…bent on bypassing the justice process
Well John-boy, how do you think history will judge you?
The whole world has heard about your brilliant breakthrough – persuading trigger-happy US-subsidised Israel and the strangulated, unarmed Palestinians to agree "in principle" to resume the one-sided negotiations abandoned three years ago.
The reason they were abandoned, you’ll remember, was simple. The talks were fundamentally bogus, pursued in bad faith and going nowhere, just like all the other talks over the last 20 years. It was talk, talk, talk while the Israelis build, build, build their illegal settlements, illegal annexation wall and Jews-only highways.
The rest of the world, watching from outside the ludicrous peace process circus, will be forgiven for wondering why any of it was ever necessary when the key issues have already been defined, decided and ruled on by international law and a whole heap of UN resolutions.
In spite of that, John-boy, you’re frantically trying to restart a failed and discredited process that has little to do with peace. The aim is plainly to bypass the justice process afforded by international law and UN resolutions and push the Palestinians into pleading for their rights and property directly with the criminals that seized their land, ethnically cleansed it and still have their jackboot on the necks of the Palestinians who remain in the disconnected remnants of their homeland.
Has it not crossed your mind, John-boy, that this charade won’t work because there can be no lasting peace without justice? Didn’t they teach you that at law school? But never mind. The great thing is that it buys more time for the Israelis to establish even more irreversible facts on the ground that will help make the illegal occupation permanent.
Remember what Miko Peled, the Israeli general’s son, said: "The name of the game [is] erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country…”
Nice game, huh?
Do tell us where there's a shred of nobility or honesty in what you’re doing, John-boy, we’d love to know.
And what bent you to the Zionist cause in the first place?
The heroic ‘partners for peace’
Now let’s meet the lovely people you’re bringing together for these historic 'negotiations'.
In the Israeli corner we have the thug regime's pin-up, Tzipi Livni. Her parents were both members of the Irgun, the notorious Jewish terror group. Her father, Eitan, was its chief operations officer. In 1946 the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel, Jerusalem, which housed the British mandate administration, murdering 91. She served in a Mossad unit and became a member of the Knesset in 1999. As Israeli foreign minister she was responsible for the slaughter and maiming of thousands, including women and children, when she launched Operation Cast Lead against the overcrowded civilians of the tiny sealed-off enclave of Gaza. Tzipi Livni is up to her pretty neck in Palestinian blood and shredded body-parts.
In the Palestinian corner we have one of President Abbas's closest aides, Saeb Erekat. He's their chief negotiator and has occupied that vitally important position for 20 years, during which he has achieved… well, what? He must be the most unsuccessful negotiator on the planet. Why is he still there? We know perfectly well why. He's a loser and can be relied on to fail.
In the background is the Israeli prime minister Netanyahu, a menace to his own nation and the whole civilized world. The best place for him is a padded cell.
Facing him, but quite possibly skipping around hand-in-hand with enemy when off-camera, is the obnoxious quisling Abbas. As everyone knows, this ‘grey suit’ is living a privileged life on borrowed time. His term as Palestinian President officially expired in January 2009, but the western-backed parasite has clung like dried excrement to power.
Thanks to this Palestinian dinosaur I have two vivid images of Palestinians. The first, in Gaza, is the memory of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the crusty old Catholic priest, Fr Manuel Mussallam, who had guarded his flock through the darkest of days, standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the microphones and cameras, each proclaiming that he was Palestinian first and Muslim or Christian second.
That’s unity of a most welcome sort.
The other image is of surly election losers Fatah now playing the part of Israel's armed rottweiler, harking back to the days of the Vichy French militia which was set up to fight the French Resistance and do much of the Nazis’ dirty work. Is Fatah prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Gaza Palestinians against the common enemy – the occupier – and proclaim themselves "Palestinians first" and Fatah/Hamas second? Judging by their track record, no. Arrest and torture of their own people is more their style, though I daresay there are honourable exceptions.
That’s disunity of a particularly nasty kind.
One of the most grotesque Wikileaks revelations was the disclosure that Abbas knew in advance about the murderous blitz on his countrymen in Gaza in 2008/9. Whether we believe the allegation or not, documents claimed that in a June 2009 meeting between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a US congressional delegation, Barak said that the Israeli government "had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas".
