The Palestinian statehood circus: Rage, rage against the dying of the light

posted at 9:25 pm on September 15, 2011 by J.E. Dyer

The rage

Today, 15 September, kicks off an 8-day period in which socialists, radical leftists, Islamists, and Palestinian activists will rail at a world that is disappearing.  The schedule includes the following:

15 September:  Rallies for Palestine in New York and other cities in the US and Europe

16 September:  Rally in Los Angeles to protest the US plan to veto the Palestinian statehood bid

17 September:  Day of Rage for the radical left, with protests in major cities and the 50 state capitals, plus an “occupation” of Wall Street

22 September:  Durban III conference to promote hysterical anti-Semitism at UN headquarters in New York (the US will not attend the conference, but it’s being held on our soil)

22 September:  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad address to the UN

23 September:  Palestinian delegation calls for a UN vote on Palestinian statehood

Most readers are aware of the issues surrounding the Palestinian statehood vote.  Besides there being, at present, no valid basis for the creation of a state – the leadership is divided, the elected leaders in Gaza and the West Bank have both stayed on after their terms ended with no new elections, the prospective state has no border and no agreements with its neighbors – there are the matters of persistent terrorism from Gaza, and the breach of the Oslo Accords represented by a unilateral statehood bid.  The US has excellent reasons for opposing the untimely call for a vote.

The Palestinian Authority vows it will request the vote anyway, in spite of intense US pressure to refrain.  If it happens, the call for a vote will, of course, be an embarrassment to US diplomacy.  But the statehood bid is untimely for a more important reason.  It is behind the times, out of step with the disintegration of the old 20th-century paradigm:  the narrative of political transformation that set “new statehood” in the context of the Western order.

According to that narrative, new statehood was two things at once:  it was a process of giving deserving peoples a place in the international order, but it was also seen by many on the left as a blow against the order – much like the community organizer’s practice of ensuring that plenty of irresponsible people are awarded the responsibility of the vote, and that they use it.

The quantity assumed to be constant in this narrative was the order itself.  The order was to be both railed at and battened on.  In some hazy future it might be “triumphed over,” but for the time being, there was no concrete plan – no Lenin-like competing idea for organization and governance – to supersede it.  Lenin’s idea collapsed from both the sword and its own cancerous inhumanity; it was discredited early on, and the world’s organized malcontents realized that, however emotionally satisfying Leninism was, their own aspirations needed the Western order to give them shape and meaning.  For careers of resentment and negativism to be sustainable, there has to be a large population of the productive and positive.

Under that paradigm, it made sense for malcontents to raid, harangue, and guilt-trip the productive, without ever producing an organized, sustainable result of their own.  In an analogy to the Western left’s posture, the hit-and-run guerrilla model of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas was the face of Islamism in the context of the 20th-century narrative.  Radicals were antagonists, not protagonists.  When radicals got in charge of a nation, as in North Korea or Cuba, Iran or Afghanistan, they were weird outliers; nobody wanted to be them. There was no viable, compelling model of either socialist utopia or Islamist statehood.

The new paradigm

The old paradigm is crumbling, however.  The principal factor in that is the squishy geopolitical profile of the United States.  It’s not just that the West is flailing and in debt over its head; it’s that there is today a rapidly declining expectation of order-keeping pushback from it.  That changes geopolitical and security assumptions for everyone.  It paves the way for a competing model of organization to arise.  And, inconveniently for the aspirants to Palestinian statehood, the competing model that is emerging is that of state Islamism.

Iran has given state Islamism a bad reputation, but Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey is – inch by inch – giving it a better one.  For the Arab Spring nations, it is increasingly likely that state Islamism in some form will be the organizing principle of their futures.  Islamism – political Islam – is making the shift right now between its old focus on a guerrilla and community-organizing profile against the West, and a new focus on gaining the tools and stature of state power.  Al Qaeda – the perpetual antagonist – is out; state Islamism – the seat of the protagonist – is in.

This changes the whole context of Palestinian statehood, and not just for Palestinians or Muslims but for everyone in the Eastern hemisphere.  According to the 20th-century narrative, Palestinian statehood was a blow against the Western order, a means of transforming it, and a way of giving “Palestine” a place in it.  Under the new narrative – still tentative, still emerging – there is a strong probability that Palestinian statehood will be an emblem of victory for state Islamism.  Regardless of whether it is intended so or not, circumstances have outrun the politics of the old paradigm.

Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are competitors with Erdogan for leadership in the state-Islamism sweepstakes.  There is no semblance of unity among Muslims, or even among Middle Easterners, in this regard, and hence no one appointed to be the main patron of Palestinian statehood and carry it as a victory banner.  Unless someone is appointed to that role, a state of Palestine is likely to make the state of flux in the Middle East more intense and urgent.

