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Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks: A Tool to Facilitate US New Regional Adventurism

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mohammad Ali Mohtadi, Middle East Expert

Excerpted By: Iran Review Research Team

The author of this article believes that a recent measure by the US Secretary of State John Kerry in announcing the new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the resumption of peace talks is only a prelude to new adventurism by the United States in the region. The following text is an excerpt of the main points of the original article which focuses on the possible motives which have encouraged the United States to open this old wound.

On Friday, July 19, 2013, the US Secretary of State John Kerry informed reporters in an interview that an agreement had been reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to resume the stalled peace talks in the near future. There are reasons to believe that the new announcement was not really aimed at celebrating the resumption of peace talks between the two sides and other factors may be at work behind the scenes. Firstly, since the process of peace talks started between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in the Spanish capital city of Madrid in 1993, they have been marked with regular failures throughout the past 20 years. The second factor is the inflexible personality of the main Israeli negotiator, [the current Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu, who, following his military fiasco in the 33-day war against Lebanon in 2006, ignored all the previous agreements reached between [the former Israeli Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas. By doing so, Netanyahu proved that he did not actually believe in negotiations, withdrawal of the Israeli troops from the occupied Palestinian territories and any other kind of concession to Palestinian people.

The main proposal offered by the United States to the negotiating parties is the realization of the old “two-state” initiative which the Obama administration had used at the beginning of its work as a pretext to put pressure on them. At the same time, there are serious problems facing the implementation of this plan which further cast doubt on the outlook of any forthcoming negotiations. Those problems include:

1) Failure to explain the territorial coordinates of the Palestinian lands as well as the problem of how to supply potable water to them;

2) Continued construction of Jewish settlements on the occupied territories and, consequently, turning Palestine into a fragmented land which even lacks common borders with neighboring states;

3) Continued disputes over the ownership of the West Bank, which Israel argues that according to the Torah, is part of the ancestral land of the Israelis;

4) The establishment of the Palestinian Authority despite the fact that during the past 20 years, Israel has never recognized its right to have independent army, independent airport, and independent foreign relations…;

5) The issue of the return of Palestinian refugees still remains unsolved. At present, there are about four million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, and other adjacent countries and according to Resolution 198 passed by the United Nations Security Council they are entitled to go back to their homeland. Israel, however, has been preventing them;

6) The last problem is the Israel’s logic of negotiations for the sake of negotiations or even “negotiations from the scratch,” which proves that Israel is just trying to kill time through negotiations while obstructing every path which may lead to understanding and a resolution of problems. For this reason, whenever international pressures lead to new debates on the need for Israel to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, Tel Aviv creates an internal crisis by, for example, forcing the prime minister to resign. In this way, the Israeli regime actually tries to cause delay in the establishment of the new government. Even when the government is established, it claims that under new conditions, negotiations with Palestinians should start “from scratch.”

As a result of the above facts, it is noteworthy that the main problem which has caused differences between the two sides is actually unsolvable. Therefore, there must be other motives behind the United States’ new effort to resume negotiations. There are two notable possibilities which should be taken into account here:

1) Preventing the third intifada: A powerful possibility here is that after witnessing the triumph of Tamarod (rebellion) movement in Egypt followed by millions of people pouring into the streets, the United States has been concerned about the outbreak of a third intifada in Palestine. Intifada is not a terrorist development, but due to its popular and civil base, is considered a form of legal protest. The Tamarod movement in Egypt has had profound effects on many other countries, including Palestine, and has increased the motivation of the Palestinian youths to follow suit with that movement. Since this movement is still nascent and various Palestinian groups are just getting ready for it, it is possible that the Americans have decided to take a preemptive action to forestall such a development by putting renewed focus on the issue of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians while pretending to be trying to remove the existing obstacles.

2) Possibility of new measures by the United States: The historical experience has proven that anytime that Americans planned to take adventurist steps in the region, they have first gotten down to the issue of Palestine in order to make the world believe that the problem of Palestine is on the verge of a final solution. In this way, they practically prevent their opponents from resorting to the issue of Palestine in order to oppose the United States plans in the region. Even before attacking Iraq in 2003, the United States took good advantage of the issue of Camp David Accord in order to justify its military operations in the Arab country. Since John Kerry is currently putting pressure on both sides to resume peace negotiations, it is possible that the United States is actually trying to undertake a new adventure in the region.

Nobody can offer a definite opinion on this possible new measure, but there is no doubt that the anti-Israel resistance movement and its various members – including Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement – are its main targets. And most probably, the United States will play no direct role in this regard. It seems that most of the forthcoming steps that the United States and its allies are going to take in the region will be of a military nature in which the United States will only play an indirect part. Since the resolution of the issue of Palestine would be considered a service to the interests of the Arab world, there is no doubt that the United States has certainly coordinated this plan with its Arab allies in the region (including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates…) and they are already aware of its details. Also, since a time ceiling of 6-9 months has been considered for the negotiations, the next possibility is that the United States needs a period of interregnum between six and ninth months before taking its new step(s) in the Middle East.

Therefore, leaving Saudi Arabia in charge of the Syria affair after marginalizing Qatar, ending the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East and North Africa, and attempting to restart peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can be considered various pieces of a single puzzle which will have violent parts as well. It is noteworthy that the main goal behind what is currently going on in Syria is to disrupt the links among various members of the anti-Israel resistance movement, which will finally spread to Iran. On the other hand, in view of the Western media claims that [the new Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani is inclined toward giving concessions to the opposite side in any upcoming negotiations, it would be conceivable that the United States is trying take advantage of new factors to mount pressure on Iran in any future talks over the Iranian nuclear energy program. The aforesaid adventurism will be possibly one of those factors.

Source: This article contains excerpts from of the main points of the original article. The original article [in Persian] can be found here.

Excerpted & Translated By: Iran Review.Org

More By Mohammad Ali Mohtadi:

*There Is No Spring Ahead: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/There-Is-No-Spring-Ahead.htm

*Promoting Iranophobia, Propagandizing Shia-phobia: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Promoting-Iranophobia-Propagandizing-Shia-phobia.htm

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