It’s 1993 and Bill Clinton beams down (he’s a pretty tall guy) on Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, arms widespread as the two men shake hands. The Oslo Peace Accords have just been signed on the White House lawn, between Palestine and Israel. The deal outlines the ‘elements and conditions’ for a future Palestinian state. Rabin was eloquent:
“We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice, enough of blood and tears ... enough!”
For this, Rabin, Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres were awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. You gotta hand it to the Nobel selection committee, they are certainly optimists, more often giving that illustrious prize in the hope rather than the actuality of peace. Barack Obama is another who acquired it a bit on the early side. But those elements and conditions have been a sticking point for twenty-one years.
The Middle East is in chaos and the Arab side of most of the arguments have to do with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Issues, elements and conditions that no American President dares oppose. We are no longer able to attract, much less elect, statesmen instead of beholden politicians to that office. A case can be made that all the American fumbling, stumbling and bumbling in that area of the world is tied to our unremitting support of Israel, no matter what they do or don’t. I exempt our idiotic and illegal war with Iraq from that category. Iraq is the personal responsibility of Dick Cheney and his remaining neocon acolytes.
Enough is enough, of blood and tears. The swamp needs draining and it’s long past time to tie military and economic support of Israel to getting off their ass and making peace happen. The State of Israel was born of terrorism, going back to Menachem Begin’s Zionist militant group, Irgun. Begin targeted the British in Palestine and orchestrated a failed assassination plot against Germany's first post-war Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer. Begin is another questionable Nobel Prize winner, sharing the honor with Anwar Sadat after the Israeli-Egyptian peace accords. Israel withdrew from the Sanai after that little dust-up, but they just can’t get their heads around a similar withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
A nation born out of terrorist activity ought at least to be able to understand a nationless neighbor turned against them as they build endless settlements on land which is not theirs. Begin’s government promoted the construction of those settlements. As Israel beats the drum of never again, I guess they must mean never again for Israelis and to hell with the other guy.
It’s time for America to quit playing godfather to a child who will not grow up and constantly throws temper-tantrums. It’s gotten to serious and volatile to continue. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is now playing house with the Saudi’s against Syria and Iran—apparently on the basis of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Syria and Iran are both key elements of long-term peace in the Middle East and Israel will do any deed, befriend any enemy and disrupt any peace accord to make sure that doesn’t happen. Enough crockery has been smashed and Israel’s American godfather is an enabler to the destruction. Undisciplined children grow up to be bullies, then thugs and finally criminals.
Unfortunately, disciplinarians in America are in short supply. Soft-spoken, pattery John Kerry is hardly the man to take off his belt and spank the kids. President Obama has his hands full with other hotspot failures of diplomacy at the moment and, in any case, continues his penchant for talking the talk and never walking the walk. Dick Cheney’s new heart is as black as the one he had replaced and the remaining neocons (Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham among them) are thirsting to bomb both Syria and Iran. Collectively, these are the hawkish dudes who led us astray through two Bush terms and can’t wait to saddle-up again, sending other people’s kids off to die or come home maimed for life. America has always had a soft-spot for war and hungers for the days (seventy years ago and counting) when we actually used to win them.
So I guess we’ll just have to wait out events, see what cards we’re dealt and pick up the wreckage. For my part, I’m tired of watching the tantrums, listening to the whines and paying for the broken streetlamps. A large part of the global neighborhood feels the same and simply shakes their heads at America’s lack of parenting skills. You and I are guilty as well, distracted by our own petty problems and jumping in the SUV for a trip to Wal-Mart.