Palestinian-Israeli peace process: who is fooling who?

A senior Egyptian source told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat his government was holding talks with several countries to organize an international peace summit shortly, according to Haaretz.

“The peace summit is meant to reaffirm the call for peace and for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the June 1967 borders, regardless of the settlement issue,” the source said. He added that the Israeli government is not willing to make any goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, and that the Egyptian government could not stand idly by.

The source told the paper that Egypt does not see any sense in suspending the peace process because Israel refuses to freeze settlement construction, but said the Arab states fully support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision not to resume negotiations before Israel renews the moratorium.

Meanwhile, according to a Haaretz report, Palestinian Authority official Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of the negotiating team, said recently that there is not even a 1 percent chance that the PA will be able to make peace with an Israel led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has adopted the- best- defense- is- attacking tactic. Instead of offering reasons for his refusal to freeze construction in the settlements, the prime minister is attacking the Palestinians for deciding to end negotiations.

Moreover, “there is no sense of urgency” about the peace process, according to Tamar Hermann, a political scientist who spoke to Time magazine.

Analyzing the situation, Hermann said “it is true that Israelis are not in the rush to diplomacy favored by the Arab lobby and adopted by President Obama. It is not that they do not want peace, however, but rather that they have no faith in the Palestinians.”

But Syrian President Bachar Assad and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stressed that Israel’s actions in the West Bank, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem proved the Israelis did not truly want peace.

Assad was quoted as saying that direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were only aimed at bolstering support for the US president inside the United States. “Nothing has changed in the Palestinian peace process which only aims to garner support for Obama inside America,” he said.

One can also recall that in August 2010, the potential discovery of an estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil in Israel’s Rosh Ha’Ayin site, located about 10 miles inland from the Tel Aviv coastline, rose hopes that the Jewish nation one day will become energy independent and may even export oil. Now Netanyahu can take even longer to negotiate the peace process.

“The world will understand that it is dealing with a deep, continuing recalcitrance over peace that no pressure can overcome, so the world will throw up its hands and surrender. The world, which has bought Israel’s web of lies and excuses, hasn’t opened its mouth. This includes Europe, which is incapable of coming to a single firm and courageous decision, and America, which dances to the drum of the Jewish lobby,” Gideon Levy wrote in his article Netanyahu should admit Israel doesn’t want peace.

“That is the truth. We don’t want peace. It’s as simple as that. It’s good for us to wallow in the current situation. There are no terrorist attacks so there are no Arabs. Life is a bowl of cherries, so why change? Society is comatose. It doesn’t object and doesn’t even ask, led like a flock of sheep, not asking why we need a freeze if at the same time more and more of its funds will be allocated to the settlements in huge quantities,” Levy added.

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