The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. That conflict began on July 28, 1914. It did not end until November 11, 1918.
Keep those dates in mind because by July 28, 2014, it is possible that we will witness the start of another conflict, driven by the same stupidity, greed and lust for power that produced the First World War.
That repeat of history was evident in the bad news for the Palestinians that preceded the arrival in Tel Aviv on Thursday of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The bad news came in the verbal bluster and actions of Israeli political leaders who insist Israel will continue to aggressively build settlement housing on Palestinian territory.
The demand by Israel that IDF units must continue to patrol the Palestinian Jordan Valley is one more egregious step Israel is taking to guarantee that Kerry's attempts to form a peace agreement will never succeed.
The houses shown above are in the Jewish settlement of Maale Efrayim in the Palestinian Jordan Valley where, Foreign Policy reports...
"Israel's interior minister will on Thursday inaugurate a new neighbourhood in a Jewish settlement in the Jordan Valley, in a gesture of defiance that will coincide with US secretary of state John Kerry's latest visit to the region to push forward peace talks."
Into this atmosphere of Israeli expansionism, the Secretary returned to the region this week for his tenth visit, bringing plans for discussion by Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Specific details have not been fully revealed, but the actions of Israel and the failure of the U.S. to object to those actions, suggest that Secretary Kerry brings with him proposals as toxic to justice as were those artificial western-imposed Middle East borders drawn by western powers after the First World War.
In his book, A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin examines the "peace" that emerged from the First World War that began 100 years ago this coming July.
In the Middle East, Fromkin writes, decisions "made by the Allies during and after the First World War," led to the creation of a new map for that region, a map drawn not for the well-being of the indigenous populations, but a map designed to satisfy the greed and lust for power and obsession for control by outside powers.
Those post First World War decisions were not made in the open. They were, rather, made under the nightmarish haze of propaganda and lies. Fromkin explains:
"British officials who played a major role in the making of those [post First World War] decisions provided a version of events that was, at best, edited and, at worst, fictitious. They sought to hide their meddling in Moslem religious affairs and to pretend that they had entered the Middle East as patrons of Arab independence -- a cause in which they did not in fact believe."
The ominous parallels between 1914 and 2014 should be obvious to justice-minded political leaders today, except for the fact that justice is not on the table in Tel Aviv nor Ramallah this week.
Israel, a major colonial power imposed on the region with help from western powers, is using the long, drawn-out "peace process" as a decoy from reality. Meanwhile, by force and guile, new borders are drawn around expanding settlements, borders that are designed to complete Israel's control of what it has long seen as Greater Israel, stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
These actions are clearly post First World War redux.
As with the British at the end of the First World War, Israel has accomplished this by providing "a version of events" that are "at best, edited and, at worst, fictitious."