http://www.democracynow.org – Israel and the Palestinian Authority have resumed peace talks for the first time in three years, but the two sides appear as far apart as ever on the key issues of borders, settlers, refugees and the status of Jerusalem. We’re joined by scholar and author Norman Finkelstein and Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, The Palestine Center. Munayyer says the talks hinge on a major reversal of the longstanding U.S. role in the conflict. “Instead of acting as an enforcer of international law, as an enforcer of Israeli obligations in previous commitments, the United States has only acted instead as an enforcer of Israeli positions,” Munayyer says. “If you’re on the Palestinian end, there’s really no interest for you to keep going back to negotiations that only act as a cover for Israel’s continued colonial activities in the West Bank.” Finkelstein says the true hope for peace lies in a non-violent Palestinian movement that can force enough global pressure on Israel to obey international law and abandon its West Bank settlements. “The Palestinians are not demonstrating any power, so of course they’re going to be clobbered by the United States and Israel,” Finkelstein says. “The question is, can you change the power equation? And I think there are realistic possibilities for changing that equation. Number one: use the instrument of international law to isolate Israel in public opinion. And number two: You need massive Palestinian civil disobedience with, unfortunately, the force and repression that Israel unleashes to galvanize international opinion. That was exactly the strategy of the civil rights movement.”
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