Chas Freeman calls for European, Arab activism on Israeli-Palestinian peace

The experienced American diplomatist Chas W. Freeman, Jr, has issued a strong call for European and Arab states to work together to ensure speedy attainment of Israeli-Palestinian peace, arguing that “Only a peace process that is protected from Israel’s ability to manipulate American politics can succeed.”
Speaking Wednesday morning (September 1) to the staff of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Oslo, Freeman argued that, in their pursuit of a sustainable and final peace settlement, European and Arab states should be prepared to convene their own values-driven peace process outside the currently shackled UN system, if necessary.
At the core of this process should, he said, be an ultimatum that if the two parties can’t reach a peace settlement within a year, the world’s states would impose one: This would be either a call for recognition of a Palestinian state within all the Palestinian areas that lie beyond Israel’s 1967 borders– or, recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over all of Mandate Palestine and a requirement that it grant equal rights to all who are governed by Israel.
On October 1, my company Just World Books will be publishing Freeman’s first collection of writings on the Middle East, titled America’s Misadventures in the Middle East. The book contains much new material, including a detailed account of how he saw the strategy and diplomacy unfolding during the US-Saudi-led campaign to liberate Kuwait from its Iraqi occupiers back in 1991, when he was the U.S. ambassador in Saudi Arabia. It also contains several chapters that analyze the mis-steps Pres. G.W. Bush made– both when he ignored the challenge of pushing for a fair and sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and when he pushed the U.S. into the unjustified invasion and occupation of Iraq.
In his speech in Oslo, Freeman notes that many previous rounds of the US-led “peace process” between Israelis and Palestinians have proved to be only,

    diplomatic distractions [that] have served to obscure Israeli actions and evasions that were more often prejudicial to peace than helpful in achieving it. Behind all the blather, the rumble of bulldozers has never stopped… When the curtain goes up on the diplomatic show in Washington tomorrow, will the players put on a different skit? There are many reasons to doubt that they will.
    One is that the Obama administration has engaged the same aging impresarios who staged all the previously failed “peace processes” to produce and direct this one with no agreed script.

During his long career in the US State Department Freeman led the negotiation that resulted in South Africa’s withdrawal of its troops from Namibia, and the holding of a democratic election in Namibia (South West Africa) that resulted in the Namibians finally attaining their long-held dream of national independence. (That complex peace diplomacy also resulted in Cuba’s withdrawal of its troops from Angola.)
In his address in Oslo Freeman called forthrightly for Hamas’s inclusion in some manner in the peace diplomacy, describing it (correctly) as “the party that won the democratically expressed mandate of the Palestinian people to represent them,” and noting that “there can be no peace without its buy-in.”
He concluded by asking Norway and its fellow Europeans to do four things to maximize the chances that this latest peace “process” might become an actual peace:

    1. Get behind the Arab peace initiative
    2. Help create a Palestinian partner for peace. “Saudi Arabia has several times sought to create a Palestinian peace partner for Israel by bringing Fatah, Hamas, and other factions together. On each occasion, Israel, with U.S. support, has acted to preclude this. Active organization of non-American Western support for diplomacy aimed at restoring a unity government to the Palestinian Authority could make a big difference.”
    3. Reaffirm and reinforce international law. “If ethnic cleansing, settlement activity, and the like are not just ‘unhelpful’ but illegal, the international community should find a way to say so, even if the UN Security Council cannot. Otherwise, the most valuable legacy of Atlantic civilization – its vision of the rule of law – will be lost. When one side to a dispute is routinely exempted from principles, all exempt themselves, and the law of the jungle prevails. The international community needs collectively to affirm that Israel, both as occupier and as regional military hegemon, is legally accountable internationally for its actions. If the UN General Assembly cannot ‘unite for peace’ to do what an incapacitated Security Council cannot, member states should not shrink from working in conference outside the UN framework.”
    4. Set a deadline linked to an ultimatum. “Accept that the United States will frustrate any attempt by the UN Security Council to address the continuing impasse between Israel and the Palestinians. Organize a global conference outside the UN system to coordinate a decision to inform the parties to the dispute that if they cannot reach agreement in a year, one of two solutions will be imposed. Schedule a follow-up conference for a year later. The second conference would consider whether to recommend universal recognition of a Palestinian state in the area beyond Israel’s 1967 borders or recognition of Israel’s achievement of de jure as well as de facto sovereignty throughout Palestine (requiring Israel to grant all governed by it citizenship and equal rights at pain of international sanctions, boycott, and disinvestment). Either formula would force the parties to make a serious effort to strike a deal or to face the consequences of their recalcitrance. Either formula could be implemented directly by the states members of the international community.”

JWN readers can get more information about Freeman’s upcoming book, and about Just World Books’s other October 2010 title, “Gaza Mom” (the book), from Laila El-Haddad, when JWB’s website gets launched next week.
Watch this space for news on that! Meantime, you can follow Just World Books’s news on Twitter, here.

39 thoughts on “Chas Freeman calls for European, Arab activism on Israeli-Palestinian peace”

  1. Such reasonable and sensible ides that they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of even being considered let alone accepted.

  2. Off topic — the Hamas attack in Hebron, an unbelievably vicious act, points to a power struggle in Hamas, I think, about which we will hear more in the coming days. This is the opening shot in a war within Hamas. I pray that the sane ones come out on top.

  3. That item number 4 is kind of strange. The UN will give an ultimatum which will force both parties to work to a solution. But it seems the only Palestinians who would not accept the first solution of a “Palestinian state in the area beyond Israel’s 1967 borders” would be those Palestinians who reject completely Israel’s existence. And for them there is the second solution.
    Is this really supposed to be a serious idea?

  4. As David knows, the ‘palestinians who seek the 1967 borders’, ie Hamas, refuse to recognize Israel’s existence in principle but do accept it ad hoc, as a fact on the ground, which is all that is necessary. Given the brutality and illegality of israel’s founding and subsequent wars of conquest, it is unreasonable, unethical and insane to demand that Hamas recognize Israel’s existence in principle.
    But, again thanks to Israel and Obama, it now appears that a brutal and insane faction has gained control of Hamas, which had curtailed terrorism in recent years, while establishing itself as a governing entity. It will be noted that neither Mashaal nor Haniyeh appears to have spoken out on the Hebron killings, nor, as I understand from reports, did Mashaal hint that such an event was coming in his important public statement of several days ago. I think these leaders were taken by surprise by the Hebron killings and would not have ok’d them. The Hebron killings were cowardly, vicious and would almost seem calculated to have a disastrous affect politically.
    It’s been obvious for some time now that impatience had to be building amongst Palestinians, as Obama continued to condone and support Israel’s vicious behavior, while excluding Hamas. Apparently that has boiled over, as Israel and US leaders knew it would, and may even have pushed aside the old guard in Hamas.
    In addition, I believe it was Hamas’ military leader who was murdered in Dubai? I think we are seeing the consequences of that now, as hotheads seem to taken control over the military wing of Hamas. Here again we can consider it likely that Israel knew what would likely happen if they attacked Hamas’ senior leadership.
    In any case, Mashaal and Haniyeh should repudiate this act of madness immediately.

  5. Have we already forgottem that Israel has killed a number of Hamas people over the past year and Hamas had vowed revenge. The Mossad killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai was one such incident.
    Just to put recent events in perspective.

  6. While I find the points well-taken and elucidated, the fact remains that it is the intransigence of the U.S.and Israel in continuing to act against international opinion that is the root cause…along with help from the UK, which long ago passed the ‘clearance’ act in the Balfour Declaration. It is most obviously a farce where another stooge – Abbas – is promoted as the face of Palestinians…which he manifestly is not.
    Where Palestinians are the aggrieved party against superior military abuse, ‘negotiation’ is an induced hallucination for the credulous.

  7. The context of these killings is that Israel is claiming the right to protect roads and ‘settlements’ ON LAND IT HAS STOLEN!!! This clearly makes no sense whatsoever. If Israel would stay in Israel, there would be no killings, or if there were killings, the killers would surely be hunted down easily.
    So the larger crime, by far, is Israel’s crime. Landstealing on a grand scale. And then when you add to that Israel’s other crimes of slaughter, murder, assassination, torture, detention, aggressive war, targeting of civilians/collective punishment, ethnic cleansing, and even a form of genocide (what else should we call it when Israel deprives entire populations of adequate access to food, medical care, housing, water, etc.?), what Hamas has done is nothing. But still, the recent killings and shootings are horrible acts of terror.
    But in addition, they are utterly stupid. They have given Israel better propaganda than all the Hasbara Israel has managed to unleash on the world. Much of the world recognized the ‘negotiations’ as a bad joke at best. Now they have been transformed by the power of terrorizing idiocy into ‘a brave stand for peace’.
    Ask yourself: is Hamas that stupid? Or is something fishy going on here? Has Hamas’ military wing gone off on its own tangent, it’s own killing spree? And if it has, and if that killing spree aids Israel more than it aids anyone, is it possible that Israel has a mole deep inside Hamas, possibly heading Hamas’ military wing? — and could the assassination in Dubai have been meant to clear the way for such a mole?
    I have to wonder, because this whole vicious series of shootings makes no sense as a move for Hamas that I can see.

