Israel/Palestine: Where “Peace Process” is Sham by Design

“Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream”
— Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

[The ongoing repressive Israeli settler-colonial project on the Palestinian people, facing growing exposure and international opposition, has increasingly brought Zionist ideologues (an echo of American “manifest destiny” expansionists) as well as “soft Zionist” real-politicians to resort to ever-more arrogant and hyperbolic deceptions to prevent their imperial allies from thinking they’ve outlived their usefulness.  At the same time, the collaboration of the corrupt Palestinian “leadership” with the “realities” of imperial power and Israeli settler-colonialism, has spun a very thin theatrical disguise of Palestinian identity and loyalty.  Both the Israeli colonist-settlers and the Palestinian quislings (struggling to extend their credibility in their mutually-symbiotic weakened states) depend upon blasting the mutually-reinforcing lies and deceptions of each other.  The details of this slimy and shadowy faux “opposition” are revealed in this recent article by author Jeff Blankfort.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Palestinian Collaboration Overshadows Latest Talks

“Imagine for a moment, what the reaction would have been in Northern Ireland if the IRA had taken to guarding the streets of Belfast and Derry for Her Majesty’s occupation forces.”

by Jeff Blankfort, Dissident Voice, May 7th, 2014

Shortly after the signing of the Oslo accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993, the Jerusalem Post ran a cartoon that depicted a critical aspect of those accords which has rarely been discussed much less acknowledged. In the cartoon, a smiling Yasser Arafat was sitting upright on a stretcher giving a “V” sign. The stretcher bearers were Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

Its message was clear: the Oslo agreement had come to the rescue of the PLO chairman whose reputation among his fellow Palestinians had sunk to the bottom of the barrel. The price they were to pay was dear: the legitimizing of Israel’s presence in 62% of the West Bank, what is commonly known as Area C and which Israel is quite likely to annex. Arafat’s representative at Oslo who negotiated the accords that effectively signed away West Bank land to Israel and ended the first intifada was Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas  --  Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Netanyahu, Obama, and Abbas — Partners in a Theatrical Crime

Now, let’s jump ahead 21 years to the present where the support of West Bank Palestinians for Abbas, Arafat’s successor, has been even lower than it was for the late PLO chair and with good reason: By any definition one chooses, Abbas is a traitor, a collaborator with the enemy. His Palestinian Authority “Preventive Security” police force closely coordinates its activities with Israel’s security forces with the goal of suppressing resistance to Israel’s ongoing occupation and ethnic cleansing while leaving Palestinians without a semblance of protection against Israeli raids on West Bank towns and refugee camps. For all intents and purposes, that goal has been achieved.

Continue reading

As “peace talks” get no traction, Philippine government war on people’s resistance slated to expand

Revved-up counterinsurgency

AT GROUND LEVEL, by Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) | January 19, 2013

“I am now in a position to influence the implementation of (Oplan) Bayanihan as chief of staff because I now become its operational commander. Unlike when I was the CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army), I had a limited role as the force provider. But now I will have a direct hand in the implementation of Bayanihan.”

Thus declared Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who became AFP chief last Thursday, regarding the Aquino government’s six-year counterinsurgency program for which he is credited as key author. Basically the program is lifted from the 2009 US Counterinsurgency Plan applied in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One can gather from his statement both a sense of relief and gratification: relief from frustration, as Army commander having had an ancillary or “limited role as the force provider,” and gratification for finally being put fully in-charge of implementing his own plan.

Hence the go-go spirit exuded by Gen. Bautista. He told the press he would “hasten the tempo” of the AFP’s 44-year-old campaign against the Left armed revolutionary movement, with the end-goal to “render irrelevant” the NPA and its armed struggle.

Going by the timeframe of Oplan Bayanihan, officially known as the Internal Peace and Security Plan, Bautista has to work really hard and fast. (His stint as AFP chief ends on July 20, 2014.) The plan calls for the “substantial completion” of the end-goal within the first three years of the program, or in 2011-2013.

