Kerry's Shuttle Diplomacy
By Stephen Lendman
America and Israel deplore peace. Claims otherwise are pretense. On June 27, Kerry arrived in Jerusalem. It was his fifth regional trip since February. He'll return. He met straightaway with Netanyahu.
They talk peace. They plan war. They abhor diplomatic conflict resolution. They don't negotiate. They demand. They want Israeli/Palestinian peace talks resumed with no preconditions.
They want unconditional Palestinian surrender. Don't bet Abbas won't agree. He's a longtime collaborator. He's Washington and Israel's man in Ramallah.
In late 2010, talks were suspended. Settlement expansions scuttled them. They continue unabated. Hundreds of new units are planned. Others are under construction.
They're built on stolen Palestinian land. Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas. It's stealing them incrementally. No stoppage is planned.
On Friday, Kerry met Abbas in Amman. He pressured him to go along. Abbas wants settlement expansions frozen. He shows signs of bending.
He's more collaborator than legitimate leader. He's a pro-Western stooge. He's well compensated for services rendered. He surrendered Palestinian rights in Oslo. He'll likely do it again.
Kerry visited Israeli President Shimon Peres. "All of us admire your investment in creating really the right environment," he said.
"I know that it is difficult" he added. There are many problems. (There's) a great expectation that you will do it, and that you can do it."
He means unconditional Palestinian surrender. Expect Abbas to largely comply. Netanyahu's conciliatory tone belies his rock hard stance.
On Friday, he and Kerry had a working dinner. It began three days of talks. "I would not have returned here five times. I wouldn't be here now if I didn't have a belief that this is possible," said Kerry.
In three months of Jerusalem/Ramallah/Amman talks, he met with Netanyahu and Abbas numerous times. He exchanged countless phone calls.
He got promises of greater flexibility. Ordinary Palestinians don't trust Netanyahu. Kerry exerts pressure, not diplomacy. Abbas betrays his own people.
Expect nothing positive this time. There's been none in multiple previous rounds. Netanyahu's all take and no give. Kerry's no different. He represents America's imperial interests. He supports crony capitalist exploitation.
"What I have set is a standard of actual substantive progress on certain framework issues that are important in order to be able to satisfy both sides that it's worthwhile to come to the table," he said.
"But the fact is that assurances have to be built up, mistrust has to be overcome, and a series of understandings have to be reached so that we avoid the disappointments and the failures of the past," he added.
So-called peace process overtures are pretense. Israel deplores peace and stability. It prioritizes violence, belligerence, confrontation, intimidation and dominance. So does America.
They want Palestinians occupied, exploited, persecuted and denied. Netanyahu heads Israel's most extremist ever government. Hardliners control it. They mock democratic values. They spurn rule of law principles.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon spoke for others. Israel won't permit Palestinian self-determination, he said. Preventing it means no peace.
"Look at the government: there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution," he stressed.
"If you will bring it to a vote in the government - nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it - but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home (party), will be against it."
"If there's a move to promote a two-state solution, forces will block it within the party and the government." He added that Netanyahu called for peace talks because he knows resolution won't be reached.
On Sunday, Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, and Transportation Minister Israel Katz gained key Likud power positions. They're ideological extremists. They deplore peaceful conflict resolution.
They warned against concessions they won't tolerate. Doing so will create "a deep split within Likud" if happens, they said.
Kerry stayed longer than expected. Three days of shuttle diplomacy were intense. It was unclear when renewed talks will follow. Israeli officials expressed mixed feelings. An unnamed one was hopeful, saying:
"There is a high probability a four-way summit will take place, perhaps as soon as this week."
Jordanian newspaper Ad-Dustour said Kerry would announce it before leaving. He failed to do so. Jerusalem and Ramallah remain pessimistic.
Israeli Communications and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said both sides are nowhere near restarting talks. He told Israel's Channel 2:
Abbas still "demand(s) the same preconditions that we have no intention of complying with."
Kerry said he wouldn't have come back so soon without feeling progress was possible. He keeps saying time's running out. It's been doing so for years.
Decades of so-called peace talks were futile. Nothing's different this time. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Kerry spoke about formulas. He said nothing new. "Netanyahu's rhetoric about two states seems meaningless since he did not mention 1967."
Palestinians want talks based on pre-1967 borders. They want prisoners released. They want East Jerusalem as their legitimate capital. Netanhayu refuses all demands.
He wants Israel's alone met. He offers nothing in return. Palestinians never had a legitimate peace partner. They have none now. Peace talks are pretense. They're fake. They're not real.
On Sunday, Netanhayu lied. He said Israel's not holding up progress. He's willing to talk. He'll do so only without preconditions. His longstanding ones are drawn in the sand. His words ring hollow.
"We are not creating any barriers to renewed final-status negotiations between us and the Palestinians," he said. "There are certain issues we will stand firm on - first and foremost, security."
Kerry left without resolution. He put on a brave face, saying:
"I'm pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip. And I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach."
"We started out with very wide gaps, and we have narrowed those considerably."
He left more unsaid than explained. He left his regional advisor Frank Lowenstein and State Department legal expert Jonathan Schwartz behind. They'll pursue further talks.
He agreed to return soon as needed. Palestinians prefer he stay home. He's Israel's man at State. Abbas fills the same role in Ramallah.
On Saturday, Hamas called peace talks a "mirage." It issued a statement saying:
"We in Hamas look carefully at US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to re-launch the so-called peace process, which is based upon an American-Zionist agenda which sees settlements devour land and the Judaization of Jerusalem and holy sites."
"These negotiations will not bring anything new. (They'll) perpetuate national divisions."
