One has to wonder why it took so long for yet another peace plan to come to the forefront. Why were rich, white liberals waiting so long before putting forth another meaningless plan that will help not one person, free not one Palestinian and spare not one human from Israeli brutality.
Perhaps this requires a level of such low self-esteem, such low self-respect that no one was willing to pursue this. But thank heavens, the French government stepped up, bowed low to Netanyahu and apologized as all good European Christians should and presented a plan that everyone knows will lead to nothing. But who cares. For now, twenty-nine foreign ministers get to come to Paris, enjoy good food and wine and pretend to do something worthwhile. Strangely, the Israeli and Palestinian foreign ministers were not invited to this party.
If the uselessness of this process is not self-evident, here are a few snippets of information published in Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper:
An early document published states explicitly that the negotiations’ goal is “two states for two peoples,” not just “a two-state solution,” as the international community and Palestinians have put it. This approach is significantly closer to Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as “the nation state of the Jewish people.”
For years Israel has been demanding recognition. They demand that the Palestinans recognize not only the State of Israel as a legitimate entity, not only the Jewish state as a state that is Jewish, not only that the Zionist 1948 occupation of Palestine be accepted, irreversible and legal but also that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – whatever the hell that means. Clearly the Jews in Palestine have issues with their own legitimacy and need constant reassurance and recognition of their legitimacy. But even if the Palestinian Authority did recognize that God almighty anointed Netanyahu as the sole inheritor of Palestine it would not make a shred of difference. The State of Israel is an illegitimate creation, born of racism and colonialism and gets its legitimacy only through the use of brute force.
The French announced also that if no progress is made (if??) in the peace process by September,France would consider recognizing a Palestinian state. And so, once again we say, who cares? European recognition of a non-existent Palestinian state has been an act of cowardice that is typical of European colonizers. It helped not a single Palestinian and has not deterred Israel from maintaining an apartheid regime while continuing with its slow genocide of the Palestinian people. So there will be one more insignificant statement made by the French, big deal!
Now, Egyptian Coup leader, the generalissimo dictator Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi – who obviously wants to go to Paris too – declared his support for the French proposal to hold a Mideast peace conference. He said that he was prepared to “make every effort” to contribute to an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. His deplorable treatment of Palestinians and his shameless collaboration with Israel make him perhaps the most shameful Arab collaborator of all times.
Sissi called on Israel and the Palestinians to seize this “realistic” and “great” opportunity to reach a peaceful settlement to their decades-old conflict.
Sissi knows that reciting the old mantra will keep him in the “moderate” Arab column and allow him to pillage his country’s coffers to his heart’s content. It will allow him to arrest and torture his opponents and maintain a brutal dictatorship for as long as he wishes and still get paid well for it by the US. Besides, seeing how every non- “moderate” Arab regime has been destroyed and one Arab country after the other are being turned into rubble, Sissi is playing it safe.
One has to wonder how long the old terminology will continue to be regurgitated. “Status-quo” for example, is one of those terms which needs to put away when we speak of Palestine. There has never been a status quo in Palestine. Still, the French foreign minister used it and Sa’eb Erekat, who clearly should have known better, repeated the language of his colonizer and used it as well. For 68 years Israel has been consistently destroying Palestinian homes, communities, monuments and history while creating a reality on the ground that favors Jews. Life for Palestinians has been consistently becoming worse as a result of a clearly defined strategy and perfectly executed policies. Where exactly do they see a status quo?
Another washed up, regurgitated sentence is, “the window of opportunity for the Two State Solution is closing.” This is a very slow-closing window. One wonders at what point did that window of opportunity exist. There is no closing, there is no window and there has never been an opportunity. The Two State Solution is a myth. At best, it is science fiction at and at worst it is a dishonest attempt at hiding the fact that Palestine is occupied and colonized so that there can be an Israel. It is the fig leaf that the Europeans and the Americans use to hide the fact that they are perfectly happy to be accomplices to Israel’s racist, genocidal policies and care not one bit for the lives, much less for the rights of Palestinians. But the “civilized” world needs to show that they are trying and they need a pat on the back from time to time, so they announce a peace plan, or peace conference, or an attempt to revive the peace process.
Every Palestinian child knows two things: the town in Palestine from which they came and that that talk of peace with Israel is nonsense. Because in Palestine there are two options and only two options. Racist colonialism or freedom and justice. In other words, there can be a life of freedom and democracy which will allow the native Palestinians and their colonizers, the Israelis, to live in peace as equals, or there can be an Israel. The French peace initiative is a waste of time and money.
This article was written by Miko Peled for American Herald Tribune on June 4, 2016. Miko Peled is an Israeli writer and activist living in the US. He was born and raised in Jerusalem. His father was the late Israeli General Matti Peled. Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine, its people and their narrative.