Who Can Negotiate for Palestine?

by

Palestine-Israeli peace talks seem to proceed from uninspired to obscure to fruitless. This week we learned that U.S. negotiators may offer the notorious Israeli-American spy Jonathan Pollard as a carrot to Israel to concede something to Palestinians, even a promise to continue negotiations. Would it work? And who would it benefit? Can anything move Israel towards a genuine agreement that would realize Palestinian autonomy? Can you remember any meaningful Israeli move towards peace during these agonizing costly decades? The Oslo Accord lies in tatters. Israel’s pullout from Gaza was an opportunity to rid itself of an ungovernable population on a tiny coastal strip which Israel then proceeded to lay siege to, surrounding Gaza with boats and fences and bombing its population at will. Does anyone buy a release by Israel of Arab prisoners as anything but a transfer of men and women essentially held as hostages? Secretary of State Kerry who began his tenure with energetic diplomatic initiatives recently suggested the US might offer a real prize to Israel—the American spy Pollard for…  . For what? Hostages. And, oh yes– extending a peace talks deadline, leading we don’t know where. Any extension of talks would likely slide into the next U.S. president’s tenure. Then they’d restart under a new US administration. Meanwhile we’ll see 1000s more armed Jewish colonizers installed in the West Bank, while 1000s more Palestinians are dislodged, more Arab lands seized, more defenseless Palestinians killed, more livelihoods lost, more Palestinians fleeing abroad, more foreign funding allocated for more helpless, more impoverished refugees. A Pollard-Palestinian exchange would also provide another reminder that one Israeli is worth hundreds of Arabs. So more humiliation. Where else can Palestinians look for action? Not their militants. Not Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi, not Iran’s Ahmadinajad or Turkey’s Erdogan:– all erstwhile champions of Palestinian statehood. And not Tony Blair and his phony “Quartet”. The recent Palestinian announcement that it will pursue membership in various U.N. agencies is long overdue. Despite legions of talented, courageous, determined Palestinians outside, and the enduring millions under occupation, this leadership has thus far failed its people and its supporters. It must change. It must invoke bold strategies. Palestinian leaders can still turn to one of their bravest supporters, Nelson Mandela; his recent passing recalled an extraordinary 1990 confrontation in New York where Mandela boldly responded to a hostile audience regarding his support for Palestine, reducing the normally aggressive Ted Koppel to a dithering amateur.   The clarity of his words in this clip reinforces Mandela’s ideological position; it demonstrates a brilliance and fearlessness we rarely experience today—from anyone. All Palestinian orators, researchers and supporters outside and all the martyrs inside cannot achieve their goal without really skilled people at their negotiating table. The greatest tribute Palestinians can pay to the foremost champion of their cause is to study every detail of Mandela’s evolution, and adopt it. Immediately. Barbara Nimri Aziz is an anthropologist and journalist. She has visited the Occupied Palestinian Territories on numerous occasions, reporting for Pacifica-WBAI in New York and elsewhere. Her website is www.RadioTahrir.org.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire
Halyna Mokrushyna
Decentralization Reform in Ukraine
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Norman Pollack
World Capitalism, a Basket Case: A Layman’s View
Sarah Lazare
Listening to Iraq
John Laforge
NSP/Xcel Energy Falsified Welding Test Documents on Rad Waste Casks
Wendell G Bradley
Drilling for Wattenberg Oil is Not Profitable
Joy First
Wisconsin Walk for Peace and Justice: Nine Arrested at Volk Field
Mel Gurtov
China’s Insecurity
Mateo Pimentel
An Operator’s Guide to Trump’s Racism
Yves Engler
Harper Conservatives and Abuse of Power
Michael Dickinson
Police Guns of Brixton: Another Unarmed Black Shot by London Cops
Ron Jacobs
Daydream Sunset: a Playlist
Charles R. Larson
The Beginning of the Poppy Wars: Amitav Ghosh’s “Flood of Fire”
David Yearsley
A Rising Star Over a Dark Forest
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman