Aletho News


The Brutally Honest Coca-Cola Commercial You’ll Never See On Television

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution | September 17, 2013

Coca-Cola plans to run its very first ad defending aspartame and the safety of artificial sweeteners. This move comes as a result of a dramatic drop in diet cola sales within the past year. This is great news as it goes to show how much of an impact we can really make by raising awareness about the health effects of aspartame. More people around the world are making better choices and you can read more about that and the dangers associated with the Coke here.

I came across this video and thought it would be appropriate to share in light of Coca-Cola’s recent move to bring awareness to and “join together” in fighting obesity. This comes before their more recent ad campaign to defend artificial sweeteners like aspartame. It’s the brutally honest Coca-Cola commercial you’ll never see on television. This is a voiced over version of the original Coke commercial which you can see here.

See also:

The saturated fat scam: What’s the real story?

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

US Air Force Clashes with California over Radioactive Waste Dump

By Ken Broder | AllGov | September 22, 2013

The U.S. Air Force has spent years cleaning up toxic and nuclear materials at McClellan Air Force Base outside Sacramento since it was decommissioned in 2011, unsuccessfully trying to ship radioactive waste to a California dump and successfully sending a bunch of it to Utah under suspicious circumstances.

But now, as it bears down on a 2019 deadline for finishing the job of scraping potentially dangerous materials from 326 waste areas before delivering what’s left of the base-turned-industrial-hub into nonmilitary hands, the Air Force wants to bury the last of the radioactive waste on the property, close to residential neighborhoods.

State regulators and the city are not happy.

California has stricter rules governing waste disposal than the federal government and the California Department of Public Health says the plans for entombing the radium-226, a substance known to cause cancer, do not meet its standards, according to Katherine Mieszkowski and Matt Smith of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The department has the power to block transfer of the property. California law requires that only facilities with special permits can accept soil contaminated with radium, and the state doesn’t have any.

But Steve Mayer, the Air Force remediation project manager at McClellan, told Center reporters that he was prepared to wait out the city and state because by 2019, “There will be a different governor then, too, and (regulators) all work for the governor.”

Actions at McClellan could serve as a template for federal behavior at other bases in California facing similar transitions from military to civilian use. Instead of paying costly expenses to ship the material to dumps, the Air Force could simply bury it on-site and walk away. There are reportedly seven bases in California that could face similar situations.

State regulators rebuffed the Air Force in 2011 when it lobbied hard to classify its McClellan radioactive waste as “naturally occurring” so it could qualify for shipment to Clean Harbors’ Buttonwillow landfill. Instead, it sent 43,000 tons of soil to an Idaho dump.

The 3,452-acre base was named a Superfund site in 1987 owing to years of maintaining aircraft that involved the “use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials including industrial solvents, caustic cleansers, paints, metal plating wastes, low-level radioactive wastes, and a variety of fuel oils and lubricants,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Much of the residue is believed to be from cleanup efforts related to radioactive paint used more than 50 years ago on glow-in-the-dark dials and gauges.

The property is being transferred to private hands piecemeal. In 2007, 62 acres were moved to the McClellan Business Park and another 35 acres was sold in 2011 to U.S. Foods, a national food distribution company. In 2010, 545 acres were transferred to the business park and California Governor Jerry Brown approved the transfer of another 528 acres in January of this year.

To Learn More:

Air Force Hopes to Stick California City with Radioactive Waste Dump (by Katherine Mieszkowski and Matt Smith, Center for Investigative Reporting)

Air Force Sends Radioactive Material Too Hot for California Landfills to Idaho (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

McClellan Air Force Base (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

McClellan Air Force Base (Groundwater Contamination) (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on US Air Force Clashes with California over Radioactive Waste Dump

Potential US war on Syria based on a snuff movie

By Finian Cunningham | Press TV | September 21, 2013

The American war footing towards Syria plumbs a new diabolical depth.

Not only is it an act of criminal aggression against an innocent country – the supreme crime according to Nuremberg Principles – but that transgression would itself be based on another vile crime – the deliberate killing of children for propaganda purposes.

The notorious videos purporting to show the half-clothed bodies of dozens of lifeless Syrian children are the central component of US claims for launching a war against Syria. Suspiciously, this footage gained wide circulation on the internet and on international television news bulletins within hours of the alleged toxic gas attack on 21 August near Damascus.

Now it appears that those videos are part of an elaborate, diabolical fabrication, the circumstances of which are very different from what they are meant to assign.

