The story I will tell is straightforward. Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.
The deep racism of the Israeli psyche is on the rise. The 1990s, at least in hindsight, marked some liberalization of the public discourse; the first decade of this century crushed it, and now the mildly critical, left-liberal discourse hardly exists in the mainstream. No wonder the liberal left has just 3 seats out of 120 in the Knesset; all the other parties are various shades of right-wing, far right, or fascism (except the small outcast “Arab” parties).
The US has given private assurances to encourage the Palestinians to join indirect Middle East peace talks, including an offer to consider allowing UN security council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity, the Guardian has learned.
IOA Editor: As they used to say in New York, “that and a token will get you into the subway.”
Israel is about to be admitted to an exclusive economic club, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Despite the Government of Israel’s failure to comply with OECD demands and standards, the organization announced in January 2010 that it will “complete” Israel’s membership by 2010. However, the OECD needs consensus to admit a new member state into the organization, so it only takes ONE country’s dissent to stop Israel from joining until it has met international human rights standards. The Israeli Government has yet to comply with the Goldstone Recommendations and until it does, admission to the OECD should be withheld.
The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders — with “minor and mutual modifications,” to adopt official U.S. terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.
Meron Benvenisti: “The whole notion of a Palestinian state now, in 2010, is a sham… The entire discourse is wrong. By continuing that discourse you perpetuate the status quo. The struggle for the two-state solution is obsolete… For the last 20 years I have questioned the feasibility of the partition of Palestine and now I am absolutely sure it is impossible… Or, it is possible if it is imposed on the Palestinians but that will mean the legitimisation of the status quo, of Bantustans, of a system of political and economic inequality.
Hamas spokesman: “This is a terrible crime committed by Egyptian security against simple Palestinian workers who were trying to earn their daily bread.” Egyptian security officials admitted that they had destroyed four tunnels north of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday.
The only democracy in the Middle East is perhaps unique, but it’s doubtful if it’s the real thing. Results of a poll published in Haaretz yesterday reflect what has been known for a long time: a combination of ignorance, a basic lack of understanding and a fascist mood. An ill and dangerous wind is blowing toward a government that is threatened with collapse.
More than half of Jewish Israelis think human rights organizations that expose immoral behavior by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely, and think there is too much freedom of expression here, a recent survey found.
IOA Editor: Very important. The unveiling of Israel’s ‘democratic’ facade – by Jewish, and democratic, Israeli scientists.
With respect to the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict, Israel has contributed and is contributing to the inability to reach a solution; it is also contributing to the inability to manage the conflict reasonably and fairly. The gap between Israeli politicians’ statements and deeds is large, and contributes a great deal to the continuation and exacerbation of the conflict, parallel to the other side’s contribution. Note, for example, the decision to approve military orders enabling the deportation of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres that he is disappointed with Benjamin Netanyahu and finds it hard to understand the prime minister’s diplomatic plan. Sarkozy made his comments at the Elysee Palace two weeks ago.
“When will the University of California stop funding war crimes against Palestinian civilians and the occupation of Palestinian land? How much longer will grieving mothers have to wait for justice?” UC Berkeley student and JVP activist Matthew Taylor covers the final stretch before tomorrow’s Student Senate vote.
No less than 60 percent [of Israeli Jews] at all income levels responded in that they would take off [and move to the United States] if given the chance.
The most educated, respectable and wealthy Palestinian citizen will always fare worse at the airport security check than the most disreputable Jewish citizen, or the one who espouses extremist opinions or even the Jewish citizen with a criminal record.
Hamas released an animated cartoon on Sunday showing abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been captive in Gaza for nearly four years, returning to Israel in a coffin. The three-minute 3D animation [is] shown on the website of Hamas’ armed wing.
IOA Editor: A very sophisticated — both substantively and graphically — Hamas message to Israel: Exchange the Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, while he’s alive. It immediately proved to irritate the Netanyahu government.
[T]he line that separates the two sides today is not between Arabs and
Israelis or Jews and Muslims. Today the line is between those who want peace
and are ready to pay the price for it, and all the rest. They are the other
side! And today, that other side, to my dismay, is the corrupt group of
politicians and generals that leads us and behaves like a bunch of mafia
dons, war criminals, who play ping-pong in blood among themselves, who sow
hatred and reap death.
The Arab-Israeli war of narratives that has led to Holocaust-denial on the one hand and Nakba-denial on the other opposes two entirely symmetrical visions of the origins of this intractable conflict. In The Arabs and The Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, Gilbert Achcar traces a complex history of interpretations from Arab responses to the earliest intimations of the Nazi genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, to last winter’s Israeli offensive against Gaza.
This morning [22 April 2010], the Israeli Border Police prevented Mr. Ameer Makhoul, the Director of Ittijah – Union of Arab Community-Based Associations inside Israel, from leaving the country. Makhoul, who also serves as the head of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, received a prohibition order from leaving the country upon his arrival to the Jordan River Crossing. The order, which was issued by the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Eli Yishai, prohibits Makhoul from leaving the country for a period of two months.
Defining a Palestinian with a Gaza Strip address as a punishable infiltrator if he is found in the West Bank – as implied by a military order that has now gone into effect – is one more link in a chain of steps that Israel has taken, whose cumulative effect is to sever the Strip from Palestinian society as a whole.
Israel deports West Bank prisoner to Gaza
Has Israel Reneged on the Unity of West Bank and Gaza?
Israeli Military Order enables IOF to expel Palestinians from West Bank
IDF bid to expel West Bank Palestinians is a step too far
There are times when civil society has to take the initiative when government leaders are unable or unwilling to do so. Indeed, today, with tensions rising between Israel and Iran… it is time to talk, before it is too late.