Tuesday, July 6

Direct or Indirect talks, what is the difference?

By Khalid Amayreh

The Obama administration, which seems to have completely surrendered to Israeli insolence and rejectionism, is pressuring the weak and disoriented Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to switch from proximity or indirect talks with the Netanyahu regime to direct talks.

For the uninitiated, the American pressure might give the impression that once direct talks between the Israeli fox and the Palestinian lamb started, miracles would begin descending on the region one after the other.

As to Israel’s premier, the notorious pathological liar, Benyamin Netanyahu, he, too, is urging “President” Abbas to immediately enter into direct talks with Israel “because serious issues can’t be tackled through indirect and impersonal talks.

For its part, the PA leadership is obviously prone to agree to direct talks, but is trying to reach more favorable arrangements that would save it the embarrassment of succumbing to Israeli dictates without achieving any of its demands, including a freeze of Jewish settlement activity.

This week, George Mitchell visited Occupied Palestine for the umpteenth time. However, instead of delivering answers to the PA President concerning security and border matters, Mitchell was flown to Beit Hanoun, at the northern edge of the Gaza Strip, to witness the marvels of “humanitarian Israeli efforts” to alleviate the cruel siege imposed for the fourth consecutive year on 1.6 million Palestinians in the coastal enclave.

Mitchell, a cowardly diplomat if only because he wouldn’t confront his Israeli hosts concerning their sinful deeds and shameful acts, felt he had to shower the murderous Israeli authorities with praise for allowing the entry of a few extra sacks of flour and sugar to the thoroughly starved Gazans.

In addition to his cowardice, Mitchell is also proving to be a gigantic fiasco. Indeed, despite his numerous visits and countless meetings with Israeli officials, he has utterly failed to obtain an accurate appreciation of the essence of the conflict.

His continued application of the “Irish scenario” to the more complicated Palestinian question is not only proving unworkable and unwise, but stupid and preposterous.

After all, Mitchell has utterly failed to understand that the conflict in Palestine is not about a misunderstanding of some sort but rather about the seizure of one people’s ancestral homeland by another people, with the active assistance and backing of an immoral west, especially America , for which the ideals of justice mean very little.

It is an act of rape that has continued ever since western powers decided to super-impose Ashkenazi Jews right upon the native Palestinians in order to atone for centuries of European persecution of Jews.

Mitchell is not really ignorant, but he is absolutely naïve about the Nazi-like Zionist ideology, especially religious Zionism which is nearly totally incompatible with the universal ideals of fairness, democracy, civility, peace, justice and human rights.

The Nazi-like Religious Zionism is relevant because it is the dominant force in Israel today. It controls the government, the army, and to a large extent the media. It also controls the dominant religious discourse in Israel where the vast bulk of rabbis readily sing the hymns of Jewish fascism in broad daylight while politicians never stop currying favor with these racist fanatics.

More to the point, the proliferation of religious Zionism through the Israeli Jewish society these days is very much similar to the spread of the Nazi ideology among Germans in the few years preceding the outbreak of the Second World War.

Hence, it is probably safe to say that under existing circumstances, there is absolutely no possibility for a genuine peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, especially one involving Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In a country where the courts are bullied to undo their rulings under rabbinic pressure, ending the sinister Israeli occupation and granting a semblance of justice to the Palestinians becomes a far-fetched possibility.

This is what people like Mitchell and other wide-eyed but naïve westerners ought to understand before indulging in highlighted visits to the region and giving us false hopes that peace is around the corner when in fact it is as distant and as elusive as ever.

I don’t think for even a fraction of a moment that the call by Obama and Netanyahu for direct talks proceeds from goodwill on their part.

Obama, who has at his disposal all the facts about the Arab-Israeli conflict, should be fully aware of the true Israeli intentions, namely that Israel doesn’t want peace, doesn’t want to pay the price for peace and is only indulging in crisis management in order to gain more time in order to create more “facts” on the ground in the West Bank.

Obama must also be fully aware that Netanyahu is an irredeemable liar, a pathologically dishonest politician whose words bear no weight, a man who thinks that the conflict in occupied Palestine can be terminated in Israel’s favor through hasbara and propaganda like, for example, trying to convince the west that Israel represents the Western civilization’s first line of defense against the Muslim world.

There is no doubt that the main logic behind Netanyahu’s call for direct talks with Abu Mazen is simply to gain more time until Obama becomes a virtual lame duck in the White House, namely until the President starts preparing for his reelection, at which time his need for Jewish support becomes critical.

Netanyahu calculates that if he, in coordination with the powerful Jewish lobby in the US, manages to drag the direct talks with a demoralized PA 12 or 18 more months, Obama will be in such a dire position where he wouldn’t be able to even clear his throat in the face of Israel .

The “balance of power” between Netanyahu and Obama is already tilting in the latter’s favor. However, Netanyahu won’t be satisfied with a victory by points and is planning for a knockout over a naïve Obama who seems to think that his endearment to Jews and Israel would be reciprocated with Jewish support for his administration, especially during the next presidential elections.

It is quite possible that Obama realizes that no matter how long Israel and the PA indulge in direct talks, the expected outcome will be zero, given the ideological orientation of the Israel government.

But in this case, what would make the Obama administration try to reinvent the wheel?

Well, the answer is clear. It has nothing to lose as long as the Palestinian leadership, and for that matter the rest of the impotent Arab regimes from Bahrain to Morocco as well, would readily oblige and accept anything proposed by the White House.

Hence, Obama is only treating the slaves as slaves. Nothing more and nothing less.


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