- Pretending to restart Israeli/Palestinian peace talks,
Quartet representatives met in Washington on July 11. Attending were Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy Catherine Ashton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and former UK Prime Minister/reinvented
war criminal/current Middle East envoy Tony Blair.
- Ahead of talks, Clinton and Ashton expressed determination
to overcome previously unresolved issues.
- On July 12, an unidentified senior US official called
the meeting an "excellent and serious discussion on the next steps.
(Representatives) expressed support for (Obama's) May Middle East speech
and called to start preparatory phases of talks without any preconditions."
- However, "(t)here are still gaps, and they need
to be closed before the Quartet can go forward with public statements."
- In fact, chasms define still unresolved issues. More
on that below.
- On July 12, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Israel
and Palestinian sources to Haaretz: US peace efforts have failed,"
- Intensive US strong-arming failed. America "was
unable to find a formula that (all) parties could accept." Manipulative
Washington demands were unacceptable. Netanyahu blamed Palestinians for
- Last January's Palestine Papers revealed that Obama rejected
unacceptable Bush era two state solution "Road Map" terms, effectively
accepting settlements as Israeli territory. Or did he?
- On September 23, 2009, he told the UN General Assembly
he supported "(t)wo states living side by side in peace and security
- a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a
viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends
the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian
- However, on October 21, 2009, Obama's Special Middle
East Envoy George Mitchell said:
- "The US believes that through good faith negotiations,
the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that achieves both the Palestinian
goal of an independent and viable state encompassing all the territory
occupied in 1967 or its equivalent in value, and the Israeli goal of secure
and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meets Israeli
- He meant an independent Palestine would include 6,258
square km, the equivalent of Gaza and the West Bank. However, he suggested
land swaps as part of the deal, replacing a two state solution with an
ethnically pure Jewish state (excluding Israeli Arabs) and an unacceptable
- In November 2007, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
- "Israel (is) the state of the Jewish people - and
I would like to emphasize the meaning of 'its people' is the Jewish people
- with Jerusalem the united and undivided capital of Israel and of the
Jewish people for 3,007 years."
- In other words, Israeli Arabs aren't wanted. Either leave
or be expelled. Only Jews may be citizens. UN Resolution 194 granting Palestinian
refugees the right of return is rejected.
- In September 2009, Israeli Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime
Minister Avigdor Lieberman endorsed ethnic cleansing, saying:
- "A final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians
has to be based on a program of exchange of territory and populations."
- On July 17, the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre
headlined, "Report: US sought Quartet approval for Bush-era settlement
assurances." However, EU and Russia representatives rejected the scheme,
- "Senior European diplomats said that the failure
of the Quartet meeting pushed the Palestinians even more toward turning
to the UN" for independent sovereign state recognition and full status
de jure recognition.
- American intransigence is responsible, proposing "one-sided
wording for an announcement that favored Israel and which had no chance
of being accepted by the Palestinians."
- Senior European sources said:
- "The Israelis pressured the US very heavily and
the American wording was too blatant and unbalanced."
- It called for land swaps, settlements annexed by Israel,
and disapproval of Palestinian General Assembly efforts for full status
de jure recognition in September. Ashton and Lavrov rejected US language
- "Permanent peace means two states for two people
(not a two state solution): Israel as a Jewish state and a homeland for
the Jewish people and the state of Palestine as homeland for the Palestinian
people and each state enjoys self determination and mutual recognition
- Washington rejected General Assembly sovereign state
recognition, saying it must be resolved through Israeli/Palestinian negotiations,
"tak(ing) into consideration the changes that occurred in the past
44 years, including the new demographic facts on the ground and the needs
of both sides."
- In other words, settlements (exceeding 40% of the West
Bank and East Jerusalem) belong to Israel. Unstated but also perhaps expelling
Israeli Arabs to make Israel ethnically pure, and demanding Palestinians
recognize it as a Jewish state. In return, Palestinians get virtually nothing,
except nominal recognition on land unfit for statehood.
- That's how America and Israel negotiate. It's why peace
negotiations were stillborn from inception, a worthless exercise because
both countries reject it. As a result, how can Palestinians negotiate without
a willing partner.
- In fact, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (1983 -
1984 and 1986 - 1992) admitted it, saying he wanted talks to drag on for
years so Israel could expropriate Palestinian land to expand settlements,
a policy still in place. Moreover, Prime Minister Netanyahu once called
the peace process "a waste of time," laying down take it or leave
it demands like Yitzhak Rabin's Oslo Accords.
- Since the mid-1970s, talks proved more pretense than
peace, especially since 2006 with Palestine's legitimate government excluded
from negotiations, spuriously called a terrorist organization and held
hostage under siege.
- That's where things now stand, why Palestinians must
get de jure General Assembly recognition, then seek international condemnation
of Israel's illegal occupation of a sovereign state, demanding it end.
- A Final Comment
- Sailing for Gaza, Israeli naval vessels surrounded Freedom
Flotilla II boat Dignite al Karama in international waters.
- Blocking the small yacht were "three battle ships
and seven commando boats of different sizes (with) at least 150 soldiers",
according to Haaretz journalist Amira Hass on board.
- Carrying 13 activists, including herself, and three crew
members, it pressed on. Israel threatened to attack.
- Around mid-morning on July 19, Israeli Radio (Reshet
Bet) said naval forces controlled the boat with no clashes, and that it
would be towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
- The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth said IDF chief
Benny Gantz ordered naval forces to take over the vessel, "after the
activists refused to alter the route of the ship to Ashdod." Prior
to intercepting it, it was heading toward "an area that is under a
- Activists were told to choose between (interrogations
and) deportation or imprisonment. Earlier, Flotilla spokesperson Thomas
Sommer-Houdeville said the boat carried a message of peace, hope and solidarity
with besieged Gazans.
- Hass said its "participants regard themselves as
representatives of the entire (blocked Flotilla), and are determined to
exhaust all possibilities (to) reach (Gaza), or at least carry out the
symbolic act of protesting the blockade."
- They understand the risks but took them anyway, challenging
Israeli viciousness unarmed in peace.
- Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon accused passengers
of "a provocative act." Haaretz said Prime Minister Netanyahu
and Defense Secretary Ehud Barak congratulated naval forces for successfully
intercepting the boat.
- Elite Shayetet 13 commandos boarded it, Hamas spokesman
Ismail Rudwan calling it "piracy, a war crime and a violation of the
principles of human rights."
- Israel's lawlessness, in fact, gave humanitarian activists
another victory. By winning battles, Israel lost the war, exposing itself
as a rogue terror state, shooting itself in the foot with each criminal
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive
Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central
time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy