Israeli Palestinian Talks: Designed for Peace
or for Public Relations?
By Dr. Abdullah Al-Ahsan
The mainstream media has described the latest Israeli Palestinian “peace talks” currently being hosted by the White House as a breakthrough in the “Middle East peace process.” Is it really a breakthrough? Is there really a peace process? Or is it designed to create a public impression that the US is seriously interested in bringing peace to the region? Such questions are raised because such meetings and talks have been held many times during the past decades but the condition of the Palestinian people has constantly deteriorated.
All forms of contact between Israelis and Palestinians came to a standstill almost 20 months ago when Israel attacked and demolished most of Gaza. The peace process suffered further when Israel continued with the building of settlements in occupied territories. However prospects of hope emerged when the Obama Administration expressed strong displeasure on the issue to the Netanyahu government. Surprisingly, building of settlements continued and the Obama Administration kept quiet. Did the administration come under pressure from some invisible political quarters? In our opinion, in a democratic environment one has the right to know the source of such pressures.
Also disappointing is the fact that the White House has invited Egypt and Jordan to witness the peace negotiations. If any two Muslim countries qualify to witness the process, in our opinion, they should be Turkey and Saudi Arabia because of their constructive role in trying to resolve the conflict. Turkey was able to inform Israeli authorities about the well-being of their soldier held captive in Gaza since June 2006.Besides, among members of the international community Turkey has come out strongest against the Israeli blockade of Gaza and has won heartfelt support of the people of Palestine. And on Saudi Arabia’s initiative, the Arab League in 2002 came up with the most rational and sensible solution to the problem.
What is the difference between the current initiative and those that have been conducted earlier?
Dr. Abdullah Al-Ahsan,
International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
1 September 2010.