Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Israel and Palestine

From American Friends Service Committee on Israel/Palestine negotiations:

“The truth is that while Palestinians have sought equality, an end to occupation, and the address of historic injustices through negotiations, Israel and the U.S. have set as their goal the preservation of Israel’s security and its Jewish identity/demographic majority through partition and ethnic separation. This means that Israel and the U.S. have not placed as their foremost concern ending the conflict through a process that addresses the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis with attention given to justice. Instead they have focused on ending the conflict in a way that maintains current systems of power, oppression, and ethnically defined privilege.

What now needs to be made clear is that a push for partition as opposed to justice is problematic. Placing partition as the goal of negotiations creates a situation where negotiations must inevitably become zero-sum bargaining processes focused on the redistribution of land, resources, and control. This creates incentives for those with power—in this instance the Israeli government—to take steps to maximize control and bargaining position at the expense of the weaker party, even while carrying out negotiations. This context helps explain why illegal Israeli settlement-building, confiscation of Palestinian land, forced displacement, restrictions on Palestinian movement, and other violations of Palestinians’ rights proliferated during the Oslo process and continue today.……If equality and justice can be realized, then peace will follow.”

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