[News] Pro-Israel lobbyist to oversee peace talks - Erasure of Palestinian History is a Necessary Price for Freedom

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 30 12:09:51 EDT 2013

    /Two articles follow/

    Livni Suggests Erasure of Palestinian History is a Necessary Price
    for Freedom

Published on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 12:32


By Muki Najaer / PNN

Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni suggested on Thursday July 18th during 
President Shimon Peres' 'Facing Tomorrow' conference that Palestinians 
stop using the word 'Nakba'. Nakba, or 'catastrophe' in Arabic, refers 
to the plight of Palestinian Arabs starting in 1948, displacement and 
murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians.  The Nakba is marked by the 
start of Israel's occupation in 1948 --also considered the moment of the 
Israeli state's independence.

Livni said, "the Palestinians could celebrate Independence Day if they 
would erase the word 'Nakba' from their vocabulary."  Her insensitive 
assertion suggests that Israel's continued occupation of Palestine would 
end, if only Palestinians forgot about their history.

Livni's remark is not the first of this kind.  In a 2007 address to the 
Annapolis Conference she said, "Not every celebration of ours is cause 
for sorrow on the other side, and vice versa. I say to my Palestinian 
colleagues: Do not bemoan the establishment of the State of Israel; 
establish your own state," thereby diminishing the actions of the 
Israeli state against Palestinians for the last 65 years.  She went on 
to say, "The establishment of the Palestinian state is not our Nakba, or 
disaster - provided that upon its establishment the word "Nakba" be 
deleted from the Arabic lexicon in referring to Israel," as if partition 
is comparable to the occupation and destruction of Palestinian land and 
sovereignty for six and a half decades.

Livni's suggestions to eradicate the word 'Nakba' in reference to the 
Israeli state's long lived history of oppressing Palestinians has caused 
internet controversy, with some interpreting her remark as an attempt to 
give Israel a clean slate.  I am left wondering: How would Livni and 
other Israeli's feel about their freedom hinging on the eradication of 
the word 'Holocaust'?  While comparing the Nakba to the Holocaust is 
highly contested, that debate misses the point:  As a peace negotiator, 
Livni's remarks invalidate generations of Palestinians' experiences of 

  Kerry appoints former pro-Israel lobbyist to oversee peace talks

author Tuesday July 30, 2013 15:00author by Staff

    On Monday [July 29], US Secretary of State John Kerry named Martin
    Indyk as the administration's special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian
    negotiations. Indyk, 62, who is Jewish, has worked for AIPAC, a
    pro-Israel lobby group, and he helped found the Washington Institute
    for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank that has been critisied
    for being a part of the pro-Israel lobby.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Indyk volunteered in a kibbutz, then 
moved to America and in 1982 started his career as a deputy research 
director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a 
powerful pro-Israel lobby group based in Washington DC. He then went on 
to found the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an 
offshoot of AIPAC, in 1985.

According to his biography on The Brookings Institution's website, 
"Indyk served as special assistant to President Clinton and senior 
director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security 
Council (1993-1995) and as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern 
affairs in the U.S. Department of State (1997-2000)."

Former United States president Bill Clinton appointed Indyk to serve as 
the US ambassador to Israel from 1995-1997, and he held this 
ambassadorial position again from 2000-2001 when he was involved in the 
failed Camp David peace talks. In order to assume his role as special 
envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Indyk has taken a leave of 
absence from his current position as vice president and director of the 
foreign policy program at the Washington-based Brookings Institution 
think tank.

Indyk's history of working with pro-Israel organizations has raised 
concerns about his ability to impartially oversee the renewed peace 
talks, and to work towards a solution that would see Israel abide by its 
obligations under international and human rights law.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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