“Whoever Speaks of 1967 borders speaks of Auschwitz”: Israel Cabinet not Serious about talks on a Palestinian State

US Secretary of State John Kerry very tentatively announced Friday that he has hopes that Israeli and Palestinian negotiations will start back up with a visit of both sides to Washington in the coming week. Oddly, he made the announcement alone, not flanked by either Palestinians or Israelis, prompting questions of whether he really had a breakthrough or firm commitments.

Euronews reports:

Palestinians had been reluctant to give predatory Israeli policy toward them any legitimacy by negotiating at a time when Israelis were actively pouring more Israeli settlers into the Palestinian West Bank. It is like negotiating with someone about how to share a piece of pie while that person is sneaking a fork into the pie and eating it up. For their part, the Israelis have refused to stop stealing Palestinian land and water as a prerequisite for talks.

For Palestinians, the point of negotiating with the Israelis is to achieve a Palestinian state on the territory of the West Bank and Gaza as they existed in 1967. That is also the point of any serious Western negotiator attempting to achieve peace.

However, from the point of view of the ruling far-right Likud Party of Israel, the point of negotiations is to create a fig leaf of a “peace process” while continuing to appropriate as much Palestinian land as possible, putting more hundreds of thousands of squatters into the West Bank, while decisively and forever preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state. In short, for the Likud Party, the “peace process” with the US and the Palestinians is like the ski mask worn by a bank robber. It allows you to get away with it.

h/t Int’l Middle East Media Center

For this reason, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s quixotic quest to restart talks is both a welcome distraction and an unwelcome threat for the Likud. It is welcome, because without a fictional “peace process,” the massive Israeli theft of Palestinian land and resources is nakedly exposed to the world. It is a threat, because there is always a danger that the negotiations may have some successes, requiring actual Israeli concessions of practical import, which is definitely not what the Likud wants.

The right wing Israeli project of slowly annexing the West Bank and starving out the Palestinians in Gaza involves a great deal of future-blindness and magical thinking. They seem to imagine that the Palestinians at some point will abruptly vanish into thin air, like an illusionist’s rabbit. After decades of carefully hiding from themselves their acts of butchery and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians in 1948, and then more decades of denying that there are any such things as Palestinians, the Israeli Right appears to have half-convinced itself that there isn’t really a problem with their Drang nach Osten.

These attitudes are clear in the Likud responses to the news that Secretary Kerry has succeeded in reconvening the Israeli and Palestinian sides for talks, as translated by the USG Open Source Center:

‘Minister Landau: Israel’s Consent To Release Prisoners — Mistake: Attila Somfalvi reports at 1647 GMT in Ynetnews : “Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said to Ynet that ‘there is an Israeli interest to enter negotiations; however, the Israeli consent to release prisoners is a mistake. Whoever speaks of the 1967 borders speaks of Auschwitz. Whoever pushes for negotiations based on the 1967 boundaries, even with border adjustments, actually speaks of the 1967 borders. We must negotiate with no preconditions and without prisoner release,’ Landau emphasized.” ‘

Apparently far right wing Israelis live in such a cocoon that they can’t understand how extreme a statement such as ‘1967 borders are Auschwitz’ sounds to normal people. Really? Letting the Palestinians have a decent life is comparable to gassing innocent Jews? Trivializing Auschwitz like this is the real crime, and ratcheting up the rhetoric so that any concession to political reality is equated to genocide, is an offense against common sense. And, you will never ever hear mainstream American news programs report or quote Landau’s absurd and deeply offensive pronouncement.

Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank

Then there’s this:

‘Likud’s MK Regev: PM Should Clarify Truth on Renewed Talks: Moran Azulay reports at 1504 GMT in Ynetnews : “Knesset Member Miri Regev addressed the issue of renewed talks with the Palestinians, and said: ‘In light of the various statements regarding an agreement about the 1967 borders, as well as agreements on releasing Palestinian prisoners, the prime minister should clarify the truth,’ Regev said, adding: ‘I expect to hear what the Palestinian leadership is doing for a peace agreement, because in my opinion they have no real intention of reaching one.’ According to her, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s ‘cleverness’ will increase the dangers to Israel’s security.” ‘

In other words, Regev doesn’t want the negotiations. She wants the West Bank. She sees giving up the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state as unacceptable “dangers” to Israel. She implicitly believes that only by strangling the Palestinians can Israelis breathe free. Thus, she dismisses Kerry’s skillful diplomacy as mere ‘cleverness’ and condemns it as unsafe at any speed.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon blasted his boss, Netanyahu, for the concession of freeing Palestinian prisoners, telling the Jerusalem Post ‘We must learn from our past mistakes and not free terrorists with blood on their hands, neither as a gesture nor as a reward.” He insisted that Israelis must not again commit the ‘injustice of the disengagement (in Gaza) by returning to the 1967 borders.’ Danon, the Likud Convention chair, said that the Netanyahu government
‘must not uproot thousands of Jews from their homes.’

Danon, in other words, rejects any concessions to the Palestinians. He wishes Israeli troops and squatters were back inside Gaza, instead of the Israeli military only surrounding it and preventing its Palestinians from exporting most of what they make. He rejects the establishment of a Palestinian state or a return to 1967 borders, which would require that Israeli squatters on Palestinian land (which they stole outright) return to Tel Aviv and Haifa. He sees all Palestinians that dared resist Occupation and Apartheid as mere ‘terrorists’ and thinks they all, even the children among them, should stay in Israeli prisons forever. It should be remembered that many Palestinians in Israeli prisons are guilty of much less than Nelson Mandela was when he was in South African prisons.

In his response, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has openly boasted of derailing the 1993 Oslo Peace Process, said:

“With the resumption of the diplomatic process, we are faced with two main goals: Preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that would endanger the future of the Jewish state, and preventing the establishment of an additional Iranian-sponsored terrorist state on Israel’s borders, which would endanger us no less.”

In other words, Netanyahu believes that no Palestinian state can be allowed to come into existence, because it would inevitably be an Iranian-sponsored satellite and would conduct violence against Israel.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, understands that with no negotiations and no political settlement of any sort, Israel will likely become responsible in the eyes of the world for the stateless Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, and will be forced to give them Israeli citizenship. People in the 21st century can’t be allowed to be without citizenship in a state, since that is what gives people the right to have rights. If Israel won’t allow the Palestinians to have a state (and it won’t), then it will be pressured to make them citizens of Israel.

So if Netanyahu absolutely rejects allowing a Palestinian state to be erected, and absolutely rejects giving the Palestinians citizenship in Israel, what is left? Apartheid is what is left, which is what Netanyahu wants. He wants Israeli control over the West Bank’s land, water and air, but wants to keep the Palestinian population there stateless. He hopes that Palestinians can be persuaded to accept Apartheid if only they are given a better standard of living, that, in essence, they can be bribed to accept their status as stateless inmates of an Israeli police state on the West Bank.

So for Netanyahu, the negotiations are not in good faith. They are window dressing. They give him a reply to the European Union, which accuses him of crimes against international law in the West Bank. Just wait, he can say, there may be irregularities now, but who knows what things will look like at the end of the peace negotiations, which we are actively pursuing. It is the old dodge of the Israeli right wing. Those negotiations are aimed at browbeating the Palestinians into accepting their statelessness forever, in return for empty Israeli pledges not to completely expropriate them and further pledges to allow them a standard of living similar to that of Jordanians.

