Friday, July 16, 2010

PA 'must not bow to blackmail'

By Lamis Andoni

(Left: The only constant you can count on.)

".....No confidence in confidence-building

George Mitchell, the US special envoy, is due to arrive in the region on Saturday with a promised "package of confidence-building measures" to lure the PA into direct negotiations.

It is not clear exactly what kind of measures this might include, but a further relaxation of the blockade of Gaza and Israeli "readiness" to stop or reduce its continued raids and arrest campaigns in the West Bank may be among them.

But these will not be enough for two reasons. Firstly, experience has shown that Israel almost always reneges on such "confidence-building measures" whenever it sees fit and secondly such measures cannot compensate for the land rapidly vanishing from beneath Palestinian feet.

Vague promises to extend the partial freeze on settlement building and to alleviate some of the daily hardships encountered by Palestinians are no more than the blackmail tactics Israel has always employed against those under its control.

Promises to make the occupation and the siege more palatable, while blackmailing the occupied, is not acceptable. Only ending the occupation will do."

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