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Dead in the Water Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM


Dead in the Water Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Call it the curse of Zionism. Traditional Jews deplore it. True Torah Jews Against Zionism (TTAZ) say it:

• advocates "a political and military end to the Jewish exile;"

• fosters "pseudo-Judaism" based on secular nationalism;

• coercively seeks "armed materialism" in place of "a Divine and Torah centered understanding;"

• endangers all Jews worldwide;

• wants to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from ideological Zionism; and

• calls Israel a "Zionist State," not a Jewish one.

Jews and Arabs once coexisted peacefully. Zionism changed things. Believing it protects Jews is "probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the Jewish people," TTAZ says.

"(H)atred of Jews and (claimed unique) Jewish suffering is the oxygen of the Zionist movement."

It needs hatred. It manufactures it. Inciting it is longstanding policy. So is manipulating it advantageously. It's to justify Zionism's existence.

It's the enemy of Jews and non-Jews alike. It's a curse. It's a hugely destructive cancer system. It perpetuates myths. Reality exposes its dark side.

Calling Palestine "a land without people for a people without land" is a longstanding Big Lie. It's right out a PR wizzard's playbook.

Other notions turn truth on its head. Israel didn't make the desert bloom. It's not a democracy. It's militantly polar opposite. It's worse than apartheid South Africa.

Regional Arab states aren't hostile. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. It needs pretexts to justify over-the-top viciousness.

It blames Palestinians and other victims for its crimes. It deplores peace. It thrives on violence and conflict.

Israel is its own worst enemy. It risks perishing on the sword it brandishes. It mindlessly pursues destructive policies. It makes more enemies than friends.

America and Israel are the world's two most hated countries. It's for good reason. Hegemonic nations aren't loved. They're deplored.

They believe unchallenged dominance is the be-all-and-end-all. War is the strategy of choice.

Resource control is sought. So is turning ordinary people into serfs. Rule of law principles don't matter. Democracy is a convenient illusion.

Human and civil rights are old-fashioned. Police state harshness is official policy. So is anything goes.

Previous articles discussed so-called Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. They've been stillborn on arrival for decades.

They represent the greatest hoax in modern times. They're fake. They're more sham than real.

They have no legitimacy whatever. Grand illusion masks Israeli/Washington intolerance of peace. Both nations deplore it.

Israel doesn't negotiate. It's all take and no give. It demands unconditional Palestinian surrender.

Most often it gets what it wants. Imagine talking peace while waging war. Imagine claiming one thing while doing another. Imagine repeated Big Lies.

Longstanding Israeli policy includes state-sponsored terror, militarized occupation, multiple daily community incursions, mass arrests, imprisonments, torture, targeted assassinations, land theft, bulldozed homes, ethnic cleansing, and slow-motion genocide.

Imagine all of the above and then some being longstanding Israeli policy. Imagine a nation based on conquest and dominance. Imagine one institutionalizing racism.

Imagine one considering Arabs subhuman. Imagine a bloody impasse with no end. Imagine blind destructiveness and hate.

Imagine suffocating an entire people out of existence. Imagine exploiting, persecuting, impoverishing and slaughtering them. Imagine fantasy substituting for reality.

On November 13, CNN headlined "Palestinian negotiating team resigns."

Palestinian UN mission spokesman Rabii Hantouli said:

"The team resigned due to the Israeli illegal practices, especially settlement activities."

Negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh added:

Resigning was in response to "increasing settlement building and the absence of any hope of achieving results."

"Abbas has not accepted our resignation." Israel bears full "responsib(ility) for the failure of negotiations."

According to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat:

"It is time for the international community and the Quartet members to stop treating Israel as a government above the laws of man and hold (it) accountable."

An unnamed PLO official said talks are suspended in practice. Further ones aren't scheduled.

Abbas said he'll keep negotiating. "Either we can convince (the team) to return…or we form a new delegation," he said.

He lost credibility long ago. So did Erakat. He's a longstanding blowhard. He says one thing. He does another. He resigned many times before. He threatened to do it other times.

In 1991, he was deputy head of Palestine's Madrid Conference delegation. He was involved in follow-up talks.

He was chief Oslo negotiator. He and others involved betrayed their own people. He unconditionally surrendered to Israeli demands. Palestinians got nothing in return.

Two decades later, Israel's settler population tripled. Erakat has no credibility. Al Jazeera's 2011 Palestine Papers exposed more duplicity.

He accepted all East Jerusalem settlements except one. He abandoned diaspora Palestinians right of return beyond tokenism.

He agreed to numerous other Israeli demands. He collaborated against his own people. He did it secretly. He did it unapologetically.

Abbas was very much involved. Both men and others are traitors. They can't be trusted. They're on the wrong side of history.

Since Oslo, Palestinians got nothing in return for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, enforcing occupation harshness, letting settlements expand, and leaving major unresolved issues for later final status talks.

They include Palestinian self-determination, the right to return, the future of settlements, borders, water and other resource rights, and recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital.

Expect sham peace talks to continue. Expect Israel to concede nothing. Expect occupation harshness to persist. Expect unlimited settlement expansions.

A previous article discussed longstanding Israeli plans to Judaize Palestine. Netanyahu disingenuously told Housing Minister Uri Ariel to "reconsider" plans for 24,000 new units.

He said one thing. He meant another. A day later, the Jerusalem Post headlined "Netanyahu vows to build 'thousands more homes' in settlements."

A day after allegedly announcing one thing, he said:

"In recent months, we built thousands of homes in Judea and Samaria, and in the coming months we plan to build thousands more."

"It was never easy, but we did it responsibly despite international pressure." At the same time, he added:

"(T)here's no point in creating friction with the international community. (T)here's no point in wasting resources, energy and political capital on something that won't have a real result. That hurts settlements."

Labor opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich expects unlimited settlement expansions while Netanyahu "pretend(s) to negotiate with the Palestinians."

Peace Now said expanding settlements during peace talks "empty (them) from any meaning and simply make (them) absurd.

A Palestinian Foreign Ministry statement is less than meets the eye. It called Netanyahu's statements "misleading. He makes statements to the media that the plans are frozen, but on the ground building goes on."

They've gone on for decades. They accelerated during Abbas' tenure. He pretends to care. He quietly lets what demands strong opposition continue.

His public statements or ones made for him have no credibility. He's complicit with Israel's worst policies. His security forces enforce them. He's the enemy of all Palestinians. Why they put up with him, they'll have to explain.

A Final Comment

Henry Siegman teaches Oriental and African studies at the University of London. He heads the US/Middle East Project. It's a Council on Foreign Relations initiative.

He's no friend of Palestine. He supports what's good for America and Israel. He endorsed Kerry's no peace/peace process. At the same time, he strongly criticized Netanyahu.

On November 12, he headlined "Netanyahu is destroying Kerry's peace process - and the State of Israel," saying:

"(I)rreversible facts on the ground" prevent Kerry's peace process from succeeding. (F)ailure is foreordained."

It isn't "because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict uniquely defies solution." It's because Netanyahu's "strategic goal," like most previous Israeli leaders, "continues to be permanent control of all of Palestine."

He'll be remembered for having opposed all previous peace initiatives. Current talks perpetuate "the illusion" of his commitment to a two-state solution.

He's Judaizing Palestine. He's committed to "driv(ing) the settlement project to its intended conclusion."

He's uncompromisingly hardline. He's "determin(ed) never to allow an 'independent, viable, sovereign' Palestinian state."

"It most certainly cannot happen within the framework of a peace process based on (a) lie (and) pretense that the US believes him."

He demands what no Palestinian leader could accept. He insists that Israel maintain total West Bank/East Jerusalem control. He wants Palestine stripped of "every vestige of sovereignty."

His intransigence reflects his intent to blame Palestinians for failure he's "methodically orchestrating."

Ongoing talks are doomed. This time isn't just "another setback in the long history of" failure.

Netanyahu seeks a Greater Israel. He's making it "no longer recognizable. It's more "anachronistic ethnocracy" than democracy.

He's creating "disaster." He's relying on military superiority to enforce policy. Palestinian resistance is certain to grow.

"(U)pheaval and suffering" will harm both sides. Anti-Israeli sentiment will increase. Millions of Palestinians won't be denied. They deserve rights equal to Jews.

Netanyahu's waging a losing battle. Pyrrhic victories mask longer term defeat. He's blind to reality. So are most Israelis willing to put up with him.

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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