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Palestinians Should Not Negotiate Now – OpEd

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By Mojtaba Hosseini

We are taught in business school, to be a good negotiator, you have to have something to “trade” with, and also what each party “have” that the other wants are two important aspects of negotiation. The aim of negotiation is to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, and leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won, in some ways, after negotiation.

Let us take that concept to the Israeli and the Palestinian peace talks and see if we can identify what each party “have” for “trade” during their negotiations.

Israel, come to the negotiation table as an occupier. They took over the rest of Palestine during the 1967 war with Arabs; the war that one would say Israelis started it, by using false flagged operations, and made Arabs to attack them. They have been controlling all the Palestinian land, sea and air for the past 44 years. And they have been getting much stronger militarily, with approximately USD 6 billion US military aid every year, ever since.

On the other hand, the Palestinians have been getting weaker and weaker militarily, every year, since the Soviet Union folded. They have little if any control over their land, air, water, electricity, ports, taxation, or securities of any kind. And there seems to be nobody except Iran and some other small countries that have been given real support to the Palestinians and their cause, not even the fellow Arabs have done anything for them, except some occasional lip service.

The US and Israel are still insistent that the Palestinians should continue the direct negotiation for Statehood with the Zionist regime, and should not go to the UN to ask for the Palestinian Statehood. They call on the Palestinians to come to the negotiation table in order to achieve peace with Zionist regime, where Israelis are not willing to pay much of a price for it.

The Zionists will not even negotiate over Arab East Jerusalem. They intend to keep not only the West Bank settlements but also the lands around and near those settlements, including the settlers’ only highways that connect the settlements. They will not free blockaded Gaza from their illegal surrendering, maintaining full control over its airspace, seaports, and land entry points.

The US is still putting pressure on the Palestinians to stop altogether any UN effort and the US envoys have been in the region for the past several weeks arm-twisting (Palestinian arms that is; Israeli arms will be free to continue their shaking sticks at the Arabs routinely).

Even the Quartet Representatives on the Middle East – which includes the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations – have meet in New York on Sunday and drafted a statement that has called for direct peace talks with the Palestinians. The statement would supposedly have a big compromise points from Netanyahu in it.

Ask what the “big compromise” is, and they would tell you that Israel will not ask the Palestinians to recognize “Israel as a Jewish state” as the previous Quartet proclamation stated; “two states for two nations, with Israel as a Jewish state and the national home of the Jewish people.” Is this really a big compromise by Israel that can change the Palestinians’ minds from going to the UN?

The Palestinians have been accepting the US promises for “Statehood” through direct negotiations for so many years now. All the US Presidents, including President Jimmy Carter which brought them to Camp David, President Bill Clinton, who brought them to the White House during his literally last days of presidency, and President Obama have tried to supposedly mediate between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The Palestinians have finally come to the conclusion that the US is not a mediator, let alone an “impartial” mediator. They also have recognized that they cannot negotiate as an equal partner for peace, with Israel. How could they? When they sit around the table, all the chips, or “trade” points are sitting in front of the Zionist regime’s side.

The Palestinians now realize that negotiation is a tool for the Zionist regime to kill time, and build more settlements or as the Israeli puts it, “to change the facts on the ground.” That was come to light in a recent negotiation that lasted less than a month, between Palestinian National Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama, and the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ended when Netanyahu refused to extend the freeze for settlements in the West Bank, in September 2010.

The final nail in the direct-negotiations coffin was driven by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he rejected President Obama’s offer of “bribe”, worth more than $3.5 billion in U.S. aid in exchange for extension of only 90 more days of settlement freeze. Some 500,000 Israelis now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Palestinians finally realized that they do not have any leverage for negotiations. When $3.5 billion extra aid is not even buying 90 days settlement freeze, during a negotiation, what other leverage can they have to get a just and equitable peace from the Zionist regime? And therefore they put their feet down and said, enough is enough; there is no point in negotiating with the Zionist regime anymore.

Another problem the Palestinians have, at least with the Western public opinion, is the “image problem” which has to be overcome by the Palestinians. Western media (controlled by Zionists in the US and UK) have portrayed Israel as the victim in this one- sided conflict. But history has a different story to tell, and it is full of evidence which shows clearly how brute force was used to establish the Zionist regime in the Palestinian lands.

The ideology of terror is still dominant force in the Zionist regime’s foreign policies. And playing the victim all the time is pure hypocrisy and calling the Palestinians “terrorists” is like pot calling the kettle black. How could the Palestinians be called terrorists in their own land when they are fighting a foreign occupation by some Ashkenazi Zionist Jews from Europe? And that is the “image problem” that has been portrayed by the Zionist controlled media, which has to be overcome by the Palestinians, and admittedly it is a big hurdle to overcome.

The Palestinians are going before the UN General Assembly for statehood (they would need 2/3 of the votes). Mahmoud Abbas has said he will give the official request to Ban Ki-moon right after his speech at the UNGA, to be presented to the UN Security Council.

Currently, the presidency of the UNSC is held by Lebanon. China has just declared that it will also vote for the Palestinian bid, Russia has already done the same. France has not publicly said how it will vote, but the French government favors the Palestinian bid. The only UNSC member who is on the record that will veto the Palestinian request is the US, and her eternal poodle, the UK (the country that created this problem), but, at least for the US, the farce of being an “impartial” mediator will finally be put to rest.

While many questions relating to the State of Palestine’s bid for UN membership are being vigorously debated, one relevant question has not. That question is how the American national interests would be harmed if Palestine were to be admitted as the 194th member of the UN?

Perhaps the reason the question is not being raised and debated is because there are no potential adverse consequences, which can be envisioned and cited to justify a veto. Few people alive can remember the last time that the US disobeyed Israel, and it should be assumed that it will eventually veto the State of Palestine’s membership application.

But America thrives and has been created by the notion of “good vs. bad,” when they kicked out the British Empire to create the USA to just mention one example. Also Hollywood uses the concept of “good vs. bad” in all their movies; in fact the main reason that the Hollywood movies are so popular in the world is because of that notion. But why the US government cannot bring itself to yell at the American public opinion, and follows this old American tradition in its relation with the Palestinian?

The only visible reason that one can see in the American political scene is the unequivocal control of the one percent of population, namely the Zionist Jews (mostly with dual citizenship) in the US who control the key echelons of power in the US. They have so many organizations, such as AIPAC, and so much money such as (privately owned Federal Reserve) to achieve anything that Israel wants, regardless of whether it is to the interest of the USA or not.

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