As 2015 comes to a close, Palestinians look back on a year of false promises. The year began with the promises of a rebuilt Gaza, promises of renewed efforts to end Israeli military rule and promises that Israel would finally be held accountable for its war crimes, particularly those in the besieged Gaza Strip. Yet, as we enter 2016, Palestinians see that the loads of false promises we have been fed — and there have been plenty — are not simply unfulfilled promises, but outright lies designed to appease Palestinians and those around the world seeking justice.
Take, for example, United States President Barack Obama. As Obama now is in the final year of his final term, he now joins the ranks of American presidents who preceded him — all of whom had promised that Palestinian freedom would come in their time. Obama, it should be recalled, made his first telephone call as US President to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) leader, Mahmoud Abbas, promising Palestinians that his administration would work hard to secure Palestinian freedom. Yet, now, like former US presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and others, Obama too has announced that he will not be able to turn his attention to Palestine before he leaves office. But this is not simply a policy decision that he took after weighing options around him. Obama has spent the past seven years coddling Israel, protecting Israel diplomatically, arming Israel and, above all, paying Israel while it maintains its nearly 50-year military rule.