by Stephen Lendman
PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo criticized Kerry's plan. The PA will ignore its "worthless framework," he said. It mocks legitimacy.
It's totally one-sided. It ignores Palestinian rights. Peace depends on fixed borders, he said. They must be within pre-1967 lines.
Including East Jerusalem is essential. Rabbo dismissed Kerry's land swap deal. It includes placing Israeli Arabs within what's called the Little Triangle. It's in central Israel. It's along its side of the Green Line.
Kerry proposed including this land within a new Palestinian state. In return, Israel would annex settlements, related areas and more.
They're in Area C. It comprises over 60% of West Bank land. It includes its most valued parts. Israel considers it sovereign territory. International law calls it stolen.
According to Rabbo:
"The settlers are the ones who should get out of the Palestinian territories, because they are violating international law."
"No Palestinian state will be created without (East) Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley."
Giving Israel West Bank land belonging to Palestine is a non-starter. Kerry's plan is more frame-up than framework.
It demands Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Doing so would delegitimize its Arab population. It's 20% of all Israelis.
Former Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayyeh quit last November. He did so because of illegal Israeli practices.
Resigning was in response to "increasing settlement building and the absence of any hope of achieving results," he said. Israel bears full "responsib(ility) for the failure of negotiations."
Demanding Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is new, he explained. Palestinians refuse. They do so for good reason.
Diaspora Palestinians' right of return will be denied. They have every right to come home. International law and UN resolutions permit it.
Recognizing a Jewish state declares surrender. National identity would be lost. Ethnic cleansing would be facilitated.
Palestine belongs to Palestinians. They're willing to settle for 22% of their original homeland. Israel wants all valued parts Judaized. It wants Palestinians excluded.
A "state for the Jews" and a "Jewish state" are fundamentally different, said Shtayyeh. He resigned because he Israel can't be trusted.
It negotiates in bad faith. So does Washington. Double-teaming Palestinians gives them no chance whatever.
Current talks are worthless. A power imbalance lets Israel dictate terms. Washington is no honest broker. Palestinians are outmatched. US/Israeli duplicity assures unfairness.
Shtayyeh favors Geneva talks instead. Multiple negotiators compromise Israel's advantage. They even the odds somewhat. They give Palestinians a chance. They have none now.
Hassan Jabareen is a Palestinian lawyer. He founded the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. He's general director.
Palestine already is a state, he explains. It's 1988 Declaration of Independence proclaimed: "The State of Palestine is the state of Palestinians wherever they may be."
How can PLO officials recognize Israel's right to exist while "the PA's security apparatus works in full coordination with" its government, he asked?
At the same time, they refuse to publicly acknowledge Palestinian statehood. They continue sham peace talks. They do so knowing conflict resolution is impossible.
Palestine has no peace partner. It never did. It doesn't now. Israel wants unchallenged dominance.
Washington provides full support. Both nations scorn Palestinian rights. They've done so for decades. They do so now.
Francis Boyle drafted Palestine's Declaration of Independence. He was legal advisor to earlier Palestinian peace negotiators.
Israel "never demonstrated even one iota of good faith when it came to negotiating a two-state solution with the Palestinians," he said.
"And the reason is (they) always wanted all of Palestine going back to the Ball Conference of 1987."
Israel's position remains unchanged. It strongly resists granting Palestinians any rights whatever. It wants total control. It wants occupation harshness continued.
It wants subservient Palestinian puppet leadership. Abbas is a convenient stooge. He feigns concern for his people. He has none whatsoever. He's self-serving.
He's always been this way. He refuses to hold Israel accountable. He won't defend Palestinian rights. He's Israel's man in Ramallah.
Boyle believes Middle East peace is impossible without ending longstanding Palestinian injustice. Others feel the same way.
It begins with legitimate Palestinian leadership. Declaring what already exists comes next.
Palestinian independence dates from November 15, 1988. Most nations recognize it. Full UN membership is essential. It's easily gotten. It depends on legitimate Palestinian leaders pursuing it.
