Monday, April 08, 2002

In July 2000, Arafat, Barak and Clinton met at Camp David to discuss peace. It was here that Barak presented his famous proposal, which was rejected by Arafat. The proposal has been depicted as being generous, unprecedented, as far as Israel could possibly go, and an offer the Palestinians couldn't refuse. In fact, it was nothing less than the creation of an unviable state, with the good land in the Occupied Terrirories being held by the Israeli settlers, and the Palestinian areas being oddly infiltrated by Israeli access roads. You would think that the minimum the Palestinians could accept would be the removal of all the illegal settlements. Despite the ridiculousness of the Barak proposal, Clinton put all the blame for the lack of agreement on Arafat. The conclusion that was drawn was that the Palestinian failure to agree to Barak's proposal must have meant that there was no Israeli proposal that the Palestinians would agree to, and that therefore their only goal must be the complete destruction of Israel. Of course, since Barak's proposal was in fact completely unacceptable, and since the whole method of negotiation was faulty, and since as it turned out the actual proposal was never actually submitted to the Palestinians, no fault or ulterior motive can be ascribed to the Palestinians for failure to accept it. Nevertheless, Israeli and American propagandists constantly cite this incident as their proof of the perfidity of the Palestinians. The suicide bombers are depicted as nothing less than part of the Palestinian efforts to destroy the state of Israel. Even though there is no way that the Palestinians could destroy Israel using suicide bombs (for one thing, they'd never find enough bombers), the propagandists have successfully combined the rejection of the Barak proposals and the suicide bombers to depict the current situation as nothing less than the Palestinian destruction of Israel, warranting the current outrages against the Palestinians as a form of self-defence. It is clear that no peace proposal is going to work unless the settlers are completely removed from the Occupied Territories, and any proposal by Israel that contains the provision that any settlers remain, let alone one that leaves a Palestinian state cut into cruel and bizarre shapes by the continuing Israeli obsession with the settlements, is a proposal tendered in bad faith.