While his Marines were pulverizing the people of Falluja in Iraq, the U.S. commander in chief also waved his imperial wand of misery over the Palestinians.
After meeting with his friend Ariel Sharon in mid-April, Bush abandoned any pretense of U.S. evenhandedness in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He green-lighted Sharon’s plan for a unilateral pullout of Gaza, including its corollaries: no Palestinian right of return, continued illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and ongoing construction of the Apartheid Wall, which has already grabbed up 14.5 percent of Palestinian land.
By “disengaging” from Gaza, Sharon hopes to get out from under any international standards of behavior for occupying powers. Yet Israel, the “former” occupier, would maintain economic and police power for “security” reasons. It would still control all land crossings, military installations, air space, and territorial waters, which would make a genuine Palestine state impossible.
The entire Arab world and many Israelis reject this travesty of a peace plan. And so do the hundreds of organizations worldwide that signed a protest delivered to the United Nations in mid-May, which called the right to return “an inextricable anchor and prerequisite to full Palestinian self-determination, freedom, and liberty.”
Only justice will bring peace. And George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon are two men who can be counted on not to deliver it.