On August 21, Haaretz writer Natasha Mozgovaya headlined, "Israel, Palestinians accept US invitation to direct peace talks," saying:
They'll "restart direct talks on Sept. 2 in a modest step toward forging a peace deal within 12 months to create a Palestinian state and peacefully end one of the world's most intractable conflicts."
Another grand illusion is assured, fudged to look real. Henry Kissinger coined the phrase "constructive ambiguity," meaning to give negotiations an appearance of progress. For others, it's putting lipstick on a pig or how Edward Said described the Oslo Accords and Declaration of Principles, saying:
"the fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people's rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton's performance, like a 20th century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance, (and) the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation."
It was unilateral surrender, a Palestinian Versailles, affirming Israel's colonial agenda, giving the Palestinians nothing but the right to be Israel's enforcer. All major issues were deferred, including an independent Palestinian state, the right of return, the future of settlements, borders, water rights, and status of Jerusalem as sovereign Palestinian territory and future home of its capital.
Seventeen years later, they're still unresolved and won't be this time, another grand illusion planned, the same outcome assured - betrayal by unilateral surrender, or as much of it as Abbas dare give.
An earlier article titled, "Peace Process Hypocrisy: Stillborn from Inception," reviewed earlier efforts since the mid-1970s, quoting Netanyahu once calling the peace process "a waste of time," negotiating solely for Israeli dominance.
Here we go again, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announcing on August 20 that on September 2, new talks will:
"re-launch direct negotiations to resolve all final-status issues which we believe we can complete in one year. There have been difficulties in the past; there will be difficulties ahead. Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere."
In November 2007, the last round in Annapolis got Electronic Intifada co-counder, Ali Abunimah, to compare it to a "big budget Broadway extravaganza; they go on for years, but with each revival the cast changes. What may seem like a tired production to some nevertheless manages to remain fresh to the gullible throngs willing to hand over the price of admission."
Again now, major issues won't be resolved. The conflict's root causes will be unaddressed, and failure will be papered over as success called the most able to be accomplished this time.
Stay tuned. Another round's coming, as futile as this one, the process bogus because Israel and Washington want conflict, not conciliation; photo-ops, not fulfillment; and promises, not a real equitable peace affording Palestinians the same rights as Jews, what millions of them demand, what no Israeli or US leader will give.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," promising the equivalent of 12 holocausts against Iran's 70 million people.
Hamas leader and Palestine's elected Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah is absent, as he was in November 2007, the first time in memory that a legitimate peace partner was excluded from talks. Again now, and that's the problem. How can one side negotiate in good faith without a willing partner, Haniyah criticizing the new talks, saying "nothing has been achieved" to warrant them. His top priority is national reconciliation for all Palestinians before negotiations with Israel, knowing their history of futility.
Other day one attendees include:
On August 20, New York Times writer Ethan Bronner suggested the latter, headlining, "In Mideast Talks, Scant Hopes From the Beginning," saying:
Though accepted by both sides, "just below the surface there was an almost audible shrug. There is little confidence - close to none - on either side that the Obama administration's goal of reaching a comprehensive deal in one year can be met," given the futility of trying for the past 35 years, an impossible task for one side with no credible partner.
As a result, "a resigned fatalism (pervades) the air," pitting an intransigent Netanyahu against a feckless Abbas, Al Quds University vice president Zakaria al-Qaq saying, "These direct negotiations are the option of the crippled and the helpless."
Israeli political writer, Nahum Barnea, is also skeptical, stating, "Most Israelis have decided that nothing is going to come out of it, that it will have no bearing on their lives. So why should they care?"
Former Israeli Labor Party and Meretz-Yachad politician, Yossi Beilin, believes "There is not a chance in the world that in a year - or two or three - peace can be achieved. The gap between the sides is too big. Netanyahu did not come to power to divide Jerusalem or find a solution (for) the Palestinian refugees."
Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Palestinians Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs scorned the new talks saying, "Abbas is naked before his whole community. Everyone knows that this Israeli government is not going to deliver anything," so why bother going through the charade, Palestinians expressing that view, head of the Palestinian stock exchange, Ahmad Aweidah saying:
"Peace process? What peace process? That's so nineties. After 18 years, don't they feel silly. There are only two scenarios. The optimistic one is more of the same. The pessimistic one is it's going to get worse."
According to Samir Hulileh, Palestine Development and Investment LTD (PADICO) CEO:
"We are the audience in a theatre. We have memorized the play so many times. It is repeated in different forms, and sometimes with different faces, but it's the same. We know the final outcome. We don't feel hope coming out of it."
Street comments included:
"There has been a lot of talk of peace, but we have seen no results. We no longer have hope."
"It's a failure from the outset. Negotiations in this way cannot lead to a state. We have no hope."
"Netanyahu will not give a thing, not in a year, not in years....the talks will never succeed."
They're both travesty and tragedy, the exclusion of one side and intransigency of the other assures failure. Like before, nothing new will be introduced, the deal always one-sided - capitulation, not resolution, assuring continued conflict because Netanyahu wants it, his way to blame the victims, absolving himself of high crimes, including promises he has no intention of keeping. Nor does Obama, "America's First Jewish President," his subterfuge too shallow to hide.
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