38 Responses

  1. It does NOT matter what Israel’s borders are if there is war because tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?)of very inexpensive, but destructive missiles will simply fly over whatever border Israel claims. Israel is so tiny, thousands of missiles will simply destroy the entire infrastructure and economy, causing a majority of the population to flee (like all humans do in war zones). Note that the IDF has publicly said that there are over 50,000 missiles pointed at Israel. Basic physics and economics says that over 80% of those missiles will hit population centers in the next war (anti-missile systems are HUGE waste of wealth). The world is awash in inexpensive, destructive weapons that are equal to or better than anything Israel has or will ever have. NONE of the “magic” SciFi weapons Israelis claim to have, exist or are simply science toys in some lab with no real-world capability. Israel has quite simply reached the very real, hard limits of their military belligerence and is very likely to badly LOSE the next war. All those that claim that the IDF is “invincible” are ignoring 10,000 years of history that clearly shows that every military that has ever existed has eventually suffered humiliating total defeat. None have survived. The ONLY long term option Israel has for survival is a NEGOTIATED peace agreement, where Israel is going to have to give up lots of land, water, cash for compensation and apologies for everything they have done for the last 65+ years (they are going to have to eat a lot of humble pie). The Israeli ego is going to have to take a big hit for Israel to survive. Any Israeli that thinks Israel can sustain the “might makes right” past is just flat out paranoid delusional. Dreams die hard, but most of the Israeli dreams will have to be put to death for Israel to survive.

    • Correct; the change in the military situation over the past forty years makes Likud’s arguments obsolete.

      What Arab armored force is going to drive to the Med and cut Israel in half? Jordan’s? Syria’s? Jordan and Syria’s? It is to laugh; the Merkavas would turn them into road base within an hour. Israel’s ally Egypt?

      The Israelis use the anachronistic vision of poor, besieged Israel, surrounded by powerful enemies as a cynical pretext.

      • Another change in warfare … the Merkavas are extremely vulnerable to a wide variety of inexpensive handheld and subsurface weapons. Note that the US lost tanks and many other vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even MRAPS which are designed to deflect blasts have been destroyed.

        The reality is that there will eventually be an invasion, but before that happens Israel will be pounded for weeks by missiles leaving only rubble and a small number of Israelis willing to fight to the death with hand weapons.

        • What do you imagine the Israelis are going to be doing for “weeks” while being pounded by rockets? Watching the invaders polish their tanks?

          If the much-better Israeli tanks are vulnerable to cheap weapons, what do you think the very expensive Israeli armaments are going to do to those invaders?

          The military transformation you’re talking about has served to make thing much more difficult for invaders, even well-armed ones. How this is supposed to translate into the invasion of Israel becoming easier is…not entirely obvious.

  2. The other solution of the Palestinian problem (for Zionists) is to finally get it over with and ethnically cleanse Arabs from Eretz Yisroel. They are willing to get some bad PR for a few months, but know that all around the world people would forget in 30 years.

    • They wouldn’t even have to ‘forget in 30 years’ – they wouldn’t know about it because the mainstream media wouldn’t report it.

    • If Israel attempted to ethnically cleanse the West Bank, it would ignite a war that would destroy Israel. The US would be forced to either defend the Israeli genocide or step back and let Israel be punished. I doubt if there are very many Americans that would be willing to die for Israel, so I suspect the US would back off.

      Israel can not win a massive war.

      • 400 to 600 nuclear weapons can glassify a lot of terrain. And gassify a lot of “enemies.” And do one enormous amount of “collateral damage.” You think the Thanatos-lovers in the Israeli right wing give a sh_t what comes after? Time to go back and re-read the Old Testament.

        My bet is that the IDF nukes are on a hair trigger as sensitive as the ones that almost got the former contending Imperiums into several kill-the-planet Hot Wars. Here’s some bedtime reading for Realpolitik Fantasists to discount and refute, as they play over their Game of RISK! ™ scenarios of global domination: link to nucleardarkness.org

  3. The EU seems to be the only responsible party involved; and, they have taken action.
    As long as the U.S. uses Israel as it’s surrogate, there is literally no hope.
    Apartheid is the most apt description of what’s going on in Palestine!
    Israel is the one your mother warned you about…

  4. There can be no doubt that the Israeli government is not interested in peace and the world needs to stop acting as if there is some sort of “peace process” going on. The only way things will ever get resolved is if the US and EU lean on Israel HARD. An end to all military aid, sanctions, expulsion of diplomats until Israel withdraws its forces back behind the 1967 borders. Can you think of anything else that will work?

  5. It has been the policy of every US administration since the Six-Day War in 1967 to oppose the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. United States policy on settlements was probably best and most succinctly stated by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who was George H.W. Bush’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

    On November 27, 1989, Ambassador Pickering stated: “Since the end of the 1967 war, the U.S. has regarded Israel as the occupying power in the occupied territories, which includes the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The U.S. considers Israel’s occupation to be governed by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the 1949 Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of civilian populations under military occupation.”

    Under the Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of civilian populations under military occupation, it is illegal for the occupying power to construct settlements and move its own citizens into occupied areas. Since 1967, on both legal and foreign policy grounds, the United States has opposed Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Yet, despite the financial, material, military, and political support Israel receives from its chief benefactor, Israel has thumbed its nose at every administration and gotten away with it.

    It is clear that in spite of a cadre of dissenters in Israel, the ruling elite (and not just the Likud Right Wing) has from the very beginning been creating “facts on the ground” in the West Bank. Once those “facts on the ground” have reached a critical mass (and they may already have reached that point), Israel will no doubt consider the West Bank as a de-facto (if not de-juris) part of Israel. Meanwhile, in spite of its stated policy, the United States allows Israel to have its way. A foreign policy that is not pursued robustly in a nation’s own national interest is a foreign policy unworthy of the name. Unfortunately, the US has managed to follow such a policy course in the case of Israeli settlements.

    • One legal theory that I have seen advanced for Israeli hegemony over the West Bank it was involntarily received in defending a war and that the prior occcupier, the Kingdom of Jordan, did not have legal control over the land when it was occupied and ruled by Jordan.

      The experts that I have seen lecture at the Gerald R. Ford Scholl of Public Policy on this topic have indicated that no tribunal could ever untangle the various legal claims to the West Bank in any meaningful manner that would be enforceably acceptable – and that any resolution would have to be via consent of all interested parties.

      Thomas Friedman, in his award-winning book “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, stated that Likud Party adherents had an unwitten policy to keep the status quo West Bank occupation as long as possible since that scenario was the best for Israeli interests.

      Roey Gilad, the Israel Consul General in Chicago,in addressing a Jewish student group in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan, several months ago disclosed a peace plan to be imposed via “fear or respect” which will be eerily similar to South Africa’s Bophutswana where the Palestinians will have “islands” of control in Arab population centers with roads and outlying areas continuing to be administered by the Israel Defense Forces.

      According to Gilad, there will be a significant pullback of IDF control but nothing near the 1967 pre-Six-Day War borders.

      This visit by Gilad was covered by the Michigan Daily.

      Of course, the Palestinians would never agree to this Likud-endorsed plan. So it remains to be seen what will come of U.S. endorsed peace talks.

  6. Gassing Jews at Auschwitz is the same as Israeli ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians? Did Uzi Landau accidentally admit that Israel has become Nazi?

  7. Actually I would have a different reason for John Kerry’s tentative announcement of Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Despite not being mentioned much in the Western press. China and Israeli relations have been growing, even with China attempting to play its part in Israeli-Palestinian peace, with the diplomatic talks in Beijing last month.

    Nonetheless, one key event happened just this week which was Israel refused to stand with America on prosecuting the Bank of China for money for the alleged money transfers to Hamas.

    Taking into account we all know that HSBC conducted the same illegal activity for Al Qaeda, while other banks have done the same, including questionable people in the Saudi government funding Hama’s, I would suggest the lawsuit in part of the US-China containment policy.

    I think John Kerry’s statement is down to the US government being outraged with Israel’s new ally and a means to pressure then to return towards US policy.

