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MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 7/05/00:

The Israelis are delighted -- they've got Arafat right where they want him.

The Americans, a la Bill Clinton, are doing what the Israelis want, summoning Arafat to Camp David for the big push to "end" the conflict; pushing for the declaration of the kind of false "State" they have all along wanted to bring about.

The Palestinians and the Arab regimes are confused, weak, controlled, infiltrated, and about to be politically raped one more time.

It's Camp David II next week.  The contours of the deal are known at this point, especially taking into account the long history of the key players and what they have done over the years.  There, unless Arafat fears too much what he is being manipulated and cajoled to do, it will be a replay of the original Camp David with lots of trumpeting, a White House extravaganza, Nobel Peace Prizes, and all that.

Remember that in the wake of the first Camp David in 1978 there was so much tragedy and bloodshed that actually followed -- the War in and occupation of Lebanon, the assassination of Sadat, the Intifada, the Gulf War and destruction of Iraq, the Dome of the Rock massacre along with those at Sabra Shatilla and Qana, constant settlement expansion.

This current deceptive and duplicitous "peace process" deal, now in the final stages, is also likely to unleash more unforeseen forces difficult to predict in specific result.

As things now stand, the Palestinians get a statelet in pieces comprising less than 20% of what was Palestine in the lifetime of many still alive.  It is a statelet unlike anything else in the world; one everywhere surrounded by the Israeli army, largely controlled by the CIA, and with a manipulated and sponsored "authority" rife with corruption and repression.  It is in fact a mafiaso-type statelet where basic freedoms and rights are greatly curtailed; considerable unlike the aspirations of the Palestinian people for generations now.

What seems now ahead is in fact a well-camouflaged Palestinian surrender, brought about overall by the great power of the Israeli-American combination, the great weakness of the Palestinians, and the co-opted "client regime" status of the backward and controlled Arab countries, especially those in Riyadh, Amman and Cairo.

The Israelis will get what they have sought for generations -- control over the area once known as "The Holy Land", control over the Palestinians who remain living there now in what are in effect autonomous population centers overseen by a compliant Palestinian regime; the kind of Palestinian State that is much closer to the long-discussed "autonomy" formulations that originated with Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, and the Israeli right-wing than true independence and real sovereignty.

The Americans get a Middle East in which the blatant contradictions in their policies are far less apparent, buttressing their collection of "client regimes" which now includes that of Arafat.

And so the big squeeze is now on Yasser Arafat to get him to sign what no other Palestinian leader could or would.  This is the great Israeli priority at the moment and they have manipulated Clinton as well as Arafat to bring this about.  Dangling more incentives, as well as more threats, before the new Assad in Damascus will continue; and may still pay off in view of the great weakness of today's Syrian. But getting the conflict with the Palestinians symbolically "ended" in front of the whole world through the use of Arafat is now the grandest urgency of all, especially with the old man Assad gone and Arafat still hanging in there.

It's the great price the Palestinians are being forced to pay for the disguised "autonomous" arrangement the Israelis have always wanted to accept that needs to be pondered now.  And it is quite a price indeed.

Most important of all, the Israelis require a legalistic end to the conflict with the Palestinians with they, the Israelis, nearly totally controlling and dominant, and with the Palestinians, now on about 20% of their once country giving up the rest.

The price?  A telling to the world that Israel is fully legitimate, that even most Israeli settlements across the once "Green Line" are accepted, that Israeli domination over Jerusalem is the reality (with various ruses designed to fudge and confuse the situation)...and all this even if some of the key and basic issues of the conflict remain for further "negotiations".

The Israelis supported by an American State Department negotiating team made up exclusively of people long associated with the American Israeli-Jewish lobby, have been trying to ease the way with all kinds of pretexts and subterfuges in recent months, among them:

ABU DIS - It always has been a little sleepy Arab village outside of Jerusalem that
the Israelis had little to do with.  Arafat was told long ago he could have it.  But
they are making a big deal of giving it to him again to make it appear they are

JERUSALEM - "Administrative Control" of parts of Arab Jerusalem.  The Palestinians
have always had it.  The two parts of the city have never been really integrated, and
very few Israelis ever venture to the ghetto-like run-down sections.  Here too, the change in mostly cosmetic and packaging.

"SETTLEMENTS".  The Israelis always knew that if they wanted to pretend they were giving something to the Palestinians some settlers would have to be "resettled" and some settlements abandoned.  Barak intends to get Arafat's signature on a deal that
legitimizes the vast majority of the settlers, a majority of the settlements (big ones kept, small isolated ones left), and the very concepts of "separation", "by-pass roads", the taking of Palestinians lands and resources over the decades, etc.  As Barak tells his people publicly, it will be quite a historic accomplishment if he can get a Palestinian leader to sign a deal in front of the world legitimizing all this which heretofore was clearly in bold contraction to decades of U.N. resolutions and Arab demands.

No other Arab leader has ever made such a deal.  All other agreements by Israel with
Arab countries, as well as what Syria continues to insist upon, have at least been in accordance with the boundaries of 1967 and to a large extent with Security Council Resolutions -- themselves heavily manipulated by the U.S. to favor Israel.  Now the Israelis are about to cash in on all that has come before as well using the Palestinian regime they themselves created and sponsor.

REFUGEES.  The Israelis are likely to throw some bones in this direction as well, more rhetorically then they have ever done before but very little in actuality.  They are even likely to hold out the prospect that some refugees will be able to return to the new quasi-Palestinian State, and others to visit -- all overseen and controlled by Israel of course.  But in doing so they are going to further strip away the full rights of the Palestinians to return to their real homes and essentially make them strangers to the 80+ percent of historic Palestine that will now be "separated" forever from what was once Palestine.

TENSIONS  The fighting that took place between the Israeli Army and some of the
Palestinian forces a few weeks ago was very suspicious.  Supposedly, showing
independence and determination, Arafat we  are told ordered his men to confront the Israelis.  The Israelis supposedly threatened to attack even Arafat's own command post.  But the suspicious thing about all this is that even with Palestinian sharp-shooters on the rooftops and Palestinian forces firing at the Israelis, not a single Israeli soldier was killed and very few were even wounded.  Lots of drama; lots of bluster; that's true.  But it all fits a pattern of deception and manipulation that has quite a long history.

ASSASSINATION THREATS.  How convenient the timing here as well.  Barak leaks that there are threats against him and security has been increased.  He reminds everyone of the Rabin assassination. He looks like the champion of peace to the unknowing. He looks like he is risking so much.  But here too, the timing is all very suspicious.  And for those who follow things intimately, the equivalent of the Israeli secret service actually said that as far as they were concerned they were maintaining the same level of protection for Barak and that no specific new threats had been received.  Again, especially knowing the tricky background of former commando General Barak, it all looks like part of a massive multi-tentacled public relations campaign designed to put the big squeeze to Arafat, to isolate him at Camp David, to deceive him as to what is to come (as was done with Anwar Sadat), and then to as quickly as possible rush him in front of the cameras at a White House extravaganza.

Stay turned!

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