Following serious cajoling by the United
States and the European Union, and arm twisting by Arab governments,
the Palestinians entered what was to be nine months of negotiations
with Israel. The Palestinians, who had forgone demands for Israel’s
compliance with previous signed agreements before starting new
negotiations, were promised that this time Israel would enter into
serious discussions to reach a final agreement by 29 April 2014.
After stalling for four months, Israel
refused to discuss any issues other than security arrangements.
Negotiations were effectively over late last November when US
Secretary of State John Kerry mobilized a large team, led by a
former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employee, to
For Israel… these nine months were just a
prelude to seek another extension in the talks and to take the steam
out of the international boycott movement while undermining the
peace process by building new Jews-only homes – over 7,000
units since July 2013.
The looming deadline is around the corner and
there is no indication that the two sides are any closer than when
they started. In fact, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin
Netanyahu, added two fresh conditions this week: no final deal with
the Palestinians unless they relinquish the rights of refugees, and
an additional recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
For Israel, which has perfected the game of
temporizing, these nine months were just a prelude to seek another
extension in the talks and to take the steam out of the
international boycott movement while undermining the peace process
by building new Jews-only homes – over 7,000 units since July 2013.
This week, Netanyahu also declared, in an
interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, that “It will take
us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations.”
In June 1992, a year after the start of the
Madrid peace talks, the then departing Israeli prime minister,
Yitzhak Shamir, revealed to an Israeli newspaper that he would have
kept negotiating “for 10 years and in the meantime we would have
reached half a million [Jewish squatters] ” in the West Bank.
He lamented: “In the next four years I will
not be able to complete the [Jewish] demographic revolution,”
explaining that “without this demographic revolution, there is no
reason to hold autonomy talks as there now is a risk of a
True to Shamir’s vision, consecutive Israeli
governments, from the left and the right, dragged the negotiations
over almost a quarter of a century, surpassing Shamir’s goal of more
than half a million, thus making it geographically unfeasible to
establish a viable Palestinian state.
The ostrich-like US and its subservient
European Union suffer from a delusional denial syndrome. They refuse
to read palpable writings on the wall: Israel perceives the
Palestinian state as a risk and uses peace talk to realize the
Jewish “demographic revolution”.
The ostrich-like US and its subservient
European… refuse to read palpable writings on the wall: Israel
perceives the Palestinian state as a risk and uses peace talk to
realize the Jewish “demographic revolution”.
The Israeli-centric and overextended use of
the US’s veto power at the UN Security Council has become the main
obstacle to reaching peace in the Middle East. It can even be argued
that it is contributing to many of the world’s conflicts today.
Incidentally, it was Israel-firsters in the
U.S. who fabricated the evidence to justify the occupation of Iraq,
and are now advocating war with Iran and Syria.
Other world powers jumped on the bandwagon
too. Russia has employed the same tired privilege of the UN Security
Council veto to ease its annexation of Crimea. But only with one
difference: unlike the people of population Crimea who ostensibly
sought Russian support, the inhabitants of East Jerusalem and the
Golan Heights overwhelmingly rejected Israeli annexation.
China is employing the same privileged veto
power in its islands dispute with Japan and to maintain its
influence over Korea.
Acting on behalf of Israel, the US has turned
the UN Security Council from a guardian of world peace to a club of
hubris kingpins violating international law and creating a new world
A version of this article was first published
by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.
The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj to