Little left to be lost

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to arrive in the U.S. to meet with President Barack Obama Monday, a report from the Israeli government announced that settlement construction in the West Bank had doubled in 2013, perfectly summarizing how fruitless the entire peace process is as long as the status quo continues.

Since the creation of the state of Israel, successive U.S. presidents have continued to ignore the plight of the Palestinians in favor of their friends in the Knesset, despite many starting their terms with promises of being honest, neutral brokers.

Eternally hopeful of a brighter future, the Palestinians have for too long trusted the Americans, believing that a new direction in foreign policy might be around the corner.

But they must finally accept that the U.S. is not concerned with the Palestinians, nor with their struggle to achieve statehood. They are concerned with their own interests, and their own interests only.

The Jewish-American lobby, represented in large part by the AIPAC group, convening this week, has been much closer to the heart of U.S. administrations.

After so many decades of losing land and losing time, the Palestinians have little more to concede. Always the weaker partner, even if President Mahmoud Abbas were granted all of his demands, what sort of state would Palestine be? Israel would still control the borders, checkpoints, defense and natural resources, and “Palestine” would be a fragmented country.

If there is to be any hope of a Palestinian state, Abbas must use his visit to Obama in two weeks to finally stand up for his people and say that the time for bargaining is over.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 04, 2014, on page 7.




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