How often have Western leaders said this about Israel’s occupation of Palestine? President Obama said this again in his UN address on 24 September. Before him UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said it in March of this year. US Secretary of State John Kerry said it even before him, back in February.
What are they exactly referring to? The status quo is of course perceived differently by the Palestinians and Israelis and their respective supporters.
Israel and its supporters refer to the lack of two states that separate as many Jewish Israelis from as many Palestinian Muslims and Christians as possible to maintain as substantial a Jewish majority as possible in Israel. They also refer to the continuing possibility of tickets flying out of Gaza in protest at Israeli violations of the August brokered ceasefire.
Palestine and its supporters seek an end to the occupation of the territories occupied in 1967. This necessitates an end to the settlement project and the removal of the Israeli military from these areas.
You would have thought then that following the failure of the U.S. brokered talks and Israel’s recent abhorrent attack on Gaza which devastated humans and infrastructure, those that want to change the status quo would be looking for means to achieve this.
The Palestinians are trying to do this through the United Nations. Mahmoud Abbas wants a Security Council Resolution that sets a date for ending the occupation, which generously wants to give Israel three years to achieve. When you consider that Israel has had forty seven years to achieve, does not seem unreasonable. He is asking for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. Again, this is more than reasonable considering it would be on 22% of historic Palestine.
But pretty quickly the U.S., the UK and Australia expressed their support for the status quo by rejecting Abbas’s move. They will not support a Security Council resolution putting a date on the end of the occupation. Their remedy is based on a return to futile negotiations, which Israel uses to complete its ‘Greater Israel Project’. It will soon, if it hasn’t already, put an end to the two state solution, which its supporters claim is the only game in town.
This leaves the status quo in tact. A people under military occupation, Israel as an Apartheid state and peace a concept rather than an aim. Israel wants to maintain a perpetual ‘quiet occupation’.
The conclusion is that the West is simply complicit in the Greater Israel, colonial and racist project. Be honest guys, you don’t give a damn about Palestinians or justice. It takes for one colonialist to support another.
Palestinians must now take matters into their own hands and start with signing the Rome Statutes. Once an Israeli leader appears before the International Criminal Court, the game will change. More importantly, the victims of Israel’s war crimes will be on the way to receiving justice.
Surprise surprise, Obama calls for change in status quo during his meeting with Netanyahu. And of course Netanyahu wants peace and a 2-state solution! We’ve been here before. In addition, the U.S. has made it clear it would veto a resolution setting a date for an end to the occupation.
The Palestinians should simply move to singing he Rome Statutes.