Last Friday, the Quartet, a body consisting of representatives from the EU, US, UN and Russia, whose mandate was to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, released its long-awaited eight-page report on the impediments to achieving peace.
As always, the Quartet makes a number of now commonplace, nearly boiler plate recommendations to “both sides”. Like the thousands of pages of reports that preceded this one, the Quartet “reiterates that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues”.
For those unacquainted with mealy-mouthed diplomatic speak of a Quartet too fearful to confront Israel, the Quartet is once again demanding that Palestinians and Israelis return to endless negotiations. So terrified is the Quartet of condemning Israel that it no longer sees fit to blame Israel for its continued military rule, preferring instead to hide behind the passive voice — “an occupation that began” — as though Israel’s nearly 50-year brutal military rule just appeared like magic from the sky, without Israel carrying it out, financing or profiting from it.