Bill Fletcher Jr.ColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

Israeli/Palestinian Talks: Negotiations or Choreography?

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions.

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.

NNPA Columnist

How can there be honest negotiations when one side – which has the lion’s share of the weapons, including a nuclear arsenal and the support of the U.S. government – decides that it is appropriate to go forward with illegal settlements on Palestinian land?  This is the question that haunts the current round of discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  It also raises serious questions as to what a future agreement might portend.

While the U.S. and Israeli media made a great deal out of the Israeli release of Palestinian political prisoners, it was of greater significance that the Israelis have not stepped away from the continuations of their settlement policy.  In any other field of negotiations, one would assume that actions that preclude a constructive result would be avoided.  That is not the case when it comes to talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  The Israelis seem to be determined to assert that they hold the upper hand.  And in a situation of what is sometimes called “low intensity warfare” they are nevertheless able to convince too many people that their intentions are noble.

There is a significant danger that an ‘agreement’ may be reached between the two sides, blessed by the USA, which brings nothing close to peace and justice to the region, let alone to the Palestinians.  Looking at a map of the occupied Palestinian territories resembles looking at an x-ray of a cancerous lung.  There is little that is cohesive.  It is filled with the holes that delineate Israeli settlements.  And that map may end up being the Palestinian “nation-state” unless something radically shifts the terms of the current negotiations.

The Palestinians face the prospect of the peace of the graveyard rather than peace with justice unless there is significant international pressure exerted.  The pressure on the Palestinians to settle for just about anything will be tsunami-like, particularly coming from the US government that desperately wishes to proclaim the end of hostilities.  What we, however, need to understand is that the imposition of the peace-of-the-graveyard will not bring about such a result.  It will result in a continued, protracted and painful conflict, perhaps Palestinian vs. Palestinian  and Palestinian vs. Israeli.  Should you have any questions about this, ask the people of Northern Ireland.  The British and their Loyalist supporters thought that everything was wrapped up when they imposed a “compromise” settlement on Irish nationalists in 1921.  Things did not quite work out the way that the British and Loyalists had planned.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions.  Follow him on Facebook and www.billfletcherjr.com.

Bill Fletcher Jr.

Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941”; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.

Related Articles

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker