The death of yet another peace plan

June 13th, 2003 – 9:34 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Last week I posted a link to a column in which Alexander Cockburn described the ways in which the Bush’s “roadmap for peace” in Isreal was a farce. It was a viewpoint that I did and do agree with.

This week has seen the complete and utter annihilation of that same roadmap, despite claims by the Bush administration that the whole thing can still be salvaged.

First, the Israelis began making a half-hearted attempt to show that they were willing to make sacrifices for peace, by dismantling a few illegal settler outposts (some of which were just uninhabited caravans). At the same time, the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, was trying to get Hamas back to the table for talks about a ceasefire, and, as you can see in the last part of that same BBC article, Hamas was considering renewing dialogue.

Then on Tuesday the Israelis tried to assassinate Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, one of the leaders of Hamas, by firing several missiles into his jeep.

As expected, Israel tried to defend its action by saying that al-Rantissi was about to be part of a terrorists strike, so they needed to act, but the truth is that it’s highly unlikey that he was going to be personally involved in anything like that. Both the Arab and Israeli press weren’t fooled, and even the U.S. wasn’t buying it, as Bush condemed the attack….at least if you consider him saying that he was “troubled” and that he didn’t “believe the attacks helped Israeli security” to count as condemnation.

Of course, the U.S. government’s “condemnation” didn’t last long after Hamas responded with a suicide-bomber, and after the usual pro-Israel voices in the U.S. were shocked [registration required] that the President would dare say something bad about Israel. Apparently it’s now the view of the U.S. that the violence that is shredding the roadmap is entirely the fault of Hamas, and that Israel has the right to use any means neccessary to respond, thereby conveniently forgetting that it was Israeli missiles that started this latest round of violence.

That violence has now escalated to its highest level in months, as Hamas has pledged to wipe out Israel and has launched several attacks, while the Israelis have in turn pledged to wipe out Hamas, which they apparently plan to accomplish by firing missiles into Gaza, killing both Hamas militants and any innocent bystanders who happen to be nearby. The United States, meanwhile, is unwilling to put any real pressure on Israel, and is unable to put any more pressure on Hamas. In fact, the only suggestion I’ve read about the situation that makes any sense is U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan saying that he thought an armed buffer force was needed to bring peace. Nothing will ever come of that though, as the U.S. has a long history of blocking any real U.N. action on the subject.

So, the roadmap is dead, and another U.S. peace plan charade is washed away by blood. Did anyone really expect that this time would be different?

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