  8. Opit,
    From 1948 to 1978 the Arab league had a collective “no peace, no recognition, no negotiations” with Israel. Then Egypt signed a peace treaty and for the next 10 years no other Arab country spoke to Egypt.
    And you think Israel in intransigent?

  9. Sorry “eppie” but no madness involved.
    “In contrast to the international media, where the attack was roundly condemned, in Palestine the attack earned plaudits not only from Hamas’ core constituency, but also from a broad swathe of Fatah and secular activists, including some senior actors, disillusioned by 19 years of negotiations based on an ever flimsier framework.”

  10. ‘Hypocrisy: US condemns killing of Israelis’:
    M J Rosenberg
    September 2, 2010, 6:42AM
    Finally, someone who dares to question what can only be termed the obscenity of the dehumanization of non-Israeli life and of non-Israeli families.
    FOUR Israeli citizens, non-combatants, were murdered yesterday near Hebron. NINE HUNDRED Palestinian citizens, non-combatants, were murdered by the IDF, in Gaza, in January 2009.
    The former crime is rightly termed murder. The latter crime is termed collateral damage.
    ONE Israeli soldier on active service was captured by Hamas some years previously, is still imprisoned and has now become a cause celebre.
    THOUSANDS of Palestinian activists, or suspected activists, were arrested by the IDF some years previously, are now held in Israeli prisons without trial, and are completely forgotten.
    Are these US-Israeli peace initiatives?
    There will clearly be no peace in the region because:
    1. LIKUD will never countenance a Palestinian state west of the Jordan and
    2. In Israeli and US-Israeli eyes, Palestinians are inferior and unworthy.
    3. For so long as such a nonsensical, racist mindset persists in Israel and America, then there will be no peace – not in 2010, 2011 nor 2050 should the US continue to support such an inhumane and racist policy.

  11. eppie Here again we can consider it likely that Israel knew what would likely happen if they attacked Hamas’ senior leadership.
    because it was not mentioned in the msm many people are unaware the PA started rounding up hama members and their families a week the first attack.
    Published Tuesday 24/08/2010 maan news: Hamas lawmaker slams PA arrest campaign
    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The parliament speaker and Hamas leader Ahmad Bahar on Tuesday condemned the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority’s recent escalation against Hamas officials.
    PA security services recently detained 60 party affiliates in the West Bank, Hamas said Tuesday. PA forces also raided the homes of several lawmakers and detained dozens of their relatives, the party said.

    only now, after the attack are there news articles of the rounding up members of hamas. but these articles are not mentioning the campaign started prior to the attack. the impression is hamas attacked ‘out of the blue’, as if rounding up and arresting 60 hamas party affiliates in the West Bank less than a week prior to the peace talks amounts to nothing..
    one of the first reports of the attack on ynet attributed the attack to the peace talks (“Meanwhile, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) told Ynet Tuesday’s shooting attack was a message to the Palestinian negotiating team ahead of the resumption of direct talks with Israel. “), yet ” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Ynet the attack was not meant to foil direct peace talks, and said the negotiations had failed even before starting.”
    and “Things are not as they were described by the Authority’s security forces.”
    and…i love chas freeman!

  12. David
    Well, you listed the Arab side peacefull movement for the past decades ……..
    Now list to us as you done for the Arab one peaceful step that Israelis came forward for peace with the landlord that they occupied their land by wars for the same past decades?

  13. Salah,
    I thought it was very well known. After the six day war Israel offered the return of land in exchange for peace.