Russians, Greeks, and the other peoples of Southeastern Europe see this much more clearly than Americans or West Europeans do.  Their security is directly affected by every new assumption of power, leadership, or influence in the Middle East.  They have national memories of life with the Ottoman Empire as a neighbor.  Whatever their sentiments were back in 1989, when many of them, secure within the US-dominated order, officially endorsed Palestinian statehood, they are not anxious today to see political victories for state Islamism (or, in a number of their cases, for nationalist insurgencies, of which these third-party nations have their share).

Reluctance for the transition?

What all this means is that quite a few of the nations in the UN – even Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan; even nations that will vote for the unilateral Palestinian statehood initiative – are content to have the US to use our Security Council veto.  They’re not necessarily ready for everything to change.  With the Palestinian statehood question carrying new freight, and no clarity on who will benefit from it and whose ox it will most effectively gore, they may well prefer that the old paradigm linger just a bit longer.  The muted and distracted diplomatic posture of these nations on the Palestinian statehood initiative is a quiet testament to their ambivalence about it in a changing world.

Happily for them, it is the US that will take the heat.  Meanwhile, a small vignette in this over-stimulated drama is uniquely telling.  It hinges on the theme of activists that there is a one-sided slaughter of Palestinian children by the tanks and warplanes of a cruel, occupying state of Israel.

New meets old

In the US this month, activists are seeking to present the theme at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, as a rebuke to the complacent citizens of a monolithic West.  An anti-Israel group is sponsoring an exhibit of art supposedly executed by Palestinian children between the ages of 9 and 11 (see here as well).  MOCHA recently decided not to host the exhibit because of its political content, but the exhibit’s sponsors have expressed determination to get it on display “either inside or outside of MOCHA” (their emphasis) by their target date of 24 September.

Contrast this old-paradigm use of the tanks-and-planes theme with the new-paradigm use of it in Gaza earlier this week.  While Turkey’s Erdogan was making a high-profile visit to Egypt, Gazan children were arranged around a monument to the 2010 flotilla to invite Erdogan to visit Gaza.  Their young spokesman emitted this statement:

Speaking on behalf of the children, a Palestinian child Ahmed Fahri said that Israeli soldiers kept killing children of Gaza by their tanks and planes, adding that only one person [i.e., Erdogan] stood against it.

Fahri said that Erdogan was defending the children of Gaza, and they loved Erdogan very much, thus, schools, shops and children were named after Erdogan.

Erdogan has competitors; he will not find a path to regional or Islamist leadership without obstacles.  He may not be the one who achieves it.  His brand of state Islamism is focused less on sharia radicalism and more on traditional geopolitics and a neo-Ottoman idea.  But for now, he is riding the crest of the new paradigm – and we may be about to see that the old paradigm is not the one that “makes things happen” anymore.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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“Whatever their sentiments were back in 1989, when many of them, secure within the US-dominated order, officially endorsed Palestinian statehood, they are not anxious today to see political victories for state Islamism…”

You donated to Obowma’s campaign…

… Suck On It!

Seven Percent Solution on September 15, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Islamism – political Islam

Islam has always been political. Islam is a PC word used to obfuscate.

Lon Chaney on September 15, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Islamism – political Islam

Islam has always been political. Islamism is a PC word used to obfuscate.

Lon Chaney on September 15, 2011 at 9:32 PM

who cares?

Aquateen Hungerforce on September 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM

All these “Christians” still don’t understand what’s going on unfortunately, and they’re getting played.

Isa 34:8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

True_King on September 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM

in which socialists, radical leftists, Islamists, and Palestinian activists

I’m sure glad there are no Muslims involved in this.

Lon Chaney on September 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Palestine becomes a “state”, they’re going to find out what an “act of war” against a neighboring state begets them. And the word “sympathy” won’t be anywhere in sight.

GarandFan on September 15, 2011 at 9:41 PM

So if Palestine becomes a nation state then will Israel be allowed to declare war on them when they commit acts of war? Will Israel finally be given the right to defend itself from attack by an imperial, hostile, aggressive, war-like nation that attacks its civilian populace? Will the ICC prosecute Palestinians for their crimes against humanity?

MJBrutus on September 15, 2011 at 9:42 PM

17 September: Day of Rage for the radical left, with protests in major cities and the 50 state capitals, plus an “occupation” of Wall Street

What an interesting way to celebrate Constitution Day.

I’ll be looking North on that day. Sorry that their “Day of Rage” might not even make the evening news.

Jason Coleman on September 15, 2011 at 9:43 PM

This should work out well…

/

Seven Percent Solution on September 15, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Erdogan has competitors; he will not find a path to regional or Islamist leadership without obstacles. He may not be the one who achieves it. His brand of state Islamism

This is really sad. Are you afraid to use the words Muslim and Islam?

Lon Chaney on September 15, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Tripe.

mythicknight on September 15, 2011 at 9:49 PM

The Pals will eff themselves up even worse than they have managed to so far. As Steyn said, the Pals are the most comprehensively wrecked people on Earth, they literally can’t do anything right or without massive outside assistance.

Bishop on September 15, 2011 at 9:50 PM

The old paradigm is crumbling…..and the new Caliphate rises.

PappyD61 on September 15, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Islamism – political Islam – is making the shift right now between its old focus on a guerrilla and community-organizing profile against the West, and a new focus on gaining the tools and stature of state power. Al Qaeda – the perpetual antagonist – is out; state Islamism – the seat of the protagonist – is in.

But those promulgating state Islamism have the same overall goals as al-Qaeda; namely, the establishment of a “new Caliphate” and the submission of the rest of the world to Islam. They will just have more assets with which to pursue their goal.

Put another way, state Islamism is essentially the old radical Islamism, with armies, navies, air forces, and (at least potentially) nuclear weapons.

Or if you will, state Islamism equals the beginnings of the open war stage of World War III.

As for the U.S. exercising its veto on Palestinian statehood, don’t be too surprised if that isn’t what happens. President Obama and SecState Hillary are doctrinaire “progressive” ideologues who dislike Israel intensely, and see the Palestinians as the “underdogs” as per traditional leftist doctrine. For this reason, they have no motive to veto the resolution; doing so would win them no friends they do not already have, and would be anathema to those friends they do have. Even an opposing vote is too much to expect from them.

By the same token, they will not vote in favor of it, because of the reaction they would get from their opponents, who would (quite correctly) call it a confirmation of their rabidly anti-Western worldview.

Therefore, the most likely U.S. response is- an abstention. They would consider it a solution which offends no one, or at least no one who “really matters”.

And after all, if there is one thing The One is good at, it’s voting “present”.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 15, 2011 at 9:53 PM

If the Palestinians are granted ‘statehood’, what would be their boundaries?

What are the chances that after being awarded ‘statehood’, they would then claim all of Palestine as their state, thus erasing the illegitimate Zionist state?

Hope for the best, ‘cuz Change is acommin’.

Skandia Recluse on September 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Turkey only has a “good” reputation for islamism, because they haven’t consolidated power yet. Iran had thirty eight years to consolidate the mullahs power, so it is the future of Turkey. The same way the Soviet Union was the future of all communist societies, whatever their relative ages.

eaglewingz08 on September 15, 2011 at 10:20 PM

There will never be a “Palestinian” state unless the Obama Administration is completely successful in its attempt to collapse America from within.

Connie on September 15, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Day of Rage? Can’t these clowns come up with something original? Jerry Rubin must be spinning in his grave. Or maybe he’s laughing because he was a capitalist later in his life.

Hummer53 on September 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM

… quite a few of the nations in the UN – even Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan; even nations that will vote for the unilateral Palestinian statehood initiative – are content to have the US to use our Security Council veto. They’re not necessarily ready for everything to change.

That’s an understatement. One of the things that will not change is the demand that Israel admit to reside within her borders 4+million so-called refugees – 80% or more of whom are the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of people who fled when the Arabs invaded in 1948 and have since been penned up in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. They will not be given Palestinian citizenship or even passports.

I’m not sure what kind of ‘nation’ of people would choose to give passports to Ken O’Keefe, George Galloway and Lauren Booth but not to the more than 50% of its so-called people who live in refugees.

ProfessorMiao on September 16, 2011 at 5:55 AM

There never was nor will be a Palestinian state. The Arabs living in the region will overplay their hand one last time and will meet with destruction. The prophecies of Psalm 83 appear to be at hand.

zoyclem on September 16, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Our party-time-with-other-people’s money congressmen have been giving $500,000,000 of our money to the death to America Palestinians every year! For what?

Ros-Lehtinen, a frequent critic of the U.N., is pushing a plan to withhold or slash U.S. money earmarked for the world body. And she held a hearing Wednesday to examine the $500 million in annual aid the U.S. provides to the Palestinians.

“Despite decades of assistance totaling billions of dollars, if a Palestinian state were declared today, it would be neither democratic nor peaceful nor willing to negotiate with Israel,” Ros-Lehtinen said at the hearing Wednesday. “By providing the Palestinians with $2.5 billion over the last five years, the U.S. has only rewarded and reinforced their bad behavior.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/14/congresswoman-seeks-to-derail-un-vote-on-palestinian-statehood/#ixzz1Y7ZqPchR

Chessplayer on September 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM