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Israel's Duplicitous Prisoner Release Offer

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli agreements, offers, and other concessions aren't worth the paper they're written on. Pledges made are systematically broken.

It happens virtually every time. Rogue states operate that way. Israel's one of the worst. It's a democracy in name only. It never was one. It's not now.

It's contemptuous of non-Jews. It believes Muslims are subhuman. It shows in how it treats them. Racism is institutionalized.

Persecution is standard practice. Apartheid is longstanding. So is brutalizing, lawless, militarized occupation. Nothing ahead suggests change.

Peace is a convenient fiction. It's been stillborn for decades. John Kerry is Israel's man at State. He represents its interests. He spurns Palestinian rights. He claims otherwise. He does so duplicitously.

On Friday, he concluded his sixth regional trip since February. Palestinians wish he'd stay home. He lied claiming success. Certainly not for them. At a Friday Amman press conference, he said:

"I'm pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis."

"This is a significant and welcome step forward. The agreement is still in the process of being finalized so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now."

"Today, however, I am hopeful. I am hopeful because of the courageous leadership by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu."

"Both of them have chosen to make difficult choices here and both of them were instrumental."

It's hard imagining how he avoided not choking on his words. They're meaningless. They're duplicitous. They disguise one-sided Israeli support. They reflect same old, same old for Palestine.

Kerry's announcement followed four days of discussions. Palestinians want peace talks based on pre-1967 borders.

Netanyahu categorically refuses. So do most other Knesset members. They're hardline. They're fascists. They reflect Israel's most extremist government ever.

They deplore peace. They endorse violence and instability. They prioritze brutalizing occupation. Kerry fully supports them. Don't expect him to explain.

So-called peace talks are duplicitous. Palestine's legitimate government is excluded. Imagine holding talks without one side. It shows what Palestinians face.

It's been this way for decades. Nothing suggests change now. Palestine's illegitimate president Abbas represents Israel. His 2005 election was rigged.

His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to call new elections. He's a longtime Israeli collaborator. He sold out at Oslo. He did so in subsequent agreements.

Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. It wants unconditional surrender. Abbas yielded before. He'll do it again. He's well compensated for betrayal. Who said crime doesn't pay?

In the next week or so, PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat and Israeli's Tzipi Livni will begin preliminary talks in Washington.

It's the worst possible place besides anywhere inside Israel. They're locations meant to intimidate. Abbas and Erakat make it easy. They've sold out so many times before. This time won't be different.

Israel claimed to offer a good will gesture. It never did before. Its dark side assures none this time.

According to Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz:

"There will be some release of prisoners. I don't want to give numbers, but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for tens of years."

He added that settlement construction will continue. Ending or curtailing it's out of the question. Final status issues won't be resolved.

Why hold discussions in the first place? They'll accomplish nothing. They're a waste of time. Issues Palestinians want resolved won't be considered.

Abbas shamelessly agreed not to sue Israel in international courts. He won't pursue ICJ justice. It's the one venue offering Palestine a chance. It's off the table.

Israel's prisoner release offer is far less than what meets the eye. Key is how long they'll stay free. It's how they'll be treated back home. Freedom comes with a price.

In October 2011, Israel released 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners. It did so in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Addammer said an "indeterminate number of prisoners released in the exchange have since been re-arrested for various periods of time."

Military Order 1651 permits canceling amnesty. It's done based on secret information. It spurns judicial fairness.

Former prisoners face false charges. Israel claims they violated amnesty terms. They're rearrested and imprisoned. They're forced to serve out their terms.

At times, new charges are filed. Justice is a four-letter word. Palestinians are denied it entirely. Thousands of its best and brightest rot in Israeli gulag hell. Release for many is temporary. Longterm incarceration is commonplace.

No one in Palestine is free. Once arrested, they're marked for life.

Israel monitors released prisoners relentlessly. It harasses them and their families ruthlessly. Settlers get financial rewards for killing them.

They're further compensated for distributing flyers calling for their murder. Israeli security forces aid and abet them.

Former prisoners explain what they endure. They're targeted mercilessly. Israeli police and security forces harass them.

Their homes are raided. Their families are terrorized. Their friends are watched. They're summoned for questioning. Their movements are restricted.

In November 2011, Sumoud Yaser Karaja spoke for others, saying:

Shin Bet interrogators threatened him. They said "Israeli intelligence watches every move (he) makes." They'll "keep watching until they can put (him) back in prison."

"And when (they) do get (him) imprisoned again, (he'll) spend (his) whole life inside and will never be able to leave."

Imagine being charged with terrorism for the wrong reason. Palestinians are targeted for wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.

Millions of Palestinians endure this. Liberation remains a longstanding dream. Maybe some day. Not now. Not as long illegitimate leaders like Abbas represents them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

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.





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