Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Whatever transpires in the Kerry-brokered revival of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process”, the announcement doesn’t warrant celebration or the rekindling of hope. Why? Because some basic facts have not changed, at least not for the better: the US government is not an honest broker since it sustains Israeli military power and remains committed to its regional dominance; Israel’s occupation of Palestine is not letting up, but is expanding aggressively; Palestinian representation is fractured with the exclusion of Gaza decreed by both Israel and the US. 

As Phyllis Bennis reminds us, the Einstein definition of insanity is “ doing the same thing over and over again and still expecting different results.” What can change the tragic course of events?

Progress can come only as opposition to Israel’s occupation becomes more compelling than the factors that sustain it. That is a growing possibility. Tight as is the military grip of the occupiers, however ingrained their apartheid outlook, they are on increasingly shaky ground. The international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions has already become too big to ignore, gaining momentum and validation in the recent call of the European Union for economic measures against the occupation. (As interviews in the documentary, The Gate Keepers, attest, former chiefs of Israel’s “Defense and Intelligence” forces are keenly aware of the mounting opprobrium toward the occupation whose apartheid character is acknowledged.)

It may not be possible now to predict exactly how the present miserable status quo will give way or just what developments will spell the end of the occupation. However strongly some may argue over a ‘two-state or one-state solution’, the crucial need is to make resistance to the intolerable occupation central and overwhelming.

That’s what should bring people together. That’s what creates the space for moving forward. To the extent that the occupation is made untenable, significant political shifts and meaningful measures of progress become realizable.

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