The critical issue of the ever expanding illegal Israeli colonial settlements
white”>Top on the agenda of the resumed negotiations are borders and security; Israel has never defined its borders nor respected the borders set by the United Nations resolution No. 181 of 1947; in the name of security, it demands borders that compromise the viability of any independent Palestinian state on the WB.
From U.S. and Israeli perspectives, “the resumption of negotiations is seen as an objective in itself,” in the words of Ghassan al-Khatib, the former spokesman of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
David Ignatius on August 2 described kerry’s efforts as a “mission impossible,” which if it fails “this time, it will cost the parties dearly;” he described the ensuing negotiations as “a kind of a benign trap, once the prey have been lured inside, it’s difficult for them to escape without either accomplishing .. peace or damaging themselves.”
Indeed in the long run, success of the resumed negotiations warn of creating a political environment that would give “legitimacy” to a new Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip to remove the “armed resistance” there to their outcome, with the overt blessing of the U,S. sponsor of the negotiations and the discreet blessing of the Arab “peace partners.”
However, the expected failure of kerry’s efforts could be worse than the failure of the Camp David summit meeting in September 2000 of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and U.S. former president Bill Clinton.
By sending his negotiators to Washington, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is again compromising his personal credibility, but worse still he risks a Palestinian implosion in the case of success, but in case the negotiations fail he risks a Palestinian explosion in rebellion against both his PA and the Israeli occupation.
Abbas has already antagonized his old allies among the members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is considered the third influential Palestinian power after the two rivals of Fatah and Hamas – who accuse him of reneging on their consensus not to resume negotiations without a stop to the expansion of Israeli colonial settlements first.
National reconciliation between the PLO and Hamas will be put on hold for at least the nine months which the negotiators set as the time frame for their negotiations.
His decision put on hold as well any Palestinian new attempt to join international organizations to build on the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a non-member state in September 2012.
The new talks are merely “the beginning of the beginning” of “a long process” in which “there is no guarantee” for success, according to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Kerry’s personal success seems to have pressured Palestinians into being fooled again into jumping to “final status” negotiations as the best way to absolve Israel from honoring its commitments in compliance with the “interim” accords it had signed with the PLO.
border:none windowtext 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none windowtext 0in;padding:0in”>Israel’s 2013 Herzliya Assessment concluded: “The status-quo in the Palestinian territories is not sustainable, and definitely not durable… the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate is untenable. It will lead to a Palestinian mass public uprising with sporadic violence.”
background:white”>who “has reneged on all that he has said throughout his political career.”
Defying the bitter experience of twenty–year-old peace process and strong opposition at home, Abbas seems voluntarily dragged into his last test of U.S. credibility as the peace broker, which will make or break his political career at the age of 76 years.
Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. [email protected]