He did it with seven words. “Ultimately the U.S. cannot impose a solution.”

He was speaking at the White House the day before the start of the new round of direct talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, after he had met with them and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. (In my last post I anticipated Obama saying at the point of his complete surrender that “America can’t want peace more than the parties.” He also said that – ahead of schedule!)

Today there is a growing number of seriously well informed people of all faiths and none (including me) who believe there will only be peace if it is imposed.

Among those who have dared to say so in public is one of the most eminent Jewish gentlemen of our time, Henry Siegman. A former national director of the American Jewish Congress, he is president of the U.S./Middle East Project, which was part of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1994 until 2006 when it was established as an independent policy institute. He is also a research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Programme of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. During his more than 30 years of involvement in the Middle East peace process, he has published extensively on the subject and has been consulted by governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in the peace process. In a comment piece for the Financial Times on 23 February 2010, (quoted in Conflict Without End? the Epilogue to Volume 3 of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews), he wrote this:

“The Middle East peace process and its quest for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that got under way nearly 20 years ago with the Oslo accords has undergone two fundamental transformations. It is now on the brink of a third.

“The first was the crossing of a threshold by Israel’s settlement project in the West Bank; there is no longer any prospect of its removal by this or any future Israeli government, which was the precise goal of the settlements’ relentless expansion all along. The previous prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who declared that a peace accord requires Israel to withdraw ‘from most, if not all’ of the occupied territories, ‘including East Jerusalem,’ was unable even to remove any of the 20 hilltop outposts Israel had solemnly promised to dismantle.

“A two-state solution could therefore come about only if Israel were compelled to withdraw to the pre-1967 border by an outside power whose wishes an Israeli government could not defy – the US. The assumption has always been that at the point where Israel’s colonial ambitions collide with critical US national interests, an American president would draw on the massive credit the US has accumulated with Israel to insist it dismantle its illegal settlements, which successive US administrations held to be the main obstacle to a peace accord.

“The second transformation resulted from the shattering of that assumption when President Barack Obama – who took a more forceful stand against Israel’s settlements than any of his predecessors, and did so at a time when the damage this unending conflict was causing American interests could not have been more obvious – backed off ignominiously in the face of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of his demand. This left prospects for a two-state accord dead in the water.”

On 16 August in a piece for the Huffington Post which was originally published by Ha’aretz in Hebrew, Siegman added this:

“Most Israelis, particularly the present government, have been blithely indifferent to repeated international condemnations of Israel’s systematic theft of Palestinian territory on which it has been settling its own Jewish population in blatant violation of international law. Yet their reaction to what they see as an attack on the “legitimacy” of the State of Israel, a concept foreign to international law, seems to bring them to the edge of hysteria.

“In fact, Israel’s legitimacy within its 1967 borders has never been challenged by the international community. It is its behavior on territory beyond its own borders to which the international community – including every U.S. administration – has objected. To construe the condemnation of violations of international law as anti-Semitism is absurd.

“It was not an anti-Semite seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state, but Theodore Meron, an internationally respected jurist and the legal advisor to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, who following the war of 1967 conveyed the following legal opinion to Israel’s Foreign Minister Abba Eban: ‘Civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention,’ to which Israel is a signatory. That Convention’s ban on population transfer is ‘categorical and not conditional upon the motives for the transfer or its objectives. The Convention’s purpose is to prevent settlement in occupied territory of citizens of the occupying state.’”

So yes, Israel’s leaders knew that settlements on Arab land occupied in 1967 are illegal. They simply didn’t give (and still today don’t give) a damn about international law. But this attitude, a mixture of extreme arrogance and insufferable self-righteousness, does not make them the main villains in the story of what happened after June 1967. The main villains were (and still are) the governments of the major powers and the one in Washington DC above all.

What they should have said to Israel in the immediate aftermarth of the 1967 war is: “You are not to build any settlements on occupied Arab land. If you do, you’ll be demonstrating your contempt for international law. In this event the international community will declare Israel to be an outlaw state and subject it to sanctions.”

If something like that riot act had been read to Israel there would have been peace many, many years ago. The pragmatic Arafat was reluctantly reconciled to the reality of Israel’s existence inside its pre-1967 borders as far back as 1968. In his gun and olive branch address to the UN General Assembly on 13 November 1974 he said so by obvious implication. Thereafter he put his credibility with his leadership colleagues and his people, and his life, on the line to get a mandate for unthinkable compromise with Israel. He got it at the end of 1979 when the Palestine National Council voted by 296 votes to 4 to endorse his two-state policy. What he needed thereafter was an Israeli partner for peace. He eventually got a probable one, Yitzhak Rabin, but he was assassinated by a Zionist fanatic. The more it became clear that Israel’s leaders were not interested in a genuine two-state solution for which Arafat had prepared the ground on his side, the more his credibility with his own people suffered.

It is in the context briefly sketched above that Obama’s seven words have their real meaning.

At the time of writing it seems reasonably clear that Obama is hoping that Abbas and his equally discredited Fatah leadership colleagues can be bribed and bullied into accepting what Netanyahu will eventually offer – crumbs from Zionism’s table. (My guess is that Abbas at a point will resign rather than trigger a Palestinian civil war). THE question is what will Obama do when Israel refuses to give enough to satisfy the demands and needs of the Palestinian people for a just about acceptable measure of justice?

We already know the answer. “Ultimately the U.S. cannot impose a solution.”

Effectively those seven words tell Israel’s leaders that they can go on imposing their will on the occupied and oppressed Palestinians with the comfort of knowing that Obama is not going to use the leverage he has, and every American president has had, to cause them, or try to cause them, to be serious about peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, and which a rational Israeli government and people would accept with relief.

Put another way, those seven words are effectively a green light for Zionism alone to determine the future of the Palestinians, a future which at some point will most likely see the final ethnic cleansing of Palestine, followed by another great turning against the Jews (provoked by the Zionist state’s behaviour) and a Clash of Civilizations, Judeo-Christian v Islamic.

In his analysis on the day Obama delivered his seven words, Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s admirable Middle East Editor, offered this thought. “There might not be room for many more failures. The conflict is changing. A religious war is now being grafted on what used to be fundamentally a competition for territory between two national movements. You can make deals with nationalists. It’s much harder with people who believe they’re doing God’s work.”

The next question asks itself. Why won’t Obama be the president to call and hold the Zionist state to account for its crimes, even when doing so is necessary for the best protection of America’s own interests?

Part of the answer is, of course, that he is no more willing than any of his predecessors to have a showdown with the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress and the mainstream media.

But there might be more to it.

In the privacy of his own mind Obama probably understands better than any of his predecessors how the conflict was created and what has sustained it. If that is the case, he will also know there’s no guarantee that real American-led pressure on Israel to be serious about peace would work and that it could be counter-productive.

I am a supporter in principle of the case and the need for the Zionist state of Israel to be totally isolated, boycotted and sanctioned as Apartheid South Africa was, eventually. But… The danger is that even the credible threat of a real boycott and sanctions could play into the hands of those Israeli leaders – Netanyahu has long been their standard bearer – who have brainwashed Israelis, most if not quite all, into believing that the world hates Jews, always has and always will, and that Israeli Jews have no choice but to tell the world to go to hell. In this context (and as I note in the Epilogue of the American edition of my book), I think it could and should be said that Zionism succeeded, probably beyond its own best expectations, in transforming the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust from a lesson against racism and fascism and all the evils associated with them into an ideology that seeks to justify anything and everything the Zionist state does. War crimes and all.

So it could be that in the privacy of his own mind, Obama knows it is already too late (not to mention too dangerous) to try to push Israel’s leaders much further than they are willing to go.

What, I wonder, will honest historians of the future make of what is happening right now? My guess is that they will conclude that when Obama launched his push for peace, the Zionist state was already a monster beyond control.

Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.

His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition.  He blogs on www.alanhart.netwww.twitter.com/alanauthor. and tweets on

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  1. Jim on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    It seems odd that christians associate more with judaism than islam, in light of the fact that muslims revere Jesus as a prophet while jews revile him.i

    It is increasingly more difficult to relate to the dogma we’re being bombarded with from all religious groups.

    I teach my grandson the good in all faiths and compare the bad for his illumination.

  2. Michael J Volz on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    It seems obvious Mr Hart is still working for a government intelligence agency.

    In a recent interview he suggested the israeli mossad “discovered” the plot to 911 in it’s early stages and took it over, thus implying the mossad wasn’t the original instigator of 911. Poppycock! to use a British expression.

    Now he acts genuinely surprised to find that there will be no real peace action by Obama on the Palestinian issue.

    It was known before Obama was elected that top North American Mossad agent Rahm Emanuel was going to be his chief of staff and that Obama was a total jewish construct. Who really believed there was going to be any real effort towards peace?

    Furthermore, Obama has said his number one foreign policy objective (to his reward his jewish benefactors who put him office)would be to protect them from Iran (meaning start the Iran war for them); not obtain a fair settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis.


  3. Rehmat on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Why would Ben Obama’s submission to Jewish Lobby surprise anyone? Was not Obama’s political career was groomed by the Chicago Jewish Mafia? Is not Omama’s mother has Jewish roots and one of cousins of Obama’s wife is a Black Rabbi?

    “My closeness to the American Jewish community was probably what propelled me to the US Senate. I’ve got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political adviser is somebody who is a descendent of a Holocaust survivors…….. And the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West….. and even critics I think will have to confirm that the United State under my administration has provided more security assistance to Israel than any administration in history. And the single most important threat to Israel – Iran, and its potential possession of a nuclear weapon – has been my number one foreign policy priority over the course of the last 18 months…..” Obama’s interview with Yoni Levi of Israel TV, July 7, 2010.


  4. Rexw on the 05. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Alan Hart said
    “.. But this attitude, a mixture of extreme arrogance and insufferable self-righteousness…”, such Israeli characteristics are now well accepted by the international community. Let us be honest, we have seen little else.

    However, the key comment in an Alan’s article, full of great relevance was..

    “I think it could and should be said that Zionism succeeded, probably beyond its own best expectations, in transforming the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust from a lesson against racism and fascism and all the evils associated with them into an ideology that seeks to justify anything and everything the Zionist state does. War crimes and all.”

    The sad thing is that all the good that Jews have given the world in the past years will soon fade into history as there will be a growing hatred of all that Zionism represents and that feeling will eventually include all Jews, also those whose interest is only in the Jewish faith, perhaps the great majority.

    Given the current climate, the world will not discriminate, one from the other.

    This will all be based on the fact that the rightwing Netanyahu and his predecessors for forty years have embarked on the brainwashing of the Israeli people by misrepresenting the attitude of the rest of the world as dislike of everything Jewish, the continuous ‘holocaust’ mentality, ad nauseum, as though such dislike by the rest of the world was already a fact, whereas history shows this was not the case at all. They had the sympathy and support of most people.

    There is no country for whom the current ‘peace process’ situation can be sheeted home in its entirety other than the US, timid when it should have been strong, following when it should have been leading and stupid when it needed to be wise.
    It is too late now. The farce that the ‘peace process’ has now become, has no solution as the US has succumbed to Israeli pressure.

    Obama clearly was a Jewish selection and after Johnson, has been perhaps the most compromised President of them all, surrounded as he is by Emanuel, Clinton and Biden, his choices by the way. One should not have expected anything other than the almost dismissive seven words stated above as part of the ‘failed’ position of a weak and unworthy US leader which has just set the ground rules for eventual violence and hatred against anything Jewish.

    Until a different type of Israeli leadership emerges, one who is an independent country and prepared to take its place in a world where there is understanding and compassion for those states whose position in life is disadvantaged., the current stalemate will continue.

    Before that happens, Israel must undo the hatred that their leaders have embedded in their people over time as reflected in any video or news broadcast of anything Israeli and as one would expect, is now infecting all the young as well by design. Such hatred was always shown as an expected outcome for Palestinians after what they have endured over time. It is just as noticeable and certainly more virulent in Israel.

    Don’t blame the eventual rising hatred for all things Jewish on anyone but Israelis. Their ‘arrogance and insufferable self-righteousness’ as stated above by Alan Hart, has now made them the world’s pariah.

  5. William F. Brabenec on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    By America’s reluctance to face up to the money changers in all their guises, we have created a Frankenstein monster who is walking lock step with the other monster we created by invading Iraq — Iran. Now we have two nuclear armed loose canons in the Middle East who could ‘have at’ each other or us at any time. If Israel and Iran enter into a religious war, their individual zealots will have a field day. To say that we can control either state is a joke, as this article contends. It’s a real, long term mess and all over a couple of desert heat induced fairy tales. Pray for another Ice Age.

  6. Alex Shey on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    If Alan Hart is thinking correctly and what he is saying really is in harmony with the complexity of the middle east situation, we are all in grave danger.

    So Imagine if the USA really dares to attack or allow Israel to attack Iran. No one can do anything about it. Iran has not diverted from peaceful activities and Zionism succeeds with the lies and injustice Alan Suggests, Russia, China, Europe, South America, will all have to take it while their National security and economies are threatened by Israels Zionist Terrorists.

    Our Economies and way of life will be totally in the hands and at the mercy of the USA/Israel goals, and the worlds objections will mean nothing. What a nightmare. As if things weren’t already bad for the palestinians, now the world has to suffer also.

  7. Mario on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Well, THA NATIONS OF THE PLANET ARE SLEEP AGAIN. We claim, and are proud of educating our childern!!! but we have miserably failed in particular in the 20th century!! The jews dominated europe in 1800 / early 1900. When the germans tried to have thier country and integrity back the whole world backed the jews up!!! The jews had all the power in Germany and did all the dirty work in that part of the world : starting from Russian Revolution, start of the 1st world war, defeat of the Germans in that war…
    the reality is we have never been able to pass on the truth of what really caused Hitler to act like that. If you ask me he was the only man who stood for the right of his nation against the Jews and this is what we should teach our generations to come.

  8. Hasbara Matata on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Obama could not “surrender” to Zionism and the Jews. He is a Jewish golem; he is the Jews’ creation, literally from his cradle, all the way to the Oval Office.

    A mulatto offspring of two Marxist ideologues; into the Jewish Harvard by way of affirmative action, and editor of the Harvard law Review by the same means; shaped into a political candidate by Chicago Jews; strings pulled by Jewish handlers and advisers while in the White House.

    To say that he’s surrendered now is fatuous.

    Israel does not want peace and will never accept it. They would destroy the world for their state.

    It seems to me that they have two options: continue to sabotage peace talks until they experience (or flat-out invent) a crisis that will allow them to murder or expel the Arabs who threaten to overwhelm them demographically, or, just go for the gusto: let the creation of a dual-state happen, and then cause a crisis, which they can then argue gives them the right to attack that neighbor state and destroy it and the Palestinians utterly.

    The fact is that they’re working on Armageddon over there, and I don’t see how we can avoid it.

  9. Ross on the 07. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Hasbara Matata,armageddon is not fait accompli.If we target all the nuke shelters around the planet,then those who premote war will have the most to lose.

    When the elites on all sides of conflict have no possibility of escape,then the gravity of their decisions, focuses their survival instincts.

    Even if bunker busting technology doesn’t penetrate their deepest defences,the local areas and escape exists will be so contaminated with radiation, that life’s exit will be preferable to survival.

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