Nobody is questioning the fact that the children are dead. But what transpires is that the children seem to have been murdered by some form of intoxication and that their deaths were then recorded by their killers – with the calculated intention of producing a propaganda video.

That propaganda purports to blame the Syrian government forces of using chemical weapons causing massive civilian casualties. That in turn is aimed at provoking outrage among world public opinion, which would underpin US military intervention on the basis of President Obama’s so-called red line on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In other words, the world is being pushed into acquiescing to a US-led criminal war on Syria based on a vile “snuff movie.”

In the world of vice, there can be few acts more criminal and morally depraved than that of making snuff movies. This illegal genre of film is where some unwitting victim is murdered on screen for the perverse gratification of those behind the camera and the eventual underground audience who indulge in such odious entertainment.

Usually, in the making of snuff movies, the persons recording the scene of death are the killers or their accomplices. These movies are, needless to say, highly illegal and confined to a secretive subculture. Those who make snuff movies and watch them are complicit in murder, and the videos are in effect indictable evidence of their crime.

On close examination of the alleged gas attack videos that came out of Syria on 21 August, the blunt assessment is that the footage is nothing less than a snuff movie.

This is the shocking conclusion from an independent study carried out by Syrian Christian leader Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib. Under the auspices of the Geneva-based International Institute of Peace, Justice and Human Rights, the study concludes that the infamous gas-attack videos showing dead children is a fabrication. That is, the children were not killed, as alleged, by Syrian government forces firing chemical weapons on the Ghouta suburb of Damascus.

According to the authors: “From the moment when some families of abducted children contacted us to inform us that they recognized the children among those who are presented in the videos as victims of the chemical attacks of east Ghouta, we decided to examine the videos thoroughly.”

Mother Agnes’ investigation goes on to say chillingly: “Our first concern was the fate of the children we see in the footages. Those angels are always alone in the hands of adult males that seem to be elements of armed gangs. The children that trespassed remain without their families and unidentified all the way until they are wrapped in the white shrouds of the burial. Moreover, our study highlights without any doubt that their little bodies were manipulated and disposed with theatrical arrangements to figure in the screening.”

The authors add: “Thus we want to raise awareness toward the humanitarian case of this criminal use of children in the political propaganda of the east Ghouta chemical weapons attack.”

Mother Agnes and her co-authors have submitted their findings to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva. But, tellingly, the report, which was published earlier this week, has received negligible coverage in the Western mainstream media.

It is not determined who actually killed the children and by what method. Some observers have pointed out that the victims appear to have tourniquets on their arms. That would suggest that they received a lethal injection.

It also appears that the children are not from the location of Ghouta. It is believed that many of them were abducted by the foreign-backed militants during raids on pro-government villages in the Latakia area of northwest Syria during the weeks prior to 21 August.

That confers on the crime in Ghouta on 21 August the most hideous proportions. For what is deduced is that dozens of children were abducted for the fate of cold-blooded murder, to be videoed with the purpose of fabricating a crime falsely attributed to others for propaganda effect – propaganda to precipitate a war.

When we look at the choreographed way in which the US government and its Western allies have reacted to the incident and the videos, it is suggestive of collusion at some level. Several reports have tied the involvement of Saudi, Turk and Israeli intelligence with the supply of toxic chemicals to the foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria for the Western agenda of regime change against the government of President Assad. These intelligence agencies are closely aligned with those of the US, Britain and France.

The fundamental importance of the alleged gas-attack videos to the US and Western case for military intervention in Syria raises the question of how much do these governments know about the exact circumstances of the child deaths that ostensibly occurred in Ghouta on 21 August.

Apart from flawed interpretation of the inconclusive UN chemical inspectors’ report released earlier this week, the other component of the US government’s case for a military attack on Syria are the videos purporting to show the aftermath of a chemical weapons incident in Ghouta.

Appealing to Congress for military strikes on Syria earlier this month, US Secretary of State John F Kerry described those images as “sickening,” and added that “the world must act on such horror.”

Affecting an air of privileged briefing, members of Congress were taken into closed-door sessions. There, they watched the videos showing lifeless children lying in gaunt rooms in an unknown location, apparently having died from exposure to sarin or some other toxic gas.

It appears that US lawmakers viewed the same video footage that the rest of the world has also accessed via the internet and on television news bulletins. The viewing of such distressing scenes paved the way for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to vote for resolution 2021 backing President Obama’s military attack on Syria.

