….Which, in case you’ve forgotten, is to remove your gunslingers and squatters from the West Bank and East Jerusalem (including the Old City), lift the illegal blockade of Gaza, ensure free movement of goods and people between the Palestinian territories, end interference with the Palestinians’ right to trade with and travel to the outside world, return to them the resources Israel has stolen and allow those refugees who wish to return to do so.
Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu is trying to prod Palestinian president Abbas back to the negotiating table for talks to damp down the escalating violence in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. At a recent press conference the BBC’s Lyse Doucet said that US Secretary of State John Kerry was likely to suggest that he return to the negotiating table. She asked Netanyahu: “What will you say to him? And if you don’t believe negotiations are the way forward what is the way out?”
Netanyahu rounded on her: “Are we living on the same planet? I’ve been calling day in day out in every forum, in the United Nations, in the US Congress, in Israel, in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv… I’ve called on President Abbas to resume unconditional negotiations immediately. Right now, as we speak, we can meet – I have no problem with that.
“I think we can stop immediately this wave of incitement against Israel and these murderous attacks against Jews. The point of my statement is simple. I am willing to meet him; he’s not willing to meet me. And you ask me about resumption of negotiations? Come on, get with the programme. These people don’t want negotiations and they’re inciting for violence. Direct your questions to them.”
Is Netanyahu serious? Who on the Palestinian side wants more time-wasting negotiations with their loathsome occupier?
‘The only people on earth asked to guarantee the security of their occupier’
Whatever Bibi’s game at any given moment, the actual “programme” is about ending the occupation. International law and UN resolutions galore have made clear what must happen next. The world is waiting for Israel to comply.
According to an Associated Press report, a senior UN official blames Israel’s long occupation of Palestinian territory and vanishing prospects of ever achieving a Palestinian state for turning “long-simmering Palestinian anger into outright rage”. Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the assistant secretary-general for political affairs, told an emergency Security Council meeting that the flare-ups were compounded by dire economic conditions, including bleak employment prospects for Palestinian youths, and expanding Israeli settlements. He said the current crisis cannot be resolved by security measures alone.
A letter to The Times signed by Baroness Morris of Bolton, Lord Cope of Berkeley, Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Sir Nicholas Soames MP and Sir Alan Duncan MP sums up the situation in a nutshell: “The Palestinians are the only people on earth asked to guarantee the security of their occupier. Until the Palestinians are freed from the injustice and degradation of occupation, with a viable and truly sovereign state that guarantees the human rights of its population, this conflict will continue.”
In other words, there can be no peace without justice, and no justice in Palestine until the brutal occupation is ended. That’s the “programme”. Get with it, Bibi.
Stuart Littlewood worked on jet fighters in the RAF then pursued a career in industrial marketing.
More recently he worked as a freelance and with innovation consultancies. Psychology degree Exeter University, Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor 1993-97 and on the Police Authority. Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. Since retiring has been a newspaper columnist and produced two photo-documentary books. He is a regular contributor to a number of internet news magazines.
Stuart’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, tells the plight of the Palestinians under brutal occupation. It can now be read on the internet by visiting RadioFreePalestine.org.uk.