John Kerry’s framework proposal sets the stage for the ‘Gazafication’ of the West Bank

John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah December 5, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah December 5, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

In recent days, US and European diplomats have been engaged in a frenzy of activity on the Israeli-Palestinian front, before they settle down for the usual two-week Christmas hibernation.

A sense of urgency looms because Washington is supposed to unveil next month its so-called “framework proposal” for the creation of a Palestinian state, in a last desperate effort to break the logjam in negotiations. For this reason, the outlines of the US vision of an agreement are finally coming into focus. And, as many expected, the picture looks bleak for the Palestinians.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, who has invested much of his personal standing in a successful outcome, has grown increasingly forthright that an agreement hinges on satisfying Israel’s security concerns, however inflated.

During a speech to the Saban Forum in Washington this month, Kerry said President Barack Obama’s highest priority was Israel’s “ability to defend itself, by itself”. Shortly afterwards, Kerry headed back to the region to show Israeli and Palestinian officials what he meant.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was reportedly “boiling mad” by the US proposal. In recent days PA spokesmen have accused Kerry of “appeasement” and of failing to be “a neutral mediator”.

The criticism looks more than justified. Under cover of a vision for peace, the US secretary of state is offering an Israeli security plan at the expense of meaningful Palestinian statehood.That is not entirely surprising given that the plan was drafted by John Allen, a general formerly in command of US forces in Afghanistan, who has spent months quietly liaising with Israeli counterparts.

The main sticking point is the Jordan Valley, an area that was expected to comprise nearly a quarter of a future Palestinian state. Allen has indulged an Israeli demand that it be allowed to continue a long-term “military presence” in the Jordan Valley, of at least 10 years.

Not only this but, according to a memo sent by Abbas to Obama, which the Haaretz newspaper revealed this week, the US plan would condition an eventual Israeli withdrawal on the Palestinians meeting a “test of implementation.” Abbas rightfully believes that this would give Israel an effective veto on ever leaving the Jordan Valley.

That is a big retreat from Washington’s earlier commitment, made at the Annapolis talks of 2007, that no Israeli soldiers would be stationed in the West Bank following an agreement. Security guarantees were to be provided instead by Nato troops, under US command.

The new proposal should be a deal-breaker. The valley is a vital resource for the Palestinians, one they have been effectively stripped of for decades by Israel’s exaggerated “security needs”.

The Jordan Valley offers the only land border in the West Bank that would be potentially under Palestinian control. It is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas, making it a possible site to which hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees could return. And its lands are fertile and warm all year round, making it highly productive and a likely engine for the Palestinian economy.

According to Allen’s plan, Israel’s security also requires that Palestinian security forces be only lightly armed, that Israel has control over the airspace and all borders, and that the US install spying technology – euphemistically called “early warning systems” – throughout the West Bank.

In other words, the US vision of a Palestinian state looks remarkably like the model Israel has already implemented in Gaza.

One need only listen to the words of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from a decade ago to understand his role in this new plan. In 2001 Netanyahu spoke to a group of settlers in the West Bank at a meeting that was secretly filmed. There he boasted that during his earlier premiership, in the late 1990s, he had halted the peace plan of that time, the Oslo Accords, through what he termed a “trick”. He foiled a Palestinian state’s creation by agreeing to limited withdrawals from Palestinian land while insisting on the retention of the most significant areas, especially the Jordan Valley, by classifying them as a “specified military site”. Netanyahu told the settlers: “America is something that can be easily moved. Moved to the right direction.” Those words now seem prophetic.

In rejecting the US plan, Abbas appears to have the backing of his people. A poll published this week showed only 19 per cent believed the talks would lead to an agreement.

So, given the essential conflict between Israel’s “security” requirements and the Palestinian demand for statehood, how does Kerry intend to proceed? That too is becoming clear. The task of making Israel and the Palestinians play ball is being subcontracted to the European Union. That makes sense because, as the main subsidiser of the occupation, the Europeans have major financial leverage over both parties. Earlier this month the EU brandished its stick. It warned that it would stop financing Abbas’ Palestinian Authority if no agreement had been reached by the end of the talks. Though widely seen as a threat directed towards Abbas, whose political power base depends on EU money paying tens of thousands of PA workers each month, it was equally aimed at Netanyahu. Were the PA to be wound up, the huge costs of running the occupation would again fall to Israel. The 28 European member states have also warned Israel that should it carry on building settlements in the coming months, they will officially blame it for the talks’ failure. On Monday, Europe unsheathed its carrot. It is offering both Israel and the Palestinians a major aid package and an upgrade in economic relations to the EU, conferring on them a status of “special privileged partnership”. This would reportedly bring each side huge trading and security benefits.

