FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Accelerating the Occupation

by BINOY KAMPMARK

This is the answer. Outmanoeuvred in the UN, Israel has huffed and puffed against the house that is the international community and taken the policy of increasing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the corridor of land termed E1 out of cold storage.  The air of desperation is palpable. The Palestinians, having gotten the crumbs of non-observer status at the UN in an overwhelming vote, have stirred Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government into violent action.  Since they can’t launch an invasion in protest or initiate another wave of assassinations against the Palestinian moderates, they are left with a policy of unmitigated anger.

 

The plans for constructing settlements on E1, a policy that will connect Jerusalem with Maaleh Adumim, would effectively divide the northern and western West Bank.  Should that occur, a contiguous Palestinian state would be dealt a blow even before its formal creation (Al Bawaba News, Dec 4).  The structure for defeating such a move is effectively being laid.  Of those 20 or so Palestinian communities that are slated for forced evictions, 2300 are mostly Jahalin Bedouin.

 

Such tactics are true to form.  On November 3, 2011, after the admission of the Palestinians to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Israeli authorities announced that 2000 new units would be built in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank settlements of Efrat and Maaleh Adumim.

 

On November 15 that same year, the Ministry of Housing published tenders for 2,230 new housing units beyond the Green Line (Amnesty International News, Dec 3).  Each step the Palestinians take on their treacherous road to statehood is marred by Israeli efforts to subjugate and quash them.

 

Several states have been riding the carousel of moral outrage and concern, taking Israel to task in press releases and notes.  Even an otherwise meek Australia, quiet in the shadows of US power, was keen to make its views felt on the Israeli moves. Foreign Minister Bob Carr felt that these actions would “enormously complicate the prospects for resuming negotiations between the two sides.”

 

What of it?  At the end of the day, calling ambassadors for discussions in various world capitals to chide Israel is not something that has, or will have any effect.  The Israeli diplomatic service is well versed in such rituals – Israeli policy waxes and wanes in the international arena, but the point ultimately remains this: that the settlements are not going to stop until the will in Israel exists to do so.  Israel’s settlement policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has been staple policy for some time, with its discriminatory practices on regimes of law (military for the Palestinians; civilian for the Israelis) and the illegal transfer of its own citizens into Palestinian territory.

 

The views of such individuals as Carlo Strenger, writing in Haaretz, help to outline the polarised nature of the debate.  For Strenger, Netanyahu persists in behaving “in a way that profoundly contradicts the values of the club of the Free World, of which he wants to be a valued member”.  Trampling on the rights of Palestinians suggests that continued membership of such a club is bound to be awkward.

 

A two-state solution is the great rhetorical device – it hovers like Banquo’s ghost, but has little utility to proceedings.  God forbid that it might actually ever be real.  What settlement construction does, according to Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Program Director, is cause “forced displacement, a myriad of human rights violations and is a flagrant violation of international law” (Amnesty International News, Dec 3).

The Palestinian-Israeli dispute has been the subject of diplomatic theatre for decades.  Action on such a policy as settlement, coerced or otherwise, has been minimal.  Besides, the January 22 election date looms, and Netanyahu has no intention of losing it. The propulsion of Israeli policy, for that reason, will be to the right, however spectacularly wrong it might be deemed in other circles.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

 

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The “Great” Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail