Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chomsky: States have no "right to exist"

Beautiful, concise, and correct analysis by Chomsky, discussed at Mondoweiss.

[…] No state demands a ‘right to exist,’ nor is any such right accorded to any state, nor should it be.  Mexico recognizes the US, but not its ‘right to exist’ sitting on half of Mexico, acquired by aggression. The same generalizes. 
To my knowledge, the concept ‘right to exist’ was invented by US-Israeli propaganda in the 1970s, when the Arab states (with the support of the PLO) formally recognized Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognized borders (citing the wording of UN 242). It was therefore necessary to raise the bars to prevent the negotiations that the US and Israel alone (among significant actors) were blocking, as they still are.  They understood, of course, that there is no reason why Palestinians should recognize the legitimacy of their dispossession — and the point generalizes, as noted, to just about every state; maybe not Andorra. 
Noam Chomsky
Now I can see that many Americans might find part of this hard to swallow…the fact that it was US and Israel who were blocking negotiations.  Certainly the view portrayed in US media during the 1970's (and since) was that it was the Palestinians who were blocking negotiations by their silly refusal not to recognize Israel's "right to exist," as of course they had to be expected to.  And their allegedly mindless terrorist violence, along with a strong racist suggestion that Arabs were just like that.  Palestinian violence was always portrayed as mindless terrorism while the much more successful Israeli violence was, of course, self defense.

But Chomsky, who has long bypassed the corrupt US media by reading directly from the more honest Israeli media, as well as official documents, is correct.  It was and has been the US and Israel all along who have been blocking honest negotiation.  And the claim that Palestinians must first recognize Israel's "right to exist," a "right" which no state actually has, was part of how they did it.  Blocking negotiation has made it possible for Israel to continue annexing more and more of Palestine by state violence, continuing the ethnic cleansing which created Israel in the first place.

Indeed, it has been by putting the focus on this desired "right to exist" which has taken the focus off of the original and continuing ethnic cleansing done by Israel, and kept it off.  If honest negotiations were ever to have started, more people might have become aware of how many Palestinians lost their homes and neighborhoods to make the State of Israel possible.  If those Palestinians and their descendants were to return to their homes and neighborhoods, Israel would become a minority Jewish state.

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