Sun Aug 22nd, 2010 at 11:50:58 AM EST
.....'hopeless' was Huffington Post's rendering of the New York Times coverage of the recently announced resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which spoke of 'scant hopes from the beginning.'
Who cannot agree?
Last week, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, speaking in Dundee, Scotland on a tour sponsored by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, talked about Israel's abandonment of the pretense of diplomacy in favor of a policy of provocation and raw military power, with the ultimate aim of denying Palestinians any chance of forming their own independent state.
And a week before that, Chris Hedges, speaking at a fund raiser for the US Boat to Gaza campaign, called the "peace process (a) cynical, one-way route to the crushing of the Palestinians as a people."
Levy is really talking about the racist Likud agenda of the present government, which will screw Palestinians by offering them a group of Bantustans inside of what will become Greater Israel, the ultimate Likud goal.
Is it any wonder why Moumoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader at this time, has little faith in the peace process which is being encouraged by Mitchell, Clinton, and Obama, and even Netanyahu, who refuses preconditions, but then dictates conditions that can only lead the Palestinians into an unacceptable Apartheid existence? Obama, in one year or so, has turned himself from the savior of Middle East peace (per his Cairo speech) into Netanyahu's poodle (a phrase coined by Booman), which well describes Obama's latest obsequious pandering of the Israel Lobby.
The New York Times article is long, but here are a few paragraphs.
JERUSALEM -- The American invitation on Friday to the Israelis and Palestinians to start direct peace talks in two weeks in Washington was immediately accepted by both governments. But 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.
Instead, there is a resigned fatalism in the air. Most analysts view the talks as pairing the unwilling with the unable -- a strong right-wing Israeli coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with no desire to reach an agreement against a relatively moderate Palestinian leadership that is too weak and divided to do so. "These direct negotiations are the option of the crippled and the helpless," remarked Zakaria al-Qaq, vice president of Al Quds University and a Palestinian moderate, when asked his view of the development. "It is an act of self-deception that will lead nowhere."
"Abbas is naked before his whole community," observed Mahdi Abdul Hadi, chairman of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, an independent research institute in East Jerusalem. "Everyone knows that this Israeli government is not going to deliver anything."
Most Palestinians -- and many on the Israeli left -- argue that there are now too many Israeli settlements in the West Bank for a viable, contiguous Palestinian state to arise there. Settlement growth has continued despite a construction moratorium announced by Mr. Netanyahu. Moreover, support for many of the settlements remains relatively strong in Israel. In other words, if this view holds, the Israelis have closed out any serious option of a two-state solution. So the talks are useless.
(Link to the rest of the article above.)
And yes, it contains mention of all of the "generous offers" Israel made to the Palestinians in the past, and it does so without blinking, without reference to the Oslo Hoax, which allowed the settlement of the Palestinian territories to double under the Clinton administration, Barak's so-called "generous offer" at Camp David 2000, which he later confessed he was not able to deliver, or Olmert's alleged secret offer, which was leaked a year later after negotiations stopped.
None of these Israeli efforts were bona fide. Except for a few months during the Rabin administration, the colonization of Palestinian lands never ceased, it continues today, and will continue during these so-called peace talks. Is there more to know about where the talks will lead?
Netanyahu's tact here, after the ploys of past Israeli PMs Shamir and Sharon, is to continue talking while establishing more facts on the ground. But today, it is Obama who is leading the Palestinians into this old trap.