1 Aug 2013

A Third Intifada For Palestine?

By Marika Sosnowski
Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Shimon Peres.
Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry and Shimon Peres.

US-backed peace talks are back on for Israel/Palestine and the stakes are higher than ever. If they fail, the very conflict they're meant to prevent may be catalysed, writes Marika Sosnowski

After a three-year hiatus, direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are again upon us. The announcement is welcome on one level, but on another it symbolises a last gasp attempt by the US to implement the two-state solution. The decision also comes at a critical time in the region; less glamorous, smaller, more strategic decisions need to be made before any long-term peace deal has any chance of success. And should yet another high profile political manoeuvre fail the consequences are bleak indeed.

Over the past 12 months levels of instability and insecurity have risen in both Israel and Palestine. Further, the clock is ticking for Israel. Israel is, and has been for many years, in the drivers seat in the asymmetrical power relationship it holds with Palestine. However, the Knesset realises that it must make a deal with the Palestinians sooner rather than later, or the idea of a Jewish state will be undercut by having a majority Palestinian population. Lastly, virtually all of Israel's borders are at greater risk today than at any time in decades due to tumult in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Viewed in this light, some may argue that reaching a comprehensive political settlement is more strategically important than ever.

But unfortunately, many conditions for a third Palestinian intifada or uprising are already objectively in place: political discontent with the Palestinian Authority, lack of hope, economic fragility, increased violence and an overwhelming sense that security cooperation serves an Israeli and not Palestinian interest. It seems inevitable that at some point, probably in the near future, an unexpected event will trigger not simply a small demonstration or protest but a full-scale uprising.

Additionally, the last 12 months has seen a ratcheting-up of animosity on both sides of the conflict. These include Palestine’s recognition as a UN non-member with observer state at the UN in November last year. This was followed by the announcement of settlement building in the controversial E1 area just east of Jerusalem by Israel shortly afterwards and specifically in response to the UN vote. Hamas rockets were fired into Israel, protests erupted in Israel over the state of the economy (at their largest in September 2012), Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel went on hunger-strike (February and April 2013) and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers and settlers increased.

For now, Palestinians perhaps still see the current state of affairs as preferable to the unknown. But that could easily change. If peace talks were to sour, that could be the catalyst; Palestinians may decide their long-term interests and well-being would be better served by widespread civil disobedience and violence.

The result likely will differ from the second intifada, as the second differed markedly from the first. While steps towards direct peace talks are welcome and necessary, smaller steps need to be taken in the short term to inoculate Israel and Palestine from further turmoil. These include increasing the flow of goods to and from Gaza that are not a security risk, reinforcing the legitimacy of Palestinian institutions through funding and training, regularising the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority by Israel, as well as greater efforts by Israel to rein in settler attacks against Palestinians and to curtail incursions by its security forces into ostensibly Palestinian-controlled areas. Efforts in this regard could help stabilise the West Bank, for now.

Palestine is stagnating. Its political, social, and economic institutions are either barely managing or slowly decaying. A society with governance bodies that lack the capacity to make laws, reform courts or pay its public servants hardly seems well placed to be moving toward any clear, comprehensive peace agreement.

Another destabilising event sooner or later is inevitable. As Nathan Thrall, a Middle East Senior Analyst with the Crisis Group suggests, “there is an understandable temptation to renew negotiations as a way to address, or at least distract attention from, the deep causes of rising West Bank instability. But a breakdown in talks would risk accelerating the very dynamics that the negotiations are meant to forestall”.

While a broad political settlement between Israel and Palestine is what we all dream of, only directed, short-term measures may be able to contain instability, prevent a third intifada and make a two-state solution an eventual possibility.

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This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 17:09

The "peace process" is a 4 -5 decade lie and "the 2-state solution" a  sick joke when 90% of the land of Palestine has now been ethnically cleansed by the racist Zionist colonizers in an ongoing Palestinian Genocide (see "Palestinian Genocide": https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ and the recent multi-author book “The Plight of the Palestinians. A long history of destruction”: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ) .

There are about 12 million Palestinians of whom about 6 million are forbidden to even step foot in their own country, 4.3 million are Occupied Palestinians with zero human rights and only about  6.7% (the adults of 1.7 million Palestinian Israelis) are permitted to vote  (albeit as Thrid Class citizens of a US-backed, nuclear terrorist, serial war criminal, racist  Zionist-run, Apartheid rogue state) for the government that has been highly abusively ruling all of former Mandated Pallestine for the last 46 years.

