by Stephen Lendman
Peace talks are more pretense than real. They've been that way for decades. Initiatives were always stillborn. They reflect the greatest diplomatic scam of all time.
It's no different now. Peaceful conflict resolution's a convenient illusion. It's guaranteed. Chances for success are ZERO. Smart money knows but won't say.
Yehuda Bauer is Hebrew University Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry Professor Emeritus. A previous article discussed him.
He's a holocaust scholar. He studied genocide for decades. He prioritizes ways to stop it. What does "Never again" mean, he asks? It's an "empty slogan." It belies the fact that holocausts repeat.
He says Netanyahu doesn't know history. He's an ideologue. He believes Jews should rule greater Israel. He's mindless of Palestinian rights.
Bauer said settlements and right-wing extremism destroyed the original Zionist dream. He's appalled at how Israel treats Palestinians.
In May 2011, he signed a "declaration of independence from the occupation." He urged Israel to recognize Palestinian self-determination.
He supports a "democratic state within the 1967 boundaries, with certain territorial exchanges."
He believes a Jewish state is "obliged not only to make peace with its Palestinian and Arab neighbors, but (offer) the possibility for national-cultural development and full equal rights to the Arab minority living in the State of Israel."
He says settlements are "working against us and endangering us. We have to remove the majority of the settlers from the territories, which are actually areas of the State of Palestine."
He calls major powers pressure the only way to do so. He urges peace talks conducted the same way. He wants them continued "until white smoke emerges."
"The instant it is decided to stop financing the settlements, that story will come to a swift end." Otherwise, Masada 2.0 may follow.
On August 18, Bauer headlined "Why the US has been failing to broker peace for 40 years," saying:
US pressure forced talks. Chance for success is "miniscule." It's "because the maximum possible concessions from one side don't meet the minimum demands of the other."
In other words, Israel's all take and no give. Comprise is verboten. Israel yields virtually nothing. Its promises are made to be broken.
According to Bauer, Netayahu said "peace will happen only as a result of negotiations between the sides and not due to external pressure."
"The truth is the exact opposite: Only external pressure can bring peace."
For decades, America tried "broker(ing) a compromise based upon two mistaken views:
The first is the assumption that both sides are interested in peace.
The second is that American domestic policy does not enable pressure to be applied to the sides against their will - in practice, against the will of Israeli governments."
Peace one side wants is polar opposite what the other side demands. Palestinians want real independence. They want it within 1967 borders.
They want Israeli right of return recognition. They want East Jerusalem as their recognized capital.
They want control over their borders, air space and resources. They want occupation ended. Israel's hardline. It rejects all Palestinian demands.
It "wants Jerusalem under its control, a maximal annexation of the territory of the West Bank, an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, complete demilitarization of the Palestinian state and a state that de facto will be entirely dependent on Israel - if it arises altogether."
"Compromise will not be created by direct talks unless a miracle happens, although the talks may go on for months."
Obama officials mistakenly believe AIPAC "represents the Jewish public in the United States."
"(I)t represents 15,000-20,000 well-off Jews, a large majority of whom are conservative and Republican supporters."
"Israel is important to American Jews, but the economy and social issues are more important."
"There won't be any Jewish opposition to pressure on Israel, if its end result is assuring and strengthening Israel's security through achieving peace."
Obama administration pressure is fundamentally flawed. It fails to apply it equally on both sides. It favors Israel. It spurns Palestinian rights. It shows in official US policy.
At the same time, Russia, China, EU countries and regional ones care about unresolved conflict. It affects their own interests.
"In theory (it's) possibl(e) (to create enough) pressure (to) facilitate progress through the stages of talks," said Bauer.
"Such pressure would use simple enough means to equally pressure both sides to sit down and make mutual concessions but would not write out the details to the solution."
"(E)conomic pressure could be applied to force the sides to return to serious negotiations." One-sided US Israeli policy prevents it.
It's hard understanding why Washington repeat efforts always ending in failure, said Bauer.
America and Israel prioritize conflict and instability. Peace defeats their agenda. Their greatest fear is real democratic change. Hardline policies assure against it breaking out.
On August 13, Haaretz editors headlined "Targeted assassination of talks," saying:
Netanyahu spent months "persuad(ing) Israelis and the international community of his sincere longing for" renewed peace talks.
He stressed willingness to negotiate "without preconditionsâ€¦But on the eve of the renewed talks (it) turns out that the term 'preconditions' has a variety of interpretations."
He agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners. He did so in exchange for "slowing down" settlement construction.
He's gone out of his way prevent equitable conflict resolution. He won't tolerate it. He claims otherwise. He earlier called peace talks a waste of time.
His duplicitous interpretation of " 'no preconditions' pushes the envelope of Palestinian understanding."
Accelerated settlement construction bears no relationship to "the immediate need for roofs over the heads of the homeless."
"They seem to represent the hope for a targeted assassination of the opening of the peace talks after every other effort to stop them has failed."
They show Israeli "rejectionis(m) of every diplomatic process."
Netanyahu never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He's leading Israel "into a minefield." He damaging relations globally. He's heading Israel toward "international isolation."
He and likeminded hardliners "must immediately stop this double political game and overcome the conditioned reflex by which every time talks come near, it responds with real estate violence."
It's long past time Israel prioritized peaceful conflict resolution. Perpetuating it assures no winners.
What can't go on forever, won't. Palestinians won't quit short of justice.
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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