Friday, November 04, 2011

Amira Hass: Palestinians must say no to negotiations with Israel

Diplomatic moves in the United Nations, no matter how refreshingly daring, are not enough.

Amira Hass, Haaretz, November 2, 2011

Now that Palestine has been recognized by the United Nations’ cultural organization, UNESCO, it will be no more of a non-state and no less occupied than it was before. Its citizens will be no less unfree than they are today, no less under the yoke of Israeli foreign rule. But their civil disobedience versus Israel, the United States and the Quartet raises the hope that the Palestinians will not return to the negotiating table – because negotiations have become an obstacle to the decolonization process, the essential condition for peace.

The Palestinians’ application for membership in the United Nations was welcomed, even by critics of the Palestinian Authority, because it was understood as the close, albeit belated, of an overly long chapter. This was the chapter in which the Palestinian leadership, in exchange for dubious guarantees and slivers of privilege for a small group, took part in a charade of negotiations, while in reality, the area intended for the realization of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination kept being reduced and fragmented. This chapter exposed the fact that the parties in Israel’s various coalition governments disagree on only one thing: the number and size of the Palestinian Bantustans in Israel’s master plan.

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