Exposing the Phony 'Peace Process' in Israel-Palestine: Negotiators Have Been Warning 'Time Is Running Out' for 30 Years
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This piece originally appeared on Mondoweiss, and is reprinted here with their permission.
“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”
— Golda Meir
Since the dawn of the peace process, serious men and women have warned that time was running out on a two state solution. If dramatic, urgent measures were not taken and painful compromises not made, the apocalypse would soon be upon us all. Though the peace processors rarely stated what the End of Days would look like, its form was always implied: The failure to establish a Palestinian state somewhere in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip would bring Israeli apartheid into the open, plunging the Jewish state into a crisis of legitimacy that would result in its rapid unraveling.
The transformation of an ethnically exclusivist Jewish state into a multi-ethnic confederation or democratic bi-national state is absolutely unacceptable to all parties involved in the peace process. That includes the Palestinian Authority, whose legitimacy rests on the notion that it will eventually become the steward of an autocratic Arab state with the consent of Israel and support from the U.S. and E.U. So as the facts on the ground render Palestinian statehood a fantasy, the peace processors must continually wind back the alarm clock on apartheid, indefinitely postponing the date with destiny to preserve the status quo and secure their paychecks.
Below, I have compiled news clippings dating back to 1981 that demonstrate the unusually fluid conception of time in the minds of the peace processors. Time may have run out long ago, but for them, it is never too late to negotiate.
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The New York Times, Dec. 31, 1981
PERCY SAYS TIME IS SHORT IN THE MIDEAST
Senator Charles H. Percy, ending a three-day visit to Israel, said today that ” time is running out” in the quest for Middle East peace and said Israel was endangering its ”special relationship” with the United States ...
Senator Percy said, ”I will do my best to encourage Arab leaders to recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace within defendable borders and to join in working toward peace for the entire region. Time is running out.”
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The New York Times, April 22, 1982
FOREIGN AFFAIRS; THE TRAGEDY OF TIMING
[Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek] thinks a majority of Israelis would still accept a compromise with Palestinians, as they have accepted -however warily – the withdrawal from Egypt’s territory, in return for a promise of peace. But time is running out. Mr. Kollek quotes the founding Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, in retirement, telling a Palestinian several years after the 1967 war: ”You’d better hurry. The Israeli appetite will grow.”
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Christian Science Monitor, March 29, 1984
YOUNG PALESTINIANS LOSE HEART AS ISRAELIS TIGHTEN GRIP ON AREAS
The two Palestinian mayors considered most moderate by many American observers say that time is running out in the Israeli-occupied territories.
”I told both Hussein and Arafat that time is running out,” said Mayor Freij. ”Every day that passes, Israel is consolidating its presence.”
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Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 23, 1985
MUBARAK VISIT PUSHES MIDEAST TO CENTER STAGE
Egypt’s president is the first of three Mideast leaders to visit Washington for talks with President Reagan in the next few months. Egyptian officials warn that time is running out on peace efforts in the region.
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The New York Times, Oct. 19, 1985