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The Kerry peace process?

Feb 15,2014 - Last updated at Feb 15,2014

For us in Jordan, the Palestinian problem has always been a most important challenge.

Since the establishment of the state of Jordan in 1921, this reality has not changed. Indeed, over time, the struggle over the fate of Palestine, despite repeated attempts at a solution, seems to be intensifying rather than abating, never even approaching a solution.

Peace continues to be as elusive as our desert mirages, while the process remains in good health.

While keeping the problem alive in the world, the peace process is giving the Zionists more time to expand and increase their settlements, numbing both the Western and the Arab nations’ sensibilities to the human rights violations that they represent and conditioning them to a gradual acceptance.

US Secretary of State John Kerry keeps coming and going to the Middle East with the declared goal and hope of brokering a peace agreement, which has yet to materialise. This raises some questions: Is he genuinely attempting to broker an agreement or is he merely nursing the process along? Has the man himself become part of the problem, is he capable of providing a solution, especially considering that Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon described him as “obsessive and messianic”, and said his proposals as “… not worth the paper they are printed on…”.

Other Israelis attack him for simply mentioning the potential negative consequences of a global boycott of Israel should his peace plan not be achieved.

Kerry’s problem does not seem to be confined to the Israeli reaction, but indeed to the very Obama administration that is distancing itself from him.

While President Barack Obama was declaring proudly that the United States has never given as much military aid to Israel as it has under his presidency, the Foreign Affairs Committee voted on January 29, to upgrade Israel’s status to a major strategic partner of the United States.

Kerry must be aware of the strength and depth of the Zionist influence and its plans for Palestine. Whether he has become part of the problem is a matter for serious consideration.

The Israeli mindset does not seem to have changed since the establishment of the state in 1948. On the contrary, it is solidifying with the passage of time, especially since 1967, when the tables were turned; the Arabs are now suing for peace and the Israelis control all the land of Palestine and are the hegemonic power in the region.

In 1904, Palestinian writer Najib Azouri declared that the fate of the Arabs was tied to the outcome of the struggle over Palestine.

Even at that early stage, just seven years after the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, he foresaw the depths and future of the relationship between Zionism and the West.

Today, this prediction is clearer than ever and the Arabs, as a people, whoever they are and wherever they may be, have been reduced militarily, politically and even economically.

In his book “The Crusades”, professor of mediaeval history at Oxford University, Thomas Asbridge, meticulously traced the history of that unfortunate era and clearly demonstrated the unbelievable tenacity and determination of the West to control the Palestinian land.

While the original crusaders who travelled to the area on foot, horseback and all other primitive means took over 200 years to abandon the physical struggle, what will it take to dislodge the modern Western armies, now that their bases are present on the ground and their fleets surround the land, particularly in light of the view expressed by the late Edward Said in his classic book “Orientalism”, that their mental and ideological struggle never abated.

It seems we should reconsider our calculations, taking into account that the struggle is likely to be of very long duration.

Do these black images and historical shadows ever enter into Kerry’s calculations?

The writer is director of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies and former foreign minister of Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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