by Stephen Lendman
Palestinians never had a legitimate peace partner. They have none now. Decades of talks went nowhere. Oslo was unconditional surrender.
So were Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David, Taba, Bush's Road Map, Annapolis, and other negotiating rounds. Israel demands things its way. So does America. They're all take and no give.
Peace is a convenient illusion. Israel and Washington remain hardline. Long suffering Palestinians are on their own. It's always been this way. It's no different now.
Peace talks are the greatest hoax in modern times. They were stillborn from inception. Palestinians are represented by longtime Israeli collaborators. They're well rewarded for betrayal.
Palestine's elected government is shut out. Coup d'etat governance replaced it. Occupation harshness persists.
Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. Palestinians have no say whatever. They've been brutalized for decades. They're denied all rights. They're virtual prisoners in their own land.
Last July, new talks began. Initial ones were held in Washington. The charade continues.
Major issues remain unresolved. They include a viable independent sovereign Palestine, ending Israel's occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water, air and resource rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital.
Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank and much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily.
Israel prioritizes conflict and instability. It deplores peace. Promises made are broken. Israel's government is its most hardline ever.
It's racist. It's vicious. It's merciless. It's militant. It's dominated by right wing extremists. It's one way. It's not about to change.
Talks provide cover for stealing more Palestinian land. Ethnic cleansing persists. Life in Occupied Palestine reflects institutionalized colonization and apartheid. It's much worse than South Africa's version.
Israel wages war while talking peace. Daily violence persists. On November 4 alone, Israeli soldiers invaded Hebron, Abu Dis, and seven or more Palestinian villages.
They did so violently. They did without cause. Eight nonviolent Palestinian civilians were arrested. Two were shot and injured. Before dawn on Monday, two children were abducted.
Incidents like this continue daily. So does Gaza's siege. Maintaining it is a war crime. Discussing it is off limits during talks.
They persist secretly. Reports hint they're close to collapse. They were stillborn when begun. Expect Palestinians to be blamed when they fail.
It bears repeating. Israel and Washington deplore peace. They demand unconditional Palestinian surrender. John Kerry is Israel's man at State.
His pro-Israeli Senate voting record was second to none. His support for Israel is one-sided. It's unwavering. He's committed to maintaining a special relationship.
He intends denying Palestinians justice. His rhetoric otherwise rings hollow. On November 4, Haaretz headlined "US to propose Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in January, senior MK tells Haaretz."
Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On said he and Netanyahu discussed it during a Rome meeting two weeks earlier.
Kerry is currently visiting Middle East capitals. He's made numerous trips this year. He arrived in Israel Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he's meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas.
"Gal-On said she was basing her information on conversations she has had in recent days with senior Palestinian, American and Arab officials," said Haaretz.
Kerry hopes for "a diplomatic breakthrough," said Gal-On. "The Americans want to move from coordinating between the two sides to a phase of active intervention."
"This coming January, they will present a new diplomatic plan that will include all the core issues and will be based on the 1967 lines, with agreed-on land swaps."
"The plan will include a gradual timetable for implementation and will also address the dimension of regional peace based on the Arab Peace Initiative."
"It will also include an economic plan to invest billions in the Palestinian economy."
Expect no diplomatic breakthrough. Whatever Kerry proposes will be entirely one-sided. Crumbs offered Palestinians will be too little to matter.
Israeli settlement construction continues unabated. Dispossessing Palestinians facilitate it. Israel controls West Bank water and other resources. They're systematically stolen.
Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria land. It wants Jerusalem as its exclusive capital. It refuses to let diaspora Palestinians return. It won't declare fixed borders. It want flexibility to expand them.
It wants Palestinian communities isolated. Kerry's economic plan is fake. It pretends Israel and Palestine are equal partners. Claiming it is laughable on its face.
It's about attracting private investment. It's more neoliberal disaster. It's exploitation writ large.
Palestinian inequality is institutionalized. Kerry wants more of the same. He wants greater exploitation than already.
His peace plan is unconditional surrender. It assures Israeli demands are met. It denies Palestinians a viable future. It leaves them on their own like always.
Since talks resumed in late July, 15 meetings were held. Nothing was resolved. Israel and Washington bear full responsibility.
So does Abbas for agreeing to fake talks in the first place. Israel never budged before. It shows no signs of doing so now.
Details of what Kerry has in mind aren't known. Long suffering Palestinians can expect no justice.
During a Monday Knesset meeting, Netanyahu said he'll accept no external dictates or pressure.
"I don't see that there's been any change in the Palestinian position since" Oslo, he said. He denied seeking an interim agreement.
"We are talking about exactly the opposite. We aspire to a permanent settlement - a fixed arrangement so that there won't be any more demands down the road," he said.
Any final agreement must assure Jerusalem "remains united and under Israeli sovereignty," he added. Viable Palestinian sovereignty within fixed borders is off the table.
Reports suggest Kerry plans offering a bridge agreement. It's one among other options considered. It's like all the others. It's entirely one-sided.
No legitimate Palestinian negotiator would accept it. Palestinians don't have one. Abbas sold out in Oslo (1993).
Palestinians got nothing in return for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They're still waiting.
Occupation harshness continues. Peace remains a convenient illusion. Current talks won't change things. They never did before. They won't now.
Pretending otherwise ignores reality. Long suffering Palestinians deserve much better. Maybe some day. Not now.
A Final Comment
Rashid Khalidi is Columbia University Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies. He directs Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. He's editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.
His recent book is titled "Brokers of Deceit: How the US Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East."
America is no honest broker, he explains. It never was. It's not now. It pretends to be fair-minded. It's polar opposite.
It colludes with Israel. It does so to prevent peace. It perpetuates conflict and violence. It blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes.
Khalidi explains why peace remains illusive. Decades of talks went nowhere, he said. They were "never designed to end occupation." They prevent Palestinian self-determination.
They succeeded in institutionalizing total Israeli control. They created "obstacles" to peace. They "made a two-state solution virtually impossible."
Longstanding one-sided US support for Israel made things much worse today than earlier. They're "intractable." America's role is entirely "negative."
Israel gets whatever it wants. Peace talks are a "charade." They're a "travesty." They reflect "a grotesque Orwellian process."
The phrase "peace process" is fake. "There is no peace." Obama continues the shell game.
Khalidi taught at the University of Chicago when he was a law school professor. They knew each other. Khalidi had "very low expectations" of how he perform politically. "Those expectations have been fully realized," he said.
Palestinian suffering persists. Obama's collusion with Netanyahu permits it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.