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Obama's Bribe; Palestinians Will Be The Losers - Again

By       Message Jonathan Cook       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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The Palestinians fear they will be left with a patchwork of disconnected areas - what Israel has previously termed "bubbles" - as their capital.

If the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, can be made to swallow all this, which seems highly improbable, he will then have to contend with Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction, which can be expected to do everything in its power to disrupt such an agreement.

And then there is Netanyahu. Few Israeli analysts think he has suddenly become more amenable to the US plans.

Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University in the Negev and author of an important study of the occupation, believes the Israeli prime minister is simply playing the part demanded by Obama.

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"He is taking the US 'merchandise' on offer, but will hold firm on key issues that guarantee the talks' failure. That way he gets the credit for keeping the negotiations on track and lets the Palestinians take the blame for walking out."

This sounds suspiciously like a re-run of the last proper peace talks, at Camp David in 2000. Then, Israeli intransigence stalled the negotiations, but Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, was blamed by the US and Israel for their collapse.

The Camp David failure led to the outbreak of Palestinian violence, the second intifada, and the demise of the Israeli peace camp. Mr Netanyahu may be prepared to risk a repeat of both such outcomes from these talks if it means he can avoid making any real concessions on Palestinian statehood.

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A version of this article originally appeared in The National (http://www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.

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Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: (more...)
 

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