Decades of Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks Failure: 50 Reasons Why
by Stephen Lendman
Paul Simon’s 1975 “Still Crazy After All These Years” album featured the hit song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
Subverting peace perhaps is simpler. Four decades of futile Israeli/Palestinian talks prove it. There never was a peace process. There’s none now.
It’s a convenient fiction. It’s an illusion. It’s fake. It’s a sham. It’s a charade. Pretense pretends otherwise. It substitutes for reality.
Here’s why. Israel deplores peace. So does Washington. They’re warrior states. They’re not peacemakers. They never were. They’re not now.
They proliferate violence and instability. Their entire histories reflect it. Peace is inherently abhorrent. It defeats their agenda. Imperial marauding requires conflict.
Rule of law principles don’t matter. They’re systematically spurned. Racism is institutionalized. So are apartheid, colonization, barbaric persecution, and injustice.
Imagine holding talks with Palestine’s legitimate government excluded. Imagine letting longtime Israeli collaborators represent them.
Imagine longstanding Israeli intransigence. Imagine involving Washington. Imagine it acting as interlocutor. Imagine letting it orchestrate proceedings.
Imagine the worst possible outcome. It’s certain. It’s guaranteed. It’s decided. Talks are illegitimate. They’re theater. They assure failure and betrayal.
Palestine’s still occupied. It’s militarized. Gaza’s besieged. On August 6, Israeli armored vehicles and militarized bulldozers invaded.
They targeted central Gaza’s Al-Boreij refugee camp. They struck other areas. They fired live rounds. They terrorized residents. They uprooted farmland.
They conduct frequent attacks. They launch air strikes. They kill innocent civilians. They do so with impunity.
They conduct multiple daily West Bank/East Jerusalem incursions. They terrorize men, women and children. They arrest them.
They torture them. They hold witch-hunt show trials. Guilt by accusation is policy.
Bulldozing homes continues. Palestinians are dispossessed of property and land. Israel confiscates it. It controls about 60% of the West Bank.
It wants all valued areas Judaized. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It denies land for peace.
It wants Palestinian resources exploited. It says one thing. It does another. It wants Arab MPs excluded from Knesset representation.
They’re little more than potted plants now. They’re excluded from policymaking. Over 20 Hamas PA legislators are imprisoned. It’s for belonging to the wrong party.
Israel treats Arabs like subhumans. They’re denied all rights. Diaspora Palestinians can’t return. Praying to the wrong God is criminalized. So is wanting to live free in sovereign Palestine.
Israel deplores peace. Fascist rule spurns justice. Confiscating Arab land continues. So does settlement construction. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett wants unlimited expansions. He prioritizes development.
He doesn’t acknowledge the word occupation. He wants all valued West Bank land annexed. So does Netanyahu. Israel’s government is its most extremist in history. It’s all take. It’s no give.
Bennett’s a software entrepreneur multimillionaire. He heads the fascist Habayit Hayehudi party. It’s part of Netanyahu’s coalition government.
He represents hardline extremism. According to Haaretz editors, he’s one of the “new politics” leaders.
He’s “many things, but more than anything he is a nuisance.” He’s “a nuisance to any Israeli who is hoping to live in a better place.”
He represent settler extremists. They terrorize Palestinians. The do so with impunity. Formally, Bennett’s economy minister. Practically he’s “minister for development of the settlements.”
He “feigns innocence.” He “border(s) on boorishness and racism.”
“What occupation,” he claims? “A Palestinian state never existed here.” He calls political Palestinian prisoners “terrorists.”
“If we capture (them),” he says, “we need to just kill them. I’ve already killed a lot of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”
He calls interference with Israel plundering Palestinian resources “economic terror.” He promises unabated settlement construction. He wants it accelerated.
Along with other Habayit Hayehudi extremists, he believes his mission is enforcing “Jewish sovereignty from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.”
He spurns peace and reconciliation. He’s got lots of coalition government allies. They assure continued conflict. They betray Jews and Arabs alike.
Israel told John Kerry construction will continue during peace talks. Settlements will keep expanding.
East Jerusalem construction tenders will be issued in days. Confiscated Palestinian land will be used. According to Bennett, “no construction freeze” exists.
Development continues unabated. It’s extensive. Israeli hardliners insist. According to sources close to Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel:
“At the moment there are 2,500 units ready to be marketed in the Jerusalem area, and we will market them at the first possible moment.”
“However, at this time we know of no date at all for this to happen.”
Ariel directed the Jerusalem District “to prepare for the marketing of land in the city as if it can be done tomorrow morning.”
In November 2012, tenders were published for selling Pisgat Ze’ev land. It’s in the northwest Ramot neighborhood. About 600 units will be built.
Additional tenders will be issued. They include 800 southern Gilo units, 1,200 southwestern Gilo ones, 100 between Gilo and Beit Safafa, and from 1,000 – 2,000 in Har Homa Gimel.
