continuation of illegal Israeli settlements in West Bank, and Obama's weaknesses lead to collapse of peace talks once again


By ibrows
October 6, 2010
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Netanyahu has failed to extend the settlement freeze, revealing Israel is more interested in seizing more Palestinian land, than creating a viable peace deal. How can negotiations continue about a lasting peace deal, while simulateously Israel continues to illegally occupy more and more Palestinian land. The talks are effectively dead in the water, which is precisely what many on the Israeli side, including the settlers hoped to achieve all along.

Obama's position in the 'peace talks' charade is revealed in a letter he sent to Netanyahu, the letter discloses the power relations which exist, that make a total mockery of the US claims to be a honest broker for peace, with Israel strongly supporting the Israeli position of continued illegal settlements and the continuation of the occupation.

In the letter Obama offered Bibi, in exchange for a two-month continuation of the settlement freeze, the following:

'the US promised to veto any UN Security Council proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the next year, and committed to not seek any further extensions of the freeze. The future of the settlements would be addressed only in a final agreement'.

'The White House would also allow Israel to keep a military presence in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, even after the creation of a Palestinian state; continue controlling the borders of the Palestinian territories to prevent smuggling; provide Israel with enhanced weapons systems, security guarantees and increase its billions of dollars in annual aid; and create a regional security pact against Iran'.

Clearly Obama is not an honest broker for peace, but unconditionally supports the Israelis and merely seeks to keep the charade of peace talks going on long enough to personally reach the US Congressional elections in November.

'The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last Friday that senior White House officials were no longer “buying the excuse of politicial difficulties” for Netanyahu in holding his rightwing governing coalition together. If he cannot keep his partners on board over a short freeze on illegal settlement building, what meaningful permanent concessions can he make in the talks?'

Netanyahu rejected the US plans even though the actually proposal would have meant Israel making absolutely no concessions, other than agreeing to attend 2 more months of meaningless meetings in which they would as usual refuse to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, and then blame Abbas (as usual) for the failures to reach a deal.

'The disclosures were made by an informed source: David Makovsky, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a close associate of Dennis Ross, Obama’s chief adviser on the Middle East, who is said to have initiated the offer. The letter’s contents have also been partly confirmed by Jewish US senators who attended a briefing last week from Ross'.

http://www.counterpunch.org/cook10042010.html

COMMENTS

mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:10

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How's the weather in Tehran?


amber

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:33

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Why does the JC allow this demonisation of Israel by a handful of whackos?


Yvetta

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:43

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Why indeed?
They just never say.
Perhaps we should begin suggesting reasons ...
That way, when we strike pay dirt, they might close the thread, and we'll know which suggestion hit dah nail on dah head!


Yvetta

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 15:04

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Amber, you have mail


ibrows

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 15:08

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Does the truth that your unwilling to acknowledge hurt? That Israel was never interested in achieving a peace deal, but more interested in stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Plus, whether you agree with my views or not, Why did Netanyahu not accept the US deal? Because he's not interested in achieving a peace deal, that why, as this letter reveals, Israel were offered considerable bribes and huge concessions, simply to agree to a 2 month settlement freeze, but Israel declined and preferred to build more settlements


amber

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 15:34

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ibrows

I cjhallenge you to explain which land specifically has been "stolen", and when precisely it was "Palestinian".

I also challenge to you explain what concessions the Palestinians are offering - what are they offering for peace - except an ongoing refusal to recognize Israel and more terrorism. these talks began with the murder of six Israelis (including a pregnant woman, so that was seven lives lost to usher in these "talks". israel could have simply walked away then. It is a pity you regard bricks and mortar as more important than human life.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 15:41

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Amber, that argument doesn't hold water. If anything, by persisting in building settlements, Israel is regarding bricks and mortar as more important than human life.
Israel holds all the cards -- the Palestinians have already recognised Israel, so Netanyahu's latest wheeze for recognition as a Jewish state/state of the Jews is just another ploy to get the talks to fail.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:13

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Jordan and Egypt have both this week threatened Israel with war unless Israel enforces a ban on settlement building.

So what TelegramSam is saying is that unless Jews stop building homes in Judea and Saramaria they are inviting the Arabs to attack them, in which case it will be the Jews' fault for being bombed / shot.

I don't buy this argument, sorry. If Arabs attack Israel on any pretext - especially building homes for crying out loud - it is the Arabs that I will hold responsible for the violence.

That is the correct moral stance. TelegramSam's is incorrect, and also defeatist and an appeasement to the threat of terror.


Jon_i_Cohen

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:20

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ibrows & telegramSHAM
This is getting boring.
For those too young to know the historical facts or too ignorant to undertake some research before posting rubbish; The "settlements are NOT "illegal", and have never been deemed so in ANY Court Of Law.

Please read the following article and educate yourselves:-

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/settlements-the-myth-exposed


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:21

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No that is disingenuous, Matt. Egypt and Jordan did not threaten war. They said that unless the peace talks continued, the region could descend into war. They did not threaten it.
What Telegramsam is saying that Israel should stop building in the occupied territories while there is a chance of peace talks and while the status of those territories is being discussed. The Israelis would be the first to scream blue bloody murder if the Palestinians did anything unilateral, so why should the Israelis be allowed to get away with it?


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:24

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JIC, bombing Sderot was never deemed illegal in any court of law, so your argument is totally bogus. The settlements are illegal because they are on land acquired by force. Their residents were sent their by successive Israeli governments -- that's how the Israelis themselves describe it -- through financial incentives. Thus they are illegal.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:24

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The other point, telegramsam, is that a moratorium on settlement building is one of only a few things that Israel has to bargain with. These are negotiations remember - quid pro quo - not a blank cheque for Fatah.

The Arabs have the ever-present threat of violence, uprising and regional war. Israel has settlements. If Israel is to extend the moratorium it must be in return for something from the Arab League negotiators.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:26

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TelegramSam when King Hussein or Mubarak talk about the region descending into war they're threatening it. Don't be naive.

Jordan and Egypt have attacked Israel how many times before? Why should their words be taken any differently?

The only peace Israel has with its neighbours is on a piece of paper, and it only exists as long as it's in their interests. It can be torn up at any time if they view conditions as favourable or if they think they can win.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:26

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Matt, Israel too has the ever present threat of a well-army, well-trained military. It isn't exactly backward in coming forward when it comes to using it, too. The quid pro quo for the moratorium is simple -- negotiations so that the status of the occupied territories is determined once and for all.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:30

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No they are not, Matt. The threat is from Iran and its proxies, hamas and Hizbollah. Mubarak and Abdullah were very clear about that. If the talks fail, it's a victory for the extremists.
The last time Israel was attacked by Jordan and Egypt, they didn't have peace agreements. Israel has, since it signed agreements with the Egyptians in the late 70s and the Jordanians in the 90s, embarked on several military (mis)adventures. Were the peace deals broken? No.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:05

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TelegramSam you're wrong.

Hussein and Mubarak are both pragmatists, and their main objective is maintaining their power base. The main threat to their power base is Islamist extremism, and they need Israel's help and cooperation to tackle that phenomena. It's a marriage of convenience - not a long term peace in the same way as Britain and France are at peace. You must know that there is an extraordinary amount of hatred towards Israel in both countries and in the wider Arab / Muslim world, and their passive support for Israel costs them politically. Both the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes are hated in Islamist circles, precisely because they're seen as puppets to Israel and the west.

The reason there has been peace between Israel and her neighbours since 1973 is not goodwill and love for Israel but because a) they know they can't win and it will end in humiliation for them and their regimes, and b) they are allies of the US (again convenience) and US foreign policy dictates. As long as the US is strong. At the moment it's looking shaky. Of course that doesn't stop them promoting the Nakba myth and demonising Israel in their press, boycotting Israeli academics and journalists and banning travel to and from Israel. Or maintaining the poor standards of living for the 1948 "refugees" within their borders.

