Profile of a Rigged Peace Process


Count the ways. Tzipi Livni is Israel’s chief negotiator. She’s hardline. She supports occupation harshness. She deplores Palestinian sovereignty.

She’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She’s an unindicted war criminal. She favors Pax Israeliana. She does so in the worst sense. She doesn’t negotiate. She demands.

Isaac Molho’s attending. He’s Netanyahu’s personal envoy. He represents his hardline views. They’re one way. They spurn Palestinian rights.

Molho’s a senior E.S Shimron, I. Molho, Persky & Co. partner. He practices corporate law, company liquidations and rehabilitation, telecommunications, entertainment law, and intellectual property.

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He represents large corporations, institutions, and foreign governments. He’s Jerusalem-based honorary Consul General of Austria.

He chairs the Israel Museum board. He’s a Board of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute member. He’s closely tied to Western interests.

He’s a longtime Netanyahu associate. He’s currently his personal envoy/peace talks negotiator. He part of the rigged process.

America’s no honest broker. It never was. It’s not now. It’s involvement assures failure and betrayal. John Kerry is Israel’s man at State.

His pro-Israeli voting record’s impeccable. It’s second to none. He favors maintaining a longstanding special relationship. He supports Israel’s worst crimes.

He supports moving America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Doing so is illegal. In 1947, the UN declared it an international city. It remains so today.

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He calls Jerusalem “Israel’s indisputable capital.” In 2009, he signed a Senate resolution opposing Palestinian self-determination.

He’s bad news. He one-sidedly favors Israel. He deplores Palestinian rights. His involvement assures failure and betrayal.

So does Martin Indyk’s appointment. He’s Obama’s special envoy. Mazin Qumsiyeh’s a distinguished Palestinian academic.

He calls appointing him “to broker a deal between another wolf and a chicken quite a feat. We will see how fast this chicken will get fleeced.”

Indyk’s an unapologetic Zionist hardliner. He’s an Israeli lobbyist. He was Clinton’s ambassador to Israel. He had no US citizenship at the time. An accelerated process secured it. It took less than two weeks. He was America’s only foreign-born US Israeli ambassador.

He was Clinton’s Near East and South Asian Affairs senior director. He was on his National Security Council. He was principal presidential advisor on Arab/Israeli issues, Iraq, Iran and South Asia.

He was born in England. He grew up in Australia. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he was a kibbutz volunteer. He emigrated to America.

In 1982, he was AIPAC’s deputy research director. In 1985, he founded the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It’s an AIPAC offshoot.

In May 2002, Zionist billionaire Haim Saban founded the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. It’s a pro-Israeli front group.

Indyk served as its founding director. He’s Brookings’ Foreign Policy Program vice president and director. He’s taking leave for his current assignment. He’s unapologetically pro-Israeli. He spurns Palestinian rights.

He’s always been this way. He’s no honest broker. He never was. He’s not now. His deplorable record shows it. His appointment assures no chance for what Palestinians most want.

Saeb Erekat’s the PA’s chief negotiator. He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator. Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit exposed him. A previous article discussed its Palestine Papers.

They’re voluminous. They’re detailed. They show Erekat betrayed his people. He unconditionally surrendered. So did Mahmoud Abbas.

He’s a coup d’etat president. He’s illegitimate. Israel rigged his election. His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to call new elections. He’s Israel’s enforcer.

He and Erekat are longtime Israeli collaborators. They pretend otherwise. They sold out at the 1991 Madrid Conference. They’ve done it ever since. They’re well rewarded for services rendered. Their agenda reflects treachery.

On February 13, 2011, the Los Angeles Times published a stunning piece. It was totally out of character. It headlined “The Palestinian people betrayed,” saying:

“A massive archive of documents leaked to Al Jazeera and Britain’s Guardian newspaper offers irrefutable proof that years of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have been an empty sham.”

“The papers make clear that the time has come for Palestinians and anyone interested in the cause of justice to abandon the charade of official diplomacy and pursue other, more creative and nonviolent paths toward the realization of a genuine, just peace.”

“The papers give the lie to Israel’s claim that it yearns for peace but lacks a Palestinian ‘partner.’ ”

“And they reinforce the sense that Israel has gone along with these negotiations only to buy time to expropriate more Palestinian land, demolish more Palestinian homes, expel more Palestinian families and build more colonies for the exclusive use of Jewish settlers in militarily occupied territory, thereby cementing new realities on the ground that would make a Palestinian state a geophysical impossibility.”

“The major revelation from the documents, indeed, is the illustration they furnish of just how far the Palestinian negotiators were willing to go to placate Israel.”

“Men like Saeb Erekat, Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei - the lead Palestinian negotiators in all these years - are of a type that has come forth in every colonial conflict of the modern age.”

“Faced with the overwhelming brute power with which colonial states have always sought to break the will of indigenous peoples, they inhabit the craven weakness that the situation seems to dictate.”

“Convinced that colonialism cannot be defeated, they seek to carve out some petty managerial role within it from which they might benefit, even if at the expense of their people.”

“These men, we must remember, were not elected to negotiate an agreement with Israel.”

“They have no legitimacy, offer zero credibility and can make no real claim to represent the views of Palestinians.”

“And yet they were apparently willing to bargain away right(s) at the very heart of the Palestinian struggle.”

They betray(ed) the Palestinians inside Israel by agreeing to Israel’s definition of itself as a Jewish state, knowing that that would doom Israel’s non-Jewish Palestinian minority…”

They legitimized “institutional racism…” They increased “the prospect of further ethnic cleansing…”

They facilitated slow motion genocide. It’s been ongoing for decades. So have fake peace talks. They’re an exercise in duplicity, failure and betrayal. This time’s no different. Illusion substitutes for reality.

A Final Comment

AP reporter Matthew Lee surprises. Several times he challenged State Department spokespersons. He did so responsibly. He supports Edward Snowden’s right to speak freely. He’s entitled to a public forum.

He questioned Martin Indyk’s appointment. He’s one-sidedly pro-Israeli. He assures failure and betrayal. His exchange with State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki went as follows:

ML: Now, beyond logistics, when he announced or appointed Ambassador Indyk to this post, the Secretary said that the Ambassador knows what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past. I’m wondering if you could elaborate a little bit. What has worked in the past?

JP: Well, Matt, I don’t - I’m not going to elaborate on that for you. I’m not a historian here.

ML: Well, what did he mean, that the Ambassador knows what has worked and what hasn’t worked? Because I think any - if you look at what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past, everything hasn’t worked.

JP: So are you asking me why this is different?

ML: I’m asking you, one, why it’s different, but I’m also asking you, what does he mean when he says that Ambassador Indyk knows what has worked?

JP: Well, he knows that Ambassador Indyk has been involved and engaged in this process in the past. He has respect from both parties.

That was a key priority for the Secretary in making this appointment - somebody who could run the process on a day-to-day basis. The Secretary knows he can’t do this on his own.

So certainly - I’m certain there are many lessons that have been learned from the past, but I don’t want to speak for how he will use those moving forward.

ML: Okay. But you can’t specify then what has worked, what Ambassador Indyk knows has worked in the past?

JP: I think there’s lots of things, Matt, that -

ML: Can you point to a single - just, I’m just curious; I’m really not trying to be a jerk about this. I just want to know what example can you point to as being something that has worked in the past?

JP: I’m not going to read out for you their discussions of what lessons they’ve learned from the past and how they’ll apply them moving forward.

ML: All right. The lessons learned from past failures - is that what you mean?

JP: Well, Matt, if it had worked in the past we wouldn’t be pursuing this process right now.

ML: All right. And then just my last one on this is: Does the Secretary still believe, as he said up on the Hill a couple months ago, that time is running out for a peace agreement.

