Discourse eliciting allegedly equal comparisons has continued to echo in mainstream media, with John Kerry reportedly asserting his optimism about ‘two proud people’, in reference to Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas endeavouring to reach a consensus through the farcical negotiations. Following the initial glorification of the talks and participants, the rhetoric gently dwindles to expose a few realities which widespread alienation manages to distort into oblivion induced by indifference.
Israel’s occupation and on-going colonisation of Palestine has encountered a further deterioration from ‘conflict’ to ‘difficulties’ within official US rhetoric. The dissolution of equality is gradually exposed as Kerry’s statements concentrate upon the submission personified by Abbas and the downplaying of the negotiations as an arena to negotiate prisoners’ release from Israeli jails. The non-committal discourse to settlement building remains cloistered within equivocal statements of illegality, awareness and limitations, proving Netanyahu’s retaliatory gesture of further settlement construction in return for prisoner release, as well as the US decision to support Israel’s illegal practices by assuming an allegedly neutral stance allowing further appropriation of land.
The necessity of illusion becomes apparent once Kerry announces the US decision to give $75 million in aid to Palestinians – possibly a token of compensation in return for the lack of autonomy epitomised by the Palestinian Authority. US officials have expressed their hopes that the financial aid will bolster Palestinian support for the talks – an unlikely scenario, given the detachment between the PA and the people, as well as the incompatible views regarding a solution.
Palestinian experience and collective awareness regarding Israel’s on-going violations of international law has unleashed legitimate indignation. Abbas has been regularly criticised and denounced by Palestinians for failing to incorporate all fragmented Palestinian identities within his imagined construction of the Palestinian state – a right already symbolically diminished by the PA due to Abbas’ forfeiting his right to return to his birth place. The proposed return to the 1967 borders fails to address the concept of Zionism’s land usurpation and forced displacement to consolidate the fictional ties to nationhood which in turn allow the domination of a Jewish demographic majority. While Abbas continues to hail the release of Palestinian prisoners as a victory, settlement expansion in retaliation for the agreed prisoner release is barely challenged, except by routine official routine statements which also contradict each other. While the Palestinian representative to the UN has stated a possible recourse to legal avenues in order to challenge settlement construction, it is worth remembering that a precondition to the negotiations prohibited Abbas from resorting to the UN in return for the prisoner release – a move which Kerry describes as ‘serious’ and evidence of Abbas’ commitment to peace.
The US is still intent on forging a crumbling facade of benevolence – the $75 million in aid exhibits the imperialist trend of indulging in, and supporting, human rights violations, while addressing a fragment of the damage through monetary aid in order to ensure the cycle of dependence. Palestinians are clamouring for a reclaiming of land and nationhood – a right which Israel, the US and the Palestinian Authority have incarcerated between contempt and degeneration; elements fortified by acceptance of compensation in return for relinquishing resistance.
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