Coalition partner Naftali Bennett heads Israel's Jewish Home party. He deplores Palestinian self-determination. In early June, he called notions about it at "dead end."
The West Bank belongs to "the people of Israel," he said. "There never was a Palestinian state here, and we were never occupiers. This is our home."
Most ruling party members are likeminded. So are many other Knesset members. Breakthroughs won't happen. Claims otherwise don't wash.
A new Ahrar Center for Detainee Studies and Human Rights report shows what Palestinians face. In 2013 through June, Israel kidnapped 1,790 Palestinians.
Another 16 were murdered in cold blood. Dozens of women, children, the elderly, infirm, legislators, intellectuals and journalists were abducted and imprisoned.
Over two dozen Gaza arrests were made. Seven Palestinian legislators include:
Ahmad Attoun, Hatem Qfeisha, Abdul-Jabbar Foqaha, Imad Nofal, Basem Za’areer, Mahmoud Ramahi, and Mohammad Jamal An-Natsha.
Dozens of wives and relatives of Palestinian political prisoners were kidnapped. At least 17 are still imprisoned. Earlier reports said horrific torture caused Arafat Jaradat's death.
Stage four cancer took Maisara Abu Hamdiyya. Israel denied him treatment. Officials wanted him dead. Ahrar Center head Fuad Al-Khoffash expressed outrage.
He demands what he won't get. He wants international leaders involved. He wants action to stop outrageous Israeli lawlessness. America and EU leaders support it.
European leaders expressed full support for Kerry's peace efforts. A June 24 press release said:
"The Council held an in-depth debate on the Middle East peace process. Following the debate, the High Representative (Catherine Ashton) reaffirmed the EU's commitment to a two-state solution and stressed that the EU fully supports the current efforts of the United States in support of the resumption of direct and substantial negotiations."
Netanyahu expressed delight. Criticism of Israeli settlement construction was excluded. So was daily brutality Palestinians face.
Washington supports Israel's worst crimes. So do EU leaders. Palestinians have no friends in high places. They're isolated on their own. Their liberation struggle's longstanding. It persists. It's nowhere near resolution. Israel won't permit it.
Kerry represents crony capitalism. He's got exploitation in mind. His notion of Palestinian liberation is preventing it. He's mindless of occupation harshness.
He wants greater Israeli development. He wants it on stolen Palestinian land. He wants Israel exploiting Palestinian resources. Large natural gas deposits lie in Gazan territorial waters.
Water and other valued West Bank resources are stolen. Palestinians lucky to have work get slave wage jobs. Kerry wants stepped up Israeli exploitation.
He wants Palestinian hopes dashed. He represents capital's divine rights. His so-called peace initiative is smoke and mirror deception. Most Palestinians understand. America's no friend. They're on their own like always.
A New York Times editorial suggests otherwise. So does Haaretz contributor Rami Livni. More on him below. Times editors express longstanding anti-Palestinian bias. Israeli rights alone matter.
Palestine isn't occupied, they believe. Gaza isn't besieged. The Nakba never happened. Israeli settlements are legitimate. Israel's more victim than aggressor.
Palestinians choose conflict over peace. They're responsible for Israeli crimes. They don't deserve self-determination.
On June 30, Times editors headlined "Secretary Kerry's Quest."
They admit low expectations. Kerry "doggedly" persists. "Despite the skeptics, this issue is of such importance that he is right to stay focused on it."
He "made progress" short of breakthroughs. He'll "return again soon." Hs "determination to maintain secrecy (is) tactical."
Netanyahu's on board. Abbas is being pressured to go along. Public signals aren't clear. Israeli hardliners oppose peaceful conflict resolution.
Kerry wants headway before the September UN General Assembly meeting. Times editors leave unexplained what readers most need to know. They do it every time. They suppress truth.
Peace initiatives were stillborn from inception. Palestinians genuinely want resolution. Tragedy and travesty define years of talks.
Palestinians have no legitimate partner. Gaza's isolated under siege. It's the world's largest open-air prison. Israel invades and attacks at will.
West Bank residents are terrorized. Pre-dawn arrests persist. Arrests follow. Wives lose husbands. Families lose breadwinners. Parents lose children.
Settlement construction continues. Valued Palestinian land is stolen. Israel maintains total control. It's militarized for harshness.
Palestinians security forces terrorize their own people. They do so for Israel. Abbas is more traitor than legitimate leader. He's an imperial stooge.
Palestinian suffering persists. It's unconscionable. No end in sight looms. Israeli lawlessness bears full responsibility. PA complicity shares it. Peace is more illusion than possible. Don't expect Times editors to explain.
Rami Livni headlined "Soon, Netanyahu will bring us peace," saying:
"This time (he's) serious. (He's) going to begin real negotiations and bring us peace." He said he would. Livni naively believes him. Haaretz editors published what demands rejection. Why they must explain.
Livni claims Avigdor Lieberman is "more moderate than people think." He represents ultranationalist extremism. He matches the worst of Netanyahu. They mock democracy. They embarrass legitimate governance.
According to Livni, "simple logic" suggests "breakthrough will arrive after the removal of the Iranian threat - or out of a need to build international support before a decision is taken to act against Iran."
No Iranian threat whatever exists. Israel and Washington invent one. They do so for for imperial motives. Livni didn't explain. Previous articles did.
Livni calls Abbas a legitimate "partner for peace….Netanyahu will energetically, joyfully step forward to reach an agreement - and we of little faith….will be amazed to receive the news, will thereupon eat our hat."
Why Haaretz editors published Livni's wrongheaded analysis they'll have 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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