You should check out some of the things Mubarak has said in the past about Jews and Israel to Arab audiences, it's really quite depressing. Efraim Karsh (head of ME studies at Kings College - who ibrows and his ilk will no doubt dismiss as biased) has some choice quotes in his new book.

The long term goal for the Arab states is to dismantle Israel. Surely you must know that. There can be no possible greater victory for any Arab leader than the defeat and humiliation of the Zionist entity. They view the peace process as a means to an end, to reduce Israel to indefensible borders and continue their campaign of deligitimisation over a period of many years.

Iran and its proxies are the most pressing threat to Israel, but that doesn't mean that the hostility of the Arab world at large isn't a more serious long term problem.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:06

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I keep saying Hussein, and of course I mean Abdullah. I have a problem with names today.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:10

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And one more thing TS:

What Telegramsam is saying that Israel should stop building in the occupied territories while there is a chance of peace talks and while the status of those territories is being discussed.

Have the Palestinians stopped building in Judea and Samaria while their "status" is being discussed TS? In fact have they stopped building anywhere? Why not?


amber

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:17

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telegramsam, you are wrong - and it is a common mistake. The palestinians have not "recognized" Israel at all. Hamas not only does not recognize Israel, it wishes to destroy it - along with every Jew on earth. And Abbas, the Holocaust denying "moderate" of fatah, has explicitly clarified this point; he states that he recognizes that such an entity called Israel exists, but that neither he, nor Fatah, will recognize it as a Jewishs state - ever, under any circumstances, even if a peace deal is reached.

So, as I said, you are wrong.


amber

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:18

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Again I ask, what concessions are the Palestinians offering for peace?


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:30

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amber: I think they would probably point to the cessation of violence and cooperation with reigning in militant factions.

Whether that is actually a concession or not is debatable, but I imagine they think it is.


ibrows

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:34

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Amber

When will Israel recognise the Palestinians, yes the Palestinians who lived in Israel prior to 1947 and the creation of Israel, and the Palestinians whose land was occupied by Israel illegally in 1967.

As occupiers Israel are indeed holding all the cards, yet your asking the occupied Palestinians to make all the concessions, is not having your land seized and occupied enough? Or having your movements restricted by Israeli checkpoints?

Abbas will never 'recognise' Israel, as to do so, as i have stated many times here previously, is to recognise (i.e, accept) the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories as 'legitimate', which clearly it is not, plus recognition of Israel would similarly be taken as a denial of any rights of the Palestinian refugees from 1948 returning to what is now Israel. Why would Abbas or any Palestinian leader give up these rights, by recognising Israel, while Israel continues its colonial project in the Palestinian territories?

Amber, what your asking is for Palestinians to give up all their rights, while Israel continues to act without regard for international law, and to continue seizing Palestinian land. That is precisely why the Palestinians have not recognised Israel, as to do so would be to accept the illegal occupation as a 'permanent' situation


ibrows

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:38

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Amber

Lets be clear, recognition of Israel has nothing to do with the legal pre-1967 borders, everyone worldwide recognises these legal borders and Israel's right to exist. Palestinians will not recognise the illegal borders of the occupation as this would amount to accepting the occupation which is illegal under international law


ibrows

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:41

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Israel's denial of the Palestinians is evident from its refusal to correctly refer to them as 'Palestinians', instead 'Israeli-Arab' is used, in a bid to claim, they are Arab and don't belong in Israel. Even though these Palestinians lived in what is now Israel, prior to 1947.


Yvetta

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 17:57

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You berk, ibrows. The Arabs of Palestine were what they were known as under the Mandate, along with the Jews of Palestine. The term Palestinian was a later invention of their own, to mean only them.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:04

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Ibrows here proves the point I am trying to make, which is that the Arab / Muslim world considers all of Israel "occupied territory" - not just J&S.

