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.