The World Court ruled today that Israel’s unilateral construction of a wall separating Israel and Palestine is illegal, and that the wall should be dismantled.
Of course, this means nothing. Why? Let’s look at some choice quotes from the usual suspects:
“The only decision that matters for the government is the verdict of the [Israeli] supreme court”.
Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid
“This is going to go to the UN General Assembly. They can decide anything there. They can say that the earth is flat. It won’t make it legal, it won’t make it true and it won’t make it just.”
Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
“We do not believe that that’s the appropriate forum to resolve what is a political issue. This is an issue that should be resolved through the process that has been put in place, specifically the road map.”
US President George Bush’s spokesman
“We have underlined that the wall not only results in confiscation of Palestinian land and causes untold humanitarian and economic hardship, but also could prejudge future negotiations and hinder a just political solution to the conflict.”
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana
Once again, the United States stands firm in its irrational stance of pandering to the Israelis while ignoring the humanitarian crises that the rest of the world sees, including the EU.
Israel’s strength is the United States, without which it is nothing. As long as Bush (and American politicians in general) continue their Judeo-Christian crusade, Palestinians will continue to suffer. Years later, when people reflect on our times, I have no doubt that the unqualified American backing of Israel will be considered as one of the largest injustices of our time. This unqualified backing has caused far more damage and suffering to an entire population far more severe than Americans can even begin to contemplate. The 9/11 attacks don’t even come close (though many behave as if they were the most tragic events known to humankind).
As for a peaceful resolution, I think the road ahead is difficult. I don’t have a magic solution. But going ahead, what would I like to see? I’d like to see a peace which is respectful of the Israelis and Palestinians both, equally, with shared control of Jerusalem. A peace where neither side needs to live in fear of persecution by the other. A peace that is wanted, appreciated and respected by both sides. I don’t know how to get there, but I hope we do.
The reason I’m upset about the situation now is that Bush, the one man who really has the ability to influence and to set the tone with both sides has shirked his responsibility to do so. Instead of pushing for a peace of the type I described, he has wholeheartedly backed the efforts of Ariel Sharon to create a “peace” where the Israelis are “safe” from the Palestinians, but doesn’t address any grievances that the Palestinians have. This kind of “peace” is meaningless, and certainly not viable.