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Time to Abandon Never-Ending Futile Talks with IsraelJamal Kanj Special to Salem-News.com
It is time for the Palestinian National Authority to abandon its commitment to the pointless perpetual negotiations with the Israelis.
(LONDON) - It has been more than 20 years since the Madrid talks and the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis started. Thus far their abject failure has surprised even the most pessimistic of observers.
Diplomacy of distraction
In June 1992, about one year after the Madrid talks, then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir told the newspaper Maariv: "I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million people in the West Bank."
He was lamenting his election defeat and declared: "It's very painful... I will not be able to... complete the demographic revolution... Without this... there is no reason to hold autonomy talks as there now is a risk of a Palestinian state."
Two decades later, all subsequent Israeli governments with no exception, from the spurious left to the devious right, have demonstrated their commitment to the Judaization roadmap through protracted negotiation, "demographic revolution" and land appropriation that benefit Jews only.
When negotiation started in 1991, the illegal settler population in the occupied West Bank was 110,000. Today, as Shamir prophesied, their number in the Jews-only settlements has swelled to half a million.
Israel sees negotiations as a means of detraction rather than a route to a just peace.
Nahum Goldman, a Zionist leader in the 1970s, said: "Diplomacy in the Middle East is the art of delaying the inevitable as long as possible."
Sadly, the Palestinian Authority has been powerless. It has never missed an opportunity to prove to the world its best intentions by complying with every senseless Israeli demand without reciprocity from the Zionist state.
It annulled the Palestinian charter, changed books in schools, coordinated security arrangements that led to the arrest and killing of many Palestinian activists, stifled free media under the pretext of clamping down on "incitement" and subdued the second Intifada.
In return, the world's powers could not even get a temporary freeze on illegal settlement.
For 20 years, the international community, mainly Israel's chief sponsor the US, has missed no opportunity to prove its incompetence in dealing with Israeli intransigence.
Time was never on the side of the peace process.
While Jews-only colonies are mushrooming in every neighbourhood, Palestinians are refused building permits, their homes are demolished and the permits of the native population of East Jerusalem are revoked at an unprecedented level.
These Israeli actions are an omen for war, not peace.
No incentive for peace
Under the current de facto peace, Israelis have no incentive to stop guzzling Palestinian land and the international community lacked the motivation to interfere forcefully as it did in other conflicts.
Undeniably, the majority of Israelis would rather keep things as they are than have a meaningful peace process.
A 2010 poll by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung revealed that a “majority of Israelis in the age group 15-24 favour a continuation of the status quo over an invigorated peace process".
It also showed that the majority of Israelis would "choose a Jewish state over a specifically democratic one".
Indeed, why should Israelis alter their roadmap to a "Jewish state" if they already enjoy a de facto peace, especially since the Palestinian Authority seems to have opted to surrender its will to endless negotiation?
The Palestinian leadership must rethink its strategy and viable options.
Doing nothing is not an alternative. Winning over the world's public opinion brings empathy, not justice.
Special thanks to Redress News & Analysis
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