By Professor David N. Yaghoubian

Selling out Palestine will not result in regional security and stability

May 9, 2021 - 18:56

The United States is on its back foot in West Asia.

As it overtly signals the preposterous intent to contain and reverse Chinese and Russian development and multilateralism to maintain global economic and military hegemony and perpetuate unilateral “Full Spectrum Dominance,” the U.S. is drawing down forces and repositioning equipment in the region as it “pivots” to the east. Here it will ostensibly rise to the self-created challenge of another set of unnecessary and truly unwinnable conflicts, and it is here that the U.S. empire, already well along the path of decline, will meet its Waterloo. Indicative of this decline, and therefore the absurdity of this telegraphed imperial “pivot” east, are U.S. initiatives against Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which have either failed or are in the process.

Recent moves towards diplomacy and rapprochement with Iran by regional governments, and what seems to be an increasing interest—albeit pragmatic rather than altruistic—in ending the genocidal war on the people of Yemen by its perpetrators are other positive indicators of this trajectory. Optimally this juncture will provide the context and the motivation for regional governments to collaborate in the creation of their own security and cooperation agreements (eg. the Hormoz Peace Endeavor advanced by Iran) which I believe are key to future stability and development throughout West Asia.
 
The normalization process between some Arab countries and Israel is only as tenable as the governments that have participated. As such, so-called “normalization” between a colonialist apartheid rogue state and despotic monarchies beholden to the United States and completely detached from domestic popular opinion will not result in the security and stability the process is ostensibly designed to achieve. The concept of “normalization” between expansionist Zionism and regional monarchial despotisms is inherently oxymoronic.
 
-------------The resistance will neither be forgotten nor limited to Palestine
If anything, the so-called normalization process will further invigorate the movement for a free Palestine, as the collective Arab memory of Zionist occupation, oppression, theft, collective punishment, and war crimes will not diminish simply because despotic Arab leaders found it politically and economically expedient to sell out the Palestinians and throw them—as well as international law—under the proverbial bus. 

The resistance will neither be forgotten, nor limited to Palestine. Paradoxically, this fact is a likely motivator for some Arab governments to have entered into this process and further attempt to acquire security and legitimacy from foreigners, yet ultimately this action will serve as another catalyst for their eventual downfall. As brilliantly illustrated by the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime by the Iranian people in 1979, U.S. client states that acquire inordinate autonomy from domestic popular opinion and political participation generate internal dissent and instability that can come to unseat even the most well-armed and ruthless monarchists, and in the process bring an end to the cliency relationship, and thus the stability and benefits it was developed to provide for the imperialists and their regional stooges.
 
The normalization is essentially a betrayal by Arab monarchies with the addition of Sudan, which shamefully sold out the Palestinians to obtain economic relief by way of its removal from the US Treasury/OFAC State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Thus, the process will be limited to those Arab monarchies who are completely reliant on the US for their ongoing existence, as well as potentially Arab governments seeking short-term economic relief and/or favor from the United States to help prop up their flagging rule. With that said, I believe a majority of Arab elites remain aware of the reality of public opinion and the long-term ramifications of selling out the Palestinians, and as such I do not foresee so-called “normalization” advancing further.
 
When it is not engaged in murderous aerial onslaught against the civilian population of Gaza, Israel maintains the largest open-air prison on earth there. Gazans drink poisonous water and their caloric intake is calculated and regulated by the Zionist jailers. In the occupied West Bank the daily abuse and oppression of Palestinians, the ongoing theft of their land, and the destruction of their property and agriculture is an ongoing amalgam of atrocities functional for the ethnic cleansing that Zionist colonialists continue to advance. In this context the cruel decision by the Israeli government to block COVID vaccinations from Gaza is neither surprising nor unexpected. Until the United Nations Security Council—in which the United States wields its veto power consistently to protect Israeli violations of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity—is reformed or scrapped, Zionists can continue to count on an inert UN response to the collective punishment, ethnic cleansing and apartheid they perpetuate throughout Palestine.
 
The Biden administration will strategically employ more neutral rhetoric in its communications with the Israeli government and its statements regarding Israeli policies, and will pay lip service to the idea of a “peace process” geared for a two-state solution. Of course, this means the Biden administration will continue to facilitate the bogus process by which Palestinian land is being occupied and stolen while holding out the rotten carrot of less than 22% of historic Palestine to negotiate over. 

The Biden administration will not risk angering the Zionist lobby or the many “Israel-firsters” of the Democratic Party by countering any of the absurd declarations and allowances of the Trump administration, and it will likely continue the process of integrating Israeli and US military forces in West Asia. In short, the United States under President Biden will continue to serve as apartheid Israel’s bodyguard, lawyer, attack dog, golden goose, and punching bag simultaneously. With that said, lacking the extreme Zionist zealotry that characterized the Trump regime’s understanding of and foreign policy approach to the region, there will be less pressure and/or incentives for Arab countries to engage in so-called normalization with Israel.
 
David N. Yaghoubian is a professor of History at California State University San Bernardino. His research interests include Modern Iran, Iran and the United States, Arab-Israeli Conflict, and The Politics of Oil. He has published various scholarly works in these fields, including “Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East”.

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