Not quite a deus ex machina, the Geneva Accord demonstrates the manifest inability of elements within both the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli ‘Left’ to fight for a just resolution to the over 100 year Zionist enterprise in Palestine. In 1993, the Oslo process was initiated with the signing of the Declaration of Principles on the lawn of the White House culminating in a tepid handshake between, the then alive, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
Although the Oslo process was pushed as a mutually beneficial project that would provide Israelis with security and Palestinians with a quasi-state, it in effect provided a diplomatic and official cover for the perpetual Israeli territorial conquest that commenced in 1948 with the proclamation of the Jewish state of Israel and has never stopped.
Palestinians who desire to negotiate with Israeli politicians face an intractable problem. All Israeli officials who are capable of negotiating (i.e., who are elected to the position of Prime Minister) are ardent Zionists. As any review of seminal Zionist literature will tell you, Zionists of the peculiar bent that ethnically cleansed Mandatory Palestine of over 750,000 Palestinians (with British connivance) are committed to the maintenance of a thoroughly Jewish dominated state that possesses land claimed to biblically belong to ‘the Jews’.
Daniel Pipes, a not so skilled polemicist appointed to the Board of the U.S. Institute of Peace while Congress was out of session, recently argued that Israel’s mistake in participating in Oslo was believing that “the Palestinians had given up the dream of destroying Israel.” Israel — a racist, Jewish state — obviously is something to be extolled for building settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and illegally allowing some 400,000 Israeli Jews to live there. Destroying a racist state does not mean killing people, or expelling them from their homes, although these actions fit the Zionist’s own modus operandi.
And the fact that Israel continues to create ‘facts on the ground’ by the uprooting of olive trees, the demolition of homes, and the construction of a intrusive Apartheid Wall reveal the true nature of Zionism: a project dedicated to the settlement of Jews in Palestine and the appropriation of native (Palestinian) land toward this end. Indeed, Israel is not picky: the Syrian Golan, the Egyptian Sinai, and southern Lebanon are just as delectable potential parts of ‘Greater Israel’.
Like the surreal Oslo Agreement, the Geneva Accords seem to be oblivious to the unequal nature of the ‘conflict’. Palestinians — even those that technically are citizens of Israel — LACK A STATE. This point should be crystal clear, but often is selectively forgotten. No entity in geographical Palestine could fight a ‘war’ against Israel since there is no state in that space ruled by Palestinians. Wars are fought by states. Likewise, only states can conclude treaties with other states.
In Occupied Iraq, an eerie parallel has developed since the illegal American invasion of that sovereign state in March 2003. America, as an occupier with plenty of experience in occupation e.g., Japan, Germany, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, Korea, Viet Nam, Hawaii, et cetera realized that occupations are more effective when the natives are nominally in control and possess the cover of possessing sovereignty. In order to deflect criticism from its beleaguered occupation where neither Iraqis, American soldiers, nor the large sections of the American and international public are happy, the hand over of sovereignty to an Iraqi government is to be expedited.
Conversely, Israel is unable to think in quite the same manner. Oslo — thought by many to be a prelude to a substantive Palestinian state — was merely a handover of administrative power to native sub-contractors: the Palestinian Authority (not a state). During the years after 1993, the Israeli nexus of control over the Occupied West Bank and Gaza only increased since the cost of administration of Palestinians was funneled into the establishment of racist settlement exclaves. Thus, Israel never could hand over de facto or de jure control of the West Bank or Gaza to the Palestinian exile leadership since that would have simultaneously meant the frustration of the Zionist teleology.
In other words, Americans want a commodity, oil, and the Israelis the static basis of capital, land. On December 3, 2003 at a Brookings Institute event held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, Yasser Abed Rabbo — the leading Palestinian proponent — said that Palestinians and Israelis are “heading from disaster to another disaster.” He also noted that the “Geneva Accord is the result of efforts of years of negotiations.” These are sad times indeed when a demilitarized Palestine, the normalization of illegal settlements in Occupied Palestine, the curtailment of internationally recognized rights of refugees, the continued presence of Israelis at borders and in military bases located in the West Bank is the best that Abed Rabbo can offer.
At the time of the cowardly British evacuation of Mandatory Palestine, Jews owned 7% of all land in the country. Yet the United Nations Security Council Resolution 181 gave the Jews approximately 55% of the land. Unhappy with this lot, the Zionists determined to obtain even more land and by the end of hostilities in 1948 had 78% of the land in their hands. Palestinians, as a nation, were left with nothing when Egypt and Jordan remained to rule the portion of the West Bank occupied by the Jordanian army and the area around Gaza occupied by the Egyptian army.
Yossi Beilin, the main Israeli proponent of the Geneva Accord, also holds the dubious honor of being one of the main ‘architects’ of the Oslo swindle. Realizing that “the opportunity for a two-state solution is becoming dimmer and dimmer,” Beilin argued that the Accord will enable a two-state solution to work in the process “getting rid of the burden of occupation.” What really concerns Beilin is the demographic growth of the Palestinian community in geographic Palestine relative to that of the Jewish Israelis. Proclaiming, “I am a Zionist,” Beilin wants to capitalize on the evanescent “opportunity to fulfill the Zionist dream.”
Fulfillment of the “Zionist Dream” is exactly the problem with the Geneva Accord.
Brock Bevan works at the Palestine Center (Washington DC) as Grants and Accounting Assistant and is completing a MA at the American University of Beirut. The above article is solely his opinion and cannot be attributed to the Palestine Center or anyone else.