FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future

by

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

Empirical historical evidence combined with little common-sense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual Apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both.

The passing of the ‘Regularization Bill‘ on February 6 is all we need to imagine the Israeli-envisaged future. The new law allows the Israeli government to retroactively recognize Jewish outposts built without official permission on privately-owned Palestinian land.

All settlements – officially recognized settlements and unauthorized outposts – are illegal under international law. The verdict has been passed numerous times by the United Nations and, more recently, pronounced with unmistakable clarity in UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

Israel’s response was the announcement of the construction of over 6,000 new housing units to be built throughout the Occupied Palestinian territories, the construction of a brand new settlement (the first in 20 years), and the new law that paves the way for the annexation of large swathes of the Occupied West Bank.

Undoubtedly, the law is the ‘last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution‘, but that is not important. It never mattered to Israel, anyway. The talk of a solution was mere smoke and mirrors as far as Israel was concerned. All the ‘peace talks’ and the entirety of ‘peace process’, even when it was in its zenith, rarely slowed down the Israeli bulldozers, slowed down the construction of more ‘Jewish homes’ or ended the unceasing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Writing in ‘Newsweek’, Diana Buttu described how the process of building settlements is always, always accompanied by the demolition of Palestinian homes. 140 Palestinian structures were demolished since the beginning of 2017, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories.

Since Donald Trump was sworn in, Israel has felt liberated from its obligation to doublespeak. For decades, Israeli officials spoke passionately about peace, and did everything in their power to hinder its attainment. Now, they simply do not care. Period.

They have perfected their balancing act simply because they had to, because Washington expected it, demanded it. But Trump had given them a blank check: do as you please; settlements are not obstacles to peace; Israel has been ‘treated very, very unfairly‘ and I will correct that historical injustice, and so on.

Almost immediately after Trump was inaugurated President on January 20, all masks came off.

On January 25, the real Benjamin Netanyahu resurfaced, dropping his act altogether, and declaring in enviable brazenness: “We are building, and we will continue to build” illegal settlements.

What more is there to talk about with Israel at this point? Nothing. The only solution that mattered to Israel is Israel’s own ‘solution’, always driven by blind American support, European uselessness and always imposed on the Palestinians and other Arab countries, by force if needed.

The guardians of the grand charade of the two-state solution, who shrewdly crafted the ‘peace process’ and danced to every Israeli tune are now bewildered. They have been outed by Israel’s dreadful plans that shot their ‘solution’ right between the eyes, leaving Palestinians to choose between subjugation, humiliation or imprisonment.

Jonathan Cook is right. The new law is the first step towards the annexing of the West Bank or, at least, most of it. Once small outposts are legalized, they would need to be fortified, (‘naturally’) expanded and protected. The military occupation, in effect for 50 years, will no longer be temporary and reversible. Civil law will continue to apply to Jews in Occupied Palestinian Territories and military laws on occupied Palestinians.

It is the very definition of Apartheid, in case you are still wondering.

To meet the ‘security needs’ of the settlers, more  ‘Jewish-only’ bypass roads will be constructed, more walls erected, more gates to keep Palestinians away from their land, schools and livelihood will be put up, more checkpoints, more suffering, more pain, more anger, and more violence.

That is Israel’s vision. Even Trump is growing frustrated by Israel’s shamelessness and audacity. He called on Israel in an interview with ‘Israel Hayom’ newspaper to “be reasonable with respect to peace.”

“There is so much land left. And every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left,” Trump said. He is backtracking on promises he made with regard to moving the US embassy and the unchecked expansion of the settlements and more, as he is realizing that Netanyahu and his US supporters have led him to a cliff and are now asking him to jump.

But it matters little, anyway. Whether Trump holds on to his extremely pro-Israel position or reverts to a wishy-washy stance similar to that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, reality is unlikely to change – for only Israel is ultimately allowed to influence outcomes.

Israeli lawmakers’ approval of the bill is, indeed, an end of an era. We have reached the point where we can openly declare that the so-called ‘peace process’ was an illusion from the start, for Israel had no intentions of ever conceding the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

The Palestinian leadership is hardly blameless in all of this.

The greatest mistake that the Palestinian leadership has committed (aside from its disgraceful disunity) was entrusting the US, Israel’s main enabler, with managing a ‘peace process’ that has allowed Israel time and resources to finish its colonial projects, while devastating Palestinian rights and political aspirations.

Returning to the same old channels, using the same language, seeking salvation at the altar of the same old ‘two state solution’ will achieve nothing but waste further time and energy.

But Israel’s humiliating options to the Palestinians can also be read in a different way. Indeed, it is Israel’s obstinacy that is now leaving Palestinians (and Israelis) with one option, and only one option: equal citizenship in one single state or a horrific apartheid and more ethnic cleansing.

In the words of former President Jimmy Carter, “Israel will never find peace until it permit(s) the Palestinians to exercise their basic human and political rights.”

That Israeli ‘permission’ is yet to arrive, leaving the international community with the moral responsibility to exact it.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). His website is: ramzybaroud.net

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 28, 2017
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
A Paradigm Shift in the Middle East: Iran as the Solution, Not the Problem
Paul Street
Big Brother Capitalism Strikes Back
Stephen Cooper
Trump’s Pusillanimous Immigration Policy Imperils the Public and the Police
Vincent Emanuele
The Madness of U.S. Empire
Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec
We Need the Endangered Species Act Now More Than Ever
David Underhill
Oops, They Did It Again: Crowd Bowls Over Rep in Beery Alley
John Eskow
Jimmy Kimmel is a Total Dick and Other Reflections on the Oscars
Steve Horn
Trump’s Top Energy Aide, Mike Catanzaro Peddled Climate Change Denial
Jack Random
The Trump Diaries: Week Five
Robert Fisk
The Education of Marine Le Pen
Pauline Murphy
Felicia Browne’s Fight Against Fascism
Mary Lynn Cramer
Fearing the Trump Impeachment
Mel Gurtov
While Our Attention is Elsewhere, Climate Change Worsens
Dan Bacher
Extinction 2017: California Edition
Abel Cohen
The Trojan President: America Never Saw It Coming
February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail