Diana Buttu, today:
"I Advised the Palestinian Negotiating Team. It Was a Mistake to Have Negotiated With Israel at All
Buoyed by the Oslo Accords, I moved to the West Bank as a legal adviser to the PLO team. I was wrong. 25 years since that iconic Arafat-Rabin handshake, it's clear talks are futile - and Palestinians are no closer to freedom ...
... But while I and others worked to end occupation others worked to entrench it, including the Israeli government and its settlers: within the first seven years after the negotiations began, Israel used incentives to nearly double its settler population. Today, the settler population is more than three times the size it was in 1993, with nearly 700,000 settlers living in the West Bank. ...
I am often asked why the negotiations process failed. It is easy to point to the rise of right-wing Israeli governments, poor leadership or weak or uninterested U.S. presidents. But the real reason for failure lie beyond these factors.
It is because the parties should not have started negotiating in the first place.
To demand that Palestinians - living under Israeli military rule - negotiate with their occupier and oppressor is akin to demanding that a hostage negotiate with their hostage taker. It is repugnant that the world demands that Palestinians negotiate their freedom, while Israel continues to steal Palestinian land. Instead, Israel should have faced sanctions for continuing to deny Palestinians their freedom while building illegal settlements. ...
... But, rather than recognize the mistake of negotiations, the world continues to demand that we continue the facade even though negotiations irrevocably broke down more than a decade ago. The negotiations process has, in effect, served as cover for the world to do nothing - while giving Israel the cover to build and expand settlements.
If peace is to be achieved, it must entail costs - and this time, not shouldered by the Palestinians. Rather, Israel must receive the strong message, the first in its history, that settlements will no longer be tolerated but rather reversed, and that Palestinians must be free.
I am under no illusions that the Trump Administration will put into place such sanctions. While previous administrations tried to maintain a semblance that they were helping "both sides," Trump has come decidedly in support of Israel’s right-wing pro-settler movement.
Whether by declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or by attempting to extinguish the right of return, President Trump has shown that his "deal of the century" will undoubtedly accommodate Israeli settlements, take away Palestinian rights and reward Israeli wrongs. The closure of the PLO office in Washington D.C. this week is yet another check on Israel’s wish list.
For Israel and its supporters, the past 25 years have been a victory. With Trump at the helm, Israel’s settlers are at an all-time high, Palestinians are confined to bantustans and the U.S. is cracking down on Palestinians for demanding their freedom.
But this short-term fix has long-term implications. While Oslo changed the lives of a generation of Palestinians, this generation and the next have certainly learned its lessons: that negotiating is futile, and that our rights cannot be compromised. With this, it is only a matter of time before we begin struggling for equal rights in a single state, rather than press for statehood."
"16-year-old Gazan Shot to Death by Israeli Soldiers While Waving His Hands; Army to Investigate Incident ..."
chilling video @ link: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/video-shows-16-year-old-gazan-shot-by-israeli-soldiers-while-waving-hands-1.6463970
All of this killing, maiming, deliberate murdering by the IOF, and I saw this trifling article in Haaretz:
"'It Comes When You're Alone:’ IDF Snipers on Gaza Border Aren't Receiving Mental Healthcare
The snipers who shot at dozens of people at close range, for hours at a time, saw them falling and heard their cries, have not received any specific handling by their units ..."
(there are some 'special' photos of the snipers @ the link... I suggest that they should have received the "mental healthcare" before they ever, ever joined the IOF to make Mom and Pop, oh so proud!)
wrt to the auction of the illegal seizure (theft) of the flotilla ships in international waters, I prefer this title to AS':
"Israel to sell Freedom Flotilla boats to support settlers ..."
(there's a great Latuff cartoon @ the link)
Meanwhile there's nary a peep from the governments of the activists that were attacked and detained. Now this. Still, nothing... except the IOF continue to shoot fishermen and terrorizing them!
It's insane that they are getting away with murder. every. single. day.
Thank you Kate.