Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Political consequences of failed Peace Talks in the Middle East

Political consequences of leaving an unresolved situation unraveling makes the failure of peace talks in the Middle East into a human agony. Countless human lives are simply wasted while fear gives dominance to such security agenda which cannot be influenced by outside forces.

Since the failure of the 'peace talks' in the Middle East was already the case in 2002, it says as much about the failure of international diplomacy as how weak is in reality the role of the United Nations.


Strategies or mere helplessness

The ideological or argumentative strategy right now with regards to the Middle East unfolds accordingly:

1. America stands behind Sharon, while at international level Bush does not wish to take a more differentiated position, morally speaking, and, thereby, uses different terms than what is applicable in the ‘war against terrorism’. It means the US shall not impose other conditions on Israel than what was before the incursion. Rather it will relate in modified form to the Israeli side when trying to deal with the conflict as compared to what the Palestinian side is believed to be satisfied with for the moment when receiving aid to reconstruct everything that had been damaged or destroyed. It is a policy of buying time.

Example: Powell asks Arafat to stop suicide bombers while the Israeli army has enacted such suppression that it borders on genocide of the Palestinian people.

The Associated Press reports under the headline “Powell: Loosen Arafat’s Confinement” quotes him stating on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’: “He has to make a strategic choice now. He has to move away from a path of violence or terrorism onto a new path. If he does so, there is much the United States can do for him and the peace process.” (April 21, 2002 filed by Associated Press at 5.16 and reprinted by New York Times on


He continues to express doubts as if not sure if Arafat has made really that choice, while confirming Sharon on the other hand is fully committed to a negotiation for such a peace that would lead to a Palestinian state. Yet with the infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority in shambles, and thousands or more Palestinians homeless, the prospects of regaining a viable economy needed for the creation of such a state has received more than just a severe set-back. It is underlined by Powell’s failure to bring about a ceasefire and with it a withdrawal of Israeli troops. Much is said for public consumption, but in reality the facts in this hard political game to set the terms for any prospective peace negotiation are speaking quite another language.

Although such a double standard is not discussed openly, Powell has lost the position he supposed to hold within the American administration. He supposed to be a moderate with emphasis upon diplomatic rather than military solutions. But how can he oppose the widespread opinion of the conservative advisors of Bush and who side with the military doctrine of Sharon, that there cannot be produced a ‘win-win’ situation, therefore, one side has to loose.

In that sense, the American negotiation position is a non-serious one so that any offer they make to the Palestinian side has no meaning. Because America sides with the momentary victor, namely Israel, it looses all credibility.

2. Israel is becoming in the eyes of world opinion rapidly the charging troop of Sharon with the aim to suppress and to make the road free for an assertive Israel erecting fences and walls like East and West Germany had seen during the Cold War period.

In his interview with William Safire, April 1, 2002 (published by the New York Times) Sharon states the purpose of Israel’s military action shall be to create “buffer zones, of some depth, along what used to be the green lines acting in this buffer zone already.” Images shown on television reveal the construction of wall-fences not unlike the ones used for the Berlin wall is going on in designated areas.

3. Israel will not give up the illegal settlements, but continue to support and to protect them by military means.

The real concept behind the army’s incursion, and protested against rightly so, is the notion of an Imperialist Israel extending illegally its claim over territory not belonging really to Israel neither then, in history, nor ever since the Oslo agreement had defined what are to be the proper state boundaries of the state of Israel.

Thus the incursion is another way to expand Israel’s claim of the land. It is that brutal and simple. Sharon made the statement April 22 that the issue of the settlements will never be put on the agenda for negotiations about possible peace prospects.

4. America and the world have accepted another round of 1947 in exchange for what? Moral authenticity in war to get your way?

There is no regard for the people who live there. If they do not complain to become second-rate citizens subject to compassionate conservative ideology – they thank those bringing them charity as a way of staying alive  - they will have to leave. Uprooting, intimidating, imprisoning, tearing families apart, destroying the entire infrastructure etc. means to make any viable community there impossible.

5. The agenda has changed and with it also the terms of references.

Gone are some former claims of innocence. Many things were not realized before, such as the effectiveness of propaganda closing the minds of people both in Israel and abroad against any kind of criticism and if still tried, then that was very quickly silenced by playing the offended or else by labeling the critical person as anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and therefore as part of the world wide anti-Semitism movement.

Reality – a return to the situation found in 1947/48 as base line would demand a much more serious confrontation with reality. This is not going to happen as the building of fences indicates. The borders are fortified to prevent fore mostly suicide bombers from coming into Israel but they are not respected as state borders since imposed by Israel in an one sided fashion. The weak criticism of the United States is that the American administrations expresses merely a preference that such borders would be the outcome of negotiations and not drawn up and fortified by military imposition.


^ Top

« Issue: Cultural Differences | The failure of intercultural dialogue - letter by Frederique Chabaud (2002) »