Israel –Palestine Peace talks just theater and rhetoric
The way the US media is over-hyping the so called direct peace talks brings a twinkle to the eye of the rather mislead American readership. It as if this posturing isn’t another round of theater that has accompanied gentle US pressure for decades. Israel goes through the motion of negotiations so as to not upset the American aid and armaments machine that feeds them, but even a most casual analysis shows you there is no real intent here.
Netanyahu would be committing political suicide to make any meaningful concessions. His coalition with the extremist Foreign Minister led group in the Knesset would immediately fracture. Avigdor Lieberman and his ilk won’t countenance concessions and neither will the land-grabbing settlers. The Palestine side offers no better options. A fissured political representation headed by a leader that lacks credibility post the Gaza war, and lacks authority given the dubious legal rights to hold office.
While we were on summer hiatus we were ever hopeful that one of the influential western media would run the video footage of Netanyahu proudly and openly admitting (in a candid moment between his two Knesset leadership roles) how he deceived the Americans and undermined peace efforts. Instead, we got vacuous reports about the on and off again Bristol and Levi affair, and the like. The US media once again applying its laser like focus on the trivia while the big issues are left to languish. Don’t be fooled, by CNN and Fox’s pretty blinking lights, watch the video and read the report below. Afterwards, if you still think the current peace talks are real, please let me know as I have some junk bonds and bridges you may want to add to your portfolio
The contents of a secretly recorded video threaten to gravely embarrass not only Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister but also the US administration of Barack Obama.
The film was shot, apparently without Mr Netanyahu’s knowledge, nine years ago, when the government of Ariel Sharon had started reinvading the main cities of the West Bank to crush Palestinian resistance in the early stages of the second intifada.
At the time Mr Netanyahu had taken a short break from politics but was soon to join Mr Sharon’s government as finance minister.
On a visit to a home in the settlement of Ofra in the West Bank to pay condolences to the family of a man killed in a Palestinian shooting attack, he makes a series of unguarded admissions about his first period as prime minister, from 1996 to 1999.
Seated on a sofa in the house, he tells the family that he deceived the US president of the time, Bill Clinton, into believing he was helping implement the Oslo accords, the US-sponsored peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, by making minor withdrawals from the West Bank while actually entrenching the occupation. He boasts that he thereby destroyed the Oslo process.
He dismisses the US as “easily moved to the right direction” and calls high levels of popular American support for Israel “absurd”.
He also suggests that, far from being defensive, Israel’s harsh military repression of the Palestinian uprising was designed chiefly to crush the Palestinian Authority led by Yasser Arafat so that it could be made more pliable for Israeli diktats.
All of these claims have obvious parallels with the current situation, when Mr Netanyahu is again Israel’s prime minister facing off with a White House trying to draw him into a peace process that runs counter to his political agenda.