However vigorous the EU’s arm-twisting, the reality is that the Palestinian leadership is being cajoled into an agreement that would destroy any hopes of a viable Palestinian state. Abbas is said to have viewed the US plan as “worse than bad”. His agreement to it would be worse than disastrous.

A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 65 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Eva Smagacz says:

    Hate to be right.
    Next step is to concentrate Palestinians.

  2. Citizen says:

    Kerry’s not really fooling anyone (except the usual exception, the US public bereft of main media exposure, i.e., Israeli-AIPAC narrative remains intact): Abbas has recently piggy backed on Iran’s interim approach, and Israel has responded by expanding illegal Israeli settlements: link to i24news.tv

    • RudyM says:

      the US public bereft of main media exposure

      Maybe if the U.S. public could tear itself from football games and funny kitten videos for a few minutes. . . Plenty of people are online, but not enough are taking advantgae of internet resources in order to at least try to become informed.

  3. No surprise. Kerry and Israel effin plays with Abbas and he doesnt get it.

    • Walid says:

      “Kerry and Israel effin plays with Abbas and he doesn’t get it.”

      Justpassingby, Abbas got it more than you think, and most probably has already consented to it. What we’re now seeing are the theatrics to make the Palestinian public swallow that which has already been agreed to by the parties.

      • BillM says:

        Walid, I don’t disagree, but is there any reason to think the theatrics will work? Wll the Palestinian public really swallow this? Or is Abbas endangering his own tiny throne by eventually agreeing even after the theatrics?

      • seafoid says:

        Even if the leadership agrees the people can’t. They decide what happens to Israel. Maybe not today but they will decide. Rhe notion the bots have won is deluded. Meanwhile Judaism is utterly lost.

        • john h says:

          “Meanwhile Judaism is utterly lost.” Yes, it has been for a long time. Hijacked by Zionism’s atheistic ideology decades ago, and its leaders seduced by Zionism’s presence and power. Israel has become the golden calf. And it is a repeat of 1 Samuel 8:8.

  4. eljay says:

    It’ll soon be time for Zio-supremacists to get the ol’ “currently not necessary” ethnic cleanser out of the cupboard and scrub those pesky, undesirable non-Jews out of supremacist “Jewish State” and into Palebantustine. And what they can’t move into there they can simply wipe off the map and/or push into the sea.

    Hooray for the 1,000 Year Reich “Jewish State”! :-P

  5. Theo says:

    Every dictator, occupier or colonial power always finds a few quislings who are willing and able to sell out the interests of their fellow citizens, and I always considered Abbas and his group in power to be just that! Quislings.

    Should they ever agree to such an infamour act of turning the WB into a swiss cheese type of territory, we certainly cannot speak of a state, then it is up to the people of Palestina to deal them the same award the people of norway did to their own Quisling. Ropes are better than bullets, as you can use them again, and again….
    Bullets are for the brave, ropes for traitors and criminals!

    • pabelmont says:

      The entire Oslo business was a “deal” by Israel and the PLO to let Arafat and his previously “outside” PLO come “inside” and take back leadership from the leaders of the first intifada. The “deal” was an agreement that called for or anyway led soon to corruption, where the PLO officials got rich being intermediaries for Israel. Abbas is merely the latest in a series.

      • Walid says:

        Pabelmont, there’s also the jailed Barghouti that many romantics here are wishfully turning into something of a Palestinian Robin Hood. He was also part of the old clique.

  6. amigo says:

    If I remember correctly, does not any agreement have to get the thumbs up from “The Palestinian People”.

    Did not even Hamas agree to this.

    So all this talk about Abbas selling out is somewhat moot.

    Correct me if I am wrong??.

    • Walid says:

      amigo, today’s news has something about a deal between Hamas and the PA in which Hamas agrees to a national unity government presided by Abbas and led by a Fateh Prime Minister.

      That should tell you that there isn’t that much difference between them. AS to the final agreement needing the approval of the Palestinians, a couple of years back, Erekat mentioned that those in the diaspora will not be voting on anything. Abbas quickly and naturally backtracked on this so exactly who among the Palestinians would be voting is really a mystery at this point. It stands to reason that neither the Israelis nor the Americans would want the full diaspora to vote on this because it would be a huge refusal. There are almost as many Palestinian refugees in the camps as there are on the WB and these, of course, would not be given the opportunity to return to Palestine, so their rejection of any Abbas agreement would be automatic.

      • Hostage says:

        AS to the final agreement needing the approval of the Palestinians, a couple of years back, Erekat mentioned that those in the diaspora will not be voting on anything.

        Where is your cite?

        I’d be interested in a third-party verifiable source which says Abbas has backtracked from policy statements which say the referendum will include the refugees, e.g.:

        Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday night vowed to put to a referendum any agreement he reaches with Israel.

        Abbas, who was speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah, said that Palestinians everywhere would be asked to approve an agreement with Israel through the referendum.

        “If there is any development and an agreement, it is known that we will go to a referendum,” Abbas clarified. “It won’t be enough to have the approval of the Fatah Central Committee or the PLO Executive Council for an agreement. Rather, we would go to a referendum everywhere because the agreement represents Palestinians everywhere.”

        link to jpost.com

        • Walid says:

          “Where is your cite?: (about Erekat saying Palestinians in diasapora would not be voting on an agreement)
          (Hostage)

          It’s from the Palestine Papers, Hostage; Al Jazeera Jan 25, 2011:

          “On January 15, 2010, Erekat told US diplomat David Hale that the Palestinians offered Israel the return of “a symbolic number” of refugees.

          According to the documents, not only did Palestinian officials offer a low figure of returnees, the chief negotiator of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, said that refugees would not have voting rights on a possible peace deal with Israel.

          Notes of a meeting on March 23, 2007, between Erekat and then-Belgian foreign minister Karel De Gucht, reveal that Erekat said, “I never said the Diaspora will vote. It’s not going to happen. The referendum will be for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Can’t do it in Lebanon. Can’t do it in Jordan.”

          As to the right of return, also from Erekat:

          “n a negotiation meeting on January 27, 2008, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, told her Palestinian counterparts, “Your state will be the answer to all Palestinians including refugees. Putting an end to claims means fulfilling national rights for all.”

          … Erekat seemed to buy into this idea. In a meeting with US diplomats, including Special Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, on October 21, 2009, Erekat said, “Palestinians will need to know that five million refugees will not go back. The number will be agreed as one of the options. Also the number returning to their own state will depend on annual absorption capacity”.

          So even a future Palestinian state could not accommodate the millions of displaced who would want to settle there.”

          link to aljazeera.com

  7. Chu says:

    While Europe is offering carrots to both sides, Israel is the one keeping Palestinians in an ‘open-air prison’. They are hardly equals in the conflict, and it should be addressed as such. Israel needs to be criticized as a pariah of the West, as it always claims its value system is in accord with ‘greater’ western ideals.

    I could see if Palestinians have Israeli prison camps and possibly control the major water ports, etc. – but they are fully subjugated by the Jewish state (checkpoints, airspace control). Kerry and Obama should rethink their strategy of how to deal with an ally that has become a burden on its national interests. Appeasement to the Israeli aggressor may not be the best strategy going forward on for the US. It will only embolden the ungrateful ally and they will see it as weakness – knowing they’ve made another victory with the exaggerated ‘security’ concerns.

    This security game will never end if the US allows another decade of Israel’s military control over the West Bank. They will Always move the goalposts and smile as the worldwatches with disgust. Obama needs to take up the gauntlet and set the stage for separation between an unworthy ally. Zionists are bad for the US, and they’ve have no where else to go at this point in history. The game is drying up on them and we all see it.

  8. Sumud says:

    From the Wikileaks US Embassy cables, Netanyahu in 2009:

    Netanyahu said his government is reviewing Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. There is a consensus in the government and among 80% of the Israeli public that the Palestinians should be able to govern themselves. The only limits on Palestinian sovereignty would be elements that affect Israel’s security. A Palestinian state must be demilitarized, without control over its air space and electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into treaties or control its borders. Netanyahu concluded that he and opposition leader Tzipi Livni “only disagree about the name,” i.e. the two-state solution.
    link to cables.mrkva.eu

    I’ve been saying since I read the cable that Israel intends to impose Gaza-like conditions on the West Bank and call it a Palestinian state.

  9. NormanF says:

    Jordan wants Israeli troops along the entire length of the Jordan River – which coincides with the Jordan Valley.

    The Palestinian Arabs don’t like this but if a neighboring Arab country wants separation from them, they’re hardly in a position to object.

    That said, I don’t see Kerry’s proposed “framework agreement” going anywhere anytime soon.

    • Shingo says:

      Jordan wants Israeli troops along the entire length of the Jordan River – which coincides with the Jordan Valley.

      When did they say that ?

      • I was going to ask the same question. The Hashemis have always been among the most supine Arab clients, but I don’t think even they would say such a thing, at least not for public consumption.

        • it’s hasbara. plus, he says “Jordan wants ….The Palestinian Arabs don’t like this” and who pray tell is ‘jordan’ without their palestinian citizens? it makes no sense and is completely illogical. even the jordanian queen is palestinian.

          • Yes, even though she does her best to forget that when she makes her – nowadays thankfully less frequent – appearances on American talk shows. Wouldn’t want to frighten the good people of America.

          • ziusudra says:

            Greetings Annie,
            Once upon a time there was a territory of Palestine where at least 30% of its Population fled ot the east of said territory which would be annexed & called Jordan.
            There are of the same people, Palistinians before the Hashimite Kingdom W/o passports of Jordania.
            If the plans of 1915 & enactment in 1946 have been done so easily, couldn’t
            said Kingdom be made to return some of original Palestinian land to
            facilitate an expansion of the WB?
            Present day contiguous Palestine is 21.oK Sq Km with ca. 10 mill people, Jews & Pals.
            Contiguous Jordan is ca 90.0K Sq Km with 7 mill & all one People.
            The UK, Turkey & the US could make amends.
            & stretching my naivete further, contiguous Jerusalem, like Berlin, open to the World.
            Thank you, Dear.
            ziusudra

      • Sibiriak says:

        Shingo:

        Jordan wants Israeli troops along the entire length of the Jordan River – which coincides with the Jordan Valley.

        When did they say that ?

        There have been reports like:

        Jordan has also reportedly indicated to the US that it strongly supports an ongoing Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley, fearing a destabilizing upsurge in terrorism should Israel withdraw its forces, which could have profoundly problematic implications for Jordan.

        link to timesofisrael.com

        No sources cited though, as far as I can tell.

    • Mike_Konrad says:

      Norman F, I am NOT in favor of the Two-State Solution or the One State State bi-national solution.

      But Israel is making no real concessions, either. That has to be admitted. Since Israel’s concerns are paramount in the arena, I do NOT blame Israel.

      So I am NOT disagreeing with you.

      I am just saying that even though Israel is right, what is happening to the Palestinians is a tragedy. I do not fault Habarists for defending Israel. I often agree with them. I do fault them for not recognizing the humanity of their opponent.

      Even though Israel is right, the Palestinians are in awful predicament. That has to be admitted.

      I feel sorry for the Palestinians, I just cannot see sinking Israel to fix the problem.

      • RoHa says:

        “Israel’s concerns are paramount in the arena,”

        The Israelis and the US Government seem to think so. Is that all you mean, or are you suggesting that Israel’s concerns are morally more important than those of the Palestinians?

        If so, why?

      • My takeaway from what Konrad said is that his tribe’s interests supersedes all his human and humane considerations. Israel über alles.

      • seafoid says:

        Mike
        How does your sentence slightly amended sound – “Germany was right and what happened to the jews was a tragedy”

        Try to throw in some notions of justice occasionally. Otherwise you.look stupid.

  10. ”Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was reportedly “boiling mad” by the US proposal. In recent days PA spokesmen have accused Kerry of “appeasement” and of failing to be “a neutral mediator”.

    And in other news, PA spokesmen have come to the conclusion that bears occassionaly defecate in the woods.

    The world and his wife knows that no US president will EVER be a neutral mediator where Israel has involved. And yet the PA still keep up the charade. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of idiocy is adopting the same failed strategy over and over, and expecting a different result?

  11. seafoid says:

    This is really more about money and corruption in US politics than about Palestinians. The US has no hope of responding to climate change in time if it can’t stand up to bot money when it counts.

    • seafoid says:

      I can’t do links but check out this 1950s Supreme court judgement from Judge Warren over Jim Crow

      ..a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on puboic issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open and that it may well include vehement, unpleasant and sometimes

      unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials”

      Zionist money is a public issue. Khalaas

  12. Ira Glunts says:

    Here is an interesting
    article
    about the negotiations via the LA Times today quoting Saeb Erekat.  The lead Palestinian negotiator says that the “framework
    agreement” is what will be signed at the end of the present nine-month
    period.  After that there would be another 6 months to 12 months required
    for a full agreement. 

    Cook says here and most of the reporting concurs, according to
    Kerry’s timetable, the framework agreement is to be signed in January and the
    final agreement is to be reached at the end of the nine-month period. 
    However, the timetable that the LA Times reports is one that had been
    also been reported a couple weeks ago in Israel.

    In this LA Times article Erekat praises Kerry’s efforts
    and seems to even imply that all is going well.  This contradicts all
    reports from both sides that the talks are going nowhere.  Also the article
    claims that Erekat has resigned and that he is only staying on until a
    replacement for him can be found.  That is truly surprising to
    those who have followed Erekat’s history of
    resignations.  They are sure that Erekat would find a way to stay on under
    every possible circumstance including his own death.

    Also noteworthy is that Erekat appears to accept the presence of
    Israeli troops on Palestinian soil which is contrary to what President Abbas has
    been saying publicly.

     

    • Bumblebye says:

      I would seem to be so:
      link to maannews.net

      Quoting Erekat:

      “”We are not talking about a peace treaty on the 29th of April, we are talking about a framework agreement,” Erakat told journalists in Beit Jala near Bethlehem on Wednesday.

      He said the deal would “specify the borders, percentage of the (prisoner) swaps, security arrangements, Jerusalem status, refugees and then that’s the skeleton. Without achieving that you cannot draft a single word of the treaty.

      “Once you reach the framework agreement, between that day to reach a comprehensive treaty, on all core issues … you need six to 12 months in the best case.”"

      • Shingo says:

        “Once you reach the framework agreement, between that day to reach a comprehensive treaty, on all core issues … you need six to 12 months in the best case.””

        That’s what they said about Oslo.

        All this does is but the Israelis another 2 years to steal more land.

        • Ira Glunts says:

          The “in the best case” part of the quote is very telling. What happened to “we all know what the final agreement will look like.” It sure looks like the PA will either be forced to accept what Daniel Kurtzer calls “a very tough peace deal,” or will end up being the party blamed for refusing “Kerry’s generous offer.”

          link to mondoweiss.net

          • Ira Glunts says:

            This is the Ynet English version of the Erekat presser.

            link to ynetnews.com (English)

            The Hebrew version is quite different, but with no untranslated land mines. One thing that is not in the English article is that Erekat states that he hopes that Abbas will accept his resignation from the negotiating team because it pains him to negotiate with Israel when it does everything possible to subvert the negotiations.

            Isn’t Saeb something else? Who else could keep the job of lead negotiator for 20 years when his team has achieved zero? Maybe I am being too hard on him because he is in an impossible position. But then if that is true, maybe he should really resign.

            link to ynet.co.il (Hebrew)

    • Hostage says:

      Cook says here and most of the reporting concurs, according to
      Kerry’s timetable, the framework agreement is to be signed in January and the
      final agreement is to be reached at the end of the nine-month period.

      Reports elsewhere indicate the framework won’t be signed until the end of the 9 months and only then if it actually defines things:

      According to him, the framework agreement would define borders, land swaps, security coordination, and the issue of refugees. . . . Erekat said Wednesday that the framework would have to be a “detailed skeleton” addressing all core issues. If that is reached, he said talks could continue for several more months to complete the deal.

      So the framework and extension are not a done deal yet. link to ynetnews.com

  13. Mike_Konrad says:

    A Palestinian state must be demilitarized,

    Understandable

    without control over its air space

    Understandable, but stiff.

    electro-magnetic field,

    That means no control over their phone and internet.

    That means no independence AT ALL!

    or control its borders.

    This is not a state. This is NOT sovereignty.

    Look a two state solution is NOT possible. I have been telling everyone this. Nor is a binational state possible.

    The only possible solution is compensated PAID relocation of the Palestinians, as ugly as that sounds.

    The Israels are NOT going to budge. They will qualify any freedom they give to the point where there is NO freedom at all.

    I am not even blaming the Israelis. They DO have security issues.

    • Shingo says:

      Understandable

      …so that Israel can continue to commit it’s crimes of aggression with impunity.

      Understandable, but stiff.

      …so that Israel can continue to commit it’s crimes of aggression with impunity as well as being able to put a stranglehold in it’s economy.

      That means no independence AT ALL!

      Which is Israel’s agenda.

      The only possible solution is compensated PAID relocation of the Palestinians, as ugly as that sounds.

      No a far more feasible one would be compensated PAID relocation of the Israelis who don’t want to stay in a binational state, as ugly as that sounds. After all, they already have second passports and the US/Europe/Canada/Australia/Russia will be happy to take them.

      I am not even blaming the Israelis. They DO have security issues.

      “Security” being the code word for wanting to protect stolen loot.

    • talknic says:

      @Mike_Konrad // A Palestinian state must be demilitarized,

      “Understandable”

      No legal basis. All states have an equal right to self defense

      //without control over its air space //

      “Understandable, but stiff”

      No legal basis. All states have an equal right to control their own territory. Airspace is territory.

      “This is not a state. This is NOT sovereignty”

      No independence. A state already exists

      “The only possible solution is compensated PAID relocation of the Palestinians, as ugly as that sounds”

      It’s as ugly as the people who propose it jnr

      “I am not even blaming the Israelis. They DO have security issues.”

      A) Yeh, it’s quite noticeable. B) What security issues? They have paranoid insecurity issues fostered by Zionist lobby groups since 1897 and by Israeli Governments since 00:01 15th May 1948 ME time

      No state has a right to more secure borders than its neighbours, especially by illegally acquiring their neighbours territory.

  14. ToivoS says:

    It seems clear to me at this point that Kerry has given up on any peace agreement with the Palestinians. The reason is the obvious one that they cannot force Israel to do what is needed. I think they have decided to let the Israelis do what they want until the end of Obama’s term in exchange for a peace deal with the Iranians. They are hoping to buy off the lobby — you guys get the WB in exchange for staying out of the Iranian negotiations.

    I think it is good trade: selling out a few million Palestinians to avoid a war that could easily kill millions and effect the lives of billions. Especially since the US is powerless to help the Palestinians in any case.

    As Cook says, the only honorable thing Abbas can do is to refuse to sign. That is unlikely to happen considering the many millions of dollars he would receive if he signed it.

  15. Netanyahu as a scheming liar? With a stooge US Congress backing him, to scr*w the Palestinians? I continue to think the key thing is the borders. Even if Israeli army does not get out immediately, entirely.

    • talknic says:

      ” I continue to think the key thing is the borders.”

      Indeed. Folk should be lobbying their respective governments reminding them they recognized Israel as it asked to be recognized and that Israel has not since legally acquired any territory ” the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. “

    • Walid says:

      “Even if Israeli army does not get out immediately, entirely.”

      That’s another Oslo-type gimmicky way of keeping both feet inside the door. It’s not about security, it’s not about maintaining control over the Palestinians’ air space or air waves. It’s about maintaining control over the Palestinians’ water. They are talking about everything else but not about the water.

      I get the feeling that a few of the Palestinian big shots will be relocating to nice large mansions in Connecticut as soon as the deal is signed.

      • @Walid – - Yes, I of course see how Israelis can steal more water etc etc etc in Palestine, if Israeli army is not removed. But I still think the most important issue is the borders of Palestine.

  16. The more things change,more they remain same. Jordan was not to be given any arms until Israel could get mores,above and beyond what zjordan would get. This generated tension in Lyndon zjohnson administration. To avoid any scuttling of any solution by Jewish lobby, Jognson ‘s advisors – with back door channel of communication or leaks to Israei lobby advised him not to pressure Israel on Nuclear projects. Israel got both the arms and the nukes.

  17. Hostage says:

    Allen has indulged an Israeli demand that it be allowed to continue a long-term “military presence” in the Jordan Valley, of at least 10 years. . . . the US plan would condition an eventual Israeli withdrawal on the Palestinians meeting a “test of implementation.” . . . According to Allen’s plan, Israel’s security also requires that . . . the US install spying technology – euphemistically called “early warning systems” – throughout the West Bank.

    The problem is that the UN says Palestine is a state. The Charter doesn’t allow members to interfere with the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. That sure as hell applies to pipe dreams about a security requirement to maintain a your military’s presence in someone else’s state and the ability to veto its removal.

    That’s all so far removed from the existing UN positions on those questions of international law that I doubt Kerry could ever sell it to the General Assembly if Abbas took the question there. They still have resolutions on the books which say that continued Israeli military presence in the occupied Arab territories in violation of UN resolutions violates the Charter and amounts to an act of aggression. The same resolutions prohibit other members, like the USA, from providing Israel with any political, economic, military and technological support (i.e. spying technology located on Palestinian territory) to prolong the occupation.

