Netanyahu Declares War on Palestine
By Stephen Lendman
He's a world class thug. He represents the worst of rogue state leadership. He exceeds Sharonian evil. Why Israelis put up with him they'll have to explain.
He's militantly racist. He deplores peace. He thrives on violence and instability. He blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes.
He calls sham peace talks legitimate ones. They've been stillborn decades. They remain so now.
Netanyahu wants Palestinians denied all rights. He wants them cowed into submission. He wants his rules enforced.
Palestinians have no legitimate peace partner. They never did. For sure not now. They're on their own like always. Israel spurns equity and justice. Occupation harshness persists.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu ordered government officials to stop cooperating with PA ones. It's in response to Abbas' "grave violation of (his) commitments to the framework of the peace talks," he claimed.
He lied saying so. Israel bears full responsibility. He stressed eliminating meetings between Israeli ministers and their Palestinian counterparts.
He did so in response to Abbas applying to join 15 UN bodies and treaties. He wants Palestinians denied their legal rights.
Cabinet secretary Avichai Mendelblit informed Israeli minsters by telephone. Only low-level cooperation is permitted.
Israeli Defense Ministry/PA contacts continue. Maintaining them relates to security. Abbas serves as Israel's enforcer. Peace talks aren't affected.
Fatah official Mohammed al-Madani said he's unaware of details on what happened. "If true, this decision is mistaken," he said.
"Itís impossible to sever the ties between Israelis and Palestinians. We must continue to have normal relations in order to reach a just and lasting peace."
Opposition Labor chairman Isaac Herzog reacted. He accused Netanyahu of aggravating sensitive conditions.
"The prime minister is handing petrol and flammable materials to the last of Israel's haters," said Herzog.
"It's not clear what good will come of this superfluous move of cutting off relations with the Palestinian Authority," he added. "In fact, it's quite clear what damage will come of this step."
"It will harm the interests of the state of Israel and its economic sector. The prime minister has begun a process of disengagement between Israel the world."
"This is the result of frustration and helplessness, and the prime minister of Israel's lack of ability to operate within a plan and reached any sort of achievement in that realm. Frustration and helplessness are not diplomatic policy."
Meretz party MK Nitzan Horowitz said:
"Netanyahu is confirming that he killed the diplomatic process after making the talks explode, when he didn't give them a real chance in the first place. He's destroying what's left."
He's hurting Israel most, he added. His action is "irresponsible" and "dangerous."
Environmental Protection minister called his decision "useless." It "deserv(ed) prior discussion," he added.
"I intend to ask the prime minister to hold an in-depth discussion on the significance and implications of this decision," he said.
Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky supports the move. Palestinians need contacts more than Israel, he said.
"It's a serious mistake to think that we need to pay a price just so people will talk to us," he added.
"I commend the prime minister for his decision to respond with determination to the Palestinian Authority's provocations."
Hardline Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called settlement construction Israel's divine right.
"Some people describe the construction as a boom in settlement activities, and I am telling them we will continue to build in the capital of our Jewish homeland," he said.
"Some tried to prevent us from living in our capital, but Zionism will continue to build, nobody will ever be able to stop us."
PA spokesman Ehab Bseiso said Israel undermined efforts "to revive the negotiations, to proceed with a constructive solution to the challenges facing the peace process."
Former US peace negotiator Aaron David Miller claimed:
"A collapse of the (talks) add(s) to the perception that we really don't know what we're doing."
Gulf Research Center senior advisor Mustafa Anali said Arab expectations of Washington are about as low as they can get.
"That's because Arabs never trusted this administration as a peacemaker."
Obama deplores peace. He's a warrior. He waged multiple direct and proxy wars. He's done so throughout his tenure. He's targeting Russia. He's playing with fire.
He wants all independent governments removed. He wants pro-US vassal states replacing them. He one-sidedly supports Israel. He says one thing. He does another.
Netanyahu goes way out of his way to incite conflict. He bears full responsibility for failed talks. Washington shares it. Kerry tried disingenuously to deflect blame.
Hours before Netanyahu's order, he blamed Israel for impasse peace talks conditions. He did so during Senate Foreign Affairs Committee testimony.
He said Abbas applying for UN body memberships followed Israel disrupting so-called peace talks.
"Both sides, whether advertently or inadvertently, wound up in positions where things happened that were unhelpful," he said.
"Clearly, going to these treaties is not helpful, and we have made that crystal-clear," he added.
"Unfortunately, prisoners were not released on the Saturday they were supposed to be released. And so day one went by, day two went by, day three went by."
"And then in the afternoon, when they were about to maybe get there, 700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was sort of the moment. We find ourselves where we are" now.
Damage control followed Kerry's testimony. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said he was misunderstood. He didn't place blame primarily on either party, she claimed.
"Secretary Kerry has been consistently crystal clear that both sides have taken unhelpful steps, and at no point has he engaged in a blame game," she said.
