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Abbas simplifies the ramifications of Israel's occupation

In a meeting with Israeli Labour MKs held in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas simplified the ramifications of Israel’s illegal occupation in light of the peace negotiations, expressing optimism and stating that “The period of nine months [set aside for the current talks] is enough to reach an agreement. All the issues were discussed in the past, whether at Camp David, Taba, or with [former PM Ehud] Olmert”. Likud ministers declared themselves in opposition to the meeting and pressured Labour MK Hilik Bar to cancel the meeting.

In the course of the meeting, rather than expound upon the illegal occupation and apartheid practices or the inequality exacerbated by Israel’s militarised state, Abbas sought to underline the extent of security-cooperation with Israel, stating that, “You know, and the world knows, that cooperation on all issues, on a day-to-day basis, is at 100%. The reason is simple: we want a completely normal atmosphere between Israelis and Palestine.” Regarding violence meted on both sides, Abbas stated, “We are in principle against all attacks on civilians. We want peace, not blood”.

Abbas’ rhetoric capitulates to Western demands. The misconstruction of the occupation into a ‘conflict’ – a term which Israel, including the visiting delegation of Labour MKs in Ramallah and the West have applied interminably in order to avoid the illegalities associated with the occupation. In keeping with the farcical negotiations which do not deter Israel from appropriating further Palestinian territory and expanding its fluid borders, Abbas reduces international law violations to an inconsequential debate about a conflict, conforming to the manipulated view disseminated by corporate media. While the depiction of the occupation is hardly surprising, it reinforces the prior condition which Abbas agreed to, of not resorting to other legal avenues if the talks were to take place. Abbas achieved a minor success with the release of pre Oslo Palestinian prisoners; a move which, although welcomed, was little more than a settlement which bargained Palestinian identity and the trading of prisoners for further consolidation of security concerns with Israel and the acceptance of further usurpation of Palestinian territory.

The exhibited diplomacy seems to indicate that Abbas’ prime concern is providing Israel with further unnecessary assurances that the Palestinian official representation in Ramallah will enhance collaboration with the Israeli government in return for unfounded speeches about the possibility of a two state solution – a remote conjecture given that the remaining Palestinian land has been reduced to isolated enclaves surrounded by illegal settlements.

Many Palestinians have stated that the Ramallah government has failed to provide an authentic representation of Palestinian needs. The current peace negotiations as well as a statement which declares nine months an adequate timeframe for resolving decades of occupation portrays the decadence of assimilating to Zionist power. Which leaves Palestinians with no other option but resistance as enshrined within international law, given the apparent conspiracy between Israel and Ramallah, as well as Israel’s allies, to embark on further destruction of Palestinian land and memory. Nine months of negotiations already determined by previous alleged discussions are unlikely to achieve anything but a perfected form of destruction.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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