What, short of the destruction of Israel, can appease such a world view?

Isn't any concession of land just going to encourage that mentality?


Yvetta

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:08

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I'm beginning to fear even the "moderates" are bent on acquiring all of Israel somewhere down the track, Matt -viewing a peace treaty only as a way-station on the road to that end rather than peace being an end in itself.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:11

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Matt, the Palestinians are building, when they can, when the settlers aren't appropriating their land, because they have to live somewhere. Israelis have the whole of Israel, vast areas of which are under- or uninhabited. The West Bank is where their state will be.


Yvetta

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:13

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Oh, you said it in your splendid long entry some way back - didn't read it before; only had eyes for ibrows.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:18

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Amber, what can the Palestinians offer? They have nothing at present. And they wot have nothing, have nothing to lose.
Also, why are you equating Hamas with the Palestinians? Are the settlers or Kahanists synonymous with Israelis? And please explain to me what you mean by a Jewish state, or even what Israel means by it. Does it mean that the Prime Minister/President of Israel is the Prime Minister/President of the Jews? Bit of a problem that, don't you think? You know -- allegations of dual loyalty are things we can do without thankyouverymuch.
I doubt very much if even Israel knows what it means by Israel being a Jewish state. It's just something Bibi pulled out of his hat in the hope that it will stall the talks.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:21

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Seems to me, Yvetta, that the Israelis, with their self-defeating policies, are doing all they can to facilitate the wishes of those Palestinians who want a one-state solution. I am told there is an Israeli saying: it isn't enough to be right, you've got to be clever too.
And the Israelis, bless 'em, are not being clever.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:22

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Well there's not much point in negotiations in that case telegramsam since apparently you've already decided the outcome.

I'll let Bibi know, I'm sure he'd love a holiday.

Incidentally although you give the opposite impression - unintentionally I'm sure - Jewish communities take up about 2% of Judea and Samaria.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:32

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The outcome is obvious: a Palestinian state on the West Bank alongside Israel, along -- more or less -- the 67 boundaries.
Also, does it not strike you as more than a little odd that 2 per cent of the population of the West Bank have all the rights they want, while the remaining 98 per cent have none? Bit apartheid-like, in fact.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/06/2010 - 18:43

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Will reply tomorrow. Don't stay up all night worrying about it ;)


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:04

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telegramsam, what can the Palestinians offer? Are you serious?

They can offer the Jews the right to keep the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, including the Kotel. They can renounce all violence, which neither Fatah nor Hamas has done. They can drop the so-called "right of return", and offer Jewish refugees from Arab lands compensation. The Palestinians could sop incitement against Jews - the antisemitism in state broadcasts, extolling the virtues of killing Jews, they could stop the summer camps which teach kids how to hate Jews and gives them weapons training - come on telegramsam, use your brain!

Your equation between Hamas and the Kahanists is just plain silly. Hamas won elections amaongst the Palestinians (and the Kahanists, who are tiny in number, have not conducted a massive campaign of suicide bombings). So you have to admit that Abbas represents only half the Palestinians - Hamas represents a very sizeable proportion.

Your post really represents eveything which is wrong with the "peace process" - and also ensures that it won't work. For you, this process means Israel gives, and the Arabs take. The more Israel gives, the more the Arabs want. Every time Israel gives - it leads to more violence, not less. And make no mistake - the endgame is the destruction of Israel.


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:05

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That you work for the UJIA and question what a Jewish state is, is simply monstrous.

Why does the UJIA tolerate you spending your working day on blogs?


zair (not verified)

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:19

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amber - let's assume they offer all the concessions you mention and they still don't get anywhere, what would you suggest the Palestinians do next?


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:37

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Amber, the Palestinians have done all that you have suggested they do, while the issue of the "right of return" is something that is to be discussed in final-status talks. The Israelis agreed to that, too. Israel has all the cards, Amber, the Palestinians have none.


