FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Placebo Peace Initiative

The new Israeli “peace initiative” drafted by Israel’s Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, is no more than a placebo for internal Israeli consumption and consumption by the US and Europe in response to their pressuring Israel for positive movement toward ending the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Doctors often prescribe placebos to patients that they feel are suffering from ailments that are not necessarily physiological, hoping that the patient will think that the medicine contains some active ingredient that will cure their ailments. Such medication may have been believed successful during the Oslo Peace Accords, but the latest 12-month round of bloodletting has done additional physical damage to Palestinian rights, and thus, any treatment must be real and immediate.

The few details of the new “initiative” that have been made public are so bizarre that it is a wonder that it is being presented at all. Sharon makes no mention of dismantling the illegal settlements, large or small, and the plan will leave in place 3 Palestinian West Bank cantons or bantustans (aside from the Gaza Strip) surrounded by Israeli troops, with full Israeli control of the roads and highways.

In fact there is nothing new about the initiative (if it can even be called that) and is essentially the revival, with some slight changes, of the “Gaza First” concept, yet no mention is made of dismantling the illegal settlements in and around the Gaza Strip. The issue of Jerusalem is left for later stages, and any discussion of the right of return of Palestinian refugees is rejected. It is a step backward to the pre Madrid/Oslo period, and both Peres and Sharon are acting as if nothing has happened in the past 10 years.

The principles of a possible agreement between Israelis and Palestinians have already been sketched out in numerous UN resolutions (242 and 338, among others) and maintain full support of the world at large, including the US and UK. Such an internationally legitimate approach should remain the basis, with some mutually agreed to minor changes, for any initiative in the area, or rather any initiative with a chance for success. The Israeli retreat to the 1967 borders, the dismantling of illegal settlements, honest and creative discussion of the right of return, and the relinquishing control over East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority or the defacto State of Palestine.

What is needed is a shot of adrenaline, and not a warmed over initiative with no substance and no chance of success. Placebos, Mr. Sharon and Mr. Peres, only work when the patient is only imagining they have been under military occupation for 34 years. In this case, you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not recognize this, so called initiative, for what is: a blatant attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community. CP

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American living in the besieged Palestinian City of Al-Bireh in the West Bank and can be reached at sbahour@palnet.com.

Michael Dahan is an Israeli-American political scientist living in Jerusalem and can be reached at mdahan@attglobal.net.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail