FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Netanyahu’s Victory is an Even Bigger Victory for Palestinian Solidarity Movement

The cover of respectability that obscured the brutal and immoral reality of the Israeli colonial project may have been permanently ripped away by Benjamin Netanyahu’s angry declaration that if re-elected, there would never be a Palestinian state and his racist rant on election day against his own citizens who happen to be Palestinians.

Many people in the U.S. and Western Europe were shocked by Netanyahu’s comments. However, for those of us who are aware of the platform of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the only thing that was surprising was his candor. The rejection of a viable Palestinian state has always been Likud’s position, a position well known in Israel and the basis of Likud’s appeal, but rarely acknowledged and never discussed in the U.S. corporate media.

But it is not just the Likud Party – there has never been a serious commitment to a two-state solution from any of the mainstream Israeli parties, including the newly-constructed Zionist Union.

The two-state solution was always an illusion. From the beginning, it was a right-wing political diversion meant to confuse and fragment the international community and undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle for one, democratic, secular state for all of the people who live in the territory. Even after the Palestinian leadership adopted the two-state position in 1988 that then served as a framework for the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israeli leaders never seriously moved to finalize the process.

According to Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, what distinguishes the Netanyahu victory from the scenario that would have likely unfolded if the liberal Zionists from the ZU had won, is that Netanyahu’s win strips away the opportunities for the so-called ‘international community’ to “hide its complicity with Israel’s ugly crimes behind a charade of a “peace process.”

Abunimah’s analysis reflects the position that for most Palestinians the cultural and psychological assault, checkpoints, curfews, home demolitions, torture, targeted killings, assaults from armed settlers who kill with impunity – the daily reality of life under occupation – would have continued, no matter what party formation dominated the Israeli Knesset.

That is precisely why the two-state solution was such a valuable subterfuge and why liberal Zionists in Israel and the U.S. were so devastated with the results of the election.

They understood that even though the plight of Palestinians and a resolution of the conflict was not even a serious topic in the elections, Netanyahu’s last minute declaration and racist rant — and the “positive” response it generated among many Israelis — made the two-state issue and Israeli racism the embarrassing centerpieces of the election in the minds of the international community.

Even though Netanyahu’s comments only confirmed what everyone knew to be the real position of all the major parties in Israel, liberal Zionists, who have always attempted to have the best of both worlds — to enjoy the privileges of stolen land while simultaneously opposing the more crude elements of the colonial theft — understood that without the political cover provided by the endless “negotiations” toward a two-state solution, Israel could potentially face serious international isolation.

The Congressional Black Caucus and Black Participation in the BDS movement

Africans in South Africa make-up the most consistently militant section of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting
KillingTrayvons1Israel. This is not surprising, given that Israeli support for the racist South African regime was only eclipsed by the support that came from the U.S.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the moral voices that opposed apartheid in South Africa, upset the leaders of the Israeli state when he characterized Israel as an apartheid state. He has also expressed how deeply impacted he was personally by witnessing the degradation of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli military forces. According to Bishop Tutu, the scenes of Palestinian humiliation that he witnessed in Israel would be “familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

The principled opposition to Israeli apartheid on the part of South Africans is in sharp contrast to the immoral support the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) gives to Israel.

Until now, members of the CBC were able to avoid criticism of their slavish support for Israel by arguing that they in fact supported Palestinian liberation by supporting the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the form of a Palestinian state.

However, with Netanyahu’s rejection of the two-state solution, coupled with what many African Americans see as Netanyahu’s “disrespect” for Obama with his speech to Congress, the CBC and other liberal black formations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, as well as some members of the black clergy, are now beginning to face serious questions about their support for Israel.

This development, along with the new generation of young African American activists leading the anti-police violence struggle who have established solidarity links with Palestinian activists, are creating the political conditions to challenge and reverse the influence of the pro-Israel forces in the black community that emerged over the last two decades and to also generate black support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, especially among black students.

Netanyahu and the Israeli voters that voted for him gave the Palestinian solidarity and BDS movement a strategic opening. The election may have finally stripped the veil of nationalist legitimacy from the racialized Ashkenazi Zionist project and exposed the genocidal violence, greed and generalized moral rot that is at the core of this project and at the center of all European invasions and colonialism since 1492.

For 67 years, Palestinian human beings have been displaced, degraded and dehumanized. Today the Palestinian solidarity movement has a new opportunity to intensify the efforts to expose and isolate the Israeli project as the most morally obscene capitulation to injustice on the part of the international community since 1945. Let’s thank Netanyahu for his honesty and take up the challenge we’ve been given.

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He is a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” (Counterpunch Books, 2014). He can be reached at info.abaraka@gmail.com and www.AjamuBaraka.com

More articles by:

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch magazine. 

April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail