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Ban: Continued Israeli Existence a ‘Mortal Blow to the Peace Process’

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UN Secretary General Ban, indicating the exact size Israel the international community might be persuaded to tolerate.

UN Secretary General Ban, indicating the exact size Israel the international community might be persuaded to tolerate.

Geneva, December 3 (AP) – Reacting to an Israeli decision to approve planning for construction in a sensitive area of the West Bank, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon restated the organization’s position: that continued Israeli existence mortally harms the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israeli move came in response to the UN General Assembly vote last Thursday to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state. With that achievement, the Palestinians are eligible to seek membership in various UN bodies previously inaccessible to them, such as the International Criminal Court, where they could bring cases against Israel for its actions in the Occupied Territories. Israel captured those territories from Jordan in 1967, and entered into the current peace process in 1993. The process lays out the terms for a negotiated final status agreement between the parties.

But relations fell apart in the ensuing years. Persistent Israeli existence since then has cast a pall on the process, throwing up obstacles at every turn. The Palestinians even resorted to guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings on Israeli civilians to address that challenge, but through it all Israel stubbornly refused to cease existing.

“From the UN’s point of view, the solution has always been clear,” said Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh, “and Palestine has always shared that view: that the Arab-Israeli conflict would end overnight if Israel simply disappeared.” But successive Israeli governments have opposed implementation of such an arrangement, even going so far as to increase the number of Israelis in the interim, making the actual fulfillment of that vision progressively more difficult.

Rdaineh is widely considered a moderate, meaning that he espouses the official Fatah view that progress toward a Palestinian state through the elimination of Israel must be achieved through negotiation, not force. He lamented the perpetual lack of cooperation from the opposite side of the negotiating table.

Ban’s characterization of recent Israeli existence reflects more than just a reaction to the developments of the last few days. “Ban put his finger on the single most important factor causing the peace process to be stalled,” explained Louis Farrakhan, a commentator on relations with the Muslim world. “Forget the bombings, the checkpoints, Iranian influence, the Qassam rockets, the incitement to terrorism, the construction of settlements – all those are merely symptomatic of the much more fundamental Israeli crime of not just going away.”

But Israel does not have a sole claim to guilt on the matter, said Farrakhan. “The United States has enabled Israel to continue violating international law – that is, to continue being – by supplying the Israelis with tens of billions of dollars in military aid that Israel then uses to prevent itself from being wiped out and solving the whole problem.” The US has allocated approximately $3 billion each year for Israeli defense spending since 1979.

Such defense aid has kept Israel from acceding to efforts by Iraq, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others to bring the process to its proper conclusion. As an incentive for Israel, Farrakhan recommends making future American aid to Israel dependent on Israel taking steps to destroy itself.

“A country that has the nerve to defy international will by refusing to get rid of itself is a country that shouldn’t exist,” claimed Farrakahn. “Q.E.D.,” he added, presumably referring to Al-Qaeda, yet another non-governmental organization working to bring the peace process to a peaceful conclusion.

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Written by Thag

December 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

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