JP: He certainly does. He believes that time is not our ally, which is why we’re working so hard on this issue now. As time passes, the situation on the ground becomes more complicated, mistrust deepens and hardens and the conflict becomes even harder to resolve.

It allows for vacuums to be filled by bad actors who want to undermine our efforts. That’s one of the reasons why they have all agreed to focus on having talks not just for the sake of talks, but this is the beginning of direct, final status negotiations on a nine month - at least a nine-month timetable.

They’ve agreed to work together through the course of that time, and the Secretary absolutely feels that time is of the essence…

ML: So each time in the past that new talks have been announced, people from this podium and the White House and secretaries of state, presidents, have spoken about a new urgency and spoken about how the status quo is not sustainable. What exactly is it that’s different this time?

JP: Well, Matt, I think we see both parties agreeing that time is of the essence and they want to move things forward. We’ll see.

ML: Yeah, but that’s exactly what has been said previous - in previous iterations of this.

JP: Well, I think we have to give time for the process to continue and to work its way through. But I think the Secretary and others involved feel that this is moving in a positive direction.

ML: This is the Administration’s third try at getting talks going. Was there any thought at all given to putting someone in the - at the helm whose past history is not that of failure?

JP: Well, Matt, the reason that he has the relationships and I believe the confidence of both sides is because he has been through this before, and again, has - is eager to apply lessons learned from the past.

And having somebody with that experience and the confidence of the President and the Secretary is vital in such an important role.

ML: I’m not taking issue with the fact that he has experience. He clearly does, and I don’t think you can argue that experience is not of value here. But I just want to know, was there any thought given to getting some new blood into this process?

JP: Well, again, he will be working with a team of people. You heard the Secretary announce that Frank Lowenstein will be involved in -  heavily involved in this.

We’re also working, of course, with Phil Gordon over at the White House, who’ll be in a lot of these discussions. So he is the person who the Secretary and the President felt was right to lead this effort given his experience, and he’ll be working with a broad team of senior officials….

ML: Sorry, can I just make sure I understood the answer to my last question about new blood? So the answer was no, there wasn’t any consideration of bringing people in, new people who haven’t been involved…

JP: Matt, I’m not going to get into the sausage making. But obviously, the decision was made by the Secretary, by the President, by the national security team that he was the right person for this job.

He has the right experience for this job and he has the respect and confidence of both sides. Obviously, there’ll be a number of officials working on this process moving forward…

ML: So quite apart from Ambassador Indyk, the other two parties to this, the negotiating teams, Tzipi Livni and (Isaac) Molho, Ms. Livni was involved in the Annapolis peace process which resulted in no agreement.

Mr. Molho was involved in both of the previous George Mitchell attempts which were not good, and on the Palestinian side Mr. (Saeb) Erekat and Mr. (Nabil) Shaath have been involved in unsuccessful negotiations with the Israelis since Madrid.

Can you explain to me how exactly you see this time that this cast of characters, all of whom have been at this for decades and not achieved anything, is going to make - is going to be any different?

JP: Well, Matt, it sounds like we’re lucky to have decades of experience ready to come back to the table and make an effort to push forward.”

Too bad reporters don’t always challenge Washington this way. Things could be lots different. “Give Peace a Chance” wouldn’t just be John Lennon’s anti-war anthem.

Right might triumph over wrong. Another world is possible. Humanity’s survival depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

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Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.   After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring at year end 1999.   Supporting progressive causes and organizations, he began writing in summer 2005 on a broad range of issues. Topics regularly addressed include war and peace; social, economic and political equity; and justice for long-suffering peoples globally - notably, victims of America's imperial wars, Occupied Palestinians and Haitians. In early 2007, he began hosting his own radio program. Currently he hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. Airing three times weekly, it features distinguished guests discussing vital world and national issues in depth. Today perhaps more than ever, vital social, political and economic change is needed. What better way to spend retirement years than working for it. We owe at least that much to our loved ones, friends and humanity.