AIPAC’s Newest Strategy | Political Correction
The bottom line is this. The Europeans, the United Nations, and, it is safe to say, the entire world (except the United States) fear that the Palestinian Authority is on the verge of collapsing and, along with it, the whole notion of a peace process. These same forces are determined to re-start negotiations, which will require seeing Israel actual freeze settlements, at the very least. It seems to understand that a PA that is perceived as Israel’s lackey (which is precisely how it is perceived) will not survive. It has no faith whatsoever in the good intentions of the Netanyahu government.
The Israeli government, understanding all this, is determined to put the onus back on the Palestinians to forestall any pressure. Most important of all, it is terrified that the Palestinian Authority will go ahead with its plan to unilaterally declare a state this summer, the only PA plan in years that actually has real momentum. It needs the United States to block that plan by any means necessary, including a full cut-off of U.S. (and even international) aid to the Palestinians (this at a time when Defense Minister Barak is requesting another $20 billion in aid to Israel from the United States). Stopping a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence dead in its tracks is now Netanyahu’s number one goal. And getting Obama to go along with him (which shouldn’t be too difficult with the 2012 election looming) is the way he intends to do it.
That is why we are about to see a new Netanyahu plan. It is why AIPAC is busy denigrating the PA. And it is why AIPAC will soon have the United States Congress saying, practically in unison, that “there is no Palestinian partner.” That will be followed by the demand that the Obama administration support the Netanyahu plan, which will be labeled the most generous offer in history.
At this rate, the Israeli government and its lobby will soon be back to its old mantra (1948-1977) that “there is no such thing as the Palestinian people” at all.
All this to preserve an ugly and deadly status quo. So far, this tactic has worked every time. Don’t bet against it winning again. As so often, a winning strategy for AIPAC and Netanyahu is a losing strategy for Israel and the United States.
The Palestinians, on the other hand, would do well to work on achieving some kind of unified strategy and to stick with the idea of a unilateral declaration. As David Ben-Gurion would tell them, self-determination often requires going it alone.