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:38

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Amber, Israel hasn't yet worked out what a Jewish state means. So are they monstrous, too?


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:40

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Well, zair, they haven't - so your question is hypothetical.

Or are you suggesting that they should then launch a wave of terror against Israeli civilians - like they have so many times before?


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:41

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telegramsam, excuse me? They have done all these things?

They have done none of these things. We really aren't going to get very far if you simply don't recognize reality.


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:43

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In addition, I think most Israelis are comfortable with their Jewishness, and with their country being a Jewish state. They seem to know what it means (aprt from the usual far left self flagellating ones - the same people who throughout the West denigrtae eveything about their own cultures) - even if you don't.

You are obviously uncomfortable being a Jew. Why do you work at UJIA?


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 09:45

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As I said, the endgame is destrying Israel in stages - Arafat admitted the plan openly.


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:03

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Amber, I am very comfortable being Jewish. And most Israelis, as you say, are comfortable with whatever level of Jewishness they adhere to -- from completely pork-munching, calamari frying secular to meshuganah frum. The problem is that Israel, as a state, hasn't worked out what it means when it says it is a Jewish state or a state for the Jewish people.
The Orthodox object to it being called a Jewish state because it is not run by halachah. The secular object to it being called a Jewiush state because they don't want it to be run by halachah -- making it a second Iran.
A state for the Jewish people? What does that mean for the 25 per cent of the population -- and growing -- who aren't Jewish? Can they identify with such a state? Do they have a stake in the state? Think about this: How can a non-Jewish citizen of Israel really sing Hatikva, when it talks about the "yearning of the Jewish soul"? How can they identify with its symbols?
And diaspora Jews? If it's a state for the Jewish people, does that mean that its government is the government of the Jewish people? If so, can we have a vote to determine that government? And if it is, does that not raise the possibility that diaspora Jews might be accused, by the far right (EDL/BNP) or the Muslims or any other nutter, of having dual loyalties, even if they don't identify with Israel and have no say in its policies?


telegramsam

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:04

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If that's the endgame, Amber, the Israeli far-right, the settlers and their allies abroad are doing a mighty fine job of hastening its arrival.


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:11

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telegramsam,I don't think you are comfortable - your posts seem to indicate that you aren't. And furthermore, your comment "meshuggenah frum" indicates that maybe you're not quite as open minded as you pretend to be.

Be that as it may, the rest of your post is just silly nonsense. If 25% aren't Jewish, so what? They aren't being forced to convert. There is freedom of religion. Are you saying that no-one should ever live as a minority amongst a majority population of another ethnic/religious group? How does one live as a Jew in the UK, and sing "G-d Save the Queen" when the Queen is Head of State, and also head of the national Church? Britain has a State Church, a state religion, yet i don't see this being a problem.

And why is it that the haters exclusively have a problem with Israel being a Jewish state, when they have no problem with dozens of other countries which either have state religions, or dominant ethnic groups? Countries are founded in the first place around these parameters - otherwise, we would hve no nationalist movements. What, indeed, is Palestinian nationalism, which you appear to be all for, based around? (An interesting case, as Palestinian nationalism is based around precious little - no distinguishing features than several of its other Judenrein neighbours).


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:14

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Whislt the Israeli far left are fighting to keep Israel alive?

Oh, please...


zair (not verified)

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:14

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amber - 'the endgame is destrying Israel in stages - Arafat admitted the plan openly.

the endgame is destrying Palestine in stages - Ben Gurion admitted the plan openly.

Which scenario is the more likley and reflects reality?


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:17

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That's right telegramsam, Jews should always conduct themselves so that they don't get accused of dual loyalties by racists and antisemites. They should always act out of sensitivity for the extremist haters.

What a silly point.


amber

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:19

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Zair, there is no such thing as Palestine. It was a British Mandate territory. So how can it be destroyed when it never existed as an independent entity?

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