Language and Crime Compounded

29 Nov

In its issue of 20 November 2010 The Economist quotes approvingly the following summary of conventional wisdom declared by Hilary Clinton, who spoke of an Israel/Palestine agreement that “reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognised borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security demands.” (emphasis added) It turns out, not surprisingly, that these subsequent developments refer to the unlawful Israeli settlement blocs, and by extension, also to the wider settlement infrastructure of roads and trains, the separation wall, and the deliberate cleansing of East Jerusalem, bringing more and more Jews in, and pushing out as many Palestinians as possible. So these subsequent developments are fundamental encroachments on the Palestinian right of self-determination in the form of violations of international criminal law, and quite possibly, by reliance on crimes against humanity. And so this phrasing of subsequent developments is more than a sinister euphemism, it is an effort of hard power diplomacy to override law and morality. Beyond this, the Clinton formulation of reconciling a viable and independent Palestinian state with these subsequent developments represents an endorsement of a completely incoherent aspiration, as either Palestine will be neither viable nor independent or the subsequent developments will have to be reversed. When analyzed the Clinton formulation of conventional wisdom clearly exposes the two state consensus as resting upon a politics of delusion. It is time to acknowledge this, and not to be complicit in the bad faith approach that continues to inform both inter-governmental diplomacy and to be uncritically reported by mainstream media.

2 Responses to “Language and Crime Compounded”

  1. Beau Oolayforos January 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,
    Hillary Clinton is a good lady and an honest, diligent public servant. Do not expect any unconventional, innovative thinking from her. Her heart is in the right place – she just needs to be taught. A walk through Gaza, or actually reading even one of your reports, would change her mind.
    It is definitely not a laughing matter, but seeing some Burmese (?) priest call the UN Special Rapporteur there a ‘bitch’, ‘whore’, etc. – goes with the job, I guess?

    • Richard Falk January 24, 2015 at 7:29 am #

      I wish that I could be as positive about Hilary Clinton as your comment suggests. She is intelligent and diligent, to be sure,
      but also infused with American militarist beliefs and a political animal that has learned not to cross red lines. In effect,
      she would avoid visiting Gaza to avoid the risk of changing her mind. The dominant political culture in the country is highly
      militarized, and can only be challenged by a strong social movement, which is not currently more than a distant hope..
      Yes, SRs if they do their job will encounter harsh reactions from defenders of the status quo.

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