While the momentum for war has abated in the past week because of the Russian-brokered deal to decommission Syrian government chemical weapons, nevertheless the US continues to threaten that military strikes still remain an option on the table.

US-led wars in the past have notoriously relied on false flags and pretexts, such as the sinking of the USS Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and 9/11. But if the US commits to war on Syria, its lawlessness will have reached a new low. In that event, it will be a war of aggression based on a snuff movie.


Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio.

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution on Syria under Chapter 7

RT | September 22, 2013

The US is pushing Russia into approving a UN resolution that would allow for military intervention in Syria, in exchange for American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry’,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel 1’s Sunday Time program.

Chapter 7 of the UN charter would allow for potential military intervention in Syria.

Western countries blinded by ‘Assad must go’ attitude

The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry went on to say he was surprised by the West’s “negligent” approach to the conflict.

“Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”

Slamming the West’s intervention in Libya and Iraq, the foreign minister stated that military intervention could only lead to a catastrophe in the region. Moreover, he stressed that if the West really was interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict that has raged for over two years, they would now be pushing for Syria’s entry into the OPCW in the first place, not for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

“I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach,” said Lavrov.

‘A repeat of Geneva 2012’

Lavrov harked back to last year’s Geneva accord which was agreed upon by the international community, including Russia and the US. However, when the resolution went to the Security Council the US demanded that Chapter 7 be included.

“History is repeating itself. Once again in Geneva an agreement has been reached which does not contain any mention of Chapter 7. But the Security Council wants to redo the document in their own way to include it.”

He called on the West to observe international law and stop writing resolutions motivated by their “geopolitical ambitions.”
‘Both sides must hand over chemical weapons’

Sergey Lavrov has also insisted that opposition forces take part in the decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

“The solutions currently being worked out at the OPCW suggest that all stocks of Syrian chemical weapons must be brought under control and ultimately destroyed.”

Lavrov further charged that the West was “not telling the whole story” by asserting that chemical weapons are only possessed by the regime, and not the opposition.

He added that the available information provided by the Israelis confirmed that on at least two occasions, the rebels had seized areas in which chemical weapons were stored and those arms might have fallen into their hands.

“According to our estimates, there is a strong probability that in addition to home-grown labs in which militants are trying to cook up harmful and deadly concoctions, the data provided by the Israelis is true,” the Russian FM said.

“Preparatory work for OPCW inspectors to assume control of chemical weapons storage sites requires that those who fund and sponsor opposition groups – including extremists – demand that they hand over the [arms] which have been seized so that they can be destroyed, pursuant to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

Lavrov added that Russia was not a guarantor for the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons, as Syria’s commitments fell under the auspices of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is internationally administered by the OPCW.

Lavrov said Russia and the US were working out a draft resolution to be submitted to the OPCW, although several points were yet to be agreed upon.

Logistics of destruction

Sergey Lavrov said that the time frame for the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons was not unrealistic.

“The overwhelming majority of the figures as per timing, term, beginning, finishing of the mission have been suggested by the American side,” he added.

Even if the time frame is feasible, there remains disagreement on the cost of the venture.

Earlier this week, President Assad said the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal would be a costly venture.

“It needs a lot of money, it needs about one billion [US dollars]. It’s very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is ready to pay the money, and to take responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don’t they do it?” Assad told Fox News

Lavrov said he had heard of the cost estimate, although during his negotiations with his US counterpart in Geneva last week, the figure was much lower. Lavrov said the discrepancy stemmed from the fact that a professional estimate was in order.

“When OPCW experts visit Syria and view the storage sites for chemical weapons, they will understand what can be destroyed on the spot (and this is also possible) with the use of mobile equipment which a number of states have, and those where special factories need to be built, as we did when destroying Soviet chemical weapons stockpiles. But for those which need to be taken out of the country – toxic substances – will require a special decision, because the convention considers it essential that the destruction takes place on the territory of that country which possesses the chemical weapons,” he said.

Lavrov said legal grounds would need to be found to move forward in this case, but if all sides could agree in principle, then drawing up a legally binding document will not be hard.

He further noted the difficulties that would be faced in assuring the security of both the Syrian and international experts tasked with bringing the chemical weapons under control and laying the groundwork for their ultimate destruction.

