Thursday, October 16, 2003

Unofficial Middle East Peace Pact Ignites Uproar: "It remains to be seen how the Israeli and Palestinian public will respond to the document.

"Israeli media reports said the main thrust of the plan, as yet unpublished, runs as follows:

* Palestinian refugees will concede the right of return to Israel in exchange for financial compensation.
* The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
* Israel will withdraw to the borders of 1967, with certain territorial exchanges in which several major Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank will become part of Israel, while Israel will cede equivalent territories in its southern Negev desert.
* Jerusalem will be divided by nationality, with Arab neighborhoods becoming part of the Palestinian state and Jewish neighborhoods remaining part of Israel.
* The Western Wall will remain under Israeli sovereignty, while the Temple Mount above it, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, will be under Palestinian sovereignty. An international force will ensure freedom of worship for all faiths.
* The Palestinians will pledge to prevent terror and incitement and disarm all militias. An international force will supervise the demilitarized state, including border crossings.

"Mohamed Sid Ahmed, commentator with the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, hailed the plan as a possible last hope for peace. 'The situation is so catastrophic that the choice now is between terrorism and this kind of agreement, because the `road map' does not work,' he told AFP."

This plan is a workable variant on the traditional 30yr old two-state land-for-peace solution, and will go on the shelf along with all the others. The problem is that Zionist Israel, which includes the Army, the media, and the two major political groupings (Likud & Labor) has no intention and never did have any intention of ever withdrawing from the Occupied Territories. The intention from beginning to end has been to maintain the occupation, to build settlements, to annex land, and somehow to marginalise, transfer or ignore the Palestinians. The most that Zionist Israel has ever been prepared to concede is a sort of Palestinian Bantustan system, where the Palestinian Authority acts to suppress its own population within confined areas for the overall benefit of Zionist Israel. And the intifada has put paid to that process (Oslo). What the government (Sharon) now plans for the Palestinians is not openly stated. Perhaps a giant open air prison using the Apartheid Wall, or perhaps a mass expulsion in a manufactured war crisis. But neither of these options may prove to be feasible even for Sharon, and some suspect he is beginning to look helpless in the face of ongoing Palestinian resistance.

Another critical obstacle to the success of this or any peace plan is the role of the United States. The US supplies weapons, media and propaganda support, diplomatic cover and an estimated $3-5billion dollars annually to Israel. (Israel is the largest recipient of US overseas aid.) This aid essentially funds and sustains the Occupation. If the plug were pulled Zionist Israel would face collapse. But the strategic purpose of 'support' for Israel (which in fact is support for Israel's ruination) is to have a militarised Israel, an Israeli Sparta, as a 'cop on the beat' in the volatile but oil-rich middle east region. Pessimists would hold that this will continue until the oil runs out, that is another 30 or 40 years. And by that time 'facts on the ground' could have made all the plans moot.

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