Has anyone else noticed that where there is a "peace process" there is no peace? Could it be that the two concepts are adamantly opposed to one another? How long has this "peace process" been going on in Israel? 20,000 years? Sure feels that way to me! Who runs these "peace processes" and why? What in the world does a President of the United States — no matter how discredited the man, the office remains (for now) — have to do with Israel and Palestine? What justifies his interference?
Ignore all the pretty diplomatic words for a time and what actually goes on becomes clearer.
The Israeli/Palenstinain "peace process" has been a daily bit of news since the days of ol' mealy-mouth peanut farmer Carter. And things have gotten worse, not better. The fight has become much more bitter and more people have died.
Who benefits from all these "peace processes"? Do the Irish and the British benefit? You can tell me all you want that at least they are not blowing each other up — but tomorrow I'll hear of a bomb set off by the IRA, or that the Brits or the Orangemen have killed some Catholics. This is known in modern parlance as a "peace process." It is another name for constant, low-level war.
I'm an American taxpayer who pays tribute so these inane diplomatic smoke-and-mirror games can be played, but I can't see that I benefit in the least. And this "peace process" industry is threatening my health with death by boredom! How many thousands and thousands of times have I read a "news" item like the following? You pick up any newspaper in the land, and you'll find a nearly identical paragraph.
"WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing a deadlock and a deadline, the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to meet at Camp David, Md., next week with President Clinton, who announced the summit blah blah blah blah. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, facing increasing political trouble at home, said both sides need to "seize the opportunity."
Hah — I'll bet you didn't even catch the secret message because your eyes glazed over immediately at the very idea of reading another such paragraph!
My fervent wish is that these "peace talks" would not only get bogged-down, but fully and deeply buried in a bog, along with all the participants. There are some excellent bogs in Ireland they could use.
Orwell got it right, but backwards. He wrote "War is Peace." What we see in our version of 1984 is that "Peace is War."
And "peacekeepers"? They carry machine guns and roast Somali children over fires, while running a black market in food and medicine, raping and killing their merry way through starving, desolate populations all over the globe. Just ask the Bosnian Serbs.
July 7, 2000
Patricia Neill is managing editor of a scholarly journal on the life and work of William Blake, the 18th-century artist and poet.
© 2000 by Patricia Neill