“We’ve considered that an international presence will be demanded in those areas where experts are working. We are prepared to allocate our own servicemen or military police to take part in those efforts. I do not believe it is necessary to send in a strong [military] contingency. It seems to me that it will be sufficient to send in military observers. It will be necessary to do it in such a way that the observers will come from all permanent members of the UN Security Council, Arab states and Turkey, so that all conflicting sides in Syria understand that this contingent represents all external forces who are collaborating with one or the other conflicting sides in Syria…so that they don’t resort to provocations,” he said.

Lavrov reiterated previous statements made during his negotiations with Secretary of State John Kerry following their talks in Geneva last week that the opposition was equally responsible for providing for the safety of OPCW and UN experts in the country and not allowing for any “provocations.”

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Lavrov: US pressuring Russia into passing UN resolution on Syria under Chapter 7

Two-State Solution or Illusion?


By Lawrence Davidson | Al-Ayham Saleh | September 21, 2013

Part I – The Two-State Solution

Peter Beinart is a “liberal Zionist” who has written a piece in the New York Review of Books of 26 September 2013 entitled “The American Jewish Cocoon.” In this essay he laments, “The organized Jewish community [is] a closed intellectual space.” By this he means that most American Zionist Jews (it is important to remember that not all Jews are Zionists) know little or nothing about those who oppose them, particularly Palestinians. They also seem to have no interest in changing this situation. For these Zionists the opposition has been reduced to an irredeemably anti-Semitic “them.”

Beinart goes on to tell us that such is the political clout of the organized Zionist community that this know-nothing attitude has come to characterize the “debate about Israel in Washington” and the opinions offered in the mass media as well. While Mr. Beinart does not say so, I can tell you that this has been the basic situation since the early 1920s. Beinart does note, however, that over time this situation has led Palestinians and those who support them to show less willingness to dialogue with Zionists, most of whom they consider irredeemably racist.

Beinart thinks this prevailing ignorance is a disaster. Why so? Because he feels that Jews betray the lessons of their own past by failing to understand the meaning of the “dispersion and dispossession” of the Palestinians. They do not seem to care that this particular people has had its “families torn apart in war – [continue] to struggle to maintain [their] culture, [their] dignity, [their] faith in God in the face of forces over which [they] have no control.” This sort of situation, according to Beinart, is something “the Jews should instinctively understand.”

Be this as it may, achieving such an understanding is, for Beinart, a means to an end. That end is realizing a two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian struggle. For this to happen the Zionists have to essentially feel the pain of the Palestinians and the Palestinians have to understand their no-win situation so that everyone agrees to a Palestinian mini-state on “22 percent of British mandatory Palestine” along with “compensation and resettlement [for the] people whose original villages and homes have long ceased to exist.”

 Part II – The Two-State Illusion

An important question is whether Mr. Beinart’s two-state solution does not itself represent a goal whose practicality has “long ceased to exist”? That certainly is the opinion of Ian Lustick, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. In the Sunday Review section of the New York Times of 15 September 2013, he published an op-ed piece entitled “Two-State Illusion.”

According to Professor Lustick, the two-state idea has become something of a fraud behind which lies opportunistic political motives. For instance, the Palestinian Authority (PA) keeps this hope alive so that it can “get the economic aid and diplomatic support that subsidizes the lifestyle of its leaders, the jobs of tens of thousands of soldiers, spies, police officers and civil servants.” The Israeli government keeps this hope alive because “it seems to reflect the sentiments of the Jewish Israeli majority and it shields the country from international opprobrium, even as it camouflages relentless efforts to expand Israel’s territory into the West Bank.” Finally, the U.S. government maintains the hope of a two-state solution to “show that it is working toward a diplomatic solution, to keep the pro-Israel lobby from turning against them and to disguise their humiliating inability to allow any daylight between Washington and the Israeli government.”

Lustick believes the two-state solution is an impossible hope that has produced periodic negotiations which have always been “phony” and have prevented new ideas for positive change from being seriously entertained. This long-term stifling has also set the stage for possible “sudden and jagged” events that can send the conflict off in catastrophic directions. Oddly enough Lustick finds this prospect of heightened conflict a necessary one.

He tells us that only when the “neat and palatable” two-state solution disappears – and with it the PA and its policies of collaboration – will we get the “mass mobilization, riots, brutality, terror, Jewish and Arab emigration and rising tides of international condemnation of Israel,” along with the subsequent withdrawal of unconditional U.S. support for the Zionist State. At that point

“Israeli leaders may then begin to see, as South Africa’s white leaders saw in the late 1980s, that their behavior is producing isolation, emigration and hopelessness.” Then, finally, they will become reasonable, and something new and acceptable (a one-state solution?) will be possible.

Lustick’s necessary scenario happens to be Peter Beinart’s nightmare and in the latter’s essay it is called “civil war.” Beinart’s call for greater mutual understanding is designed to prevent this violence. One can assume that, for Professor Lustick, things have gone too far for this understanding to suddenly prevail. “Peacemaking and democratic state building require blood and magic,” he tells us. Delaying the inevitable with false hopes will only make things worse.

By the way, Lustick is not alone in his view that the two-state formula is a dead end. One of Israel’s very best historians, Ilan Pappe, who now is the director of the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Palestinian Studies, believes that this prospect has been dead for over a decade. What killed it, and what keeps it dead, are “Zionist greed for territory and the ideological conviction that much more of Palestine [beyond the 1967 borders] is needed in order to have a viable Jewish State.” It is worth noting that it is just this ideological conviction that renders Peter Beinart’s plea for more understanding of the Palestinian position by American Zionist Jews a nonstarter. Any ideology that can justify incessant ethnic cleansing has to make its adherents incapable feeling their victims’ pain.

Part III – Conclusion

If Beinart’s hope for mutual understanding is naive, Lustick’s hope that more “blood” will lead to the “magic” of a positive outcome is not at all assured.

One might ask just how much disaster is necessary before the hard-line Zionists who have long controlled Israel will compromise their ideological commitment. Keep in mind that the Israeli political elites, right and left, have always been expansionist. Even Peter Beinart is not pushing for a return to the 1967 Green Line and an evacuation of illegal settlements, as far as I can tell. In the past, the Israeli elites have judged their terror and brutality to be justified. They will do so in the future as well. Some of them will interpret any increase in Jewish emigration (a process already ongoing) as a weeding out of weak elements. Militarily the Israelis can probably maintain superiority over their neighbors even in the face of reduced American aid, and as far as world opinion is concerned, most of them care little about it. If this assessment has any validity, the Israelis could go on ethnically cleansing for a very long time.

In my view, the only viable weapon against such vicious stubbornness is a worldwide comprehensive economic boycott on the South Africa model. However, even this may not be the last page in the drama. Such an economic boycott may prove strong enough to undermine the will of some Israeli ideologues, but not all of them. And then, unlike South Africa, you may need an intra-Israeli Jewish civil war to finally bring the curtain down on the tragedy of Zionism.

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Oslo swamp after two decades

By Fayez Rasheed | Al Quds Al Arabi | September 18, 2013

The ill-fated Oslo Accords, signed 20 years ago, have only made Israel more arrogant and open about its disregard of the Palestinians’ national rights. Illegal settlements and their infrastructure now cover 80 per cent of the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians with just 12 per cent of historical Palestine. The occupation has left cities, villages and whole districts disconnected by the Apartheid wall; Jerusalem and its surroundings have been Judaised; the land of the Jordan Valley is being looted. Moreover, Israel is imposing more of its conditions on the Palestinians, including the condition of “recognising its Jewish character” and the power of the Palestinian Authority in its own land is becoming more and more limited. On top of all this, the geographical and political split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is still in place, which is leading, by means of the Oslo Accords, to the decline of the Palestinian national project.

Israel’s main intention in signing the accords was to get the Palestinian representatives to abandon the armed struggle, which is what happened at the 1996 Palestinian National Council session in Gaza; US President Bill Clinton was present when the PNC voted for all the articles regarding armed struggle to be dropped from the Palestinian National Charter.

Furthermore, the Israelis wanted to limit the Palestinian revolution to specific geographic areas in the West Bank and Gaza, in order to monitor and control it more easily. I recall Yitzhak Rabin’s words in the Knesset shortly after the Oslo Accords were signed, when a fellow member asked him why Israel signed the agreement. His response was that Israel had gathered most of the Palestinians belonging to “terrorist” groups in one geographic area to make it easier to keep an eye on them. When Ehud Barak, who was the Army Chief of Staff at the time, was asked about how to solve disputes between the Palestinians and Israel he said, “We will resolve any contradiction according to the Israeli interpretation of the matter disputed over, because we are stronger.”

