The Illusion of Israeli/Palestinian Peace for Our Time
by Stephen Lendman
Talks take place in Washington. Doing so alone assures betrayal and failure. It’s certain. America one-sidedly favors Israel. It’s duplicitous. It’s no honest broker. It never was. It’s not now.
No legitimate Palestinian leader would permit Washington’s involvement. Collaborators betray their people by doing so.
Talks began Monday night. They did so informally. A State Department statement said the following:
“Today, Secretary Kerry spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and personally extended an invitation to send senior negotiating teams to Washington to formally resume direct final status negotiations.”
“Initial meetings are planned for the evening of Monday July 29 and Tuesday July 30, 2013.”
“The Israelis will be represented by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho, and the Palestinians will be represented by Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh.”
“As Secretary Kerry announced on July 19 in Amman, Jordan, the Israelis and Palestinians had reached agreement on the basis for resuming direct final status negotiations.”
“The meetings in Washington will mark the beginning of these talks.”
“They will serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural workplan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.”
“In his invitation, the Secretary again commended the courage shown by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas.”
“The Secretary said, ‘Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point. We are grateful for their leadership.’ “
“The United States and the parties are looking forward to beginning these substantive discussions and in moving forward toward a final status agreement.”
Longstanding unresolved final status issues are off the table. Claiming otherwise is duplicitous.
They include ending occupation, self-determination, settlements, borders, diaspora Palestinians right of return, borders, air, water and resource rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital.
Oslo left these and other major issues unresolved. It did so for later final status talks. Palestinians are still waiting. They’re denied. They’re cheated. They’re betrayed. They’re on their own.
Previous articles explained what journalist Henry Siegman once called “the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history.”
Talks were stillborn from inception. Gideon Levy said “There has never been an Israeli peace camp. Let’s call the child by its real name: The Israeli peace camp is still an unborn baby.”
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claims Jews have “an unassailable right (to) settle anywhere, particularly here, (in) the land of the Bible.”
The peace process is a useful fiction. It “sear(s) deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people.”
Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said he wanted talks dragged out for a decade. Doing so lets Israel vastly expand settlements. He omitted saying on stolen Palestinian land.
Current Prime Minister Netanyahu calls talks “a waste of time.” He and US officials conspire against Palestinians. Peace remains elusive. Israel and Washington spurn it.
Palestinians have no say. Talks began in the mid-1970s. The so-called peace process is little more than a slogan. It stalls for time.
Decades passed. Palestine remains occupied. Israel controls over 60% of the West Bank.
It does so through expanding settlements, outposts, closed military zones, tourist sites, commercial areas, no-go ones, increasing East Jerusalem encroachment, Israel’s apartheid wall, Jews only roads, and numerous checkpoints and barriers.
Palestinians are increasingly isolated. They’re ghettoized. They’re in separated cantons. They’re on least valued land. Israel controls borders, air and water rights, as well as all resource rich areas.
Longstanding Israeli intransigence severely compromises Palestinian rights. Israel’s a lawless land-grabber. Land laws facilitate ethnic cleaning.
Jews get exclusive rights. Palestinians have none. Israeli laws and Land Administration prohibit Arabs from buying, leasing or using land exclusively reserved for Jews.
Yasser Arafat (1929 – 2004) once said: “Israel has always confiscated land from Arabs and dispossessed them of their property. The land always goes from Arabs to the Jews.”
Israel Shahak (1933 – 2001) addressed the Jewish State, saying:
It includes occupied territory Israel controls. “The real situation in Israel is really very simple: Israel is not an ‘Israeli’ state, or a state of its citizens but it is a ‘Jewish state.’ ”
“More than 90% of the inhabited areas of the State of Israel are under the rule of the Jewish National Fund regulations, under which non-Jews cannot rent or buy a house or flat, open a business, in short cannot live.”
“This land is called in Hebrew ‘the land’ saved. The land which belongs to non-Jews is called unsaved not national, and by buying or confiscating it from a non-Jew by a Jew, the land is supposed to be ‘saved.’ “
There’s more. The Israel Land Authority (ILA) severely restricts Palestinian development. It does so through regional councils. They control Arab areas.
They enforce rigid residential, agricultural, and industrial use zoning restrictions. They prohibit unlicensed construction.
They ban it on agricultural land. They stipulate where Jews and Arabs may live. They afford rights exclusively to Jews. They deny Palestinians room to expand.
They confiscate occupied “public land” for exclusive Jewish use. They declare national priority areas off-limits to Palestinians.
They delay, restrict, and/or prohibit developing Arab communities. They deny Palestinians representation on national planning committees.
Forced evictions, dispossessions, and home demolitions facilitate more Jews-only development.
Palestinians are denied. They’re severely compromised. It’s been this way for 46 years. Peace talks are fake. They’re a charade. They’re like they’ve always been. They facilitate same old, same old.
They reflect futility, failure and betrayal. They change nothing. This time’s no different. Pretense pretends otherwise. Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain.
New York Times editors one-sidedly support Israel. It’s longstanding Times policy. On July 25, they headlined “Inching Forward in the Mdeast,” saying:
Kerry “used six trips to the region to pursue a sensible strategy to nudge the two sides to the table.”
Duplicitous Arab League leaders gave him and Palestinian collaborators cover to do so.
“The international community has promised the Palestinians a $4 billion economic package.”
Kerry’s economic plan is crony capitalism writ large. It benefits private Western/Israeli investment.
It spurns Palestinian rights. It continues neoliberal harshness. Kerry wants more of the same. Don’t expect Times editors to explain.
They claim Israel will release dozens of long-held Palestinian prisoners. They’ll do so in good faith. Mercy isn’t in Israel’s vocabulary.
Palestinians are ruthlessly treated. Thousands languish unjustly in Israel’s gulag. Released prisoners are harassed, monitored and rearrested.
On the one hand, Times editors said “No good can come if Israel evolves from a Jewish majority state to an Arab majority state.”
On the other, they suggested “the long sought dream of a Palestinian state (can’t be) left to die.”
They omitted what’s most important. Israel won’t permit viable Palestinian self-determination. Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls too much land. It steals more daily.
Conflict resolution depends on ending Israel’s occupation. It means one state for all its people at peace with equal rights. It requires everyone be treated equitably, justly and fairly.
Nothing else works. Current conditions aren’t sustainable. Israel wants permanent occupation. Palestinians deserve sovereign freedom.
Democratic legitimacy requires one nation for all its people. It does so irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or other differentiating factors.
It requires mandating equal rights, observing international law principles, and ending decades of occupation, colonization and apartheid.
It requires treating Arabs and Jews equally. It means establishing binding statutes. It requires enforcing them. It’s about commitment for the right thing.
Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain. On June 23, Haaretz editors fell woefully short. They headlined “On the way to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating tent,” saying:
“Netanyahu’s support for a two-state solution hasn’t been so resolute since his (2009) Bar-Ilan speech in 2009.”
Obama’s “moves in the first five months of his second and last term, including the appointments of Kerry and Rice, show (he’s) striving to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.”
A “historic agreement with the Palestinians is a paramount goal for Israel and certainly for its prime minister.”
Haaretz editors know better. Their editorial reflects illusions, not reality.
Netanyahu abhors peace. He spurns Palestinian rights. He brags about “put(ting) an end to the Oslo Accords.”
He says “America is a thing you can move very easily.” His Bar-Ilan speech gave impossible conditions. They included:
- border, air space, and East Jerusalem under Israeli control;
- Palestinians recognizing Israel as the “state of the Jewish people;” and
- no right of return.
In May 2011, Netanyahu addressed a joint congressional session. He reiterated his views on Palestinian self-determination. He refused to accept pre-1967 borders.
He said Israel would retain and expand large settlements in and around East Jerusalem. Doing so cuts the West Bank in half.
He added that Israel will maintain “a longterm (Jordan Valley) military presence.” Doing so controls Palestine’s most fertile land. It controls all entry and exit points.
During Netanyahu’s two terms as prime minister, he accelerated settlement construction. It continues unabated. He wants “facts on the ground” established. Doing so prevents Palestinian self-determination.
In January 2013, Israel’s Peace Now said Netanyahu’s policies “disclose a clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a realistic, viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
He rejects what Palestinians deserve. He supports militarized occupation harshness. He demands continued apartheid. He spurns peaceful conflict resolution. So does Washington.
Palestinians have no peace partner. They never did. They don’t now. Peace for our time is fake. It’s illusory. It’s a distant dream. Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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