Only a few days ago, another round of violence in the West Bank signaled the end of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks—talks which after a five-year hiatus, had only resumed in July. A secret raid on a refugee district by Israeli forces and the subsequent death of three Palestinians has prompted Palestinian leadership to suspend the meetings, exposing the fragility of these US-sponsored negotiations. The tragedy of this event echoes activist Josh Ruebner’s comments from last month at Mondoweiss, where he argued that Obama’s appointment of “pro-Israel ideological perspectives” to achieve lasting peace exemplified Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In the Mondoweiss feature discussing the negotiations, Ruebner stated:
The United States keeps doing the exact same thing over and over again, and somehow expects that it’s going to lead to a different result, and it’s not. It’s only been leading to more Israeli colonization of Palestinian land, which many people would argue is really the point of having a “peace process”–it seems as if Israelis and Palestinians are negotiating towards a peace agreement, that takes a lot of pressure off of Israel, and allows them to continue colonization.
Ruebner’s predictions seem frighteningly accurate, considering that at the start of the July negotiatons, Israel has also announced plans to expand settlement housing in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
Given the current state of this issue, Ruebner’s upcoming book, Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace, is a necessary analysis of why the Obama administration’s campaign promises of reconciliation have come to nothing. An intimately researched and rigorous contribution to the subject, Shattered Hopes will be the focal point of Josh Ruebner’s fall speaking tour. Kicking off September 17 in Washington DC, Ruebner will be hitting more than 20 major cities across the country.
The Mondoweiss feature is available in full online. More information about Shattered Hopes and the Shattered Hopes book tour is also available on the Verso website.