After eighteen years of negotiations and conceding more than 80 per cent of historic Palestine, and signing the Oslo agreement (which added to the legitimacy of Israel and broke its Arab and international isolation), as well as renouncing armed struggle and considering it to be terrorism, we’ve seen recently how the United States rewards the Palestinian Authority. First was President Obama’s refusal to support Palestinian membership of the United Nations; now we have Republican presidential wannabe Newt Gingrich calling the Palestinians an “invented” people who do not deserve a state.
Before the humiliating and, frankly, farcical negotiations, and the abandonment of resistance, no American official dared to utter such remarks as they tried to get the Palestinians to accept a peaceful solution. US officials even rejected Israeli settlements, regarding them rightly as illegal under international law, and all the while promised the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.
What has changed? Not the Americans; we have, with our surrender. “We” being the Arabs who have paid more and more to flatter the Jews and Israelis and nestle in their deadly embrace just to please them.
Newt Gingrich is assured that neither he nor the interests of his country will be damaged by his outrageous statements. That is because there is basically no Arab opposition; the Palestinian Authority still regards the US as a strategic ally, pandering to its envoys who flock to Ramallah carrying formulas for the revival of the peace negotiations.
When the Palestinians resorted to begging instead of armed resistance, with their security forces coordinating with their Israeli counterparts to protect illegal Jewish settlements, they turned the Israeli occupation into the cheapest in history, and the least damaging to the occupiers. As such, why should Gingrich and his ilk not abandon all conventions and ethics and go further than Benjamin Netanyahu and his fellow extremists, and forge history and geography in the process?
The fault lies not with Gingrich, Netanyahu or Barack Obama; it lies with us. It lies with the Arab despots, not the Arabs of the revolutions. Our “leaders” degrade the Arab people when they belittle themselves before the Americans and Israelis, claiming pragmatism and pointing to the imbalance of power. They put their wealth and lands at the service of Israeli-American hegemony, and they took America’s side enthusiastically in all its wars against the Arabs and Muslims; their zeal was the envy of the US government.
In America, there are three main lobbies: the pro-Israel lobby; the oil companies; and the gun lobby. Some observers add a fourth; the retirement lobby. The two largest are the oil and weapons’ industries, which depend almost entirely on Arabs for contracts and oil. Despite this, Arabs have absolutely no influence on US foreign policy.
It is ironic that the Republican Party is the traditional ally and friend of most of the Arab rulers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular. It was reported that immediately after George W Bush’s election victory a senior Saudi official said, “We have won”.
Gingrich knows history very well. He is in no need for any of us to remind him that Palestine existed thousands of years before America was discovered by Europeans. He may like to ponder that the demise of the US Empire will begin in the Arab and Muslim lands. Its policies across the Arab and Muslim world enacted through the prism of Israeli extremism have led to defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of one trillion dollars and 5,000 dead soldiers, as well as 40,000 injured service men and women. The coming defeat will be greater; it is only a matter of time.
The American empire needs another president like George W Bush in order to become entirely defunct. There is no doubt that Newt Gingrich is the most suitable person to undertake this mission, especially as he has said that he would have arch-neocon John Bolton, one of the most prominent hawks in the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, as his secretary of state and thus the architect of a Gingrich administration’s policies in the Islamic world.
Gingrich is blinded by conceit and the Israeli lobby helps to blind him to political realities, let alone historical facts, especially regarding the transformation that is taking place in the Arab region and around the world. That is our good fortune and Israel’s misfortune. This man does not recognise the extent of his stupidity; his country’s friends among the Arab despots are falling one after the other at the hands of youthful revolutionaries and his president is withdrawing all his troops from Iraq. Obama is acknowledging defeat and preparing to make a similar admission after ten years of a war of attrition which has humiliated his forces in Afghanistan.
Personally, I was happy to read Newt Gingrich’s remarks and my happiness grew when he repeated them. We need someone like him who will pour more fuel on the fire of the popular Arab revolution and awaken those who are still sleeping. The Palestinian Authority condemned Gingrich, describing his remarks as stupid, and then demanded an apology. That was an embarrassment because the logical response was to deploy thousands on the streets of Ramallah, and across the West Bank and Gaza, in protest. It is disgraceful that the Arab youth should be demanding justice, democratic change and the restoration of their dignity, while the Palestinian youth are still dreaming of a state that will never be established by begging and waiting for monthly salaries. The State of Palestine will only come about through the blood, sweat and tears of resistance; and Newt Gingrich’s foolish remarks will help.
The author is editor in chief of al Quds Al Arabi. This is a translation from the Arabic published on 13 December 2011.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.
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