US blocks peace in Middle East

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US blocks peace in Middle East
RAY HANANIA — Saudi Gazette 6-17-12 – A United Nations official said recently that the United States was responsible for blocking Middle East peace by favoring Israeli interests over the region’s needs. Not that the United States really cares.

The United States has been the single greatest obstacle to an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. It has repeatedly used its Security Council veto to prevent any censure or criticism of Israel. That’s like a parent allowing a bully son to continue to bully with no consequences.

And there have been no consequences. Israel has repudiated international law mainly because it has the backing of the United States. When Israel’s conduct becomes an issue in the UN, the US steps in and issues a veto to prevent the Security Council from doing its job fairly. It’s ironic to hear the United States complain about Russia’s use of the veto to protect its client, Syria, which is perpetrating one of the worst massacres of civilians in the Middle East in years, since American foreign policy is built on defending Israel at all costs.

It was Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, who claimed that not only is the US perpetrating the conflict, but that American mainstream media is also distorting the facts in the conflict. Anyone who reports honestly and factually is accused of bias, whereas pro-Israel bias is perceived as mainstream, Falk said.

He’s right. The US government is biased and so is the mainstream American news media. But that presumes something that neither the Arab world nor its activists understand. The United States and the American news media are the keys to peace in the Middle East, if they would just be fair, truthful, moral and ethical, which may be too much to ask of a nation that buys alliances through monetary bribery in the form of international support for dictatorships, monarchs and tyrants.

Arab activists, however, don’t understand either the American people or the American media. But they sure do complain about it a lot. I respect Mr. Falk for his observations, but frankly I am tired of hearing the same old complaint made with no action or strategy to change it. Falk’s words are falling on deaf ears among the incompetent Palestinian activists who have built their campaign itching to win over support in Europe where support is easily won and is basically meaningless.

The truth is that even with all of the international support the Palestinians have gained over the years through the activism of Palestinians, they can do very little to support Palestine. They can get the UN, maybe, to give Palestine non-member state status. But they can’t convince the United States to enforce its own foreign policies, like publicly and forcefully stating that the building of Jewish settlements in the captured Palestinian lands is an international war crime.

Until Arab activists recognize that the real battle to save Palestine is in the hearts and minds of the American public, Palestine will always be short of what it needs. What Falk should have addressed is what few who support Palestine are willing to address, that the Arab and Palestinian activists have failed. They have allowed their movement to be co-opted by anger that has turned into hatred. Their claims of success are like the gratitude of the beggars who accept bread crumbs as cake. They are failures.

All of their conferences and events have failed to do anything except strengthen among the powerless their anger against Israel. That anger has undermined Palestinian aspirations for statehood and has also contributed to the dysfunctional nature of the Palestinian community which is divided into four camps: those who are Islamists and support Hamas, those who are secular activists who hate Israel, those who are supporters of the powerless PNA and its President Mahmoud Abbas, and those, the majority, who are silent and don’t care any more.

The activists hate to hear the truth. Because to them, their failure is really their success. They don’t have to achieve a Palestinian State to win because that’s not their real goal. Their real goal is to survive as a movement to prevent compromise. Blocking compromise is their goal and they have been very good at that. I wish Mr. Falk, in his public addresses, would speak to that.

— Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist and radio talk show host. Reach him at www.RadioChicagoland.com

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com