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Palestine Under Siege

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, May. 11, 2014 at 12:28 AM


Palestine Under Siege

by Stephen Lendman

Israel denies Palestinians fundamental rights everyone deserves. Praying to the wrong God is considered terrorism. So is self-defense against Israeli brutality.

So-called peace talks represent the greatest hoax in modern times. Multiple rounds for decades accomplished nothing.

Things are worse than ever today. Nine months of 2013/14 talks were fruitless. Chances for success ahead are nil. Israel is all take. It's no give.

Washington is part of the problem. The main part. It's no responsible peace partner. It's no honest broker.

It one-sidedly supports Israeli interests. It endorses its worst crimes.

It funds them with billions of dollars annually. It's involvement in talks makes responsible resolution impossible.

Martin Indyk is former US ambassador to Israel. He's currently chief US peace talks negotiator. He's a former AIPAC staffer.

He abhors responsible resolution. He's one-sidedly pro-Israel. He supports lawless settlement expansions. He endorses stealing Palestinian land.

Richard Falk commented earlier, asking:

"Can one trust (peace talks) to a third party (who is) unabashedly the political ally of Israel?"

"Can one even begin to contemplate" him negotiating fairly? He's no honest broker. He never was one. He'll never be one.

He's Israel's man. Throughout nine months of negotiations, he showed his true colors.

Talks were dead on arrival. Continuing them perpetuates illusion. They deny reality.

Not according to Indyk. On May 8, he keynoted the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's 2014 Weinberg Founders Conference.

His topic was "The Pursuit of Middle East Peace: A Status Report."

He omitted explaining what's most important. They're never was a peace process. There's none now. Indyk pretended otherwise.

He lied saying "(l)ast July, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry launched a vigorous effort to reach a final status agreement between Israelis and Palestinians."

Fact: They launched "a vigorous effort" to assure Israeli rights alone matter

Fact: They want them exclusively served.

Fact: They launched "a vigorous effort" to systematically deny Palestinians fundamental rights they deserve.

Fact: Indyk didn't explain.

"We have passed the nine-month marker for these negotiations, and for the time being the talks have been suspended," he said.

"Some have said this process is over. But that is not correct."

Fact: Indyk wants sham talks continued.

Fact: He does so despite ZERO chance for success.

He lied claiming the "one problem that revealed itself in these past nine months is that the parties, although both showing flexibility in the negotiations, do not feel the pressing need to make the gut-wrenching compromises necessary to achieve peace."

Fact: Indyk's notion of compromise is unconditional Palestinian surrender.

Fact: It's one-sidedly supporting Israel.

Fact: It's deploring peace.

Fact: It's making it impossible.

Fact: It's supporting violence and instability.

Fact: It's keeping the entire region on a boil.

"It is easier for the Palestinians to sign conventions and appeal to international bodies in their supposed pursuit of 'justice' and their 'rights,' a process which by definition requires no compromise," said Indyk.

Fact: His comments showed contempt for fundamental Palestinian rights.

Fact: As Washington ambassador to Israel, he operated the same way earlier.

Fact: He did so as an AIPAC staffer.

Fact: He has no legitimacy whatever.

Fact: Palestinian rights matter.

Fact: They've been denied since Israel's so-called War of Independence.

Fact: They've had none for nearly half a century under occupation.

Fact: Compromise isn't in Israel's vocabulary.

Fact: It bears repeating. It's all take and no give.

"It is easier for Israeli politicians to avoid tension in the governing coalition and for the Israeli people to maintain the current comfortable status quo," said Indyk.

"It is safe to say that if we the US are the only party that has a sense of urgency, these negotiations will not succeed."

Fact: Indyk's notion of success assures whatever Israel wants it gets.

"The fact is both the Israelis and Palestinians missed opportunities, and took steps that undermined the process," said Indyk.

Fact: So-called "process" doesn't exist.

Fact: Nor "opportunities to change things."

"We have spoken publicly about unhelpful Israeli steps that combined to undermine the negotiations," said Indyk.

Fact: So-called Israeli criticism was muted at best.

Fact: It was rhetorical.

Fact: US one-sided Israeli support is longstanding.

Fact: It's unchanged.

"But it is important to be clear: We view steps the Palestinians took during the negotiations as unhelpful too, said Indyk."

"Signing accession letters to 15 international treaties at the very moment when we were attempting to secure the release of the fourth tranche of prisoners was particularly counterproductive."

"And the final step that led to the suspension of the negotiations at the end of April was the announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement while we were working intensively on an effort to extend the negotiations."

Fact: Joining international bodies is a fundamental Palestinian obligation.

Fact: Joining all that matter most.

Fact: Using them to end long denied justice matters most.

Fact: So far, nothing suggests following that course as long as Abbas controls things.

Fact: He's a longstanding Israeli collaborator.

