Blinken’s used-car-sales trip to the Middle East is proof that the American model is on the scrap heap of history, Finian Cunningham writes.
If ever American foreign policy looked like a tacky brochure from a dodgy car dealer, then U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered on the image with his trip to the Middle East this week.
Washington’s top diplomat flew to the region to flog the “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asserting that it was the only way to find peace. This was after nearly two weeks of an Israeli blitzkrieg on the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave where two million Palestinians subsist in chronic poverty. Blinken said the purpose of his trip was to shore up a ceasefire and to jump-start a long-defunct peace process predicated on a two-state solution.
The fact is that the American model of peace is long dead. For more than three decades since Washington brokered the Oslo Accord the endless talk about two states coexisting has been a chimera and a fallacy. The Israelis never believed in such a settlement, despite occasional cynical lip service. And the Americans never seriously held the Israelis to their supposed commitments. Occupation and annexation of the Palestinian homeland have been allowed to continue unabated with Washington’s acquiescence.
Blinken’s itinerary speaks of the systematic and flawed bias. He first arrived in Israel this week where his priority was to hold a high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken reiterated “America’s ironclad commitment to Israeli security”, while Netanyahu thanked the United States for “firmly supporting Israel’s right to self-defense”. The nauseating spectacle of fawning followed an onslaught of Israeli bloodletting against a civilian population whose right to self-defense is never mentioned by Washington nor its controlled corporate media.
Almost like an after-thought, the American diplomat then visited Ramallah in the West Bank where he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a low-key setting in stark contrast to the glad-handing offered to the Israelis.
“I am here to underscore the commitment of the U.S. to rebuilding a relationship to the Palestinian Authority and with the Palestinian people,” Blinken said with a straight face.
This is part-and-parcel of the obsolete American policy to build up the PA and Abbas as the Washington-designated representatives of the Palestinians which is essential to the continuance of the U.S. two-state solution charade.
Blinken did not visit Gaza, the coastal ring-fenced ghetto where the Israelis razed over 1,000 homes and businesses in their latest onslaught with U.S.-supplied warplanes and bombs. The PA in Ramallah and Abbas are redundant like so much of the model of U.S. policy.
The Hamas Palestinian faction which is dominant in Gaza is viewed by most Palestinians, including those living in former PA strongholds of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as the legitimate leadership. That view has been reinforced after the two-week conflict during which Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israeli areas – albeit most of them intercepted by air defenses. Hamas’ hostilities came after weeks of provocative repression by the Israeli security forces at the Palestinian places of worship in East Jerusalem, as well as moves to evict Palestinian residents from areas near the Old City.
Hamas is labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, partly because it refuses to recognize the Israeli state as a legitimate entity. Hamas by definition does not subscribe to the two-state solution. It views Palestine as the whole area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea – the historic homeland of all Semitic people, including Jews and Arabs.
Blinken offered to rebuild Gaza with a paltry donation of $5.5 million. He talked about more money coming in the future from Congress, but with no guarantees. That is an insult upon massive injury. The American-fueled Israeli blitz killed over 240 Palestinians, including 66 children. According to the United Nations, over 400 buildings were destroyed, as well as six hospitals and dozens of health centers and schools razed.
Blinken did not explain how the United States would repair such appalling damage in an area that was already a humanitarian crisis before the latest blitz. But he did say adamantly that Washington would not be working with Hamas.
America’s two-state solution model is a clapped-out vehicle that was never really intended to arrive at delivering viable Palestinian statehood. It has been a cynical cover for the Israeli occupation machine to continue grinding down Palestinian territory and spitting out broken homes and lives through sporadic bouts of violent ethnic cleansing. Each time the violence erupts – 2021, 2014, 2009, and so on – the Palestinians end up losing ever more of their historic rights.
The time has come to recognize that the two-state solution is a dead-end for Palestinians. The Americans and their Israeli surrogates should not be allowed to impose their cynical deception any longer.
The Zionist project which the British empire launched with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 on Palestine has created a destructive and unsustainable colonial occupation known as Israel. The only viable and just solution is for all people to live in one land from the river to sea provided that their rights are equally respected, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew, or no religion. Israel is an apartheid state predicated on repression, discrimination and Zionist illegal occupation.
Since the Second World War and the inception of the Israeli state in 1948, the Americans have succeeded the British as the guarantors of this illegal colonial project under the guise of politically correct platitudes about “dignity for all”. In the real world, however, the established American foreign policy is part of the problem, not the solution.
Blinken’s used-car-sales trip to the Middle East is proof that the American model is on the scrap heap of history.