    • If the US is concerned about Israel and China, it shouldn’t be.

      While Israelis seem to think that China will be their next big brother, replacing the increasingly unreliable US, it just shows how extremely ignorant they are about China.

      China is ONLY interested in doing one thing – strip mining Israel for technology and IP. Once China has extracted all it can from Israel it will simply walk away. In a country where Mao killed over 60 million people, the Nazis killing of only 4 to 6 million Jews is meaningless.

      And while Chinese engineers don’t get the PR Israeli engineers get, they are just as good as Israeli engineers and there are millions more of them.

      If Israelis think that China is their next big market, they might want to re-think that after talking to the many, many US firms that thought the same thing. Chinese people prefer to buy Chinese products ftom Chinese companies. Chinese law prevents any non-Chinese company from owning more than 49% of any joint venture (and they are ALL joint ventures) with the Chinese partner having the option of buying out the “partner” at any time for whatever price the Chinese partner thinks is “fair.”

      China will NOT be Israel’s savior.

  8. Eric Margolis nailed it: “Here we go again, another round of Mideast peace talk kabuki.”

    In a long line of aggressors with a mission to transfer all Palestinians out of Palestine, Netanyahu is not about to make a U-turn, nor is the Israeli Lobby, especially when they are so close to accomplishing their century-old plan. That will be the ultimate trophy for them to add alongside the White House and Congress that they acquired a long time ago to make the Zionist dream possible.

  9. Why even include the Palestinians in the Occupation, aka Peace, Talks? They can’t even be asked to accept the status quo, because there is no status quo in the Israeli plans (other than when owning every square foot).

    What does the prisoner have to offer in negotiations with the warden, anything other than docile subservience?

  10. These comments are full of tough talk (from several thousand miles away, as usual) about how the Palestinians should not engage in talks.

    I don’t understand how that is supposed to either advance Palestinians interests, or restrain/punish Israel. It’s not as though a lack of talks is getting the Palestinians what they want.

    What’s the theory here? How is refusing to even enter into negotiations supposed to be good for the Palestinians?

    • Without going as far as saying the Palestinians shouldn’t enter negotiations, can understand the points made regarding the disadvantage of entering them while in a weak position and the problem of legitimizing one’s adversary as they continue stealing, etc. Playing along may only assist in the deception and delaying tactics of the Zionists.
      One could ask the same question of the Syrian rebels. What have they for to lose by participating in peace negotiations?

      • the disadvantage of entering them while in a weak position

        The Palestinian’s position is only getting weaker as time goes on. It’s not as if they are about to gain the upper hand.

        and the problem of legitimizing one’s adversary as they continue stealing, etc.

        We’re talking about peace talks; that your enemy is doing terrible things is always the case during peace talks.

        Playing along may only assist in the deception and delaying tactics of the Zionists.

        This is what makes no sense to me. Look at the status quo, with settlements being built and land taken. There is no countervailing force, which could restrain the Israelis’ deception and delaying tactics, to be undermined.

        • What should be obvious by now for independent observers and to cynical US politicians beholden to the Israel lobby is that the Likud and other right-wing parties in Israel have no interest whatsoever in peace talks until “peace talks” is synonymous with surrender and exile.

    • OK.
      The talks proceed.
      Israel’s going in position: The current geographical distribution of West Bank Israeli parcels, their boundaries, and their supporting infrastructure and controls, are not subject to negotiation. Nor will we concede the right to change, or add to, these elements at our discretion.

      Our biblical scholars have determined from a study of the huge multitude of greed, arrogance, and hate driven violent events of that period, an argument could be made, that, with regard to the West Bank and Gaza, our Hebrew forbears came out on top. We bring this up so that you will understand the passion that bulwarks our negotiating positions.

