The Dying Israeli-Palestinian ‘Peace Process’

Israel promotes apologists for the kind of violence that leveled Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood as “experts,” including one advocating rape. (Ali Jadallah / APA images)

Even before Israel’s founding in 1948, some Zionists had plans to seize all of Palestine and purge the native Palestinian population, but global politics required a pretense of “peace talks.” So the charade has gone on for decades though it now seems to be coming to an end, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Lawrence Davidson

An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) “peace process,” now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967), is and probably always has been just such a fraud.

One might object and say that the Oslo Accords (1993) were part of this process and they were not fraudulent. In my opinion that is a doubtful assumption. The talks were carried on in secret by officials who, at least on the Israeli side, never had an equitable peace in mind.

Their goal was a political modification of the occupied territories that would free Israel from its legal obligations as occupiers of Palestinian territory and facilitate the pacification of the Palestinians and their resistance organizations. The Israeli side seemed to have believed that negotiating the return of Yasser Arafat and Fatah to the West Bank would provide them a partner in this process — not a peace process, but a pacification process.

It did not take long for the Palestinians to see through this gambit, and relations with the Israelis soon returned to the tense and sometimes violent status quo ante. It was only after Arafat’s suspicious death in 2004 that the Israelis finally got a Palestinian “leader,” in the person of Mahmoud Abbas, who would cooperate with them in this process of pacification. Organized resistance then became the pursuit of those in Gaza who persist in calling the “peace process” a fraud. They are correct.