A Security Council veto can't block it. The General Assembly has exclusive legal authority. It can designate the PLO as Palestine's legitimate representative.
It can afford Palestine the same rights as all other member states. According to the binding 1925 Palestine Citizenship Order in Council, Palestinians, their children and grandchildren automatically become citizens.
So do diaspora Palestinians. Israeli and Jordanian ones would have dual nationalities. Occupied residents would remain protected persons. They'd do so until equitable conflict resolution is achieved and Palestinians control their own land.
Washington earlier recognized Palestinian independence. It did so provisionally.
Under UN Charter Article 80(1), its position can't be reversed. Doing so by Security Council veto is illegal.
It won't hold. It's subject to SC action under UN Charter Chapter VI.
The Security Council may only recommend member state admissions. The General Assembly has affirmation authority. It's by a two-thirds majority.
It can require all member states refrain from recognizing Israel's illegal occupation. It can take all necessary measures to end it.
Palestine's independence is "determinative, definitive and irreversible," said Boyle.
It declared its commitment to UN Charter provisions. Peace, equity and justice depend on ending Israel's occupation.
Nothing less is acceptable. Current talks won't discuss it. Excluding it makes peace impossible. As long as Israeli military authority has final say, Palestinians remain subjugated.
On Saturday, talks entered day 3. Kerry plans to stay through Sunday. Mutual distrust is palpable.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested Kerry's arrival in Ramallah. They chanted "Kerry, you coward. There's no place for you in Palestine." "Kerry go home."
His strategy is familiar. It's old wine in new bottles. It's same old, same old. It's business as usual. Militarized occupation prevents peaceful conflict resolution.
So does Gaza's siege. Denying diaspora Palestinians their legal right of return is a non-starter. Claiming all Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital assures continued conflict.
So does stealing Palestinian resources, controlling their borders, air and coastal waters, and denying them other fundamental rights.
Peace in our time remains a convenient illusion. Israel deplores it. So does Washington. Kerry pretends otherwise. Palestinian negotiators turn a blind eye.
Only Israeli rights matter. It considers militarized occupation its divine right. It gets away with murder and much more.
Attacking, arresting, brutalizing, and killing Palestinians continue while sham peace talks press on.
Washington supports Israel's worst crimes. It's done so for decades. Palestinians are considered non-persons.
They're treated like enemies. Their humanity is denied. Illegitimate leaders represent them. Israel wants conflict, not peace.
Talks were stillborn for decades. They're more sham than real. They remain so now. They have no legitimacy whatever. Grand illusion pretends otherwise.
A Final Comment
New York Times editors one-sidedly support Israel. They've done so for decades. On January 3, they headlined "The Ticking Clock."
America is "clearly committed to a deal," they said. They left unexplained its unacceptable terms. "Despite more than 20 official talks, there is no evidence of concrete progress," they added.
"(B)oth sides may be positioning to blame the other if negotiations collapse." Failure is certain whatever happens going forward.
Settlement construction continues. So does ethnic cleansing. On New Year's day, Israel again bombed Gaza.
It did so twice in December. It does it often. It attacks defenseless civilians. It does it by air, land and sea. It blames them for its own crimes.
New York Times editors don't notice or care. They largely ignore brutalizing siege conditions. So-called peace talks don't discuss them. Conflict resolution won't happen as long as they persist.
Times editors pretend peace is possible. They claim Abbas legitimately represents Palestinians.
They ignore fundamental Palestinian rights. Peaceful conflict resolution depends on fully recognizing them.
"(N)either society will be secure until both can learn to compromise and live as states, side by side," they said.
Palestinians want their legitimate rights. They want statehood within pre-1967 borders. They want diaspora Palestinians able to return. They East Jerusalem as their legal capital.
They want control of their resources, borders, air space and coastal waters. They want peace, equity and justice. They want world community support.
They want Israeli high crimes addressed. They what they've been denied for decades. They want what they're fully entitled to have. Don't expect Times editors to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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