      But, we will entertain negotiations on the degrees of severity we use to control your indigents. For example: A pledge of absolute non violence in expressing your dissatisfaction with us (a spontaneous Gandhiism if you like), certainly could have an impact on the severity. After a successful demonstration period of several years, of course.

      Palestinian response: (sorry, we have just learned that the Palestinian representatives are waiting in line at various checkpoints so as to proceed home.)

      • Palestinian response: (sorry, we have just learned that the Palestinian representatives are waiting in line at various checkpoints so as to proceed home.)
        Back in the real world, Palestinian negotiators go to the White House, Camp David, Wye River….

        link to commons.wikimedia.org

        This is not an answer.

      • The Civil Administration division of the Israel Defense Forces since 1981 has been the government of the Palestinians. It is led by an IDF brigadier general with colonels acting as military governors of districts. The Palestinians have no say in how it is run or particpate in its military tribunals that convict its people with a rate of in excess of 99%.

        The Gaza District was dissolved in 2005. Martial law was lifted concomitant with the IDF disengagement.

        When Col. Dror Weinberg, the IDF governor of the Judean military district, was killed by Islamic Jihad snipers several years ago, widespread celebrations erupted throught the Occupied Territories.

  11. “What’s the theory here? How is refusing to even enter into negotiations supposed to be good for the Palestinians?”

    They would save a lot of money on travel expenses going to pointless talks. On the other hand, maybe they enjoy the illusion that they are significant players in historic peace talks. That’s kind of ironic when you realize they will have to get permission from Israel’s right wing to leave their bantustan to get to the Tel Aviv airport.

    As for Kerry, he is showing the same level of competence he displayed when he ran for president. The result for him as secretary of state will be similar.

    • I don’t know, it seems to me that he and Hillary did and are doing a pretty bang-up, spot-on job of effectuating the Imperial wish list and those things that are so smugly and idiotically called “policies.” As if denominating something a “policy” elevates monstrous behavior to what “everyone who understands geopoliltics” just has to accept as good sense, or at least realpolitik inevitability.

      Ol’ Barbara Tuchman did a pretty good job of pointing out the several “policies” that bled us into a series of world war peak-casualty events, as part of the latter stages of combusto-consumption industrialization and the private-jet or F-35 or C-130 landing approach to Elite Rule Forever Or Until We’re All, You Know, Just DEAD Field…

  12. US Secretary of State John Kerry very tentatively announced…

    Actually, he was trying to be definitive and certain.

    It just came out that way. John Kerry could make the score of last year’s Super Bowl sound like an open question.

  13. There’s that thing called “self-respect,” which “even” Palestinians should be allowed to have and to exert.

    We also might want to look at how little the Palestinians have gained from decades of previous “peace talks” and talk of “peace talks.” The very informative and scarlet-smeared maps that Dr. Cole showed toward the beginning of his article threw in vivid and painful relief the tremendous losses in land that the Palestinians have suffered from the start, no matter what they did. And engaging in yet more “peace talks” that will yield nothing requires some exertion, and I hear that it’s passingly hot in the Middle East, so — unless one has not much else to do — why bother, when there’s not a drop of sincerity to be found on the U.S.\Israeli side?

    It ought to be clear to all that these latest “peace talks,” if they’re held, will be for show only. With the U.S. doing its usual thing and indeed having set the precedent, the Palestinians have as little chance of stopping the Israeli wholesale theft of their land as Chief Joseph and his tribe had of stopping the grabbing of Nez Perce property by the U.S. military and those brave pioneers from Europe.

  14. A couple of thoughts about Israel/Palestine that’ve occurred to me lately:

    1) I’d have more respect for the Israeli government if they were explicit about their desire for either apartheid or ethnic cleansing.

    The argument “we got kicked around for 2000 years and dispossessing the Palestinians is just the price of ensuring our peoples” future’ is, of course, not just wrong but actually evil, but at least it’s honest.

    You’ll hear this sort of comment occasionally from the Israeli right-wing, but it’s been the de facto policy of the government for more than a decade, and they should have the balls to say it to the world.

    2) People are oppressed all over the place. But it’s (relatively) rare that we directly fund the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing — to the tune of ~$5 billion/year. I once figured it out, and according to my extremely rough figures, as of 2006, I’d personally contributed about $300 of my earnings to the Israeli government over the years. I want my money back. If I can’t spend it on beer, I’d donate it to the PLO.

    3) I’ve finally figured out why Israel’s actions leave me so enraged. It’s because I hear from so many people trying to justify actions which have no possible justification. Most perpetrators of ethnic cleansing don’t have a whole legion of intelligent, articulate, influential people vigorously working to make me agree with the idea that crimes against humanity are somehow OK, because Jesus, or terrorism, or something…

  15. “Whoever speaks of the 1967 borders speaks of Auschwitz.”

    What does that say about the person who made that statement and those who agree with him?

    And what does it say about the United States that people of that ilk are jerking it around and causing people around the world to hold it in contempt? And what does it say about our president and vice president that they will allow themselves and their offices to be insulted by such people? And what does it say about our Congress that all but very few elected officials kowtow to such people?

    There are three senators for whom I have a lot of respect, and I can’t believe they really approve of Israeli policies. Nevertheless, they toe the line.

  16. “Here we go again, another round of Mideast peace talk kabuki.”

    Perhaps “kabuki” should be changed to Greek tragedy or a Keystone Kops script:

    Israeli-Palestinian peace talks’ resumption put in doubt by both sides: Hostility within Israel’s government towards preliminary talks forged by US secretary of state matched by Palestinian rebuttals by Harriet Sherwood – link to guardian.co.uk

  17. Good Post Juan! and the the one about the EU being fed up with Isreal as well. I love it when Robert Fisk decides to unload on what passes for US Middle East policy.

    link to independent.co.uk
    Now we arrive in the Middle East as smiling supplicants, blessing any “people’s change” (unless it is any monarchical autocracy of the Gulf)

  18. One day I think it’s just inevitable that Israel will go all-out and claim everything it wants. The only thing the far-right nuts really want is that tiny bit of land under the Dome of the Rock, and to get that, they are willing to extend Israel’s own border brick by bloody brick until the whole country is theirs.

    But can anyone really picture the destruction of the Dome and the new temple it will be replaced with? The Likud obviously can, and they know it’s the one place they could never get by negotiation or bribery.

    How will it happen? It won’t be peaceful, I’m sure. I wish they would just get it over with one way or the other.

  19. It is difficult to believe that John Kerry takes any of this seriously. Time after time Israel has demonstrated a total absence of good faith in negotiating with the Palestinians, leaving the United States standing foolishly by the side of the road.

    The assumption thus far has been that only a change of heart on the part of Israelis or on the part of Americans will lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Yet if the Iranians or some other pro-Palestinian groups in the Middle East decide to make a serious and concerted effort to develop weapons systems that can do unacceptable damage to Israel this could change. Israel alleges Iranian nuclear weapons development because it understands that raises American apprehensions. And concerns about Hezbollah acquisition of rockets speak to Israeli fears, as do Israeli attacks on Syrian weapons depots or research facilities.

    If Iran or someone else decides to support the development of chemical or biological weapons geared to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood the threat to Israel could be far more serious. At that point American subordination to Israeli interests will leave it without leverage and the threat of overt conflict will magnify. Assumptions about perennial Palestinian powerlessness may prove exactly that, i.e. assumptions, rather than certainties.

  20. Bush: We have a road map
    Blair: We have road map
    Colin Powel: We have a road map
    Clinton, Rabin & Barak Hand shake like so many other hand shakes.
    Camp David talks
    Now Kerry: Israel & Palestinians direct talks, like so many other talks.

    These talks will fail again with another blame on Palestinians. They do not want peace & a dagger in the back of Uncle Sam

    Another falls hope, another BS.

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