7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018

US a powerless peace broker

Secretary of State John Kerry has declared his intention to posit a written proposal outlining America's vision for peace before the end of the year.

Palestinians and Israelis have met more than 20 times since July 2013 with little progress. Israel wanted to discuss only security arrangements while it continued to build at an accelerated rate "Jewish only" colonies undermining the very peace talks.

Fearing its collapse, Kerry amassed earlier this month a team of 160 American diplomats and security specialists led by General John Allen, former commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, to draft a framework "that could help both Israelis and Palestinians get to an agreement."

Inarguably, President Barack Obama and Secretary Kerry are much more serious in pushing a peace agreement than any previous US administration. Nevertheless, they have proven equally powerless overcoming Israel's mercurial demands.

Since the early 1970s, it was first Palestinian endorsement of UN resolution 242, renounce "terrorism", and then to recognise Israel. After the Oslo accord, a new Israeli government declared Palestinians must prove sincerity by also annulling their National Charter. Coaxed by the US and Europe, Palestinians delivered on their part without any reciprocal recognition of their rights from Israel.

Today, Israel is requesting to prequalify Palestinian recognitions of it, now as a racialist "Jewish state", demanding further that any peace agreement must codify its occupation of part of the West Bank - Jordan River valley - under a euphemism called "security arrangement".

The Americans, who promised the talks would focus on reaching a final status peace deal by April 2014, are already backpedalling.

In his speech at the Zionist Saban Centre for Middle East Policy earlier this month, President Obama described the negotiations' objectives for a "framework that would not address every single detail," then referring to Palestinians he added, "they don't get everything that they want on day one".

Meanwhile, it is becoming apparent that the US mediating team led by an ex-staff of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is championing Israel's position on security arrangements, urging Palestinians to forgo a final settlement and to settle instead for a "framework" interim agreement.

Information from Kerry's mid-December meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has revealed that the US is on the verge of proposing an outline for an interim peace plan addressing "everything (Israel) wants" while pushing aside Palestinian sovereignty, the status of Jerusalem, contiguity with Gaza and the refugees' question.

Fearing a repeat of the Camp David meeting in 2000 - when US President Bill Clinton adopted the Israel position - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas briefed a special meeting of Arab foreign ministers on the impending American peace plan. Abbas informed the gathering that Palestinians reject entering into a new interim understanding, new bigoted recognition or any proposal favouring continuous Israeli presence in any part of the West Bank or at the border with Jordan.

Following the agreement between the 5+1 with Iran, the US is posed to appease Israel by embracing all of its professed security needs.

Indeed, the Israeli army radio reported on December 24 that the American side agreed to all Israeli security demands in the Jordan River valley including, but not limited to, military presence along the border with Jordan.

More than 20 years since the original interim accord, and 14 years since the failure of Camp David, entertaining an Interim Peace II will only upgrade the Palestinian Authority's role from being a co-ordinator to endorser of the Israeli occupation.

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