  14. After the six day war Israel offered the return of land in exchange for peace.
    So, David, you are quite the jokester, aren’t you? Or do you consider forcing Palestinians across the Jordan en masse, busing and trucking them by the tens of thousands to the Jordanian, Lebanese, and Egyptian borders and forcing them across, demolishing their neighborhoods and villages, not to mention the Alon plan and the first colonization efforts an offer of the return of land? All of that, including the Alon plan and establishment of illegal colonies took place in the first few weeks after the June war, 1967.

  15. David: no it did not. At best, Israel voted on a plan to return the Sinai and Golan, but not the West Bank. But the “offer” was transmitted only to the US, not to the Arab states, who never heard of it at that time.

  16. No, I’m not being a jokester. And I have a hard time believing the Arab states never heard of UN Resolution 242.

  17. Salah,
    Thanks for the link. Reading the article it’s hard to see how it isn’t true, but it wasn’t well sourced as to where the information came from. I have limited access to news search engines such as Lexis-nexis to see if this has been reported anywhere else and to get more infomation on it. It wouldn’t surprise me that it wouldn’t get reported in US papers. We have a developed a cult of the warrior mentality in this country that requires us to worship as “heroes” anyone in a uniform.
    If true it also wouldn’t really surprise me. We have strained our military to the limit with multiple tours in two wars. To maintain enlistment we have dropped recruitment standards to perhaps literally scrape the bottom of the barrel.
    At the same time let’s keep in prospective this is five soliders with seven more charged with covering up. We should no more think that all US soliders are like this or all Americans, as you kind of imply with your post than all Muslims are like the 19 terrorist who attacked the US on 9/11.
    Actually, hasn’t that idea been in the news lately because of the opposition to the “Ground Zero Mosque”?

  18. At the same time let’s keep in prospective this is five soliders with seven more charged with covering up.
    I may agree with you generally, wars are ugly and its no war clean and green. but I found you trying to find excuses for this unhuman acts really hard to believe and agreeing upon.
    First these tow war was part of un justifying case specially Iraq war, secondly US war if you go back to Vietnam or South East or Latin America wars you will find systematic behaviours like what reported may be worse that that.
    May I pick your attentions to Iraq and abuse Grab and other place in Iraq what US and UK trope done to those 40,000 Innocent Iraqis they saw horrible treatments buy well trained and disciplined solders that your tope military official keep prod of when these case came up they defended them.

  19. David, are you referring to the very same UNSC 242 that Israel has completely refused to conform to even after signing it? Would that be the UNSC 242 that Israel insists allows it to keep whatever land it likes despite the Resolution’s explicit reference to the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and its instruction to Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967? Would that also be the 242 that indirectly calls for Israel to finally eclair borders and stay inside them? The 242 that calls for the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force? Or do you think that “every state” was meant to apply only to Israel?
    How interesting that you invoke, of all things, 242 given Israel’s history of refusal to comply.

  20. Salah,
    I don’t see where in what I wrote you think I am trying to “excuse” these unhuman acts? And you won’t find anywhere I say the two wars are justified. I will claim that our going into Afghanstan to try and kill or capture Osama bin Laden was justified, but that’s it, no nation building or prolonged presence. And Iraq didn’t attack us and wasn’t threatening us to justify our invasion. I voiced my opinion prior to our invasion, Bush didn’t listen. (They didn’t listen to me about Vietnam either.)
    A question for you. Do you think US and Israeli soldiers are more likely to commit atrocities than soldiers from other nations? Or is because both countries have a free press so stories like this can come to light?

  21. Shirin,
    I would think that “every State” referred mainly to Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Israel. And what would have been envisioned by the resolution was the West Bank would go back to Jordan, Gaza and the Sinai to Egypt, and the Golan to Syria. But the world is not a static place. The Arab league came out with their three no’s, the war of attritution, Yom Kippur war and dozens of major terrorist attacks. None of these actions can be said to comply with UNSC 242.
    Against these actions Israel didn’t just decide to sit at an empty table with their hands folded and wait.
    Which side is more at fault. You’re going to say Israel, I’m going to say the Arabs.

  22. David, 2 of the Arab states accepted 242 immediately, Egypt and Jordan. Israel sort of accepted it secretly in February 1968. It did not pronounce the word “withdrawal” publicly until 1970, which prompted Begin to resign from the cabinet. The only time that Israel has offered a plan that arguably meets the clear requirement for essentially complete withdrawal was at Taba in 2001. The Arab states have been far more forthcoming than Israel on 242. The driving force of the conflict is Israel’s land greed.

