Beware the storms to come

BALMY DAYS. A long overdue heat-wave, Parliament in recess and cricket as the great and the good escape to the happier climes of southern France, Lombardy and the Caribbean exclusively reserved for the rich. And you know that the silly season has kicked off in earnest when the BBC tells us that “the world” is celebrating the birth of another royal brat and the Americans launch another “peace process” in the Middle East.

The advent of another royal parasite won’t even touch the lives of the millions upon millions of oppressed people around the world while the initiative of US Secretary of State John Kerry is hardly likely to brighten the lives of the Palestinians, who undoubtedly will be blamed when the talks inevitably break down.

In fact all the American foreign minister has achieved, if that is the right word for it, is to get Israel to agree to talks about talks with the Palestinian side represented by Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader and head of the Palestinian National Authority that administers the autonomous zones of the West Bank under Israeli occupation.

Kerry acknowledges there are difficulties and challenges ahead, with much work still to be done to breathe life into what Washington still calls “direct final status” talks to end the conflict. But what actually is on the table?

Though Israelis have thrown in the release of a small number of Palestinian prisoners as a sweetener for Abbas, the Zionists have made it clear that they intend to retain most, if not all, of the illegal settlements in the West Bank and that a complete withdrawal is out of the question.

All that Abbas can expect is yet another “interim” agreement that may give his administration greater powers in the autonomous areas and the other parts of the West Bank that the Israelis don’t want along with broader US recognition of his government that will still fall short of outright sovereignty.

The Americans pose as “honest brokers” trying to bring the two sides together. Others, in particular the feudal Arabs who rely on the might of US imperialism to keep them on their thrones, claim that the problem is simply Israeli intransigence. But the first claim is a lie and the second an alibi to justify oil princes’ shameful betrayal of the Palestinian cause and their ongoing collaboration with US imperialism.

The Netanyahu government in Israel is, by its very nature, opposed to any serious concessions to the Palestinians. Netanyahu’s Likud party is a reactionary Zionist block that has always dreamt of an exclusively Jewish state while his Likud-led coalition relies on the support of equally rabid Zionist settler movements determined to cling on to every inch of stolen Arab land.

But what gives Netanyahu, and all his predecessors, the strength to defy the will of the United Nations and world public opinion, is the fact that Israel has the economic and military support of US imperialism. Years ago the Israelis liked to pose as a real player in the Middle East with the power to topple neighbouring Arab governments when it suited their interests. In fact Israel is nothing more than an American protectorate. US imperialism could impose a “final status” settlement on Israel any time it liked. The fact that the Americans have never publicly revealed what they would be prepared to offer the Palestinians shows that, in reality, US imperialism has no interest in a full and comprehensive peace that would guarantee peace and security for Israel and all its Arab neighbours.

Kerry and US errand-boys like Tony Blair like to talk about “road-maps” but their roads lead nowhere. The only real way forward is to implement past UN resolutions that call on Israel to withdraw from all the Arab territories seized in the 1967 war; accept the right of the Palestinians to establish their own independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and recognise the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes, or be paid adequate compensation if they so wish.