"The fact is, it is up to the parties and their leaders to determine whether they are going to make the tough choices needed, and that has always been the case."
Kerry's above quoted comments need no further explanation. He blamed both sides. He criticized Israel most. It deserves it entirely.
Abbas should have joined all world bodies years ago. He should have done much more. He abstained instead of acting responsibly.
Throughout his tenure, he's been a reliable Israeli collaborator. Betrayal defines his policy. Joining world bodies doesn't matter without willingness to use them.
Most important is holding Israel responsible for high crimes too grave to ignore. Abbas never did so before. Expect nothing this different time.
Failure renders his action meaningless. Kerry and Netanyahu made mountains out of mole hills. Criticizing legal Palestinian rights reveals their true agenda.
They want them entirely denied. They want Israel alone afforded them. They want Palestinians ruthlessly exploited. They want war, not peace.
Israel reacted sharply to Kerry's remarks. An unnamed Israeli official was "deeply disappointed." He referred to what he called his "poof speech."
He countered holding Palestinians responsible for Israel's intransigence. Kerry's remarks "both hurt the negotiations and harden Palestinian positions," he claimed.
Kerry "knows that it was the Palestinians who said 'no' to continued direct talks with Israel in November; who said 'no' to his proposed framework for final status talks; who said 'no' to even discussing recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people; who said 'no' to a meeting with Kerry himself; and who said 'no' to an extension of the talks," he said.
"At the same time, in the understandings reached prior to the talks, Israel did not commit to any limitation on construction."
"Therefore, the Palestinian claim that building in Jerusalem, Israel's capital, was a violation of the understandings is contrary to the facts."
"Both the American negotiating team and the Palestinians know full well that Israel made no such commitment."
An unnamed PA official holds Israel entirely responsible. It's "undermining the American role in the peace process," he said.
Palestinian negotiators "never raised any issue that is not already an Israeli obligation."
Settlement construction is illegal, he stressed. Israel is obligated to halt it entirely. Failure to release prisoners agreed on threw fuel on the fire.
Months of talks reveal failure. Israel "clearly show(s) no interest" in viable Palestinian statehood.
It demands Abbas rescind his world body applications. Palestinian officials said they stand as submitted. They won't be reversed.
An unnamed Israeli official said "Israel wants to see the negotiations continue and will persist in its efforts to resolve the current crisis."
At the same time, he warned: "In response to unilateral Palestinian steps, Israel will take unilateral steps of its own."
It began doing so. It widens the gap between both sides. It makes conflict resolution less likely.
Given Israel's longstanding hardline position, it's virtually impossible. With Netanyahu in charge, it's zero.
Giving peace a chance is no option. Conflict resolution is more distant than ever.
Days earlier, Netanyahu imposed other punitive measures. He said more would follow. He suggested tax revenues due Palestine would be frozen.
Israel collects them and customs duties. It's obligated to return them to PA officials. They provide operating revenues.
They amount to about $100 million monthly. They're on goods imported into Palestine. Israel froze them earlier. It was during times of heightened security and diplomatic tensions.
Twenty-six political prisoners scheduled for release remain incarcerated. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and General Yoav Mordechai were told "to prepare a list of all possible measures."
One suspends Palestine's Wataniya wireless provider. It operates in the West Bank. Permission to do so in Gaza will be denied.
Implementing 3G cellular technology in PA-assigned areas is frozen. So are Area C promotion master plans.
On Tuesday, Abbas arrived in Cairo. He came for an emergency Arab League foreign ministers meeting. It convened at his request.
Failed peace talks were discussed. He asked for economic help. He wants $100 million monthly in case Israel withholds tax revenues.
Arab League foreign ministers want talks continued. Why they'll have to explain. They're futile. They reflect decades of failure. Nothing is different this time.
London-based Asharq Al-Awsat quoted unnamed Palestinian sources saying PA "leadership is open to the idea of extending negotiations but not at any price."
In response to Netanyahu ordering government officials to stop cooperating with PA ones, Hamas called for ending PA security coordination with Israel.
It urged greater resistance against occupation harshness. It said Palestinians should "give full rein" to doing so.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoun said Abbas should act based on Netanyahu's decision. He should let resistance "deter the Israeli occupation and defend our people, our land, and our holy sites."
He should end negotiations. He should recruit regional and international opposition. He should challenge Israeli lawlessness. If not now, when?
Failed peace talks show Hamas was right. Negotiating with Israel assures failure. Doing so negatively impacts Palestinians. They're much worse off than ever.
Earlier talks did more harm than good. Sham ones work this way. They accomplish nothing. They give Israel free rein to benefit at Palestinians' expense.
They suffer horrifically under Israel's boot. Nothing suggests improvement going forward.
Challenging Israeli repression responsibly matters most. The alternative is slow-motion suffocation.
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.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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