Considering the reality of the occupation, why should the Palestinians continue with the peace talks farce? Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner's article from today's New York Times, updates the rocky state of the nonnegotiations. The Palestinians are being pressed by the Americans to do Netanyahu a favor and close their eyes because it's too difficult for him politically to continue a settlement freeze that was never a freeze in the first place. But think about it, if he can't even pretend to freeze the settlements, why should anyone believe that he'll be able to decolonize for real in exchange for an agreement with the Palestinians? And if Israel is unable/unwilling to decolonize (the future state of Palestine), what's the point of this exercise from the Palestinian perspective? They're in line for nothing but more humiliation.
When Hillary Clinton says that "she believe[s] the Israelis and Palestinians could work out a deal on Jewish settlements," she is talking about a deal whereby via some rhetorical sleight of hand everyone winks and the settlement building (that was never really frozen) continues to continue so "talks" about nothing can continue "even without a full extension of Israel’s moratorium on settlement construction": she is not talking about the decolonization of the settlements that would need to come as part of the terms of a final-status agreement.
Americans and Israelis have been using the illusion of process to sucker the Palestinians since Oslo and nothing has changed in the current circumstances. It's a terrible thing that the United States is blackmailing the Palestinians by threatening to cut their funding if they don't play along, but sometimes there's no choice but to say no. Well, they should say no.
And, fyi, Netanyahu is now asking the EU to upgrade Israel's status as a reward for all of Israel's "concessions" to the peace process. Now that's chutzpah. The EU actually has some leverage, it would appear, but don't expect it to use it.
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