبادرة العربية للسلام، مدعوّون أن يختاروا بين التصفيق لكلام باسيل كتعبير عن المبادرة العربية للسلام، أو أن ينتقدوه لأنه يدافع عن ميت والمطلوب السلام والتطبيع بدون القدس كما تقبل السعودية، وإذا ارادوا الانسجام مع أنفسهم وواصلوا الانتقاد أن يقولوا لا للسلام مع «إسرائيل» والتطبيع معها، ولو قبلت بالمبادرة العربية للسلام علناً، فكيف بما هو دونها وأقلّ منها، أما الذين يقولون إنهم فوجئوا بكلام باسيل ويستغربونه من حليف للمقاومة، أن يتساءلوا أليس هذا هو موقف لبنان الرسمي منذ العام 2002 مع ولادة مبادرة الملك عبدالله؟

– لم ولن نقبل بكلّ نوع من السلام والتطبيع مع «إسرائيل»، ولا يُريحنا كلّ كلام ينتمي لهذه الثقافة لو كان مشروطاً بالتزام «إسرائيل» ببعض الحقوق الفلسطينية، كقيام الدولة وعودة القدس وحق العودة للاجئين، لكن لا يفاجئنا صدور هذا الكلام عن كلّ ملتزم بهذه الثقافة لحلّ القضية الفلسطينية، ولا نخجل من دعوته للتمسّك بها وإشهارها بوجه مشاريع تضييع القضية الفلسطينية بثمن بخس وشروط أشدّ إذلالاً، كما تفعل السعودية، ولن يلعب بعقولنا الذين يعزفون على أوتار قلوبنا بصراع عقائدي وجودي مع «إسرائيل»، وهم يصفقون لمن يريد السلام والأمن لـ«إسرائيل»، وقد بدأ تحالفه المعلن معها، ولا يحرجه الكلام عن أنّ «قضية القدس ثانوية أمام التحالف الخليجي مع إسرائيل بوجه إيران»، كما قال وزير خارجية البحرين، الذي لم نسمع بحقه كلمة لا من السعودية ولا من جماعاتها، بل رأينا ما يلاقيه بالأفعال وبعض الأقوال ككلام الجبير عن مفهوم السعودية للدور الأميركي والتطبيع، وكما يُقال «خذوا أسرارهم من صغارهم» فعلها الوزير البحريني وفضحهم، كصغير كبير الحجم، فليُسمعنا ريفي رأيه، بما قال الجبير وتابعه الخالد من آل خليفة.

– تذكرنا حفلات الشاي في مرجعيون ونحن نسمع ريفي يحاضر بالصراع العقائدي مع «إسرائيل».

 

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