This is because within 2014-2016 the AFP aspires to relinquish its lead role in counterinsurgency “to appropriate government agencies” so that it can “initiate its transition to a territorial defense-focused force.” Continue reading

Philippine NDF rebels on Moro-Government peace moves, urge armed resistance

Mobilize Moro people for their struggle for self-determination — NDFP

Thursday, 08 November 2012

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By JORGE MADLOS
Spokesperson, NDFP-Mindanao

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Mindanao urges the Moro Resistance Liberation Organization (MRLO), as one of its allied organizations, to be more resolute in its mandate to educate, organize and mobilize vast numbers among the Moro people to advance their struggle for the right to self-determination under the aegis of the national-democratic armed revolution.

While the signing of the Framework on the Bangsamoro may be considered a watershed in the Moro struggle, it cannot be denied that the pact itself is riddled with lopsided provisions that ultimately favor the design of the ruling classes, its reactionary government and US imperialism to fully and finally subdue the Moro people’s long-drawn armed resistance against national oppression and exploitation.

Underneath all the semantics in the pact, the US-Aquino regime has insidiously placed the avarice of local and imperialist monopoly capitalists to rake in superprofit over and above the general economic and socio-political well-being of the long-suffering Moro people.  After the signing, like moths to a fire, several multinational corporations immediately expressed interest to invest on and exploit the vast natural resources, such as arable lands, natural gas and minerals, in areas under the MILF’s control or influence.  In his foreign trips and kowtowing abroad, Aquino also used the MILF-GPH pact as a ticket to invite more investments in the country. Continue reading

Philippines: President and Politicians Stir a Media Riot of Rumors and Speculation

PNoy: Joma may run in 2013 polls

by Joyce Pangco Pañares and Maricel Cruz, Manila Standard Today

Sunday March 4 2012

Benigno Aquino III ("Noynoy")

Jose Maria Sison ("Joma")

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Friday confirmed that Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison will be returning to the country.

However, Sison, who has been on a self-imposed exile in Utrecht since 1988, would only return to the Philippines after a formal and comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the National Democratic Front has been signed, the President said.

“Joma Sison will return home once there is already an agreement … There is ongoing negotiation for the signing of a peace agreement. But negotiations for his return have not yet begun,” Mr. Aquino said.

He also hinted that Sison could participate in the 2013 elections but did not elaborate.  “We have an upcoming election.  Whoever wins in the elections will represent the people and will decide for the majority. So the end point is if he returns to the country, it will be for the final peace agreement,” Mr. Aquino said.

The anti-communist party-list group Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy earlier claimed that at least four members of Mr. Aquino’s Cabinet were convincing Sison to return to Manila to join the government as part of national unification efforts, a claim the Palace has denied.

The group’s spokesman, Joey Sison, named presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles, presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and government chief negotiator for the CPP-NDF Alexander Padilla as among the conduits of the communist leader.

Padilla, in a phone interview Friday, denied that the government is offering a Cabinet post to Sison for the sake of “national unification.”

“If the government and the NDF sign a peace agreement tomorrow, then maybe Sison would come back here. But that is so impossible at this point because the NDF is still insisting on the release of their political prisoners, which we cannot agree to,” Padilla said. Continue reading

India: Maoists declare West Bengal government’s talk of peace “misleading” and insincere

End of peace talks: Naxal letter to Bengal interlocutors

Madhuparna Das, India Express

October 29 2011
Kolkata–The peace talks between the West Bengal government and CPI (Maoist) have come to an end with the Maoists calling them “misleading and senseless”.

A letter from CPI (Maoist) state secretary Akash to Sujato Bhadra, the leader of the six- member team of interlocutors, says the “peace talks” referred to by Mamata Banerjee government frequently did not make any sense. The state government should stop spreading the misleading news of peace talk being continued, it says. Continue reading

Philippines: Press reports and Wikileaks cast doubt on peace talks, Sison authority

NDF negotiators meet Norwegian envoy in bid to break impasse

05-Sep-11, 2011 | Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – Communist rebel negotiators met a special Norwegian envoy on Monday in a fresh bid to reopen stalled peace talks to end a four-decade war with the government, aides said.

The chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front, Luis Jalandoni, met the envoy at the embassy in Manila but details of the talks were not disclosed, the rebels’ secretariat said.

Government negotiator Alexander Padilla told AFP he would meet the Norwegian envoy on Tuesday but he did not know if the rebel negotiators would be at the talks as well.

Norway, which has been brokering the on-and-off talks, sent the envoy, Ture Lundh, to Manila after negotiations stalled over the demand of the NDF that the government free 13 captured comrades it said are consultants of its peace negotiating panel.

The two sides hope to seal a peace accord by June 2012 but the new impasse has soured ties, with the government accusing the NDF of bad faith for kidnapping a town mayor and four jail guards recently.

Meanwhile, recent US embassy cables leaked by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks revealed splits within the insurgent leadership, with self-exiled rebel founder Jose Maria Sison losing influence. Continue reading

West Bengal, India: Maoist-interlocutor ‘talks by August 31’ — Rebels accept govt invite

by MONALISA CHAUDHURI, The Telegraph

Calcutta, Aug. 26: The Maoists and the state-appointed interlocutors will hold their first peace talks by Wednesday, government sources said today.

Two representatives from each side will attend the meeting, the sources said. They said the committee of interlocutors had sent a letter to CPI (Maoist) state secretary Asim Mandal alias Akash on Tuesday on behalf of the home department, inviting the rebels to the talks to start the peace process in Jungle Mahal.

The letter mentioned that the talks would be “unconditional” and that the Maoist leaders attending the meeting would be given “safe passage”, the sources said. Maoist sources told The Telegraph that they had received the letter, adding the rebels had verbally conveyed their acceptance to the government. Continue reading

Indian Maoists expose and denounce the latest “peace” trap

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST), CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release (June 24, 2011)

The offer for peace talks by the President of India is nothing but a ploy to divert the people from the reality of OGH Phase -2!

On June 24, the President Pratibha Patil who came on a visit to Chhattisgarh capital Raipur proposed that Maoists should shun violence
and come forward for talks and that they should join the mainstream and work for the development of Adivasis. This proposal came exactly at a time when thousand Indian Army soldiers had entered Bastar to participate in the Operation Green Hunt (OGH) against the poorest people of India. In the backdrop of the signing of MoUs worth billions of rupees worth to loot the natural resources of our mineral-rich country after many rounds of talks, the President is talking about `peace talks’. She is proposing these `talks’ when already 750 sq kms of forest land where dozens of villages and thousands of Mariya Adivasi community reside have been handed over to the Army without any `talks’ whatsoever.

Pratibha Patil, incidentally the first woman President of India, is advising us to shun violence even before the wounds of women of
Tadimetla, Morpalli, Pulanpadu and Timmapur villages at the southern tip of Chhattisgarh have healed after the brutal atrocities and violence of the government forces perpetrated on them. She is advising us to abjure violence when state violence is a daily occurrence in Dandakaranya, Bihar-Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and many other areas, particularly the Maoist movement areas or Adivasi areas. In fact, state violence expresses itself in many forms. It is carried on in various methods at various times. For example, today it hiked the price of kerosene by two rupees, diesel by three rupees and cooking gas by 50 rupees. This is one form of violence which makes the lives of people even more unbearable. Continue reading

Philippines: An agreement by government and CPP-NDF to end the People’s War in 18 months

[Is the Communist Party of the Philippines-NDF is about to join the Prachanda-led forces in Nepal in bringing an end to people’s war and adopting the “peaceful road” strategy?–a strategy which, in other countries, a number of formerly revolutionary parties have proclaimed when becoming parliamentary parties.  While the CPP-NDF has not yet, to our knowledge, spoken directly to this, this article from the Manila Standard raises the question to a public and prominent level. — Frontlines ed.]

Manila Standard Today, February 23, 2011

Govt, Reds target peace treaty by June 2012

by Joyce Pangco Pañares

THE government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front have agreed to sign a final peace agreement by June 2012 to end the communists’ 40-year insurgency.

