Israel killing the two-state solution ~ by Khalid Amayreh

"My Name is Palestine"

“My Name is Palestine”

[ PIC 22/05/2013 – 09:38 PM ]

From Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry making a last effort to salvage the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) it seems that Israel has finally made any prospective peace deal based on the two-state solution vision utterly unworkable, Israel this week decided to legalize four additional settlements in the occupied West Bank, including one a few blocks away from the heart of Ramallah, the temporary PA capital. All Jewish settlements established in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 1967 are illegal and unlawful according to international law.

Israel had promised rather ad nauseam successive American administrations to dismantle “illegal settlements.” However, due to apparent bad faith and repeated procrastination, none of the illegal outposts has been removed.

In contrast to virtually all nations of the world, which consider the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip “illegally occupied territories,” Israel views these Arab lands as “disputed rather than occupied.”

Even the United States, Israel’s guardian-ally and ultimate bankroller, doesn’t share the Israeli view with regard to the status of the territories, including East Jerusalem.

The U.S. has consistently refused to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ostensibly in deference to international law. This happened despite massive pressure on various American administrations by Congress and other pro-Israel pressure groups.

Decapitating the two-state solution

The new settlement scheme drew angry reactions from the PA, with one official accusing the Israeli government of “effectively decapitating the two-state solution.”

“They are dotting the West Bank with Jewish settlements that Palestinian population centers have become isolated islands in the midst of a huge sea of Jewish colonies, said Abbas Zaki, an aide to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas..

“But the Israelis are quite mistaken if they think the Palestinian people or their political leadership will succumb to the fait accompli, added the prominent Fatah leader, hinting that the Palestinians will not settle for anything less than a viable and territorially contiguous state on 100% of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Another PLO official, Hanan Ashrawi, said the timing of the authorization of the new settlements was very significant.

“It is a direct affront to all efforts at trying to revive any kind of peace negotiations. It is an attempt to tell the Americans that Israel calls the shots. It is also a message about the true nature of the Israeli government; it is an anti-peace government.”

Another official was quoted by the Israeli English daily, the Jerusalem Post, as saying that “Israel simply doesn’t want peace.”

Even the Israeli Peace-now movement rejected the new settlement expansion in the heart of the West Bank. , calling it “an attempt to legalize an illegal action.”

“It is legalizing an illegal action and creating a possibility for more illegal construction. This gives a green light to the illegal establishment of outposts because it shows permission can be sorted out retrospectively,” says Peace Now spokeswoman Melaine Robbins.

Lies and deceit

The Israeli government has responded to international criticisms over its unmitigated settlement-expansion with a combination of lies, deceit and defiance.

Last week, the Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had quietly halted the construction of some settlements by freezing tenders for new settler units. However, a few days later the government announced that it had given its preliminary approval for building 300 settler units in the settlement of Beit El outside Ramallah.

The PA has been saying it won’t return to peace talks with Israel until Israel freezes settlement expansion. The US has exerted some verbal pressure on Israel to halt the building of settlements especially in those parts of the West Bank destined to be located within the boundaries of a future Palestinian state.

However, Israel rejected all American and European efforts to this effect, with President Obama ostensibly reaching the conclusion that it is pointless to challenge Netanyahu, both at the Israeli and American home turfs.

In fact, instead of punishing Israel for its intransigence and rejectionism, both the U.S. Germany have been rewarding the Jewish state with state-of-the-art offensive weapons to further enhance Israel ‘s ability to attack neighbors, near and distant.

Earlier this month, the U.S. decided to sell Israel an assortment of advanced weapons and laser-guided bombs, reportedly intended to improve Israel’s capability of striking distant targets such as Iran.

Likewise, Germany is reportedly due to hand Israel a fifth nuclear-capable submarine of the Dolphin class. Furthermore, the EU, under American pressure, has also decided to reconsider measures to mark produces and other commodities originating from Jewish settlements.

Some European and American officials often make the claim that a “softer approach” toward Israel would induce the Jewish state to be more forthcoming with regard to the peace process.

However, in light of the experience of more than five decades, it is crystal clear that this argument is nearly totally fallacious as more “inducements” Israel receives from the West, particularly from the United States, consistently made the Jewish state more intransigent and less flexible.

Kerry’s last shot?

According to sources in Ramallah, the Palestinian leadership believes it is highly unlikely that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make any significant progress during his current visit to the region, due to start Thursday.

One source was quoted as saying that the Americans are working on a formula that will make possible the resumption of peace talks, and are working in parallel on a political and economic framework.

However, it is unlikely that the PA will agree to resume talks with Israel without having the Jewish state agree to some sort of settlement freeze and also accept to negotiate on the basis of the 1967 borders.

PA official Saeb Ereikat on Monday told a UN committee in New York that a settlement freeze and the release of Palestinian prisoners were not conditions for returning to negotiations but rather obligations that Israel had to fulfill.

“We have no conditions to resume negotiations, the chief Palestinian negotiator told the Committee on the Right of the Palestinian People.

“Make no mistake; we are exerting every possible effort in order to see that Mr. Kerry succeeds. No one benefits more from the success of Secretary Kerry than the Palestinians and no one loses more from his failure.”

Stressing that the proverbial ball was decidedly in the Israeli court, the Palestinian official described the situation in occupied Palestine as “apartheid par excellance that is worse than that which existed in South Africa.”

He also said that the PA had finished preparations for joining a host of international bodies, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), adding, however, that the Palestinians wouldn’t act yet in order to give the Obama administration another chance to pursue peace in Palestine.

A few weeks ago, Kerry was quoted as suggesting that the two-state solution strategy was coming to an end, apparently due to the intensive expansion of Jewish settlements. He said if the “parties” didn’t reach a settlement within one or one and a half years, then chances of the two state solution would be over for ever.

Still live in fairy-tale-land about Israel? Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on the currency:

All facts at Storify continuously updated. Read what Israeli ‘leaders’ have said and done even before (peace) talks and how their actions contradict the reality and ugly facts which they try to hide from you:

You can forget all details. Save yourself time. It is only about Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…

The facts. Mainly Israeli sources. Continuously updated

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