More Peace Process Hypocrisy
by Stephen Lendman
On April 6, John Kerry began a multi-nation tour. He’ll travel to Europe and East Asia. His first stop is Turkey. He’ll meet with Netanyahu and Abbas. He wants peace talks restarted. More on that below.
Peace process deception is policy. It’s always been a charade. It is now. Israel wants it that way. So does Washington.
It’s been stillborn from inception. It’s a scam. It doesn’t exist. Palestinians never had a legitimate partner. For sure they don’t now. Netanyahu deplores peace. So does Obama. Both are warrior leaders.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon once called peace talks a useful fiction. They’re used “to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people,” he said.
Golda Meir said Palestinians don’t exist. They “never existed,” she claimed. She deplored peace. She wanted all Arabs out of historic Palestine. “(M)y conscience would be absolutely clear” dispossessing them, she said.
Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir wanted talks dragged out for years. He hoped doing so would facilitate settlement expansions. Other Israeli leaders felt the same way.
Since 1967, variations of Yigal Allon’s plan reflect official policy. Elements include:
• permanent militarized occupation;
• “maximum land with minimum Arabs;”
• dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants exclusively for Jews;
• annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;
• controlling Greater Jerusalem;
• claiming the international city as Israel’s exclusive capital;
• establishing settlements, military bases, free-firing zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves; no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, other barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas;
• stealing Palestinian resources; and
• cracking down harshly on resisters.
Hamas is Palestine’s legitimate government. In January 2006, its candidates won 74 of 132 legislative seats. Fatah president Abbas has no legitimacy.
Israel rigged his election. His term expired in January 2009. He’s Israel’s man. He’s a longtime collaborator. He performs enforcer services. He spurns his own people.
Peace talks have no legitimacy. How can they with Palestine’s democratically elected government excluded?
The term “process” is more slogan than reality. It’s been so for decades. It’s a useful fiction. It buys time. It lets Israel steal all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It wants Palestinians dispossessed and isolated.
Rashid Khalidi is Columbia University Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies. He believes decades of talks buy time for Israel. They facilitate settlement expansions. They let Israel sever Jerusalem from the West Bank. He sees no end to peace process hypocrisy.
On March 12, his New York Times
op-ed headlined “Is Any Hope Left for Mideast Peace?” Since the 1978-79 Camp David Accords, “peace (is) less attainable (now) than ever,” he believes.
Washington’s done “nothing to prevent Israel from gradually gobbling up the very land the two-state solution was to be based on.”
Until the 1991 Madrid peace conference, most Palestinians traveled freely. “Today, an entire generation of Palestinians has never been allowed to visit Jerusalem, enter Israel or cross between the West Bank and Gaza.”
Ghettoization defines their existence. It reflects the “tragic fruits of the so-called peace process the United States has led.” Doing so indulges “Israeli intransigence.”
It sacrifices Palestinian rights. It spurns peace. The Camp David Accords ignored the “Palestinian question.” Oslo left final status issues unresolved. Two decades later, they still are. They’re fundamental.
They include recognizing Palestinian self-determination, East Jerusalem as their capital, borders, the right of return, settlement expansions, water rights, and more.
Obama deplores peace. He “strengthened the Israeli far right. (He) burnished the image of the United States as Israel’s uncritical defender and enabler.”
He “insults the intelligence of the Palestinian people. (T)hey deserve to be more than prisoners in their own land.”
Peace process hypocrisy isn’t about ending occupation, halting settlement construction, or recognizing Palestinian self-determination.
What’s “the purpose of pretending to restart it,” asked Khalidi? Israel’s “overwhelming dominance” excludes reciprocal concessions. Two unequal partners preclude legitimate talks.
Israeli Jews alone have rights. Millions of Palestinians “live in a state of subjugation or exile.” Another 1.2 Palestinian Arabs are second-class Israeli citizens.
Years ago two states were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily. When completed, the apartheid wall will control over 10% of Palestine.
A one-state solution “based on enduring discrimination and oppression is ultimately unsustainable.” It’s worse than apartheid South Africa.
Obama has two choices. He can support the status quo. He can keep bankrolling it.
“Or he can begin to chart a new course based on recognition that the United States must forthrightly oppose the occupation and the settlements and support an inalienable Palestinian right to freedom, equality and statehood. There is no middle way.”
Hours after arriving in Istanbul, Kerry began talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He’s expected to press for normalized Ankara/Israeli relations. He wants Prime Minister Erdogan involved in restarting peace talks.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said “Turkey has significant influence with the Palestinians. It has the ability to encourage (them) to accept Quartet principles and move forward on that basis.”
On May 16, Erdogan will meet with Obama in Washington. Turkey wants involvement in Israeli/Palestinian relations. PA/Hamas go-between services were offered earlier.
Then Egyptian President Mubarak rejected them. He said Cairo had the “monopoly” on brokering conflict discussions. Egypt’s still reluctant to involve Turkey. So is Israel.
Erdogan’s closer to Hamas leader Khaled Meshal than Abbas. He’ll visit Gaza, he said. No date is set. Entering through Israel is unlikely. So is arriving by sea. Rafah crossing from Egypt is most likely. Doing so requires permission.
Kerry hopes to use Turkey’s influence advantageously. He wants Erdogan to get Meshal to recognize Israel. He won’t do so without reciprocal recognition. No chance whatever suggests it’s possible.
At the same time, an unnamed US official traveling with Kerry said he’ll “encourage Turkey to expeditiously implement its agreement with Israel and fully normalize their relationship to allow for deeper cooperation between the two countries.”
Kerry’s no honest peace broker. He’s a imperial warrior. He’s Israel’s man at state. His Senate pro-Israeli voting record was impeccable.
He supports occupation harshness. He’s comfortable with settlement expansions. He’s silent about stolen Palestinian land.
He urges strengthening Israel’s security. He values America’s special relationship. He backs generous financial and military aid.
He calls Jerusalem “Israel’s indisputable capital.” He favors moving America’s embassy there from Tel Aviv. Doing so is illegal. It’s a UN-declared international city.
He’s no friend of Palestine. He never was and isn’t now.
Dispossessed Palestinians don’t bother him. Nor does stealing their land their resources.
He deplores Palestinian liberation. He supports wrong over right. He’s against humanitarian missions to besieged Gaza.
After Israel’s May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, he said Israel “has every right in the world to make sure weapons are not being smuggled in.”
Activists on board had none. They brought food, toys, stationary, kitchen utensils, mattresses, towels, construction materials, and other vital items Gazans need.
Kerry’s job involves furthering America’s imperium. He endorses unchallenged US dominance. He wants peace talks restarted. He claims Israel is “committed to peace.” It never was and isn’t now.
He said today marks “a moment when we can renew some kind of effort to get the parties into a discussion to have a different track than we have been on over the last couple of years. I would like to try to do that.”
Peace talks require commitment by both sides. Palestinians never had a legitimate partner. They don’t now. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands.
Jews alone have rights. Arabs are considered subhuman. It shows in how they’re treated. Institutionalized barbarism is policy.
Peace is pure fantasy. It’s the most spectacular deception in modern times. Palestinian rights don’t matter. They have no say. Expect Kerry to change nothing. It bears repeating. He’s Israel’s man at State.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.