Palestinian Statehood Postponed by DR. MOHAMMAD MANZOOR ALAM (MAY 23, 2008)

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam on the American postponement of Palestinian statehood.

I am writing this in great anguish and sense of disappointment at the way the situation in Palestine has been forced to take an entirely unexpected and dangerous turn with President George W. Bush's latest visit to Israel.

To know the extent and intensity of the disappointment over Mr. Bush's speech in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) one has only to have a cursory look at the comments that have appeared in the Arab press during the last few days.

Mr. Bush was in Tel Aviv to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of Israel that come every year in the middle of May. Israel's anniversary celebrations coincide with the parallel observance of al-Nakba (Disaster) anniversary by Palestinians.

The creation of Israel entailed the destruction of Palestine. As many as 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and orchards to make way for the hordes of Zionist Jews coming in from Europe. To achieve this goal the Israeli terrorist gangs Hagannah and Irgun carried out massacres of Palestinians at several strategic points. It is only natural for Palestinians to observe May 14 (the day Israel was established) as al-Nakba.

The Bush administration had promised that it would help establish a Palestinian state before the end of its term in office. Mr. Bush has suddenly reneged on the promise. In the Israeli parliament he declared that when Israel would celebrate its 120th anniversary a Palestinian state would be there by its side.

That means Palestinians will have to wait for another six decades. He was delivering a written speech, which shows it was not a slip of tongue. That surely is not a recipe for peace in the Mid-East.


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