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Do Peace Talks Point to a Carthagenian Peace?Dr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
In August of this year, I suggested in Wall Writings that we study the ominous signs that indicate Israel seeks neither fairness nor justice in its dealings with its neighbors in the Middle East region.
(CHICAGO) - On December 24, 2009, the Israeli oil exploration company Givot Olam, posted two media announcements a few hours apart.
Givot Olam’s first announcement revealed that “significant quantities” of oil had been found in the mud of Meged 5, a drill site close to the Palestinian village of Rantis, north west of Ramallah.
Rantis is located close to the Green Line, the 1967 line that initially separated Israel from the West Bank. Israel had been searching for oil around Rentis since at least 2002, an action in violation of international law as well as a violation of the Oslo Agreement, which required that Israel and Palestine refrain from any unilateral exploration of national resources in the occupied territories.
Oil development in the West Bank would boost the Palestinian economy. It could also help develop a strong Palestinian nation on the east side of the Green Line.
The game Israel has played with its decade long development of an oil field that clearly extends well into the West Bank, is a game Israel intends to win.
The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), describes the village of Rantis where the game is being played.
Israel has worked hard to build its “security-focused” future. It has been constructing its segregation wall (a “security” wall in Israel’s narrative) since 2002. The segregation wall runs deep into great sections of the West Bank. The wall moves in directions that have nothing to do with security and everything to do with Israel’s long-range economic planning.
Givot Olam had been told by the IOF that those eager television crews that had rushed into the West Bank could not film in the area because the Meged 5 oil well “is located in an IDF firing zone”.
After a few hours of excitement over Meged 5′s oil-filled mud site, a second media announcement appeared. Posting number two announced that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) had closed the Meged 5 area to the media. For the moment at least, Meged 5 was another Dimona, Israel’s not-yet-admitted nuclear arms site, with its details hidden from public view.
Even without pictures, and no doubt to the delight of Givot Olam’s share holders, the company’s stock rose 177% by market close December 24, 2009 .
Israel’s peace negotiators have been sitting around a peace table with Palestinian leaders and U.S. mediators. Meanwhile, there is no halt to Israel’s settlement development on Palestinian land, nor its oil exploration around the village of Rantis.
Israel’s march toward total domination of the land between the sea and the river, plays like a bad dream from which the victims cannot wake up. Unfortunately, it is not a dream but a well orchestrated game of pretense designed to extend the Nakba into the 21st century.
Incremental prisoner releases by Israel’s occupying military power bring brief moments of Palestinian family reunion joy (see picture above, from Ramallah) but along with the joy is the reality of a powerless Palestinian population, trapped in an open air prison, watching its land, and natural resources stolen, while too many of its young men grow old in Israeli prisons.
In August of this year, I suggested in Wall Writings that we study the ominous signs that indicate Israel seeks neither fairness nor justice in its dealings with its neighbors in the Middle East region. I suggested that Israel’s policies appear to be pushing for a carthagenian peace imposed on Palestine.
The context of that posting was the development of natural gas fields off the coast of Gaza. Israel wants control of those gas fields because, under its present government and with its current strong backing from the U.S. Congress, Israel’s economic future depends on its total destruction of a viable Palestinian state. And that is the definition of a carthagenian peace, the reduction of a defeated enemy to utter destruction.
In that posting, I suggested the possibility that Israel’s current government is pushing toward a modern day carthaginian peace. This is part of that posting:
Fast forward from 2009 to Friday, January 13, 2012, when Mohammed Mar’i wrote from Ramallah for Arab News:
Al-Mutawer added that the Israeli Givot Olam Oil Ltd company “started the exploration activities in the field in 2004 without consulting or coordinating with the PA.” He estimated that the field contains 1.5 billion barrels of oil and about 1.82 billion cubic meter of natural gas.
Rantis has been on Israeli’s “security” radar screen for some time. Most recently, the website Occupied Palestine reported (June, 2013) that “Informed Palestinian official sources revealed that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) changed the path of its segregation wall in Rantis village, northwest of Ramallah city in order to drill oil and gas wells”.
Which brings us to this first week of November, 2013, where the story of the village of Rantis enters its current chapter. Student activists in Rantis have posted pictures of oil drilling in the Rantis area.
The Middle East Monitor describes the problem Israel faces as it tries to deny its history of stealing Rantis land by using its “security wall” ploy.
On November 3, 2013, Jonathan Cook provided the economic details for Al Jazeera.
Israel has been consistent in its exploitation of Palestinian natural resources, including its water, natural gas and oil. And it has been consistent in its expansion into Palestinian land with is steadily expanding settlements.
In an especially egregious act carried out during the U.S. mediated peace talks. Israel refused to even enter the peace talks unless Palestine and the U.S., agreed to Israeli demands that staggered releases of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons had to be “balanced” with additional illegal Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank.
That act is just one of many which suggests that what Israel seeks for its “secure future” could be a carthaginian peace with Palestine, a peace brokered by and enforced by, a compliant U.S. government.
We will not know this for sure until the peace talks reach a stopping point and the conditions for peace are announced. One Israel political leader from the Mertz party, has indicated that a final peace plan will be announced in January, 2014. So far, the conduct of Israel’s government points more to a carthaginian peace, than to a peace that is fair and just.
Please visit James Wall's Website, Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
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