Sunday, April 06, 2014

  • Sunday, April 06, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
An article by David Gardner in the Financial Times squarely blames Israel for, well, everything, including forcing the US to be too pro-Israel:

The ostensible new roadblock concerns prisoners. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the interim Palestinian Authority, came back to the negotiating table even though Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, refused yet again to freeze settlement building, thus allowing Israel to continue eating up the shrinking territory over which the Palestinians are negotiating to eventually build their state.
As I've shown, virtually all settlement building supported by Israel since 1992 has been within already established settlement blocs.  The "shrinking territory" meme is simply a lie, there has been extraordinarily little new land taken up by recognized settlements for decades.

Mr Abbas, seen by admirers as a moderate and by critics as a quisling, has abjured radical siren calls for resistance in favour of a negotiated solution. He has nothing to show his people. He looks weak and discredited.

To offset this, Israel was persuaded to release 104 Palestinian long-term prisoners. The Netanyahu government’s refusal to hand over the last batch on the due date precipitated the current crisis. In retaliation, Mr Abbas this week signed articles of accession to 15 multilateral treaties, investing Palestine with some of the international attributes of a state – which he had promised the US to defer while negotiations continued.
Actually, at the time Abbas signed the articles, Israel's final decision about the prisoner release had not been made, although it was delayed. Only after Abbas' stunt did Israel announce that the last batch of prisoners would not be released.

Now that we know how closely Gardner adheres to facts, we can go on:
The prisoners in question were supposed to have been released 20 years ago as part of the Oslo accords, at the high water mark for hopes that these two peoples could close a deal on sharing the Holy Land. They were not.
Wrong again. The only document about pre-Oslo prisoners was the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 1999. Israel was to release two batches of pre-Oslo prisoners. They released the first, but did not release the second because of a long list of violations of the agreement by the PLO, such as the "revolving door" policy of releasing terrorists, their refusal to give Israel a list of their policemen by September 13 1999, their refusal to collect weapons from terrorists, and many others.

But Palestinian Arab violations of agreements don't exist in Gardner's mind.

[There is] a pattern of the US consistently over-rewarding a recalcitrant ally, as well as being snubbed by Israel for its pains.

In 2009, for example, it was Mr Obama who blinked when Mr Netanyahu simply refused to halt colonisation of Palestinian land. Instead, in 2010, the US president offered Israel the Jordan Valley – a big chunk of the occupied West Bank that is not his to give – in return for a short pause in settlement building. Mr Netanyahu, in any event, refused.
The US offered Israel the Jordan Valley? Really?

And Netanyahu did freeze settlement construction for 10 months, during which Abbas refused to talk for nine of them.

It is not just that Washington is behaving more like a crooked lawyer than an honest broker, bullying the weaker Palestinian party into keeping talks going while Israel continues to settle illegally occupied territory.

Far from pushing Israel to roll back the occupation enough to enable Palestinians to build a viable state on the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital, it looks as though the US is planning to hand Israel almost all the settlement blocs, about three-quarters of East Jerusalem, and the Jordan Valley.
Since when does the US award territory? The framework was never completed, as far as I can tell. Gardner, based in Beirut, seems to be getting his news from Al Quds rather than any honest source.

Gardner's selective memory and disregard for the facts is bad enough, but for FT to publish such obvious untruths makes its self-described "high quality journalism" more than suspect.

(h/t Herb G)




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