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OBAMA'S BADGE OF SHAME: Sacrificing principles for a seat in the White House

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US and the whole civilized world, notwithstanding any "justification" that Iraq may have had, was outraged at this breach of international law by Iraq. The question of sovereignty of lawfully constituted nations was involved. It acted promptly and decisively to end this illegal occupation of Kuwait and, in a reasonably short time, the Iraqi occupying force was not only driven out of Kuwait but chased almost to the gates of Basra.

No one told the Kuwaitis that the only way to end Iraq's occupation was for them to negotiate with Iraq. There were some negotiations of sorts but not between the occupied and the occupier. Rather, it was with world powers.

In none of the above cases were the desired results obtained through negotiations.

More to the point is the recent prominent example Kosovo. It was unilaterally recognized by the United States three years ago--even though its statehood did not come about through a negotiated settlement with Serbia

It is ridiculous to ask Palestinians to negotiate with Israel. Israel is the aggressor, the occupier and Palestinians are the victims of this aggression, the occupied. Besides, there is no comparison between them. Israel has the fourth largest army in the world and is heavily armed, its arsenal including nuclear arms. Palestinians have no army at all. They are completely asymmetrical.

Besides, one does not ask the raped to negotiate with the rapist or the robbed to negotiate with the robber as to which of the robbed items s/he is going to return, when s/he is going to do it and on what terms. The keepers of law and order step in and do the needful.

In this case particularly, more than in any other case, it is the duty and responsibility of the international community to step in. It is they who, in 1949, ignoring the strong objections and protests of the indigenous people, the Palestinians, and of all the neighboring Arab states which surround Palestine, carved out a little more than 50% of Palestine as it then exited, and gifted it to the Jewish community, which promptly started its ethnic cleansing activities in the demarcated area and its surroundings.

In the war that followed the attacks launched by the surrounding Arab nations, chiefly to halt the massacre of the Palestinians, Israel went beyond the area granted to it by the international community, and, the truce lines at the end of that war added more territory to Israel.

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Not satisfied, Israel in 1967 launched an attack on Jordan (which was then in control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem), Egypt (which controlled the Gaza Strip) and Syria (to which belonged the Golan Heights).As a direct result of this aggression Israel gained control of and occupied all the said territory in Palestine, thus fulfilling its objective of establishing Eretz Israel, with Judea and Samaria, in all of the land between the Jordan river and the sea to the west. It continues this illegal occupation to this day, with impunity.

This occupation is the longest occupation in present history, and it is a brutal and tyrannical one. Human rights violations and violations of international law occur regularly in open sight of the whole world. Massive transfer of population by the occupying power into occupied lands, destruction of villages in the occupied territories, building illegal constructions thereon -- all violations of international law -- go on almost on a daily basis.

That this occupation and the Israeli settlements built on lands beyond what was earmarked for Israel is illegal is recognized and accepted by the whole world, including the USA. The international community, which created the state responsible for these illegal acts, instead of doing its duty and carrying out its obligations and responsibilities, asked the Palestinians to negotiate with the aggressor, Israel!

Having no other alternative, the Palestinians did just that. Arafat even signed, eighteen years back, the disastrous Oslo Accords, believing that under its terms, within five years all the occupied territory would be fully under the control of the Palestinians.

Israel used this agreement to expand exponentially its settlements in the occupied territories. The expected transfer of power after five years never happened. Instead fresh demands and conditions were put forward by Israel. When the Palestinians refused to accede to these preposterous demands, Israel shamelessly alleged that the Palestinians had rejected peace and chosen the path of terrorism!

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Notwithstanding all this, the Palestinians have persevered and negotiated and negotiated and negotiated -- Madrid (1991), Oslo (1993), Wye River (1997), Camp David (2000), Taba (2001), Quartet's road map (2002), Annapolis (2007), bilateral negotiations (2008) and on and on . All to no avail. The grabbing of land, demolitions of Palestinian homes and even entire villages,, uprooting of produce, building of illegal Israeli settlements and "for Jews only" roads and highways has continued unabated.

Even the powerful USA and strong ally of Israel could not get Israel to at least cease and desist from further violation of international law by putting a halt to the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

All that these "negotiations" got for Palestinians is almost 6500 Palestinian civilians killed since September 2000 alone, over 45,000 Palestinians injured (some maimed for life), over 6,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, many with no charges (including over 250 females and children under the age of 16), over 650,000 Palestinians detained and imprisoned, over 25,000 Palestinian homes demolished since 1967 -- over half since 2003, including over 4300 during the Israeli military assault on Gaza in 2008-2009.

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I am a journalsit, writer and a justice-and-peace activist. I am also involved in safeguarding and promoting the rights of undocumented immigrants in USA. Originally from Bombay (now Mumbai) I have been residing in USA from 1982. My articles and (more...)
 

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