The negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians that are being held under American patronage are ironic, and their purpose seems to be buying time and spreading the delusion that a settlement can be reached to prevent the third Intifada, which indeed is on the horizon in retaliation against the actions of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the occupation. This is especially true after the Zionists have increased their violence against the Palestinians, coinciding with the PA’s mass arrests and security arrangements with the occupation.
The Americans know that all their arrangements in the region, especially their completion of the agreement with Iran in six months’ time, will be gone with the wind if a new Intifada were to break out in the West Bank and the occupied territories. This would be uncomfortable for all the Arab regimes, and may even lead to reviving the Arab Spring, which is currently stalled in Egypt.
Accordingly, they need to spread the delusion that a settlement can be achieved. Due to the fact that discussing core issues, such as the issue of Jerusalem, is the reason behind the failure of the Camp David negotiations in summer 2000, discussing it now will definitely push the negotiations into a dead end. Thus the Americans decided that is better to discuss issues that are reassuring to the Israelis and deluding to the Palestinians in order for the negotiations to not immediately fail. Moreover, it gives Palestinians the hope of reaching an agreement that would be executed over a period of years, not months, before the main issues are to be negotiated (not including the right of return, which the PA seems willing to relinquish immediately, even though it was not the matter that caused the failure of the Camp David summit in 2000).
If the Palestinian negotiators asked their Israeli counterparts or US Secretary of State John Kerry about the Americans’ true position towards the Jerusalem issue, or if they asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position, then the negotiations would be over quickly. However there is no problem negotiating other issues that require years of thinking and execution.
Based on this, Kerry asked his security advisor General John Allen to make his proposal that was reportedly prepared by 16,000 security and political experts (did it require that many?), and which suggests security arrangements only concerning security and nothing else. In this proposal, the Americans gave the Israelis every reassurance that they need, but the Israeli appetite for more never dies. They were not satisfied with only being present in the Jordan Valley and at the crossings, so they demanded to have complete domination over the West Bank by being able to go in and out as they please, which is the case at the moment. They also demanded more early warning stations than were given to them in the American plan, as well as control over the airspace (which the Americans do not mind giving). Even the technology promised by President Barack Obama in order to guarantee Israel’s security was not enough for them.
In his lecture at the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy, one of the intellectual arms of the Zionist lobby in America, Obama said that: “that there is going to be a transition period where the Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank. That is unacceptable.” He also added, “I think we believe that we can arrive at that point where Israel was confident about that, but we’re going to have to see whether the Israelis agree and whether President Abbas, then, is willing to understand that this transition period requires some restraint on the part of the Palestinians as well. They don’t get everything that they want on day one.”
So, it is the framework of an agreement that has been discussed, and a transitional solution that has been reached by different means; it is the temporary state that will later receive UN recognition and will turn the conflict into a border conflict between two states, which will practically dissolve the cause. If the temporary state is not transitioned into a permanent state, then all it would be is the miserable agreement mentioned in the Geneva Accords and security appendix.
This absurdity deserves contempt, and if it were not for the dismal atmosphere created by the leadership that revolted against Yasser Arafat and facilitated his assassination, as well as their feverish attempts to re-form the Palestinian awareness; if it were not for Hamas’s crisis in the Gaza Strip and its targeting in the West Bank, as well as the targeting of all the other resistance groups; and if it were not for the loss of Fatah as a liberation movement, then the Intifada would have broken out years ago.
However, this must not distract us from the clouds that are now gathering in the West Bank skies, according to Yuval Diskin, the former Director of the Shabak. This gives us hope that the Palestinian people will rise up in the face of this absurdity, and will tell those playing with their fate: enough is enough. Take your money and investments and leave; leave the people to face the occupation in their own way.
This is a translation of the Arabic text published by Ad Dustour newspaper on 9 December, 2013
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.