only free men can negotiate

Someone commented on my last post about how I’m so quick to cut down the status quo. The fact of the matter is that the status quo in both Israel and Palestine is unsustainable. The violence I predicted on the 27th has come to fruition and god knows who is paying who to do such attacks. A discussion at dinner last night led to some insight – are the Palestinian people too afraid to stand up and protest using populist tactics?

Indeed, they are. Mass arrests followed the attacks on settlers in the last few days. A friend of mine pointed out that to oppose the “peace talks” is a falsity in words… to oppose the farce in Washington is to oppose “peace”. No one is interested in war. The Palestinians in particular have had enough of it. Their quick run to escapism in Ramallah, in net cafes, in Bab al-Harra, has proven this. What the Palestinians are against, however, is having a group that is divested from their interests negotiating their interests. Even the Israelis, with their quick-to-revenge rhetoric, seem uninterested in the “peace talks”. What is happening in Washington is either electioneering of the most uneducated sort or some sort of set up I can’t put my finger on yet.

I don’t fear any person in Palestine and I don’t fear any Israeli soldier. I am innocent in my dealings here and free with my words. My ideas and what I represent with my passport are what they’re after. I personally have nothing to threaten them with. Even those who would kill pregnant women and run off into the night (a disgusting show  are barely a threat to the overwhelming Zionist machine, armed with the best in military technology, the height of moral supremacy, and the weight of the world powers supporting it. All I say is that what’s happening is a farce and Hamas is right when it says the Palestinians are not bound to any decisions – if there are to be any – coming out of Washington. Only free men can negotiate, and the people of Palestine are not free. They were born free, like every human, but are not free behind a 10 meter wall and no-go-zones. Gazans are Palestinians and they are not free. Those in Jerusalem who are forced to learn the occupiers language and their revisionist history in schools are not free. Even those who seek to negotiate are bound up by purse strings and petty dealings with dishonest men.

All I can hope for now is that there is no further violence, no excuse to launch another physical assault onto a people so deeply assaulted every day of their lives in ways academics articulate and children question with innocence.

One response to “only free men can negotiate

  1. I think you misunderstood. I’ll try again:

    While you squabble over ideas like “legitimacy” (who ever agrees on this?), there may be chances for incremental improvements in these talks. It’s a long-shot, and there may be mixed motives on all sides of the table, but I think you should look on it, at the very least, with extremely skeptical optimism.

    Like it or not, the list of ideal resolutions to this situation will probably never make it onto any table. The truth is, we live in an unfair world where realistic and workable solutions are more valuable than perfect ones. Idealists stand to lose much more than the points they refuse to concede.

    I understand that your point was basically this: the talks won’t work, the talks will create unneeded violence and subsequent backlashes, therefore the talks are bad. It’s a sound argument and while I can’t really refute it, I question your automatic certainty that the talks will amount to no progress.

    I don’t know, you’re probably right about everything, I’m just a little more prone to optimism. Maybe I shouldn’t be when we’re talking about a people who legitimize a group of thug extremists and reject a group actually willing to help better their lot. That’s people for you I guess. Always being silly.

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