US VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden is in Israel where he has declared that the just agreed ‘proximity talks’, which will see US envoy George Mitchell shuttling between the Israeli Premier Netanyahu and the PLO President Abbas, provide a ‘moment of real opportunity’ for an Israeli-sponsored peace deal in the Middle East.
In fact the US, which is preparing a military conflict with Iran, has decided that the only way to safeguard its rear in the Middle East is to push through a US-Israel deal to establish a Palestinian entity in part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, that they will term a state.
The Arab states led by the Saudi King, and including Jordan and Egypt, have agreed to the proximity talks and gave the go-ahead to the PLO leader Abbas to engage in them.
Previously, Abbas and the PLO had refused such talks with Israel because it is continuing to evict Palestinians and is establishing new settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, and has organised aggressive actions, beatings and arrests of Palestinians seeking to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque. It has also claimed a number of the holy sites as ‘Israeli heritage sites’, enraging Christians and Muslims.
On top of this Israel declares that any settlement must agree that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, must allow them to annex the huge settlements in the West Bank (in return for which the Palestinians will be offered parcels of the Negev Desert), and are suggesting that a Palestinian entity should become part of a federal state of Jordan, with the Jordanian army taking responsibility for order in the Palestinian entity.
This is the Zionist programme. This is the programme that the US is willing to try to impose on the Palestinians, and the proximity talks are going to be the means for pushing this programme forward.
No wonder that the Israelis have changed their attitude to President Obama from him being the threat to their existence, to the means of Israel’s salvation and expansion.
Hours before Biden’s arrival, Israel enraged Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by approving the construction of 112 new homes in the occupied West Bank.
President Abbas had told US envoy Mitchell that the move to build new settlements puts the indirect talks at risk.
The US, however, has refused to condemn the Israeli move. The furthest that Biden would go was to say that that was ‘the kind of thing both sides need to be cautious of’. The proximity talks are to continue.
Biden has in fact gone out of his way to support the Zionist regime. He said: ‘I can promise the Israeli people that we will confront, as allies, any security challenge it will face. A nuclear-armed Iran would constitute a threat not only to Israel – it would also constitute a threat to the United States.’
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Jordan has said that Jordan would not support a Palestinian entity as part of a federal state of Jordan and neither would it agree to its army being responsible for a Palestinian entity’s internal security.
However, out of strategic necessity it is already being said that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States would be willing to make exceptional financial aid available to Jordan in order to shore up the ‘common front’ against Iran.
The Palestinian people are determined to win their state with Jerusalem as its capital, with the settlers evicted from the West Bank and with the refugees having the right to return.
Recently, Abbas said that talks and agreement with Israel and the US was the only way forward, and that the Palestinian revolution and in particular the Second Intifada had failed.
The mass of the Palestinian people are opposed to this position and want to see a new leadership emerge that will carry forward the Palestinian revolution.
They know that the success of the Intifada was the only reason that the PLO was allowed back into Palestine by the Israelis, and that the rekindling of the Palestinian revolution and a Third Intifada is the only way forward, in alliance with the workers of the Middle East, and with the support of the working people of the world.
The leadership that will carry this struggle forward is now beginning to emerge.