Posted April 11, 2002

Friends like these

This column was written by Mumia Abu -Jamal on March 13
before Israel's all-out offensive.

As Israeli tanks rumble through Palestinian lands, and tens of thousands of Israeli troops trash hundreds of Palestinian homes, the president of the United States speaks at a rare live press conference on the U.S. ally's military assault: "I think it's unhelpful."

In one of the Palestinian people's darkest hours, when Ramallah and its refugee camps are being ravaged by over 20,000 Israeli troops, hundreds of tanks and the relentless repression of F-16 air power, the response of the American government is insipid, uninspired and reflective of the overwhelming bias that marks the U.S. stance in regard to the Middle East conflict.

While U.S. diplomats and politicians repeatedly call for peace, the U.S. can hardly be called a fair arbiter. Consider, for example, the role of the U.S. in the halls of the United Nations, whenever Palestinian issues were put forward:

1) Resolution 33/110; On living conditions of the Palestinian People (Date: 12/18/78).
Vote: 110-2 (U.S., Israel).

2) Resolution 34/113; Request for report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries (12/14/75).
Vote: 120-2 (U.S., Israel).

3) Resolution 34/133; Assistance to Palestinian people (12/14/79). Vote: 112-3 (U.S., Israel, Canada).

4) Resolution 35/169C; Rights of Palestinians (12/15/80). Vote: 120-3 (U.S., Israel, Australia).

The writer could have extended this list, but the point is made.

Is there any wonder that either Palestinians in particular, or Arabs in general, feel that the U.S. is ill-suited to arbitrate between the two sides?

Whenever a Palestinian harms an Israeli, the U.S. is quick to castigate Arafat for "not doing enough" for peace. When Israeli soldiers or settlers engage in anti-Arab violence, there is either deafening silence from the U.S. or the same type of tepid, lukewarm "unhelpful" comments that President Bush made in response to the recent massive military incursions in Ramallah and refugee camps. The UN Security Council recently voted, with U.S. support, for a resolution approving the establishment of a Palestinian state. Has the U.S. suddenly, like Saul on the road to Damascus, seen the light? Hardly.

In this new age of global war, even the U.S. Empire had to act in a certain way to placate Arab allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The question is what kind of state?

An independent, sovereign territory, or a proxy for U.S. and Israeli interests?

A nation is far more than a flag, a capitol and an airport, especially in this age of imperial globalist hunger and unbridled power.

Unless events drastically change, a Palestinian state will be what Israel and the U.S. allow--and no more.

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This column may be reprinted and/or distributed by electronic means, but only for non-commercial use, and
only with the inclusion of the following copyright information:

Text (c) copyright 2001 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of three books: 'Live
from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things
Censored'.

You can write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

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