Fatah deny it. But Abbas's sidekick Erekat is reported as saying: "We knew about the war because the Israelis were saying there was going to be a war." Several months before it started, at a meeting that he, Erekat, attended, Abbas asked Israel's then-prime minister, Ehud Olmert, not to go to war, saying he would not go to Gaza on an Israeli tank. So it seems they were talking about it…
I put it to the Palestinian ambassador in London, Professor Manual Hassassian. He replied: "I am surprised as you are, and cannot confirm the Wikileaks revelations whether they are authentic or not." No flat-out denial then, nor did he say he would refer the question upwards for clarification. You'd think the embassy would at least wish to show a clean pair of hands.
John-boy, as if the situation wasn’t skewed enough we now hear you've appointed a senior negotiating team of your own – "the right combination of players to work with the parties” – and this is headed by Martin Indyk. Indyk is Jewish and worked for AIPAC (a pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington) before becoming closely involved in formulating Middle East policy with the Clinton administration. He also served on the US Israel Science and Technology Commission and as US ambassador to Israel. So, good call John-boy! If a totally unbalanced approach for settling the future of the Holy Land is what your handlers ordered, you’ve got it. What’s more, we’re told, Indyk’s appointment to these negotiations is agreed by the Palestinian President. In any other circumstances that would be astonishing.
Even if Abbas goes along with it, the Kerry 'big breakthrough' is not welcomed by your average Palestinian patriot. Independent MP Mustafa Barghouti rejected a return to the negotiating table without clear references to the pre-1967 borders and a halt to all settlement building.
"The experience of 20 years of negotiations has been enough to prove it was a mistake to sign the Oslo accords before a halt to settlement building. The number of settlers on occupied (Palestinian) land has shot up from 150,000 to 600,000 now."
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist faction under the PLO umbrella, said any return to talks outside the framework of the United Nations and its resolutions amounted to "political suicide". It wants the Palestinian leadership to join international organizations, especially judicial bodies like the International Criminal Court, which could put pressure on Israel, rather than trading Palestinian rights guaranteed under international law for compromises “which have failed time and again".
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said : "The United States has deluded the Palestinian Authority into thinking that there will be a positive outcome in negotiations with Israel," adding that the PA's return to the table was a cover for the Israeli agenda of Judaization, settlement building and the displacement of Palestinians.
A return to talks puts Palestinian reconciliation at risk, he said, and stopping political reconciliation for negotiations between the PA and Israel is “very dangerous”. For Hamas, reconciliation is a strategy that must be implemented immediately in view of the current Arab and global situation and US and European collusion with Israel.
Dr. Ahmed Bahar, First Deputy Head of the Legislative Council, said in a statement, that the Ramallah authority's decision to return to negotiations and accept Israeli conditions was political suicide and an abandonment of Palestinian rights and national constants. He too noted that talks would provide cover for further Judaization and settlement schemes in all the occupied Palestinian territories.
Hassan Khreisha, Second Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, also regarded a resumption of negotiations as "political suicide" and accused PA leaders in Ramallah of accepting Israeli bribes.
Professor of Political Science Abdul Sattar Qassem accused the Palestinian Authority of treason, saying the resumption of talk was a deal to sell Palestine. He called on the Palestinian people to dismiss these "traitorous negotiators".
And where is Hamas?
John-boy, if you embrace the principles of democracy why have you left democratically-elected Hamas out of the equation? Why do you deal only with unelected Abbas, who has no legitimacy? Why not give the Palestinian side time (and pressure Abbas as necessary) to conclude unity talks so that they can speak with a single authoritative voice… that’s if you’re truly interested in fairness.
And if you’re a good Catholic have you, during your many visits to Jerusalem, met the Latin Patriarch and his team for a thorough briefing on the real situation in the Holy Land? If so, tell everyone about it, please.
In 2004 this article was saying : "Kerry’s Middle East Policy is a dangerous journey mapped out on a carbon copy of Israel’s view of the conflict. After the Bush Administration’s similar position and laissez faire approach to gross Israeli violations of human rights, Palestinians can expect few changes to the present misery."
What has changed, John-boy?
And by the way, why are these talks being held in Washington instead of neutral ground? More to the point, why is the US directly involved at all when there’s such a massive and obvious conflict of interest? Shouldn’t legal agencies such as the ICC be handling it? Your valuable help will of course be needed in implementing and enforcing UN and court rulings.
Stuart Littlewood is writer-photographer in the UK. His articles are published widely on the web. He is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.
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