Israel's merry-go-round diplomacy

Direct talks in Washington may lead to a Palestinian 'state' that will resemble Gaza-like enclaves

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters
Image Credit: AFP
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters towards Palestinian activists during a West Bank protest in this May 21, 2010 file photo.
Gulf News

First there were the indirect talks. Now, direct talks are to begin between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Israelis. But that is all what it is. Talks, talks and more talks!

For the people of Gaza, such gestures are nothing more than meaningless sham designed to disguise the true intentions of their rogue neighbours who have historically demonstrated nothing but ill will and murderous acts towards the innocent.

Death and darkness have shrouded Gaza as it has remained under siege for such a long passage of time. A systematic occurrence of Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip resulting in civilians deaths is quickly followed by Israel's all too familiar spin claimed that they were among the "militants".

In that Israel failed to explain how babies and toddlers could be considered militants, no one dared to question them.

Hamas was born out of the spirit of all the residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to seek freedom from occupation, something they have been aiming for over 60 years. And for this, they are punished, sanctioned, besieged, humiliated and, day after endless day, killed by those who claim to occupy the moral high ground.

The Palestinians are being systematically destroyed and shown no mercy. And, most of the world continues to remain silent, as if in atonement for whatever sins committed against the Jews by Adolf Hitler; sins that could perhaps be cleansed by the committing of further sins.

And the spirit of ‘never again' does not seem to apply to the Palestinians and their lawful struggles against this continuing genocide.

Because of the splitting of Palestine into small enclaves, and the imposition of a severe blockade on Gaza, the people in the occupied territories are going through indescribable miseries, with the hopes for a two-state solution fast receding.

Uri Avnery, the Israeli peace activist and a witness to the Jewish state's injustices has stated that what is happening in Gaza is worse than many crimes.

"The Gaza Strip is the largest prison on earth. The breaking of the Rafah wall was an act of liberation. It proves that an inhuman policy is always a stupid policy: no power can stand up against a mass of people that has crossed the border of despair."

On the other hand, the US invariably places the blame on the Palestinians. Clinging on to the myopic view that the Palestinians living in Gaza are living under chaos because of Hamas, and the blame has to be placed fully at their feet, administration after administration is willing to look the other way to excuse Israeli crimes.

Justification

This seems to be the de facto justification for the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. It also falls into the familiar pattern of highlighting Palestinian violence, keeping silence about the Israeli violence and the reasons for the Palestinian violence in the first place.

The upcoming direct talks in Washington may lead to a Palestinian ‘state' that will resemble Gaza-like enclaves declared ‘unoccupied' and subjected to brutal repression.

Critically translated, these talks would either cement the recognition of Israeli West Bank colonisation, the preservation of Israel's right to discriminate against non-Jews, and the creation of more sealed-off, ‘autonomous' Palestinian homelands.

This is in sharp contrast to the past impatience demonstrated by the Americans and the EU to amputate a portion of a United Nations member state and accede to the demands of the Kosovar Albanians, who after having enjoyed almost nine years of UN administration and Nato protection, couldn't be expected to wait any longer for their freedom.

The Palestinians, under a brutal occupation for over 40 years, are however told that "any Palestinian independence, to be recognised and legally effective, must still be directly negotiated, on a wildly unequal bilateral basis, between the occupying power and the occupied people — and must be agreed to by the occupying power".

This clearly demonstrates that for the US and the EU, the rights and wishes of a long-suffering and brutalised people, as well as international law, are irrelevant and these governments have shown unlimited and remarkable patience when it comes to condoning the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

The people of Gaza should hold no high hopes of expectations that the ‘direct' talks with the Benjamin Netanyahu administration would provide any relief. Such talks are simply props Israel uses on the world's stages to divert attention from their designs of full occupation and extermination, and everything else is damned.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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