In a joint communique, government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla and his NDF counterpart, Luis Jalandoni, said both sides agreed to finish drafting agreements on socio-economic, political and constitutional reforms, and on ending hostilities and the disposition of forces, within 18 months.

The two sides issued the statement after a week-long negotiation in Oslo that ended a six-year impasse after talks bogged down in 2004.

Padilla described the talks as “difficult, frank and candid.” Continue reading

BBC: “Long-awaited Philippine peace talks open in Norway”

15 February 2011 

A ceasefire between government troops and the CPP is in effect for the week-long closed-door talks
Peace talks between the Philippine government and communist rebels have resumed in Norway, more than six years after the last round broke down.

The negotiations near Oslo are aimed at ending the 42-year insurgency, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Talks got under way just hours after the arrest of a top guerrilla leader.

Allan Jazmines, a member of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was charged with murder and rebellion, officials said.

The CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have been fighting for more than 40 years.

About 4,700 NPA rebels continue to fight, mainly in the poorest areas of the Philippines.

For more than 25 years, successive Philippine administrations have held peace talks with the rebels via their Netherlands-based political arm, the National Democratic Front. Continue reading

Philippines: ‘Dissent’ among separatists, some fighters leaving ranks as MILF begins peace talks with government.

10 Feb 2011

The Phillipines government has resumed peace talks with Muslim separatists in the country’s south.

A spokesman for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said he is optimistic about negotiating an end to a decades-long conflict.

But as Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from the southern Philippines, there is dissention within the MILF itself.

Philippines to adopt US strategy in counter-insurgency starting January 1

Monday, December 20, 2010

Asian Defense News

ANN – Tuesday, December 21 Manila – A Filipino lawmaker on Monday bared that the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) new counter-insurgency strategy had the mark of the United States’ own counter-insurgency operation plan, but said it is bound to fail if the government will not address the root causes of the armed conflict.

Left-leaning Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano said Oplan Bayanihan was patterned after the US Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Guide in January 2009, which shifts the strategy of combating insurgency toward a “whole of nation and people-centered” approach.

This file photo taken on July 2, 2010 shows Philippine soldiers marching during a parade at the handover ceremony for the new military's chief of staff, attended by President Aquino (not pictured) at the military headquarters in Manila. The Philippines said Decmber 7, 2010 it was set to sign a 'substantial' deal to buy military equipment from China, but insisted it should not impact on its close ties with the United States.

This file photo taken on July 2, 2010 shows Philippine soldiers marching during a parade at the handover ceremony for the new military's chief of staff, attended by President Aquino (not pictured) at the military headquarters in Manila. The Philippines said Decmber 7, 2010 it was set to sign a 'substantial' deal to buy military equipment from China, but insisted it should not impact on its close ties with the United States.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said Oplan Bayanihan, which will be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2011, will shift to the “whole of nation approach,” which means that “even ordinary people should be involved.”

Mabanta had said that it will also be a “people-centered approach which gives primordial consideration to human security.”

The direction of the new counter-insurgency strategy, which replaces Oplan Bantay Laya of the Arroyo administration, takes after the US COIN’s “population-centric (focused on securing and controlling a given population or populations) than enemy-centric (focused on defeating a particular enemy group),” according to the COIN Guide furnished by Mariano.

“Note that this does not mean that COIN is less violent than any other conflict: on the contrary, like any other form of warfare it always involves loss of life,” the COIN Guide added.

Mariano said that “in reality, COIN campaigns will rarely be purely enemy-centric or population-centric, but will generally include elements of both, with the relative balance changing over time.” Continue reading

Philippines: Luis Jalandoni and Consuela Ledesma of the National Democratic Front arrive in Manila

MANILA – A day after the government and the Communist group announced an 18-day holiday ceasefire,  Luis Jalandoni, the chief peace negotiator of the National Democratic Front (NDF), arrived in Manila on Saturday. He and his wife, Ma. Consuela Ledesma, arrived at the NAIA airport in Manila on board a Cathay Pacific Flight from Hong Kong. “We are happy to be back,” Jalandoni said as he and his wife faced the media at the airport. An official of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process met the couple at the airport. Human rights lawyers were also present.

Jalandoni has been in years of self-exile with communist leader Jose Maria Sison and other members of the NDF in the Netherlands. He did not say how long he will be staying in the Philippines but clarified that he is in town to attend a family reunion.

The hold-departure order issued against Jalandoni has been lifted, according to Undersecretary Alexander Padilla, chief of the government’s negotiating panel to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF). Padilla added that he had also assured the NDF leadership that the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which allows members of the negotiating panel such as Jalandoni to safely enter and leave the Philippines, is in effect.

The 18-day ceasefire, which will be observed from December 16 to January 3, was agreed during a previous 2-day meeting in Hong Kong. This is the longest ceasefire agreed between the two parties in the last 10 years and the first after both sides suspended peace talks in 2004.

Largely considered as part of the “goodwill and confidence-building measures,” the ceasefire aims to set the tone for the resumption of the formal peace talks on February 19 to 25, 2011 in Oslo, Norway. Preliminary talks have been tentatively set on January 14 to 18, 2011 also in Oslo. Continue reading

Philippine government negotiator and Luis Jalandoni of the NDF meet in Hong Kong to reopen peace talks

BBC News Asia-Pacific, 2 December 2010

Peace talks have been suspended since 2004

Representatives of the Philippines government and of the country’s Communist Party are meeting in Hong Kong to find a way to reopen peace talks.

The government’s chief negotiator Alexander Padilla is meeting with Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front, or NDF. The NDF is an umbrella group of leftist organisations including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The party, founded in 1968, still poses a threat in parts of the country.

Some of its former leaders hold seats in the Senate and Congress while others, such as Mr Jalandoni, face arrest warrants in the Philippines.

The talks are being held in Hong Kong to assuage his fears of arrest if he returned to the Philippines. He lives in exile in the Netherlands as does the head of the CPP, Jose Maria Sison.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino set up a panel in October to seek a way to re-open peace talks. “It’s the very first step to lay the good foundation for the talk. They (government negotiators) know that they have my entire support behind them. So I would not pressure them to coming up with results just for a good soundbite. We really want to achieve the lasting solutions towards this longest-running insurgency,” he said. Continue reading

US, Israel and Palestinian Authority seek to eliminate the right of return for Palestinian refugees in “peace” talks

 

Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza in 1948. During Israel's "war of independence," US-armed Zionist militias committed numerous massacres of civilians in order to drive 700,000 Palestinians into exile

 

[This article points out that “Israel’s Minorities Affairs Minister, Avishay Braverman, said that there were already agreements with the Palestinian negotiator on many issues, including the right of return.”  This is confirmation that Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority is joining with the US and Israel to liquidate the right of return. Already widely hated for its corruption and military collaboration with the Israeli occupation forces in suppressing dissent and resistance in the West Bank, the PA leadership has to make such agreements out of the public eye in order to avoid the wrath of the people.–Frontlines ed]

Middle East Monitor, November 4, 2010

The Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees Sacrificed?

by Ali Badwan

Leaks from Washington and those involved in the inner circles of the peace negotiations suggest that the right of return for Palestinian refugees is on the point of being sacrificed. The US is insisting that anyone agreeing to negotiate with Israel must abandon this fundamental issue. The right of return is, literally, reaching a point of no return; the pun is definitely intended.

The US position is consolidated by that of Israel itself. In his speech at the opening session of the direct negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the “Jewish nature” of the state of Israel and different ways that this can be made manifest on the ground; he called on the Palestinian negotiators to abandon the refugees’ right to return to their land, from which they or their ancestors have been driven out since 1948.

An explicit acknowledgement of the “Jewish state” would have the effect of turning Palestinians inside Israel into non- or second-class citizens, preparing the way for their “silent transfer” across the border, completing the ethnic cleansing that started in 1948.

According to some sources, the Americans have been pulling the strings to rearrange “old ideas and make them sound better than they actually are”, and still reject the right of return. This has the effect of turning the refugees’ cause into a humanitarian issue, not one of basic human and legal rights. Any “permanent solution”, it seems, will be reached without Palestinian refugees returning to their homeland. Continue reading