10.8.07

The Middle East Peace Process Scam

By Henry Siegman, London Review of Books, Augut 16th, 2007

The Middle East peace process may well be the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history. Since the failed Camp David summit of 2000, and actually well before it, Israel’s interest in a peace process – other than for the purpose of obtaining Palestinian and international acceptance of the status quo – has been a fiction that has served primarily to provide cover for its systematic confiscation of Palestinian land and an occupation whose goal, according to the former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, is ‘to sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people’. In his reluctant embrace of the Oslo Accords, and his distaste for the settlers, Yitzhak Rabin may have been the exception to this, but even he did not entertain a return of Palestinian territory beyond the so-called Allon Plan, which allowed Israel to retain the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank....

...Anyone familiar with Israel’s relentless confiscations of Palestinian territory – based on a plan devised, overseen and implemented by Ariel Sharon – knows that the objective of its settlement enterprise in the West Bank has been largely achieved. Gaza, the evacuation of whose settlements was so naively hailed by the international community as the heroic achievement of a man newly committed to an honourable peace with the Palestinians, was intended to serve as the first in a series of Palestinian bantustans. Gaza’s situation shows us what these bantustans will look like if their residents do not behave as Israel wants...

...If the US and its allies were to take a stand forceful enough to persuade Israel that it will not be allowed to make changes to the pre-1967 situation except by agreement with the Palestinians in permanent status negotiations, there would be no need for complicated peace formulas or celebrity mediators to get a peace process underway. The only thing that an envoy such as Blair can do to put the peace process back on track is to speak the truth about the real impediment to peace. This would also be a historic contribution to the Jewish state, since Israel’s only hope of real long-term security is to have a successful Palestinian state as its neighbour. MORE...

6 comments:

Wolfie said...

This synopsis is no surprise.

I draw many parallels with the Palestinian situation and the IRA. For many years little progress could be made, parties could not be pressed towards solution and the terrorists remained armed because of fanciful and romanticised support from Irish Americans.

Once the "war on terror" started support for the IRA dried up and the terrorists of Eire became tarred with the same brush as AQ. Before you could take a breath everyone was at the negotiating table.

The solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be found in New York, not Tel Aviv.

Wolfie said...

Blair is emollient not medicine.

Elizabeth said...

Actually Wolfie I don't think the IRA became "tarred with the same brush as Al Qaeda" at least not here in NYC. The fact is the "war on terror" is in large part a racist war, and Americans think of the Irish as being "like us" whereas they think of Arabs as backward brown-skinned foreigners. And the US's policies toward the IRA and that whole conflict have been quite different than the policies and programs of the "war on terror."

Wolfie said...

Elizabeth,

I think you have misunderstood the thrust of my comment. I was addressing the subject of financial and political support from abroad. The "war on terror" suddenly stemmed the flow of donations from the US under the umbrella of security restrictions designed to target groups such as AQ.

So much damage has been done around the world due to American ex-pats meddling in affairs which affect their homelands; I really despair sometimes.

Stef said...

I spent a lot of time in the US between 1997 and 2003 and the change in attitude towards the IRA and the British was quite noticeable

Not only did many Americans I met start to realise that the IRA were actually terrorists they also realised that just about the only country that was siding with America in its 'War on Terror' (aside from Israel obviously) was much-maligned Britain

The attitude change was quite noticeable in the US movie industry. Prior to 2001-03 most of the really, really bad guys were British. Post 2001-03 movie baddies started speaking in a range of different of accents, French being quite popular for a time

It's only subliminal if you don't notice...

Sophia said...

Stef,

The cultural cliché fabricated by Hollywood culminated with an oscar for the Departed where the vilains are Irish. Scorcese surely deserves an oscar and more than one but the Departed wasn't his best movie.

Wolfie, Elizabeth, Stef,

Threatening a group with the label of terror is a political strategy meant to dry up their funds and their open support. Two months before the Lebanese by-election, Bush announced that he was going to freeze the assets of anybody who acts against the Sanyura government in Lebanon. He repeated it three days before the elections amid rumours that Aoun's candidate, the opponent to the Sanyura government, was going to win. Many Lebanese Americans support general Aoun who is asking Sanyura to step down. The Bush declaration had an effect on the amount of money and official support for Aoun from Lebanese expatriates and on the vote. It took down Aoun's support from 70% to nearly 50%.

The very definition of terrorism does not actually threaten real terrorists who have their underground network of financial support, it threatens the support normal people give for political causes the US disapproves of. The Irish had a strong support in the US prior to 9/11, and most of their support was not undercover, it was from ordinary people and prominent businessmen. These people had to hide after the war on terror was declared.
In fact TWOT is a powerful political tool for silencing political opposition to harsh measures in western democracies. It is a useful tool for 'democratic' tyrants.

 
Since March 29th 2006