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Sham Peace Talks Resume

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM


Sham Peace Talks Resume

by Stephen Lendman

Why bother. Talks are doomed to fail. So did multiple previous rounds. Israel wants things its way. Demands masquerade as give and take.

According to one PLO official, "Israel will dodge, evade and propose unachievable demands to promote a conclusion that negotiations are futile, and so Israel will continue to steal lands as they are doing now."

It's hard imagining Palestinian officials agreeing to talks rigged to fail. Longtime Israeli collaborators do it willingly. It's for generous benefits they derive. Crime pays well. So does betrayal.

On August 14, US/Israeli orchestrators met with PA's Saeb Erekat and Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh.

He's a technocrat. He's managing director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR).

He's founding member of the Palestinian Development Fund. He's a former Palestinian public works and housing minister.

He's a founding Palestinian Institute for Regional Studies member. He's collaborating with Israel for personal self-interest.

Talks discussed guidelines and agenda issues. They did so despite Israel bombing Gaza. Warplanes fired missiles at multiple targets. Similar attacks happen often. Israel invents pretexts to do so. Innocent civilians die.

Talks continued despite Palestinian fishermen attacked at sea. They're at the same time as outrage over accelerated settlement construction.

Stealing Palestinian land's no olive branch. Nor is releasing 26 long held political prisoners. Their freedom's subject to restrictions.

Some weren't allowed to go home. They're vulnerable to rearrest. In 2004, Yasser Arafat said "(t)here will be no peace until all Palestinian prisoners are released." Palestinian supporters today feel the same way.

Thousands of Bedouins await dispossession. Israeli courts spurned them. Israel wants land they own. It wants it for exclusive Jewish development.

In July, a Beersheba court rejected Bedouins' appeal. They urged delaying another court-ordered property demolition and dispossession ruling.

It's their land. It doesn't matter. On August 15, efforts to displace them began. They're losing everything. Rogue states operate that way. Israel's one of the worst.

One Sawah village resident spoke for others, saying:

"We requested that Israeli authorities give us a delay until we arrange to move into a neighborhood in the nearby village of Hurah which is being expanded, but they refused."

Jewish rights alone matter. Palestinians ones don't. Sham peace talks won't change things. Decades of occupation harshness continue.

Expecting this time's different reflects Einstein's definition of insanity. Expecting success after decades of failure explains it. Israel's worst government in history assures it.

Hardliners are all take and no give. US orchestrator John Kerry's two-faced. He's Israel's man at State.

Publicly he's concerned about settlement expansions. At the same time, he doesn't think proceeding hampers talks.

Privately he's comfortable with build, build, built. He's been that way all along. In the Senate, he supported them for years.

He said we knew "there was going to be a continuation of some building in certain places, and I think the Palestinians understand that."

Israel announced accelerated construction. Doing so reflects land grabbing writ large. It spurns equitable conflict resolution.

It reveals longstanding Israeli business as usual. It shows contempt for rule of law principles. It makes justice a four-letter word.

It exposes Washington's true face. It's in lockstep with whatever Israel does. Palestinian rights don't matter. Talks won't change things.

It bears repeating. Kerry is Israel's man at State. He's in lockstep with its worst policies. His pro-Israel voting record is second to none. He's committed to maintaining a longstanding special relationship. Whatever Israel wants he's for.

He's always been that way. For sure he is now. He favors moving America's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Doing so is illegal. In 1947, the UN declared it an international city. It remains so today.

Kerry calls Jerusalem "Israel's indisputable capital." In 1999, he signed a letter criticizing Clinton for not moving America's embassy there.

He ignored international law doing so. He's throwing Palestinians under the bus. He pretends otherwise. He supports continued occupation harshness.

On August 13, Robert Fisk headlined "Any other 'statesman' who negotiated peace like John Kerry would be treated as a thief."

"Has (he) no shame," he asked? "First he cuddles up to both Palestinians and Israelis and announces the renewal of a 'peace process which the Palestinians don't trust and the Israelis don't want."

"Then Israel announces that it will build 1,200 new homes for Jews - and Jews only - on occupied Palestinian land."

"And now Kerry tells the Palestinians - the weak and occupied Palestinians - that they are running out of time if they want a state of their own."

"Then came the ultimate lie: that the 'question of settlements' is 'best resolved by solving the problem of security and borders.' "

Doing so justifies lawless land grabbing. Millions worldwide condemn it. So do many Israelis.

Kerry "go(es) all out for 'peace.' " He does so on Israeli terms. "Cabined, cribbed (and) confined" Palestinians have to "shut up'' and accept them.

Kerry insists "hurry, hurry, hurry. Book your seats now, or it will be a full house," said Fisk. 'What price 'Palestine?' "

Over decades, Washington vetoed 39 Security Council resolutions criticizing Israel. In 2011, it blocked one condemning continued settlement construction. All other SC members supported it. So do over 90% of world community members.

At the time, US officials claimed resolution backing harmed peace prospects. How wasn't explained. Arab street reaction expressed outrage. It did so justifiably. America's position is untenable.

Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Barghouti calls Washington's one-sided Israeli support a crime against humanity. Bouthaina Shaaban condemned America's veto, saying:

"The importance of what is happening today in the Arab world is the fall of the colonial dimension of the official regime, which has ignored the crimes against humanity in Palestine…"

America's veto reflects "eternal shame for western 'democracies…' (L)ike tens of other(s), (it) contributed to the perpetuation of Israeli suppression of the Palestinian people, colonizing their land, expelling and condemning them to life in refugee camps."

MJ Rosenberg said:

"It is not hard to explain the Obama administration's decision to veto a resolution embodying positions that we support."

"It is the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which (lobbied) furiously for a US veto."

One-sided Israeli support is "why US standing in the Middle East will continue to deteriorate."

Akiva Eldar thanked Obama. He did so for showing "his true colors." He's "two-faced."

"The lame excuse that denunciation of construction in the settlements would harm 'the peace process' constitutes a victory of opportunism over morality," he said.

Yaron London said Israel's "relying on a sinking superpower that is abandoning its pretenses to lead the world…"

Haaretz editors said "Palestinians lost the vote, (but) achieved their goal: They exposed for all to see the international isolation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration and embarrassed the US."

"The world's patience over continued construction in the settlements is wearing thin." Other observers agree. In time, it'll be entirely gone.

Peace prospects remain distant. One day Palestinians will be free. Occupation harshness can't last forever. What can't go on forever, won't.

Hopefully time will resolve injustice. Some things are worth waiting for. Peace, equity and justice matter most. Patience brings its own reward.

Edmond Burke said it "achieve(s) more than force." Rousseau called it "bitter, but its fruit is sweet."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

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.

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