Wednesday, October 15, 2003

"New" Palestinian peace agreement marketed as a sacrifice of the right of return: Uri Avnery has somewhere commented that there have been hundreds of peace plans. They mostly have the same core ingredients: withdrawal from the territories occupied in the 67 war and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel based on those territories. The other contentious issues, such as the holy sites in Jerusalem and the plight of the refugees, are matters that could always be negotiated on the basis of agreement on the key point. The problem is not that there is a lack of good plans to establish peace, but that the target populations for the peace plan are continually kept in the dark. The key target populations are the Israeli and US domestic populations.

All peace plans should be addressed at these target and have the following central objectives: for Israelis, to impress upon them that there can be peace based upon the land for peace principle, especially, peace with the Palestinains based on withdrawal of soldiers and settlers from the territories occupied in the 67 war; and for Americans, impress upon them that US government support for Israel is essentially what has blocked the political resolution since 1971. It is the propaganda and mythology that is the real barrier to peace: in Israel, the myth that all Palestinians are terrorists, they are not human but two-legged beasts, cockroaches; that there is no partner for peace; that they will not recognise Israel; that they were offered everything at Oslo or Camp David or elsewhere but turned it down, and so on and on. In the US, the core myth is that the US is an honest broker, instead of the chief financier, arms supplier and perpetuator of the conflict.

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