By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Washington, DC–December 12–This was a briefing of the one-day Annapolis Conference last (month â€“ the 27th). It was part of a teleconference call that I took at my office, but originated in the District of Columbia by the End the Occupation Organization a pro-Palestine assemblage.
The Annapolis Conference discussed was held at the U.S. Naval Academy grounds in the small capital (35,838) of the American State of Maryland, but was close enough to Washington to make it practical for our governmentâ€™s close involvement. It was to find a solution to this unacceptable and intractable situation.
The first speaker was Phyllis Bennis, a Jewish American scholar, who has studied the conflict systematically, and is thoroughly behind a two State resolution! She is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies here in D.C. â€“ a writer and an analyst on Middle Eastern and United Nations affairs.
Annapolis was not grounded in International Law. It was an American initiative, and is one of the reason it will probably have a minor impact. Thus, there are innate International problems to the Conference! Israel does not feel it has to follow Arab requirements. An â€œInternational flavor with a Global hype has [merely] been createdâ€ lacking a legitimate grounding in reality.
Iranâ€™s aid to Palestine has not amounted to much. Ramallah is not overly hopeful of transnational acceptance either, although the $8 billion dollars recently pledged to it, is an appreciated shot in the arm. We shall see if it is delivered in a timely manner, for such international pledges have been ignored by loaner nations too often in the past.
The Settler Jewish populationsâ€™ growth has jumped by leaps and bounds despite International Treaties, U.N. Resolutions and informal agreements. There is a desperate need for bi-lateral negotiations between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian nation!
Samar Assad, fielded many of the questions, and made many comments as a younger Palestinian. She is the Director of the District of Columbiaâ€™s Palestine Center think tank. She is noted for her analysis of U.S. policy towards the Middle East and, especially, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prior, she had served as Senior Analyst at the same Washington Palestine Center.
Israel still has not discredited the PLO (the Palestine Liberation Army) as the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs people in the Holy Land. Yet they are weak organization.
(For those American-Palestinians reading this, there will be a Conference held exclusively for Palestinians in Chicago during 2008. I hope the Muslim Observer can be there to document the proceedings!)
â€œThere is a gap between the promises made [in Maryland], for there is already 300 more Jewish units for Arab land!â€ The expansion of Israel is continuing! The Palestinian leadership at Annapolis even lacked the moral fortitude to defend their civiliansâ€™ interests!
Hamas opposes any agreement made with the United States. The lack of follow up with Hamas and Gaza has made Annapolis almost unworkable on the ground.
â€œOur work is here!â€ because our (U.S.) policy has not changed toward the Middle East.
Washington and Tel Aviv believe Tehran and Damascus are the true â€œenemies.â€
â€œIsrael has become an Apartheid State [in its treatment of the territories!]â€ Also, Syria is too weak to break from the more moderate policies of the Arab League, and intervene for the Levant Arabs.
The enforcement of International Law is essential for the two-state resolution to succeed! Since, more than ever, American aid has been extending the Occupation against the Law of the Nations!
Samar Assad held that an effective Palestinian police Force should be in place for the safety and security of the people there before total Independence! Further, in Gaza the great majority of the people are below the poverty line encouraging a criminality in desperation!
Abbas is a weak leader. He believes that the U.SA. will be the salvation of the nation(sic!)
Here in the Metropole (i.e., the capital of the American â€œEmpireâ€), we should discourage aid for Judaic Jerusalem, for Israel is the seventeenth richest country in the world, and is self-supporting!
At the moment, a letter is circulating around Congress to curtail military aid to Israel. Support from Muslim is a must!