On August 6, Haaretz headlined “Israel to begin construction on new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem,” saying:
It’s on stolen Palestinian land. “Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat plan to attend a ceremony next weekâ€¦”
They’ll “lay the cornerstone for a new Jewish neighborhood near Jabal Mukkaber.” It’s a “predominantly Arab neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem.”
The announcement followed what’s discussed above. Widespread settlement construction continues unabated.
Dozens more units were approved. They’re not the first Jewish community adjacent to Jabal Mukkaber.
“Nof Zion, a large, gated apartment complex, where Jews live in the midst of a Palestinian village, is nearby as well.”
“Like Nof Zion, the new neighborhood is not an ideologically motivated settlement built by a right-wing non-profit group, but a neighborhood constructed by a private developer who caters to national religious Jews.”
Ceremonial cornerstone-laying precedes municipal elections. Mayor Barkat seeks support. He wants another term. Stealing Palestinian land helps him.
According to a new Israeli Democracy Institute poll, most Israelis oppose withdrawing to 1967 borders.
Nearly 80% say peace talks have little chance of succeeding. Most reject pre-1967 borders with land swaps.
They’re against diaspora Palestinians returning. They support business as usual. They didn’t surprise.
Gershon Mesika heads the Samaria Regional Council. “The population beyond the Green Line currently numbers over 730,000 Jewish citizens,” he said. Other estimates place it between 600,000 and 650,000.
Israelis occupy stolen Palestinian land. Settlement expansions won’t stop. It’s beyond the point of no return, says Mesika. He expects one million settlers in three years.
So does Samaria Liaison Office Coordinator David Ha’ivri. Peace process illusions persist. Reality explains otherwise.
A Final Comment
North American Palestinian activists reject fake peace talks. They issued the following statement:
“We, the undersigned Palestinians and Palestinian organizations in shatat and exile, write today to express our firm opposition to the resumption of bilateral Israeli/Palestinian negotiations under U.S. auspices in Washington DC, today, July 29.
For twenty years, the negotiations have not served Palestinian interests. Through countless sessions of futile negotiations, Israeli settlement construction has escalated, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are held behind bars and Palestinian rights – including Palestinian refugees’ right to return – are no closer to implementation.
While the Netanyahu government is planning the massive dispossession of Palestinians in the Naqab via the Prawer Plan, the negotiations serve only to provide a thin veneer of legitimacy to the aggressive policies of Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Our rights – the rights of the Palestinian people – and our land – the entire land of Palestine – are not for sale or bartering at the negotiations table.
That this process is presided over by the United States government, which provides $3 billion annually in military aid to Israel, and specifically by Martin Indyk, former research director at infamous Israel lobby organization the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, only adds insult to injury and makes clear that these negotiations will bring nothing of value or benefit to the Palestinian people.
Today, we say: PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not represent us! Our rights cannot and will not be bargained away at a negotiating table in Washington, DC.
Instead, we affirm that the Palestinian people are one people and our cause is one cause. Our people have struggled for 65 years in order to achieve the liberation of the land and people of Palestine and the implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return their homes.
As Palestinians in shatat/diaspora, we are not being represented here, and we demand to reclaim our voice and role. We do not accept these negotiations, and our rights, our people and our land are not for sale!”
Al-Awda NY – Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Al-Nakba Awareness Project
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver
Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine
Labor for Palestine
Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago
Palestinian American Society – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at McMaster University
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at University of Calgary
Students for Justice in Palestine at Florida Atlantic University
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at Hunter College
