The Peace Procession
Empire looks at the Israeli-Palestinian talks and asks what it will take to reach the Promised Land.
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2010 14:37 GMT

After a two year deadlock and 17 years of failure, Washington has relaunched direct peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And both parties have agreed to keep talking, in the hope of reaching a final agreement.

For some, US renewed sponsorship of direct talks this week is a major step towards peace. They argue that as the leader of the free world, the US has the moral and geopolitical responsibility, as well as the political and strategic proximity to broker peace in the Middle East.

Their detractors reckon that the US-sponsored peace process is the continuation of war through other means, not only in Palestine, but throughout the region, where the US and its closest ally Israel use the peace process to cover up their strategic follies and expand their regional interests. They claim that the influence of the Israel lobby in Washington, coupled with US wars in the greater Middle East, renders the US a dishonest broker that succumbs to the Israeli agenda at the expense of Palestinian rights.
And here lies the paradox facing many of America's partners and allies who are eager for its activism but sceptical of its judgment.
Whilst Washington's management, of the diplomatic process over the last 17 years has had its share of critics, Arab and Muslim attachment to Palestine, coupled with its international symbolism as the last colonial occupation, have ensured that this cause remains crucial to regional stability and on top of the American and the global agenda. And an increasing number of US generals and politicians believe that resolving the Palestinian issue is important to the US' own national security in light of its wars and occupation in the greater Middle East.
As Israelis and Palestinians take the first step of a one-year journey to reach a final agreement, we ask: What will it take to reach the Promised Land? And is the US willing, or able, to do what it takes to make peace possible?

This special episode of Empire airs from Sunday, September 5, at the following times GMT: Sunday: 1900; Monday: 1400; Tuesday: 0600; Wednesday: 0700.

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.