Saturday, October 13, 2007

Formalizing Apartheid Masked as a Peace Initiative

by Neta Golan
and Mohammed Khatib

"Next month the US plans to host a regional meeting to discuss peace in the Middle East, or at least peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The maneuvering, deal making and negotiating about what will be on the table has been going on for some time. But the details of the agreement being discussed have been a well guarded secret but for the steady flow of leaks and trial balloons. Deciphering this information combined with facts on the ground, one can put together a clear outline of Israel's "next generous offer."

Political maneuvers can be spun to sound good if the details are kept vague, but when held to scrutiny it becomes obvious that the upcoming Israeli offer is not so generous. Like the Oslo Accords and the "disengagement" from Gaza, the peace process being cooked now is a move to consolidate Israeli control of all of historical Palestine while taking a large portion of the Palestinian population off Israel's hands. The devil is in the details that follow.......

Olmert, Bush, Blair and their accomplices in the "Quartet" have vast, sophisticated and boundlessly resourced PR machinery that, through unlimited access to an uncritical media, can put a compelling "peace spin" on an apartheid process. During the November meeting they will assure the world of their commitment to a Palestinian state (with the appropriate Abbas/Olmert/Bush photo ops). They will promise to commit millions of dollars, funding Palestinian "institution building" and humanitarian aid and arming troops in order to "keep the peace" inside the Bantustans. Arab states will normalize relations with Israel, strengthening the "moderates" of the entire region, thus softening the Arab street as a prerequisite for an American led strike on Iran.

Even the participants in the summit realize that the Israeli occupation is no longer sustainable in its current form. If we, the peace and justice community, manage to expose this latest maneuver for what it really is, Israel could be forced into fair negotiations for the first time.

For this to happen we must mobilize immediately. It is our job to educate the rest of the world about what these talks really mean and the truth about what is happening. The writing is literally on the wall and on the ground. It took many months if not years to expose the ugly truth behind the first "generous offer." Let's not make that mistake again. "

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