  23. question for you. Do you think US and Israeli soldiers are more likely to commit atrocities than soldiers from other nations?
    First both countries have more in common….but are they “more likely to commit atrocities” my Answer YES! WHY?
    Because they are more powerful states, in addition they are immune more likely than other nations/State from any punishments, first and foremost State of Israel committing atrocities for long time, there is 99 UN resolutions condemning their act in all they got backing for US/UK not voting that resolution in most cases US, UK, France will use their Veto right to stope any harsh resections against Israeli.
    As for you US you should well knew that all US personals in Iraq and I believe in Afghanistan were protected from prosecutions according to Bush request early days of war.
    As for stand against the war that very sensible standing and we don’t need to thank you as mindful people understand what’s wrong& what’s right in our new world.

  24. JR,
    You make a statement “The driving force of the conflict is Israel’s land greed.” If that were true then peace before 67 would have been easy. After 67 that Egypt and Jordan accepted land for peace would be known to everyone not just you. The Arab League would have voted to accept 242 instead of the three no’s.
    Moslems do not accept the existence of Israel. That is the driving force of the conflict.

  25. Salah,
    The fact that they are powerful countries involved in occupations are what provide the opportunities. My question was more to the moral character of it’s citizens. If Iraq or Iran or say the Palestinians were to be in a position of occupation of Israel or some other country, would there not be similar behavior?
    Oh, and telling me how many anti-Israel resolutions the UN has passed doesn’t convince me of anything, anymore than the fact that Blacks in this country are incarcerated at a rate disportionate to their porportion of the population would convince me that they are more criminal. Blacks are more likely to be arrested for crimes, get charged with more serious charges, more likely to be convicted and get longer prison sentences.
    You can believe the UN is fair and balanced, I don’t.

  26. David,
    Your grasp of history is deeply flawed, as is your grasp of historic and present-day reality.
    No time right now for a history lesson, I am afraid, though you might educate yourself about Israel’s immediate ethnic cleansing operations in the territories it occupied in 1967, especially the Golan Heights and West Bank/East Jerusalem. You might also want to learn a bit about the Alon plan, issued mere weeks after the June, ’67 war, and what that tells us about Israel’s intentions toward the Occupied Palestinian Territories. And finally, you might consider studying the history and pattern of Israeli colonization of the 1967 occupied territories, particularly the West Bank/East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. You will find, among other things, that colonization began almost immediately after the war ended, and that in the OPT it has been patterned very closely on the Alon plan.
    As to present-day reality, if Moslems (sic) do not accept the existence of Israel, why in 2002 did the Arab League unanimously adopt and offer Israel a peace proposal that not only includes full recognition of Israel, but also includes full diplomatic and economic relations with all Arab states? And if Moslems (sic) do not accept the existence of Israel why has the Arab League repeatedly unanimously reaffirmed this offer, and kept it on the table for more than eight years?

  27. Shirin,
    Just a quick note while I review your post.
    I find both spellings “Moslems” and “Muslims”. What does your “sic” refer to? If one is preferable to members of that religion please let me know and I will use it in the future. I have no desire to offend by using one word or another.

  28. David: It is not something known only to me that Jordan and Egypt immediately accepted 242, while Israel did not. This is known to everyone who has seriously studied this period. It is omitted from pro-Israel “histories”, because the pro-Israel narrative of war and peace is based mainly on (a) just making things up and (b) not mentioning inconvenient facts. It is not your fault if you believe things which you have been told, before hearing the other side. But it is if you refuse to look at the other side’s arguments and facts.
    Peace before 1967 might have been a lot easier if Israel had not spurned public peace treaty offers from Syria in 1949, launched murderous “reprisal” attacks on its neighbors, and even in 1956 a major war of aggression (according to the USA, Israel’s best friend) with the announced aim of grabbing land. And of course 242 was after the 3 nos, which were not as negative as they sounded.
    It is a very bad idea to enlarge this land conflict to a religious one where “Moslems do not accept the existence of Israel. ” But in reality the Organization of the Islamic Conference unanimously accepted the Arab peace plan. What Israel does not accept, and its propagandists and warmongers cannot accept, is that it has been accepted, for a long time.
    Indeed one striking thing about the conflict is how much more Israel has been accepted by its neighbors than other settler-colonial states. As Abba Eban once said, what is striking is how easy the conflict is to solve – by the perhaps-now-dead 2 states solution.

