Richard Falk writes: It was to be expected. It was signalled in advance. And yet it is revealing.
The only other candidates considered for the job were equally known as Israeli partisans: Daniel Kurtzer, former ambassador to Israel before becoming Commissioner of Israel’s Baseball League and Dennis Ross, co-founder in the 1980s (with Indyk) of the AIPAC-backed Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy who handled the 2000 Camp David negotiations on behalf of Clinton.
The winner among these three was Martin Indyk, former ambassador to Israel (1995-97; 2000-01), onetime AIPAC employee, British born, Australian educated American diplomat.
Does it not seem strange for the United States, the convening party and the unconditional supporter of Israel, to rely exclusively for diplomatic guidance in this concerted effort to revive the peace talks on persons with such strong and unmistakable pro-Israeli credentials?
What is stranger, still, is that the media never bothers to observe this peculiarity of a negotiating framework in which the side with massive advantages in hard and soft power, as well as great diplomatic leverage, needs to be further strengthened by having the mediating third-party so clearly in its corner. Is this numbness or bias? Are we so used to a biased framework that it is taken for granted, or is it overlooked because it might spoil the PR effect if mentioned out loud?
John Kerry, the Secretary of State, whose show this is, dutifully indicated when announcing the Indyk appointment that success in the negotiations will depend on the willingness of the two sides to make “reasonable compromises”. But who will decide on what is reasonable? Can one trust such a determination to a third-party that is unabashedly the political ally of Israel? [Continue reading…]