Students for Justice in Palestine at College of Staten Island
Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College
Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
US Palestinian Community Network
Voice of Palestine
Women for Palestine
1948 Lest We Forget
Abdullah Khalifeh, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Abe Deeb, Dublin, Ireland
Abeer Fadda, Heidelberg, Germany
Ahmad Ali Bawab, Amman, Jordan
Alaa Milbes, Los Angeles, CA
Ali Salama, London
Amador Navidi, Australia
Amani Barakat, Moorpark, California
Amar Husain, USA
Amer Shurrab, Monterey, CA
Amer Taha, Houston, Texas
Amin Arar, Amman
Amin Husain, New York City
Aya Dama, London
Bader Takriti, Montreal, QC
Bianca Shana’a, Paris
Cynthia George Taha, Bellingham
Daleen Elshaer, Falls Church, VA
Dana Olwan, Syracuse, NY
Deena Duwaik, Aurora, CO
Dina Omar, New Haven, CT
Dr. Anita Shanley, Edinburgh
Dr. C. Nureddin Awad, Cuba
Dr. Ismail Zayid, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Dr. Jamal Abu-Attiyeh, Oxford, Ohio
Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Texas
Edgar Tawfiq Zarifeh, Toronto
Ehab A. Alrmoony, Amman, Jordan
Ehab Shqair, Pacifica, CA
Eid Masri, Alta Loma, CA
Ezdihar Shalabi, Oak Forest
Fadi Saba, San Jose, USA
Fadi Shbita, Montreal, Canada
Falastine As-Saleh, Palestine
Farah S., Canada
Farid Bitar, New Jersey
Farouq Shafie, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Faten Toubasi, Toronto, Canada
Fayez Abdel-Fattah, Poland
Feras Al-Hefnawi, USA
Fuad Abboud, Calgary, Canada
G. Nijim, Indiana, USA
Ghada Talhami, Evanston, Illinois, US
Ghasan Taha, Bellingham
Ghassan Alami, VA
Gihad Ali, Chicago, IL
Haitham Salawdeh, Wauwatisa, WI
Hala George, Scotland
Hamed Khalil Awad Ahmad, Amman, Jordan
Hanaa Yosef, Lebanon
Hanna Gamal Eldin, Philadelphia, PA
Hanna Kawas, chairperson, Canada Palestine Association and co-host, Voice of Palestine
Hatem Abudayyeh, Chicago, IL
Hazem Ghanam, Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Helmy Mostafa, Jackson, PA
Ida Audeh, Colorado
Imad Hatu, Chicago
Imad Shalbak, Bayshore, NY, USA
Inas Abbas, Berlin, Germany
Isam Nubani, Canada
Issam Al-Yamani, Toronto, Canada
Iyad Arar, Edmonton, Canada
Iyas AlQasem, London, UK
Jadallah Safa, Brazil
Jafar Ramini, London
Jawad Jaser Abukhalaf, NJ, US
Jilnar Ramahi, Amman
Kamal Boullata, France
Kamal Hassan, Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
Karmel al-Ramahi, Jordan
Khaled Barakat, Vancouver, Canada
Khaled Mouammar, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Lamis J. Deek, J.D., NY/ Huwarra Nablus Palestine
Lamis Kayali-Sakr, Rockville, Maryland
Lutuf Ghantous, Wilmette, IL
Maher Alrai, Minnesota
Mahmoud Abdulal, Sweden
Majdi Rabah, Bahrain
Mariam Abu Thallam, Amman
May Abboud, Bethesda, MD, USA
Mazin Al Nahawi
Mohamed Salah El Ramahi, Algiers
Mohammad Ghbari, Jordan
Monadel Herzallah, California
Monira Kitmitto, Toronto, Canada
Moussa H Kassis, Girard, Ohio
Munir Atall, Boston, MA
Nabil Ayad, California
Nabil Keilani, San Diego, CA, USA
Nabila Mango, San Mateo, California
Nadia Shoufani, Toronto, Canada
Nahla Abdo, Canada
Nasser Mashni, Australia
Nicola Abu-Khalil, Germany
Nicolas A. Sayegh, Laval, Quebec, Canada
Nidal A. Barakat, Los Angeles, California
Noura Khouri, Oakland
Rabab Abdulhadi, California
Rabiah Nezar, Lansing
Rafe Abdulla, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Rafik Neme, Colombia
Rajai Ghattas, Vernon, BC, Canada
Raji Abuzalaf, Hawaii
Rami Alsaqqa, Vancouver, Canada
Ramy Abdeljabbar, Paterson, NJ
Ramzi Issa, North Bergen, NJ
Rana Hamadeh, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Randa Kamal, San Francisco, California
Rania Lafi, Amman, Jordan
Rania Laswi, Amman, Jordan
Rania Madi, Geneva, Switzerland
Rena Zuabi, Palestine
Rob Moubarak, Ontario, Canada
Sabha Salman, Jerusalem
Sabrina Azraq, Toronto, Canada
Said Shehadeh, California
Salah Al-Aswad, Hamburg, Germany
Salah Fakhri Khalaf, Hamilton, ON
Salim A.S. Al-Nabahin
Salma Abu Ayyash, Cambridge, MA
Samah Sabawi, Melbourne, Australia
Samar Yunis, Kuwait
Sami Joseph, Bucks, UK
Sami Zubi, Canada
Samia A. Halaby
Samia Shannan, Jerusalem, Palestine
Samira Ahmad, Illinois, US
Sana Ibrahim, USA
Sana Kassem, Athens, Greece
Shahin Shabanian, Williamsport, PA, US
Suhail Shafi, Ozark
Suleiman Hodali, Los Angeles, CA
Talal A. Kanaan
Tarek Abu-Jbarah, Boston, MA
Tarek Zaher, Terre Haute, IN
Tareq Salameh, Alexandria, USA
Tariq Alardah, Dubai, UAE
Tawfiq Mousa, California
Wafaa Adwan, Palestine
Waqar Mohsin, Manchester
Wesam al-Khatib, Jordan
Wesam Cooley, Calgary, Alberta
Yahya Ghunaim, Los Angeles, CA
Yara Erian, London, Ontario
Yasmeen Daher, Montreal, Canada
Yasmine Wasfi, Doylestown, PA
Ziyad Zaitoun, Seattle
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.”
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