Israel's sudden withdrawal from the peace talks comes as no surprise. Jewish Voice of Peace stated that this is simply a tactical move to deflect the failure of decades of aborted peace talks to address Israel’s ongoing settlement expansion and illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Sadly, the US government has rewarded successive Israeli governments with billions of dollars of our tax money, removing all incentives to reach a peaceful accord with the Palestinians.
It is evident that the prospects of a separate Palestinian state are doomed forever – no contiguous land exists for such a state. The prior division of the two political parties, Fatah and Hamas, weakened Fatah’s ability to negotiate because its PA Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, could not legitimately claim to represent all of the Palestinian people under occupation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own party rejects a Palestinian state in its charter (as do other Israeli parties); Israel has for decades used disproportionate force against civilians; and it willfully ignores international law and prior agreements. Recently, two Israeli refusenicks testified to the brutal treatment of Palestinians in a recent meeting at Stanford University.
Illegal settlements have entrenched Israeli power and its illegal occupation. It is time for both Hamas and the Israeli government to reject violence and commence serious negotiations based on complete equality and respect for human rights.