Many are responding with outrage to Congress’s passage of a resolution seeking to block any recognition of a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state. The text of this resolution is not up on the Congressional site, even though Congress passed it. But AIPAC has a copy. Maggie Sager’s full post on the subject appears on Resisting Occupation:
Palestinians are no closer to achieving statehood, and instead are being called upon by congress to continue to engage “without precondition” (read: while simultaneously letting Israel confiscate Palestinian land in violation of international law). Why on earth should they? Simply because Congress is under the impression that peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations, despite the utter lack of progress toward a lasting solution, and continuous steps in the opposite direction.
While some Islamic radicals are genuinely upset by what they regard as the West’s materialism and venality, its alleged “theft” of Arab oil, its support for corrupt Arab monarchies, its repeated military interventions in the region, etc., they are also angered by U.S. support for Israel and Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians. Thus, Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian dissident whose writings have been an important inspiration for contemporary Islamic fundamentalists, was hostile to the United States both because he saw it as a corrupt and licentious society and also because of U.S. support for Israel. Or as Sayyid Muhammed Husayn Fadlallah, spiritual leader of Hezbollah, put it in 2002, “I believe that America bears responsibility for all of Israel…America is a hypocritical nation…for it gives solid support and lethal weapons to the Israelis, but it gives the Arabs and the Palestinians only words.”
In the same vein, Osama bin Laden articulated myriad justifications for targeting the US and its citizens in his global jihad in his 2005 “Letter to America.” First and foremost, bin Laden explains that “it is very simple: Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.” His first example: “You attacked us in Palestine.”
Pre-dating the letter by nine years, bin Laden’s 1996 Fatwa was primarily concerned with the fact that “people of Islam had suffered from aggression, iniquity and injustice imposed on them by the Zionist-Crusaders alliance and their collaborators; to the extent that the Muslims blood became the cheapest and their wealth as loot in the hands of the enemies. Their blood was spilled in Palestine and Iraq.” The title of the fatwa was “Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places.”
Unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and the subsequent recognition of that state by the international community will not solve the conflict. It will simply allow Palestinians to act from a place of authority and empowerment when settling final status issues with Israel. Without some kind of political capital to rely on, the PA will not be able to guarantee a just solution for its people. Far from being concerned with simply settling the conflict –which the United States could easily do by applying serious pressure to Israel and the PA equally, the US wants to settle the conflict on Israel’s terms.