    Abbas has got a guaranteed majority in the General Assembly for a Namibian-style case, e.g. “Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of Israel in Palestine, notwithstanding UN resolutions”. It’s a slam dunk.

    It may be ironic, but the USA and the other American states are responsible for selling the UN, the ICJ, the ICC, and the rest of the world on definition of aggression that includes, military invasions, occupations, and blockades in violation of the UN Charter as examples of the crime of aggression.

  18. I could be wrong but my understanding is that negotiations between two parties where one is very strong and another extremely week are not approved by international law. Makes sense as coercition is always directed at the week party. Israel can Put up all the impossible conditions and make all the ridiculous demands and sit back and watch the Palestinians take the measure of their helplessness and impotence to do anything.

  19. Hostage says:

    Earlier this month the EU brandished its stick. It warned that it would stop financing Abbas’ Palestinian Authority if no agreement had been reached by the end of the talks.

    No that was just the EU’s special representative to the Middle East peace process, Andreas Reinicke. A spokesperson for EU Foreign Minister Ashton quickly sawed-off the limb he had climbed out on an denied the EU had threatened that it would suspend aid to PA if peace talks fail. So it’s very doubtful there is enough support among all of the EU Ministers for the idea. link to middleeastmonitor.com

    It’s even less likely now that they are offering rewards for successful talks. They can’t use the excuse that they are cash-strapped and they can’t abandon their stated position that they won’t recognize any changes to the 67 lines without the Palestinians consent (if they are pulling the rug out from under Abbas at the same time).

  20. peeesss says:

    Abbas has got a guaranteed majority in the General Assembly for a Namibian-style case, e.g. “Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of Israel in Palestine, notwithstanding UN resolutions”. It’s a slam dunk.
    “slam dunk”, without a doubt. But to still believe that the Abbas/Erekat quisling duo is going to the UNGA and/or the ICC/ICJ and give up its US favored status belies their years of accommodation and collaboration.

  21. Hostage says:

    But to still believe that the Abbas/Erekat quisling duo is going to the UNGA and/or the ICC/ICJ and give up its US favored status belies their years of accommodation and collaboration.

    Once again, let me explain that several members of Erekat’s Negotiations Support Unit helped prepare Palestine’s 848 page written petition to the ICJ in the 2003 Wall case and participated in the oral arguments:
    * Ms Stephanie Koury, Member, Negotiations Support Unit, Counsel;
    * Mr. Jarat Chopra, Member, Negotiations Support Unit, Professor of International Law, Brown University, Counsel;
    * Mr. Rami Shehadeh, Member, Negotiations Support Unit, Counsel;
    * Mr. Michael Tarazi, Member, Negotiations Support Unit, Adviser/Media Co-ordinator; link to icj-cij.org

    They accused Israel of the crime of apartheid. See Chapter 10. link to icj-cij.org

    The United States was one of the interested states parties. It filed a 112 page written statement objecting to the fact that the Court was even considering the case: link to icj-cij.org

    Likewise, President Abbas ignored US and Israeli objections and directed his Justice and Foreign Affairs Ministers to file a declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC for all crimes committed on Palestinian territory since July of 2002. Palestine and the Arab League subsequently delivered a 254 page independent fact finding report on Operation Cast Lead to the ICC Prosecutor and filed another complaint that remained under seal. link to web.archive.org

    Wikileaks revealed that the government of Israel considered the ICC complaint from the PA to be an “act of war” and it publicly demanded that Abbas have it withdrawn – which he refused to do. See “Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague”
    * link to haaretz.com
    And the Wikileaks cable:
    * link to wikileaks.org

    If that’s what you call years of collaboration, then you don’t know very much about the subject.

  22. NickJOCW says:

    The task of making Israel and the Palestinians play ball is being subcontracted to the European Union.

    The single greatest threat to the Israeli stance is the ICC and it could be said that all US/Israel efforts seek to avoid that beckoning path. Meanwhile, the US appears to be in a situation familiar to chess players where any move will worsen its position, and may in consequence simply be filling time. Furthermore, the EU is not a single entity with a single voice. It is anything but. It contains well over 7% of the global population most of whom have little patience with Israel, which is seen as an increasing irritant, one they have until recently largely put up with or ignored but is now approaching the point where something needs to be done about it.

