Commentary: The Kerry Negotiations
As the four commentaries that follow indicate, in the end, the United States hewed closely to a script for the Palestinians written by the Israeli and U.S. playwrights who brought us the farce of Oslo and its many sequels. The nominally “American” proposals, as best can be discerned from leaks on every side, closely mirror the Israeli position on all the important issues. These include the demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; no right of return for Palestinian refugees to their original homes; the absorption by Israel of all the ill-defined “settlement blocs” and most of occupied Arab East Jerusalem (with the exception of the small suburb of Bayt Hanina, dubbed a Palestinian “capital”); an indefinite Israeli military presence in the Jordan River Valley and, with it, continued Israeli domination of the West Bank via control of the border crossings and of the country’s most fertile and best-watered land; and economic projects requiring an unprecedented and highly unlikely international confrontation with Israel’s suffocating mechanisms of indirect control over the Palestinian economy.
-Rashid I. Khalidi