Fact: He governs illegitimately.

Fact: Israel rigged his 2005 election.

Fact: His term expired in January 2009.

Fact: He refused to call new elections.

Fact: Israel exploits Fatah/Hamas divisions.

Fact: Previous reconciliation efforts failed.

Fact: This time may turn out no differently.

Fact: Irreconcilable differences remain.

Fact: Resolving them requires a giant leap of faith.

Fact: Israel will go all-out to prevent it.

Fact: So will Washington.

"The settlement movement on the other hand may well drive Israel into an irreversible binational reality," said Indyk.

"The expansion of settlements on land that the Palestinians believe is supposed to be part of their state and the prevention of their ability to build on the same land is a very problematic situation in the resolution of this conflict."

Fact: Indyk is a longstanding settlement supporter.

Fact: Calling expanding them "problematic" doesn't watch.

Fact: Doing so conceals Indyk's agenda.

Fact: He supports the worst of Zionist extremism.

Fact: His greatest concern is serving Israel.

Netanyahu "showed flexibility. Mahmoud Abbas "shut down," said Indyk.

"Palestinians were content to sit back and watch the show as a spectator sport."

Washington consistently "supports Israel as a Jewish state."

Fact: Netanyahu is a model of inflexibility.

Fact: Abbas serves as Israel's enforcer.

Fact: He's a longstanding traitor.

Fact: He has no legitimacy whatever.

Fact: Washington's support for Israel as a Jewish state effectively endorses denying non-Jews equal rights.

Fact: Doing so alone exposes peace process hypocrisy.

Fact: It reveals Israel's sham democracy.

Fact: It's pure fantasy.

Fact: It never existed.

Fact: It's clearer now than ever.

On May 2, Richard Falk commented on why peace talks collapsed. He's against resuming them.

Netanyahu suspended them. He did so following Fatah and Hamas agreeing to unity. He wants Palestinian factions divided.

Dealing with Israel requires Palestinian consensus. It demands solidarity. It requires governing on the same page.

Netanyahu's claim about Hamas wanting Israel destroyed "is pure hasbara," said Falk. It's Israeli PR duplicity. It disseminates false views. It suppresses vital truths.

Falk calls doing it "a cynical means to manipulate the fear factor in Israeli domestic politics, as well as ensuring the persistence of conflict."

"This approach has become Israel's way of choosing expansion over peace, and seemingly ignoring its own citizens' mandate to secure a stable peace agreement," he added.

Throughout nine months of duplicitous talks, Israel went all-out to subvert peace.

Settlements expanded at an unprecedented rate. Nearly 14,000 new units were authorized. Stolen Palestinian land accommodates them.

Initiating talks last summer "was mainly a (John Kerry) strong arm initiative," said Falk.

He "melodramatically proclaimed (a) last chance (for) two-state" resolution. He called talks the way to end conflict.

It didn't matter that they were "dead an buried as a realistic option," said Falk.

Israel apartheid is longstanding. Occupation harshness is official policy.

Kerry is "awkwardly" out of touch with reality, said Falk. He's no diplomat. He shames the office he holds.

He makes more enemies than friends. Even if talks continue, said Falk, no reason exists to suggest they'll succeed.

Believing it is pure fantasy. Responsible conflict resolution requires respecting rights of all parties. It's treating them equally.

It's ending longstanding Palestinian ones denied. It's treating them like Jews.

It's recognizing Palestinian self-determination. It halting all settlement construction.

It's ending Israel's lawless occupation. It's prioritizing peace over war.

It's what Israel won't tolerate. Or Washington. What possibly can be gained by continuing peace process futility, asked Falk?

Two solutions alone are possible:

• one nation for all its people equally; or

• Palestinian self-determination within pre-1967 borders.

There's no in between. Pretense won't work. Two states on Israeli terms is no state at all. According to Falk:

"(G)iven the Israel failure to heed the call for withdrawal in SC Res. 242, its non-response to the 1988 PLO acceptance of Israel within the 1967 borders, and its consistent commitment to settlement expansion, no sane person should have put much faith in an Israeli readiness to make a peace respectful of Palestinian rights under international law."

Sustained external pressure alone may achieve what decades of peace process hypocrisy subverted.

Falk calls pursuing things this way a "legitimacy war." It's like Gandhi's nonviolent victory against UK imperialism.

It's time to get realistic. Global solidarity for justice is essential. So is nonviolent resistance.

Change other ways is impossible. It's "important (for) world public opinion (to) reject as meaningless the diplomatic charade of peace talks while the fate of a people continues to be daily sacrificed on the altar of geopolitics," said Falk.

It's vital to pursue conflict resolution possibly able to succeed. It's essential to stop pretending otherwise.

It's crucial to demand equal Israeli/Palestinian treatment. It's ludicrous to imagine conflict can be resolved any other way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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 three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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