By Jamal Kanj
A day after Palestinians reached a national unity government, Israel announced the suspension of the never ending peace talks. The Israeli position was echoed instantly in Washington by one of Israel’s unofficial agents, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida, calling for “immediate suspension of US aid to the Palestinian Authority.”
The Gaza accord signed by several Palestinian groups, including the two antagonist parties Fatah and Hamas consisted of five main points: 1) forming new national unity government, 2) holding elections, 3) reforming security forces, 4) social reforms, and 5) general liberties.
The agreement was obviously an internal national issue outlining the functioning of good democratic governance. Logically, one could surmise that Israel would be very interested in negotiating peace with an entity representing all Palestinians factions.
Reaching an (peace) agreement, however, could put an end to the Zionist dream. Israel has used the Sisyphean peace talks to delay the inevitable by transplanting Jewish only population to create new facts on the ground.
According to the Israeli organization Peace Now, while “talking peace” for the last nine months, Israel issued permits to build 14,000 new “Jewish only” homes in the occupied land violating article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention.
Israel simply wants to talk, but not to reach an agreement. In a speech on January 28 at the Institute for National Security Studies security conference in Tel Aviv, industry minister Naftali Bennett – head of a major political block in the government – threatened to resign if his government would consider withdrawing from occupied West Bank.
Bennett described the possibility of a peace agreement that might even retain some “Jewish only” colonies inside the future state of Palestine as “the loss of a moral (Zionist) compass.” Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon told the Jerusalem Post last month that he would “resign from his post if a diplomatic arrangement to extend the talks with the Palestinians is reached.”
A Palestinian unity government would also deflate an excuse for right wing hawks who expressed strong reservations on any future peace deal. They want the division to continue challenging President Mahmoud Abbas’ mandate to speak for all Palestinians.
Bennett, the American millionaire turned Israel politician, had casted doubts on Abbas’ legitimacy arguing that “If we reached an agreement with him, more than 60 per cent of the Palestinians in Gaza will not accept it.”
The ex-Moldavian night club boxer and illegal Jewish settler, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman went further asserting that Abbas “does not represent Palestinians in Gaza and his legitimacy in the West Bank is questionable. Signing an agreement with Abbas is merely signing an agreement with Fatah, the faction which he heads.”
Earlier in the year, Israeli government ministers have also chastised America for its role in the peace process.
Israeli defence minister spewed a barrage of insults directed at US Secretary of State John Kerry calling his efforts “not worth the paper it is printed on,” a glory hound “messianic” and scolding him to “leave us (Israel) alone.”
Exhibiting classic Stockholm syndrome case, Kerry who was supposed to be a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, declared this week, “I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone.”
Instead of expressing “commitment” to a foreign nation, Kerry and his country’s partisan should heed the forewarning of America’s founding father in his farewell speech when he urged “fellow citizens” to be wary of “excessive partiality for one foreign nation” and be vigilant to “wiles of foreign influence.”
George Washington must be turning in his grave watching his partisan successors prostrating to agents of a foreign country, not to “good faith and justice.”
I hate to tell you George, but today’s American officials are more committed to the foreign entity of Israel than to justice.
– Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. (A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.)