I always liked the Talking Heads song, We’re on the Road to Nowhere, because of the lyric’s fake bravado and the galloping rhythm, which feels like a horse riding into a brave new world. When I think of the Israel-Palestine peace talks it’s the first phrase that comes to mind: on the road to nowhere.
Today, the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks offered to resign upon learning Israeli news reports (undoubtedly from Netanyahu’s office) had said that the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners was in exchange for Palestinian tacit acceptance of several thousand new settlement housing units, with the two developments announced almost simultaneously.
Here’s what the Beeb leaked:
The US and the Palestinians knew in advance that the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists would be accompanied by announcements of settlement construction plans, government officials said Wednesday.
The negotiators articulated their offer differently: they claimed they were protesting the continuing Israeli settlement enterprise. They demanded that the U.S. release a statement denying the quid pro quo deal and the U.S. refused. All of which means that the quisling, Mahmoud Abbas, sold a portion of Palestine’s territorial integrity for 26 pieces of Palestinian silver. The resignation offer is also a sham. Who will accept their offer? Abbas? The one who made the shameful bargain to being with? This isn’t a peace deal John Kerry is trying to broker, it’s a piece of sausage. Like sausage it’s messy. Unlike sausage, the result will never be tasty.
There’s a reason why the peace talks had been ultra-secretive till now. Each side was being asked to sell its soul and for this to leak out would torpedo the talks for both parties. But Bibi had to open his big mouth in order to show his ultra-right constituency, which was livid at freeing “terrorists,” that he’d gotten something substantive in exchange. This is the Big Guy to a tee. He doesn’t give a crap about how this will play for a Palestinian public. He’s willing to manipulate and exploit matters to protect his own political rear end. To hell with the rest.
Public revelations like the Israeli leak will surely sink this ship, and it’s not at all a bad thing. The only problem is that the failure of the talks will suit Israel just fine as it will turn around and redouble its settlement efforts, going on its merry way.
RE: “Israel-Palestine Peace Talks: Road to Nowhere” ~ R.S.
● Talking Heads: “Road To Nowhere” [VIDEO, 04:04] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0
* P.S. FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:
SOURCE – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/alastair-crooke/permanent-temporariness
RE: “But Bibi had to open his big mouth in order to show his ultra-right constituency, which was livid at freeing ‘terrorists’, that he’d gotten something substantive in exchange. This is the Big Guy to a tee. He doesn’t give a crap about how this will play for a Palestinian public.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: My question is, couldn’t Netanyahu have convinced his ultra-right constituency that he’d gotten something substantive in exchange for the prisoner release without having done it so publicly?
I suspect that Netanyahu did it very publicly because he very much cared how this would play for the Palestinian public. I believe that one of Netanyahu’s main goals was to HUMILIATE, undermine and weaken Abbas by very publicly implying that Abbas had agreed to this settlement construction as a quid pro quo for the release of the prisoners. Netanyahu would love to so humiliate Abbas that Abbas and the Palestinian negotiators would have no choice but to storm out of the negotiations to “save face” with the Palestinian public. In that event, Israel (with the help of the compliant U.S. mainstream media) would once again gleefully blame the Palestinians for yet another failure of the “peace process”.
Bibi, a bad faith negotiator? No… I – AM – SHOCKED. In his head, Kol Nidrei night is 365 days a year. There are a different set of rules for the superior Chosen ones according to the far right. Why bother with good faith against subhumans? Iran has no inalienable right as mandated by internationally accepted treaty, and Israel gets to use it as a sword despite never signing it (and violating every aspect of their own complaint against Iran). The Israeli lobby doesn’t have to register as an agent of a foreign government despite swarming Congressional halls like locusts to start an illegal Syrian war against American interests and only to the benefit of expansionist Israel. The list goes on. Everyone in the world notices this, and the writing on the wall reads that this causes a natural hatred against this faction who exempts themselves from rules and laws. Except, this faction of the far right then spins this natural resentment towards specific malfeasance wrongly against a larger demographic of Judaism, which they inaccurately claim to represent as a whole. My whole guess is that by surging anti-Senitism, the far right eventually hopes to strategically fill the larger land area between the Euphrates and Tigris they have openly claimed well ahead of time.
Btw, just like sausage also, you never know what’s in it!
]These “talks” were never meant to lead anyone anywhere, just to pass (win? waste? who cares?) time.
The Israelis’ game is to continue embedding even more colonist population in the occupied territories, thus making the prospect of compromise-based solution even less likely, while engaging the Palestinian leadership in collabourational enforcement paid by American money.
The Palestinian leadership’s game is to keep living the relatively good life in Ramallah while lamely trying to soften the ever-intensifying blows continuously inflicted on the vital interests of their hapless people.
The European governments’ game is to maintain a semblance of a “peace process” going on, in order to placate the growing impatience of their constituents with this moral ticking bomb on their doorstep.
The American administration’s game is to maintain the remnants of international goodwill they might still have while minimising confrontations with a potent foreign-interests lobby which seems to own the Congress and nurture fearful respect by most MSM.
As for the Palestinian people — individuals and their collective community alike — they are too busy to play games, trying to eke a living and support their families while their land is being literally robbed from under their feet.
I don’t believe that anyone had any hopes for thee talks in the first place. The pressures were to hold talks, not to conclude peace. Not even to conclude a disastrous (for Palestine) peace.
Forget the settlements. they would happen whether or not. The prisoners (or others in their stea) can be (re-) arrested.
What interests me is the likelihood that Abbas will NOT press forward toward Palestinian membership in ICC and other organizations. Palestine needs international support. It has NO OTHER hope, thin as that one is proving to be. Even turkey (I read recently) blames Abbas as part of an axis-of-evil that includes Saudi Arabia. (Turkey is reported to be buying Chinese weapons, snubbing NATO and USA.)
Abbas and his entire crew are Quislings, pure and simple. He has no mandate to negotiate at all, never mind cede chunks of Palestine. His term has long expired and he rules by virtue of his people’s enemies. He helped block the Goldstone report, supported Israel’s attack on Gaza, and has refused to go to the ICC. Israel’s End game has always been more ethnic cleansing, which was always intrinsic to the entire Zionist enterprise. When a tiny minority- 5% at the turn of the 20th century – aspires to rule the roost, the available means of becoming a majority are rather limited. Ethnic cleansing and dispossession is part of Zionism ‘s DNA. As for peace talks, all you need to know is that US and UK threatened the PLA with retaliation if they took Legal action at the UN. How is it possible to threaten a victim if they attempt legal redress and still retain a shred of credibility and still bleat about human rights and the peaceful settling of disputes. It’s not, at least in the rational world.