The U.S. has pressured Palestinians and Israelis into another round of so-called peace negotiations. These negotiations are likely to go nowhere unless the Palestinian negotiators betray the interests of their people by accepting major Israeli violations of international law.
If the Palestinian negotiators instead stand up for international law and Palestinian interests, it is likely that these negotiations will fail. Israel and the U.S. will then likely blame the Palestinians for the failure.
Past negotiations do not bode well. The on-again, off-again U.S. sponsored negotiations have made life dramatically worse for Palestinians. This outcome was to be expected since the U.S. often strongly supported illegal Israeli positions.
Israel has used negotiations as a cover while it continued to build more illegal colonies.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shamir admitted this strategy -- negotiate while creating more facts on the ground to prevent the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.
Unsurprisingly, Israel continues with this policy. For example, this past Sunday, a few days before the negotiations were to resume, Israel's top housing official announced plans for almost 1,200 new colonial housing units.
Even more astounding, on Wednesday, the first day of the negotiations, Israel announced 900 more units are to be built.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry designated Martin Indyk to be Washington's special Middle East peace envoy to the negotiations. This appointment should have also raised alarms as Indyk is an ardent supporter of Israel.
However, the well-trained U.S. politicians and pundits cannot fathom ever questioning such blatant pro-Israeli bias. Can you imagine the outrage had Kerry instead selected an envoy who was pro-Palestinian?
In addition, these negotiations are not based on international law or respect for human rights. Under international law, all the Israeli colonies in the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights are illegal. In addition, under international law, Israel is supposed to honor the Palestinians' right of return, or to reimburse them for the loss of their homes.
Instead, the focus of these sham negotiations will be on how little Palestinian territory and how little Palestinian water Israel will return.
The Israeli announcements about more illegal housing units and the shamefully weak U.S. response speak volumes. Israel showed it's in control.
This sham process demonstrates why a strong boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel is necessary. See http://bdsmovement.net/ for more info or contact the Peace Center at 303-444-6981.