Israel wanted to see the Palestinian Authority created for two reasons:

  1. To solve the administrative and daily problems of the Palestinians in the occupied territories far away from Israel and its budget, thus easing the financial burden of the occupation. This way it was able to continue its occupation, but the international community, including the Arab world, would bear the expense of looking after the Palestinians.
  2. To establish Palestinian security institutions obliged to coordinate and cooperate with the occupation authorities, under American supervision, in order to prevent military operations against Israel.

The accords did not make any mention, at Israel’s insistence, of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. They only refer to a “self-administrating” state. The main issues of Jerusalem, the borders, refugees, water, etc., were postponed to what it called “final-status negotiations”. These issues should have been resolved by 1999 but, as Rabin said, “Appointments are not sacred.” Now we are in 2013 and these issues have still not been discussed. This, too, is part of Israel’s strategy to make sure that Oslo did nothing for the Palestinians; another Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, told the Madrid Conference in 1991 that “we will prolong negotiations with the Palestinians for 20 years”; that is exactly what has happened.

All along, Israel as the stronger signatory, and the occupying power, has interpreted the terms of Oslo in its favour. When the Israelis re-entered the occupied territories in force in 2002, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced Oslo’s “death”, despite which the PA and its officials continued to declare that they would be sticking to it.

The final status discussions, if they ever take place, will be pointless, for Israel has already made it very clear that Palestinian refugees will never be allowed to return to their homeland; it will never withdraw fully from the territories it occupied in 1967; and Jerusalem is the “united and eternal capital” of Israel. As long as Israel is the top dog, this will be its position.

The Palestinians have made a number of strategic errors since Oslo. For a start, they have failed to read Israeli intentions, not least with regards to the illegal settlement programme. They have also limited the Palestinian struggle to popular resistance and negotiations. This is no way to alter the balance of power in order to convince the Israelis that its occupation must end.

In the creation of the Palestinian Authority, the leadership set up an alternative to the PLO as the representative of the people. This has led to the total neglect of Palestinian institutions across the occupied territories as well as the diaspora. Distanced from the people they claim to represent, this has meant that “leaders” such as Yasser Abed Rabbo could go to meetings with Israelis and unilaterally abandon, for example, the refugees’ right of return; and Ahmed Qurei could agree to link the Palestinian economy inexorably to that of Israel.

Moreover, the current round of negotiations has gone ahead even though the stated Palestinian condition of an end to Israeli settlement activity has not been met and the Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem continues apace.

For 20 years the Palestinians have been negotiating despite their utter foolishness, and delegations from both sides have attended “normalisation” meetings to promote contacts between the occupier and the occupied.

All of this is down to the lack of an honest broker in the search for peace and justice. Counting on the US in this role is pointless because no administration in Washington can ever be anything other than Israel’s main ally. Arab states, meanwhile, have almost totally abandoned any pretence of doing anything about the “Zionist enemy”. They have left the resistance movements to their own devices instead of backing them with material, financial and political support.

Any notion that the Palestinian Authority can lead us to the creation of an independent State of Palestine while it is still under occupation is delusional. In becoming an administrative authority and not a liberation movement the PA’s role is inconsistent with the national cause.

Many supporters of Oslo are positive about it. They point to Israel’s recognition of the Palestinian people, it’s acknowledgement of the PLO, the return of nearly half a million Palestinians to the occupied territories in 1967, the establishment of the PA as a prelude to the establishment of a state, the establishment of state institutions, and the failure of the Israelis to falsify the facts.

In response I say this: Israel’s recognition of the Palestinian people was the result of the armed Palestinian revolution, not of the Oslo Accords. If the First Intifada had been followed through then the establishment of an independent Palestinian state would have been a fact rather than a fanciful theory.

We must be honest and acknowledge that the PA was created to act as a vehicle for limited self-rule as determined by Israel, not to be the government of a state. In the interim, the Israelis have made sure that potential and actual Palestinian leaders strong enough to stand up to them have been assassinated. That is the reality.

This is the swamp that Oslo has put us in. It is possible to escape from this predicament by cancelling Oslo and announcing that the Palestinians are no longer bound by its terms. Israel has always ignored them so why can’t we? The legitimate armed struggle must be reinstated along with other forms of civil disobedience and disruption so that the occupation becomes once more a burden for the Israelis. If this requires the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, so be it. The leadership got us into this swamp; the least they can do is help us to get out of it.


The author is a Palestinian writer. Translated by Middle East Monitor.

September 22, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Oslo swamp after two decades