President Obama’s latest speeches on
Anti-war protesters will gather tomorrow outside
As the Stop the War Campaign points out,
But simply to note this would be to miss out on new realities unleashed by the revolutions of the Arab Spring and its effects on the struggle of the Palestinians for self-determination.
Thousands took part in the May marches throughout the
Israeli border police troops fired on protesters in an attack which drew international condemnation. Despite 11 fatalities and scores of injuries, Palestinians are continuing to prepare a large-scale march for June 5.
This, combined with the demand for statehood which the Palestinians are taking to the United Nations in September, is the tumultuous background to Obama’s call on
After meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Obama refused to back down from his insistence that peace negotiations must focus on
While this is not a new position for US presidents, with Obama proposing “mutually agreed land swaps” in support of a two-state solution, it has nonetheless aroused fury in the Zionist camp.
While Obama is desperately trying to adapt to the Arab Spring, at the same time fearing its consequence in countries like
Palestinian leaders from Hamas and Fatah do not themselves agree on the proposal to return to the 1967 borders. And they currently face a boycott against their monopoly of politics by eight Palestinian groups affiliated to the PLO who have withdrawn from the negotiations to form the unity government recently agreed in
The head of Fatah’s press office, Issam al-Halabi has rightly noted: “Politicians are following the people. They don’t have much say, the people are doing everything and this is a turning point in the Palestinian struggle to return, which has recently surprised everyone.” Palestinian negotiators should take advantage of these popular movements to “back up their stance during negotiations”, he believes.
Two things need to be said. One is that Netanyahu’s immediate rejection of Obama’s reference to pre-1967 borders killed off negotiations before they began. Secondly, exploiting the sacrifices of Palestinian youth in
When Obama told the AIPAC that “we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace” because the world “is moving too fast”, he was actually keenly aware of the truth.
He was, in effect, warning the Israeli ruling class that its days – similar to the position that the apartheid regime in
A World to Win secretary