  29. David, & Shirin,
    Shirin, you may help us in this, long time ago we are commenting here, I recalled I did mentioned “Arab League ” on one of Helena’s Post about Arab Israeli conflict, David replayed to my “Arab League” by stating that it is not recognized organisation by UN or nay other bodies……
    Ok, now he talks “Arab League” …. David do you remember King Abdullah Peace Plane it was comprehensive and complete plane presented by Saudi King and approved by “Arab League” but Israelis declined even before they read or took a look to it.
    Of course any all peace negotiations both sides sticks their guns, taken in account that when both met and talk then their guns will be dropped down.
    We have a very skilled Lizard in changing his colour here, sure David one of those theocrat & hypocrite.
    BBC Bias: Panorama Programme Exposed

  30. Shirin,
    So in your mind, the Alon plan justified the Arab League’s three no’s, Egypt’s War of Attribution, the Yom Kippur War and all the terror attacks against Israel? Without it the Arab countries would have made peace? It’s one of those things that just never cease to amaze me; the complete exoneration of the Arab states of any blame for anything in this conflict. To top it off you point to the Arab League’s peace proposal of 2002. To answer your question; the Arab League made the offer because they know full well Israel can’t comply with it’s requirements. It’s not just that it requires Israel’s complete withdrawal from the West Bank but also Jerusalem. But even that’s not enough, Israel must also allow for full right of return of any and all Palestinians. Not just those that fled but all who claim to be descendents. And the real beauty of the Arab Peace offer is they don’t have to do a single solitary thing, not budge or compromise or even disdain to meet face to face with any Israeli until all the demands are satisfied in full to the complete agreement, of again, any and all Palestinians. Why has the Arab League kept it on the table for more than eight years? Because it’s a PR success for them. Laughable to any serious person.

  31. We leave our delusion lizard to read more:

    Where did it all go wrong? Quite early. General Moshe Dayan, the defence minister and most prominent Israeli politician in 1967, said right after the victory: “We are waiting for a telephone call from the Arabs”, meaning – so it seemed – that if the call came, Israel would withdraw from the territories it had occupied, the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank and Golan Heights, in return for peace agreements with the Arab world. In his book 1967 the historian Tom Segev proved that the Israeli government did not mean it that way, but that is what the world, and Israeli public opinion, believed.

    Was 1967 a victory too far for Israel?

  32. David,
    Thank you for asking about the spelling of Muslim. The preferred spelling is Muslim because it much more closely represents the correct pronunciation of the word. The “u” is pronounced similarly to the “u” in “push”, “lim” part is pronounced like the English word “limb” and the “s” is not pronounced as “z”, but as “s” in “slim”.
    Moslem has an ucky western-colonialist feel, though not nearly as bad as the old “Mohammadin”.

  33. Shirin,
    Thank you. I will use the prefered spelling in the future.
    Apologies to anyone I may have offended. It was not intentional.

  34. Salah,
    In the face of the Arab League’s three no’s, it doesn’t really matter what the Israeli government intended. Additionally there is something called negociations. What the Israeli government intended and what would be the final result could be very different.
    No argument on your “victory to far” article. The occupation has an extremely corrosive effect on Israel.

  35. David, are you seriously suggesting that the Arab League’s rhetoric (the “three no’s” you keep harping on incessantly) is in any way even remotely equivalent to the concrete actions Israel took in the weeks after the war ended?
    – Immediate and systematic ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands from parts of the OPT (including East Jerusalem), and expulsion of 95% of the Syrian population of the Golan Heights.
    – Immediate demolition of depopulated villages and neighborhoods, including demolition of around 96% of Golan villages.
    – Commencing colonization of the OPT within a few weeks of the end of the war.
    – Formulating and adopting the Alon Plan.
    In some cases they trucked tens of thousands of Palestinians to the various borders, and forced them to cross. They forced thousands of Palestinians to wade across the Jordan river with only what they could carry. And you expect us to believe that Israel really, really WAS sincere about negotiations?

  36. Shirin,
    In a word, yes, I believe that Israel really was sincere about negotiations. However they were also skeptical that negotiations would take place.

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