These latest "negotiations" are between racist Zionist war criminals  representing 6 million Jewish Israelis (49% of the inhabitants of Palestine)  and the quasi-Quisling Palestine Authority supported by perhaps 1.3 milion Occupied Palestinians (50% of the 2.6 million Palestinians on the West Bank, and about 11% oi the 12 milion Palestinians) with a Jewish Australian Zionist Indyk in the chair and the only reportage to be done by pro-Zionist warmonger and serial war criminal US SS John Kerry .

The key issues for decent humanity are  the appalling living conditions of Palestinians under Israeli rule (e.g 10% f the 800,000 CHILDREN in the Gaza Concentration  Camp are stunted from the Israeli blockade), human rights, Palestinian right  to live with  peace and justice in  their own country , former Mandated Palestine, and one-man-one-vote to replace US-, UK-, EU- and Lib-Lab Australia-backed Israeli Apartheid that is unequivocally condemned by all decent peoplearound the world including Jewish and non-Jewish heroes in the fight against Aparthei Israel-backed Apartheid in South Afica (e.g. Neslon Mandela, Ronnie Kasrils and Desmond Tutu)  (see “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ ; “Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ ; and "Boycott Apartheid Israel": https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ ).

Zionism is evil racism in awful theory and genocidal practice and  the racist Zionists  and their supporters (e.g. overwhelmingly the Lib-Labs of racist White Australia) should be sidlined from  public life  as have been like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KK.K. On the issue of Apartheid Israel alone,  decent anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish Labor voters will vote 1 Green and put Labor last  (the Coalition is  just as bad but, unlike neoliberal, pro-Zionist Labor, has not actually betrayed decent Labor voters and values).

Kevin Charles H...
Posted Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 17:25

Gideon Polya is 100% right.

There has never been a Middle East peace process..just a parade of propoganda via the Zionist controlled MSM .

Gaza was returned to Palestinian hands to stop any chanceof a peace process...this has been confirmed by senior staff in Erik Scheinerman's (sorry Ariel Sharon's) administration, and reported in Haaretz....Google it.

By creating the Gaza ghetto, the IDF was able to murder its inhabitants at will & enrage Palestinian & Hamas combatants into retaliation, and thereby stall any chance of a peaceful solution.

Check out the excellent site Tikum Olam run by the Canadian Jew Richard Silverstein..he expalins it all and provides relaibale source for his positions.

Israel is a rogue State..worse than Zimbabwe & in the same leaqgue as North Korea.

There is one solution available...a single State for both the Israelis & thge Palestinians..

 

havlazz
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 - 07:59

For once a reasonably balanced article on this subject but as always fully trashed by outrageous one-sided anti-semitic comment entirely divorced from reality in which Israel, the only democracy in the Middle east with plenty of real non-ethnically cleansed arabs living all over the country, is to blame entirely for everything that's ever happened to the Palestinians since their inception.

In case you haven't noticed (actually, it's stated clearly in the article), the Middle East is a pretty violent and volatile place, not just now but for many years. The violence in every country surrounding Israel has simply surfaced now but was never far from the surface, thanks to rapacious regimes and factional fighting. Gaza itself is now under siege and considered a pariah..... by it's loving brotherly country and neighbour Egypt, whos blockade is more severe than anything the Israeli's could think of.

Interesting that Palestinian refugees continue to be treated preferentially so that the great grandchildren and on to th nth generation of can be recognised as such, something not afforded to any other group anywhere in the world. Meanwhile these guys continue to feed from the UNRWA trough and continue to be rejected by any Middle Eastern country they live in. Perpetuation of their plight is big business.

And how many peoples ever step out of their hopeless plight when ruled by undemocratic, violent regimes, for which destruction and death is the only way to solve problems? Wouldn't it be easier to approach peace without resorting to violence in parallel? Israeli's are pretty tired of negotiating while terrorism and violence continue unabated, as was the experience of the last intifada. You kinda lose your credibility when you say one thing and do another with full intent to maim and kill civilians.

Israel has recently voted to release 104 terrorists as part of this round of peace talks. I challenge your readers to read through a list of what these people did to Israeli's, many of whom were civilians. It takes a lot of guts to release such people, particularly where nothing has been provided in return.

And the heinous lie that Zionism equals racism, lives on comfortably in these pages of the New Matilda with nary a whimper by anyone. National aspirations are just not allowed in the case of the Jews, even when they are NOT borne by the desire to exterminate anyone else. 

And I just love the snide comment made earlier about Ariel Sharon's "real" name. How can that be interpeted as anything other than a disgusting anti-semitic slur?

How can any rational, useful debate ensue in these pages with such rabid hatred and one-sidedness?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Charles H...
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 - 18:56

havlass: you say:

"....but as always fully trashed by outrageous one-sided anti-semitic comment entirely divorced from reality in which Israel..... is to blame entirely for everything that's ever happened to the Palestinians since their inception."

So what's your point, because that is EXACTLY what we're saying given the overwhelming evidence at hand....as are a majority of Jews globally. e.g. Code Pink, Muzzlewatch, Antony Lowenstein, Glen Greenwald, Richard Silverstein etc etc

You must read more widely, and not let the yeshivah brainwash you.

Prof Jake Lynch put it best when he said recently:
"There are other countries that occupy territory recognised as not their own; kill large numbers of civilians in military action; stockpile nuclear weapons without joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and violate the 1973 UN convention against apartheid.
But only one does all four........"

End of story.

Stripling
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 - 19:26

If you judge any nation including Australia for everything from WW2 until now by the standards we are now attempting to uphold

No Nation in the world deserves to be here.

Stripling
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 - 19:53

 Oh forgot to mention, that's 3/3 for monash university, if I was a Roman Pleb I'd say that proves it and enrol,

But I'm not a Roman Pleb,

So I'll just say 

so far so good,

but I'm in no hurry to run down the hill.

zeroxcliche
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 - 20:39

Unfortunately I think the summit is just to provide cover for the Begin-Prawer Plan that will expel 30,000 from the Negev and demolish about 40 villages - you can read about it at OccupiedPalestine.wordpress.com  

The West Bank has already been effectively divided in two and according to some like Chomsky there are plans which will see the west bank divided into 5 cantons about the size of Gaza - a sort of permanent Ghetto structure that will be an important cheap source of labour for the burgeoning Zionist state.

Fatah doesn't really represent anyone since they lost the Palestinian elections to Hamas. Later peace negotiations between Israel and Fatah were leaked and Fatah gave so much away it angered the palestinians, it made clear the Israelis weren't interested in peace, hopefully there has been a change of heart - this loss of face for Fatah from the leaks led to the application for UN status to try to win support back from the Palestinian people. 

Given the circumstances, I think Israel has to be recognised and can't be existentially questioned but that has little to do with recognising the crimes they are committing on the ground. The last point I want to make is that the west was complicit in the Holocaust - there was a strategic decision not to interfer with it which wasn't just morally wrong it was a tactical mistake. The complicity of the Catholic Church and its support of Hitler and Facism in general is overlooked.

Stripling
Posted Saturday, August 3, 2013 - 12:54

xerocliche,

                    hopefully your not right, but it is difficult to argue with your points, in particular the third paragraph.

The biggest problem is what is Palestine going to do to generate a GDP?

They have been so long like refugees in their homeland, and the siutation has been dragged out for so long when really the borders should be defined and Palestine should be given a bit of help to get on with physical building of a state.

I think the fact that Israel is prepared to release prisoners is at least a token with some substance.

 

phoneyid
Posted Monday, August 5, 2013 - 19:09

Whether Britain granted Palestine to "The Jews" in consideration of Biblical basis or for considerations which the Rothschild Banking Dynasty could assist in procuring to fulfil a need of England's at the time; the fact remains that a pledge was made by England to a Rothschild by Lord Balfour in 1917.
And the Rothschild didn't get to where they are by failing to extract full payment.
In spite of failing to heed the declaration's proviso for a Jewish homeland in Palestine
"nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing
non-Jewish communities in Palestine"
entire villages were literally "cleansed" of the indigenous from day one and continue to be so cleaned to this day including areas way outside of Israel's recognised borders.
The payment to Mr Rothschild has been extracted in Palestinian flesh.

The Americans, by their choice of "mediator, seem to have made somewhat of a point to the Palestinians; making it apparent that when they are dealing with America, it's as though they are dealing with a 2nd Israel.

The USA independent mediator is:
*a former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffer
*a founding director of the pro-Israel think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)
*a director of the pro-Israel Saban Center for Middle East Policy
*a two-time US ambassador to Israel (1995-97; 2000-01)
*a key Clinton adviser (along with Dennis Ross) at the 2000 Camp David summit at which "Palestinian negotiators complained that they were 'negotiating with two Israeli teams - one displaying an Israeli flag, and one an American flag'." (quoted in The Israel Lobby, Mearsheimer & Walt, lrb.co.uk, 23/3/06)
http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/indyk-enigmatic.html