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Friday July 2, 2010 2:43 PM (EST+7)
OPINION: Ten years after Camp David the idea of peace negotiations on equal terms is defunct

Read more: Camp David, Israel -Palestine peace process, Palestine - Israel peace process, peace talks, proximity talks, US Foreign policy, israeli foriegn policy

RAMALLAH, July 2 (JMCC) - Ten years ago this month, Israeli and Palestinians gathered at Camp David under Bill Clinton’s watchful eye, for negotiations that were to bring a final agreement. A decade later peace negotiations have regressed to indirect consultations and hope for resolution continues to erode. What is needed says the Guardian’s Ben White, is a change in strategy:

The real lesson of the anniversary is not a reworking of the Oslo/Camp David framework, but rather the futility of negotiations between unequals. The common thread running from Clinton through to Obama via Bush is one of US partisanship – the world's most powerful country aiding and covering for an occupying regional superpower against a stateless people.

A decade on from Camp David, it is clear that there can be no resolution of the conflict through the methods of occupation-lite, temporary borders, and easing of restrictions. The concepts of honest broker and envoys are bankrupt; what meaning can there be in a peace process that staggers on while Israel – with total impunity – practises collective punishment and facilitates the accelerated colonisation of East Jerusalem? Furthermore, the majority of the Palestinian people – specifically the refugees and those inside Israel – remain unrepresented in the peace process.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders will ultimately need to sit down and talk, but it is time for our understanding of how and when to be radically reshaped by Nelson Mandela's famous words: Only free men can negotiate.

Read more at the Guardian






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