    Hitherto the lack of attention means European minds are less cluttered and what they begin to learn is almost entirely anti-Israel since there isn’t a single coherent argument to favour Israel’s actions. It should also be taken on board, however uncomfortable it may be, that Europeans have never had any deep affection for Jews and Europe was the crucible of the worst excesses of antisemitism. Antisemitism is a subdivision of racism which, for largely economic reasons, is on the rise in much of Europe. In summary, there is no underlying affection or popular support for Israel that might serve to colour the issue.

    Most Europeans coming fresh to the IP situation will tend to take the view that Israel should simply retire to the 1948 borders and try to live peaceably, and if 750,000 Palestinians can be constrained to quit their homes in a twelvemonth, surely the same can apply to settlers.

    There is also an underlying belief in the institutions of the UN, not an illusion that they are perfect or always effective, but a nisus, an impulse, towards its ideals and distrust of any deliberate flouting or apparent contempt for them. Russia, which is more European than Israel, expresses a similar view.

    The US has only one President, Europe has 28 leaders all of whom need in varying degrees to pay attention to public demands particularly when they concern humanitarian ideals. Less perhaps a question of subcontracting, which implies getting others to do your work, than passing the buck to a future less influenced by what the US does than what it has ceased to do.

  23. seafoid says:

    Say the bots carve up what is left and destroy the possibility of a palestinian state. It would be a reprise of the 1770s when Prussia, Russia and Austria carved up Poland. It was the same imperial resource driven injustice ridden crap.And the 3 empires collapsed. Poland was reborn. Palestine will be reborn too. The fact there is nothing for palestinians in judistan guarantees it.

  24. peeesss says:

    Hostage.
    I just deleted my comments about Abbas and Erekat “accommodation and collaboration” over the years by mistake. Could not retrieve. Will post tomorrow hopefully.
    I do respect your knowledge and value your comments as it pertains, especially, to the injustice that has befallen the Palestinian people. Your consistent support of the Abbas/Erekat Fateh faction does befuddle me however.
    I do value your knowledge and imput on Palestine.

  25. Hostage says:

    Your consistent support of the Abbas/Erekat Fateh faction does befuddle me however.

    That’s pretty simple. It just so happens that Article 12(3) declarations can only be filed by the governments of non-member states. That means member states who want to grant the International Criminal Court retroactive jurisdiction over crimes have to file one before they join the Court, not afterwards. There is an on-going battle royale with the Court over the validity and existence of Palestine’s government, which in-turn affects its declaration and its ability to persecute serious crimes committed on Palestinian territory since the Rome Statute entered into force in 2002.

    If you want to see Israel get away with a lot of bloody murders committed between 2002-2013, just keep arguing that the State of Palestine doesn’t exist and that Abbas has no legal mandate to represent it. It’s as simple as that.

    People here try to delegitimize acts of state undertaken by Erekat, Abbas and other members of Palestine’s provisional government. In many cases they do that even for acts performed when those officials were undoubtedly duly elected and had clear mandates from the Palestinian people to obtain recognition of their state and its government.

    Supporters of the one state solution would rather swallow glass than recognize that a State of Palestine already exists and is illegally occupied. Their talking points currently advance the argument that Palestine is “a non-existent state” and that Israel is the only entity between the river and the sea. I happen to think it was up to the voters in Palestine to decide any question about of their own political status, and they consciously put Abbas in the top spots in the PLO, and the PA, after he and other officials had declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in 1988 and when he subsequently reaffirmed its existence and the fight to obtain its recognition under the Quartet Road Map and other initiatives, e.g. Abbas: Palestinian state an existing fact link to ynetnews.com

    If you say they don’t represent anyone, does that mean the dossier prepared by Erekat’s Negotiation Support Unit and the oral arguments it presented in the ICJ Wall case were a work of fiction or null and void?

    You can bet your bottom dollar those same offical allegations are contained in the criminal complaint from the government of Palestine that’s being held under seal by the ICC. Nearly every public report filed with the ICC and the Goldstone report contained numerous references to the official record and findings in the ICJ Wall case.

    So it still matters whether or not the President of Palestine had the authority to direct the Palestinian Justice and Foreign Affairs Ministers to file the Article 12(3) Declaration accepting ICC jurisdiction and the related criminal complaint in January of 2009.

    I happen to believe that he did. I think he also had the authority to go to the UN, and polls show that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians still support the bids for UN membership and the actions he has taken in the ICC.