PORTLAND – Maine’s congressional delegation and citizenry — and a large American majority — continue their sustained indifference to the denial of Palestinian human dignity, rights and freedom of 60-odd years.

George Mitchell’s vaunted peace effort has gone nowhere. In reward for self-abasing U.S. cover for further Israeli outrages, Barack Obama has sucked up to one Israeli humiliation after another. No wonder justice and peace are still beyond sight.

These evidences are all consequences — foremost, of the century-old Zionist determination, at bottom racist, to establish a Jewish state in Palestine by forcibly removing its inhabitants at every opportunity and invariably putting Israel’s expansion before Palestinian rights, justice and peace.

Equally essential has been Israel’s erasure from living memory its dispossession and removal of 80-odd percent of Palestinians in 1947-48 and 1967 — magic largely indebted to public relations founder Edward Gottlieb enlisting Leon Uris to write “Exodus,” transforming Israel massacres and ethnic cleansing into David vs. Goliath heroism against dirty and swarthy Arab hordes.

Likewise critical has been Washington’s “honest broker” lock on negotiation content to ask an active serial thief what loot he will return, even when the whole world is outraged at the 2008-2009 criminal assault on the people and livelihoods of Gaza and the murderous flotilla assault.

Add U.S. mass media’s ignorance and bias, anesthetizing otherwise decent-minded citizens; European reluctance to challenge descendants of Holocaust victims, and Arab rulers trading solidarity and their oil for arms and U.S. support of their repressive regimes.

Meanwhile, Israel has built a wall of obstacles: a precondition that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, disenfranchising more than 1 million Israeli-Palestinians and nullifying the right of return of millions of refugees; a continuing occupation that foreshadows a demographic nightmare; a fanatical settler movement that blocks significant withdrawals from East Jerusalem and the West Bank; a steadily stoked Israeli fear of insecurity, and a government determination to disprove Mitchell’s caveat and have security without a Palestinian state. Benjamin Netanyahu perfectly embodies these blocking forces.

Instead, Israel mercilessly subjugates residents of the occupied territories, denying necessary nutrition to millions of children, while usurping their land, water and resources. To accommodate Israel’s colonial millions, millions of native Palestinians are ghettoized on less arable land, in a tenth of Palestine, or are refugees elsewhere.

Obama, instead of promoting a United Nations ultimatum for Israel to leave the occupied territories forthwith, welcome refugees who would return and compensate the large majority who would not be Israeli third-class citizens, has groveled, offering the moon in arms and billions for a settlement pause. Refused, he has given up. Again, former-Israeli-lobbyist-in-the-White-House Dennis Ross miscalculated.

Now what? The Palestine Papers reveal that Israel has been the chief obstacle to peace and eliminating the sellout-prone Palestinian Authority as negotiator for millions of resistant Palestinians. Israel’s repetitive brutality is delegitimizing the Zionist enterprise as Palestinian victimization and nonviolent resistance have won moral high ground and legitimized their struggle for freedom and dignity. Iraq, Afghanistan and lock-step support of Israel have marginalized U.S. influence.

Should democratic Arab regimes emerge, they will not abet Israel’s repression as have Mubarak and Jordan’s kings, but demand Palestinian liberation. They could close the oil spigot, as in 1973-74.

As more nations recognize Palestine and Palestinians declare a state — or demand Israeli citizenship and are denied — what prevents the United Nations, which created Israel, from encompassing not the 10 percent of Palestine in bantustans and imprisoned Gaza, but 45 percent of mandatory Palestine? Then what? 

– Special to the Press Herald