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The Twenty Year Sham in Israel-Palestine, by Eric Hazan

Hélène Barthélemy27 September 2013

Eric Hazan, editor of the publisher ‘La Fabrique” and author of The Invention of Paris and of Reflections on Anti-Semitism, denounces the international community’s reliance on the Palestinian-Israeli peace process as hypocritical and self-serving in a recent article on Mediapart.

The Twenty Year Sham in Israel-Palestine

After the Oslo accords, the handshakes over various protocols, and the American emissaries going round the houses ‘restarting the peace process’, the one thing that dominates Israeli-Palestinian relations is a generalised hypocrisy.

They make out that they believe that ‘the solution of the conflict’ is going to come through the creation of a Palestinian state. This idea is largely accepted by all those who draw their information from the media that toe the line. But those who are flowing with the information current – no matter what their vessel – know that a genuine Palestinian state could never exist. They know that what is possible – and may one day come – is a puppet state, a protectorate with no control over its own borders and neither, therefore, over its economy, with neither sea access nor communication with its neighbouring Arab states, nor territorial contiguity or the capacity to defend its land and its population.

They make out that they believe that the Palestinian Authority represents the Palestinian people and can thus conduct negotiations in its name. Yet everyone knows that this ‘Authority’ has not the least legitimacy, since the last elections, which saw Hamas triumph, took place back in 2006. And that the ‘Palestine’ controlled by this Authority counts for just one third of the Palestinian population, the rest taking their leave in the Gaza Strip, in the refugee camps and even in Israel itself, where more than a million Palestinians lie totally forgotten by the pseudo government in Ramallah. The Authority’s true role is a dual one: to share out among its own functionaries the money that they get from donor countries (the PA is not shy to take a keen interest in its safe passage) and to serve as an auxiliary for Israel in keeping order in the West Bank.

They (can just about) make out that they believe that the Israeli authorities will one day agree to negotiate honestly, even though it shows every day, through its pursuit of colonisation and all sorts of brutality, that it has not the slightest intention of doing so. The current restarting of the ‘peace process’ is clearly merely a sham, a vague concession to a US Administration with a pressing need to restore its image in the region.

So if the lies and the paying lip service suffocate any possibility of agreement and reconciliation between the Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs, this is happening under the weight of a set of converging interests. A truly objective alliance brings together all of the conservative powers for one common goal, namely the preservation of the status quo – an expression that comprises both the continuation of the civilian and military occupation and the pursuit of colonisation.

These fake discourses also serve the interests of the United States and Europe, who, while voicing their support for the idea of a Palestinian state that they know will never see the light of day, maintain good relations with the corrupt and tyrannical Arab states – which use their ‘standing up for the Palestinians’ as an instrument of domestic propaganda in order to tranquilise their populations, which is now an ever more difficult task.

It is clearly also in the interests of the old apparatchiks of the Palestinian Authority, who think that the current order will last far longer than they will, with all the pensions and free rides it guarantees them, as well as the sham ‘consideration’ they get from international bodies.

Of course, the first kid you found trying to shift his boxes of tomatoes at the Nablus market would know all of this perfectly well. But the ‘international community’ pretends not to do so. For more than a half century, the true friends of the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Jews have shown, on the contrary, that peace and reconciliation will come through the reconstruction of historical Palestine, through a single common state for all the human beings who live between the river Jordan and the sea. How long before the lies stop and their voice is finally heard?

Translated by David Broder

By Eric Hazan, editor at the publisher ‘La Fabrique’ and writer

Visit Mediapart to read original article.

13 September 2013 marks the twenty year anniversary of the Oslo peace process. We at thought that this should be taken as an opportunity for a genuine political reflection not only on the balance sheet of these twenty long years, but also on the different perspectives for the future of the region which are opened up by the failure to meet the promises of this process.

We have asked numerous figures to contribute their analysis to this little brainstorming exercise. The viewpoints thus gathered are being published by the Agence Média Palestine, in partnership with the Alternative Information Centre, over the coming months.

Filed under: gaza, israel-palestine