Munayyer: Fundamental change needed in Israeli and US policy towards the Palestinians

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 5 Comments

Hats off to Yousef Munayyer. Earlier this week the New Yorker published When the Smoke Clears in Gaza, advising “fundamental change” was needed in Israel’s approach to their relationship with Palestinians: “new paradigm.. based on equality”. Thanksgiving day, the New York Times published Munayyer’s wake up call to Washington. Will they listen?

The New York TimesAmerica’s Failed Palestinian Policy

The message they ultimately understood from observing America’s reflexively pro-Israel policy was that the peace process was merely a cover for endless Israeli colonialism.

America’s policy toward Hamas also sent the wrong message; rather than promoting peace, it only created incentives for the use of arms…..

…….The returns may be limited and the costs significant, but when the other options are either subjugation or the path their compatriots in Fatah face, Hamas is likely to make the same calculation — and choose violence every time.

The cease-fire announced Wednesday will only perpetuate the same incentive structure. Through the use of force, Hamas gained favorable terms. The Israelis agreed to ease collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza and end extrajudicial assassinations. While both of these are against international law to begin with and long-term Israeli adherence to these terms is not guaranteed, these are nonetheless commitments that Hamas believes could only have been extracted through armed struggle.


By constantly condemning Palestinian armed resistance, and failing to condemn Israeli settlement expansion and repression of nonviolent Palestinian dissent, the message the United States is sending the Palestinian people is this: All resistance to occupation is illegitimate.

No nation on earth would accept that, nor is it realistic to expect it to.

The disastrous results of the incentive structure we’ve created have been on full display in recent days. Moving forward, Washington must fundamentally re-evaluate the messages it sends to all parties because we’ve currently set them on the path to even greater — and potentially unmanageable — escalations in the future.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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5 Responses

  1. Mondowise
    November 24, 2012, 9:51 pm

    i just wonder why the author of the article, which was very good, and others, too often fail to mention that “armed resistance” against occupation is LEGAL:

    UNGA Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:

    2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;

    UNGA Resolution A/RES/3246 of 29 November 1974:

    3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle; …
    7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people;

    plus many other UN resolutions confirm/reaffirm the same thing repeatedly: e.g., UNGA Resolution A/RES/34/44 (23 November 1979), UNGA Resolution A/RES/35/35 (14 November 1980), UNGA Resolution A/RES/36/9 (28 October 1981), etc. etc.

    • mondonut
      November 25, 2012, 12:59 am

      Mondowise says: … “armed resistance” against occupation is LEGAL:
      Maybe so, but not based on anything that you chose to cite. General Assembly resolutions have nothing to do with legalities. The UNGA cannot create law and confer rights. Nor does their “recognition” of anything.

      • Talkback
        November 27, 2012, 5:01 pm

        The UNGA didn’t create law or confer rights. It reaffirmed what is allready legitimate and condemned those goverments which don’t recognized allready existing rights. This way UNGA resolution also become part of customary international law.

  2. Krauss
    November 24, 2012, 11:52 pm

    “Will they listen?”

    They are paid not to listen. And if they do, their opponents are paid to destroy them.

  3. Avi_G.
    November 25, 2012, 1:18 am

    Much like ceasefires scare Israel, so does peace, a just peace. Why delude oneself that Israel is interested in peace when it had twice rejected all-inclusive peace offers by neighboring states?

    Someone finally called Israel’s bluff, but all Israel did was come up with excuses why those offers weren’t genuine, or real, or honest or serious.

    The only way for Israel to remain an exclusive Jewish state, is for Israel to remain an isolationist state in the region.

    Peace opens borders, normalizes relationships, enables social mobility, movement and cooperation; what Zionist in his right mind would want that?

    Can you imagine a Middle East with open borders like the European Union? Syrians could buy apartments in Haifa, open-minded Israelis could move to Tripoli or to the beautiful cedar-covered mountains of Lebanon. Where would that leave the exclusive Jewish state?

    [sarcasm] So the next time you hear or read a rabbi forbidding the mixed marriage of Jewish women to Arab men and vice versa, be sure to support that rabbi. [/sarcasm]

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