Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Peace Process" 2010 update

Rami Khouri suggests an excellent proposition for the enfeebled PA president Mahmud Abbas, whose leverage in the current US-backed negotiations (let's be honest: US-demanded negotiations - demanded "Godfather"-style: Hillary made Abbas "an offer he can't refuse") is nil.
Now is the time for Abbas to get over his psychological torment for being edged off center stage by Hamas and others, and make the one promise that would both serve Palestinian national interests as well as reposition the Palestinians in the negotiating process. He should say that if he withdraws from the negotiations in a few weeks he would immediately call a series of meetings of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive and legislative councils, with Hamas and others present, to rejuvenate that which has been missing from these negotiations for several decades: a credible, single, Palestinian position anchored in inclusive consultations and consensus among all the factions, with a strong voice for the scattered refugee communities, aimed at a negotiated peace agreement based on the 2002 Arab summit peace plan.

Quitting the negotiations is a sign of senseless confusion and weakness. Regrouping with national fortitude, credibility and consensus is a sign of maturity and purpose. Now is the moment for Mahmoud Abbas to reveal in which direction he will move.
That the US and Israel continue to reject any proposal to allow Hamas a place at the table tells us all we need to know: Israel has no real interest, and the US no real political will, in achieving a just and lasting peace.  Netanyahu will lift the settlement freeze (if not sooner, then surely later) and Jewish colonization of the West Bank will expand.  (And the slow expulsion - or extermination - of Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem regions like Silwan will continue.) Obama and Hillary may wring their hands in public, but Congress will acquiesce (and the Christian Zionists and other of AIPAC's useful idiots in the halls will exult) - and the Palestinians will be left with nothing but bad options.

So when the humiliation of it all compels some Palestinians to assassinate Jewish settlers in Hebron or elsewhere, Netanyahu will point his finger at the "terrorists"; Hillary, Barack, Wolf Blitzer, Charles Krauthammer, George Will and Fox News will line up behind him; and as the IDF subsequently exacts its usual disproportionate retribution, Mr. and Mrs. Tea Party American will sit back on the sofa, wide screen on the wall, Bud Lite in hand, and rest contented that "justice" had been served - and then switch the channel to ESPN.

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