By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria
In attempting to analyse the article by Peter Fabricius titled "Two-state solution the only viable option" (Star – February 20, 2009), I fail to understand his logic in dismissing a unitary state.
The scenario he paints in supporting an argument in favour of a two-state solution is not any different to the exaggerated fears propagated by successive Israeli leaders who thus thrive in pursuing policies of expansion and perpetual dispossession of Palestinians.
An illustration of his faulty analysis is encapsulated in the following words: “The peace process suffered a huge blow when Israel pulled out of Gaza and was rewarded not with peace and gratitude but with a rain of Hamas rockets”.
That it sounds like text from a script repeated ad-nauseum by Zionist spin-doctors like Mark Regev and others during their regular media appearances in defence of Israel’s brutal slaughter in Gaza is to be expected given that Fabricius has regularly displayed pro-Israeli leanings in his columns.
And by seeking justification for Israel’s iron-fisted control of the West Bank on the grounds that by “pulling out” Ben Gurion airport may come within range of Hamas’s artillery, Fabricius has unwittingly acknowledged its continued occupation. It’s remarkable how apologists for Israel get caught in their own web of deceit!
Gaza, Jerusalem, Golan Heights and the West Bank are all under occupation. Notwithstanding the illusory “authority” of Abu Mazen and the “freedom” enjoyed by Palestinians in the West Bank under him, Hamas has insisted that elements within Fatah have functioned as proxies of the Zionist regime.
It is this reality which Dr Ahmed Yousef, a senior leader of Hamas refers to when describing the political fortunes of Fatah leadership being transformed from “field slaves” to “house servants”.
“After Sadat signed with Begin (1978), the PLO kept hoping for over 10 years that peace would come. When it did not and the intifada broke out in 1987, the Israelis decided to divide and conquer and promised change if the PLO renounced its charter, which it did; and was merely rewarded with permission to enter occupied territory – the difference was that the Fatah leadership stopped being a field slave and was now a house servant.”
Thus, says Yousef, historical precedent does not bode well for any group, let alone Hamas, to acquiesce to terms laid out by any contemporary Israeli party.
It appears to me that Fabricius indulges in the kind of denialism that has characterized Israeli politics for generations. It’s outrageous to insist that Hamas meets three conditions for negotiations: renouncing terrorism, accepting Israel’s right to exist and acknowledging agreements signed by the PLO with Israel while the bizarre denial of Palestinian humanity and rights are ignored or glossed over.
The recent payment by Israel of $2.2 million to the family of a British cameraman killed by them illustrates this. Awarding this blood-libel while denying the moral and financial culpability of murdering 1,400 Palestinians, over 60% of whom were women, children and the elderly and less than 3% of whom were in the resistance according to human rights groups points to selective morality.
In her book Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination, Pregs Govender, newly appointed commissioner for the SA Human Rights Commission quotes an Iraqi woman she had met as part of an international solidarity mission just before the war there: “I do not want your tears. Take my words into the world. I want to hear the echo of what you do”.
Unlike Fabricius appeal to capitulate we can do more that just watch Israel’s hegemonic expansionism reduce Gaza and the West Bank to Bantustans. A unitary state with one-person one vote is the goal South Africans must direct Israel towards.
– Iqbal Jassat is chairperson of the Media Review Network (MRN), an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.