A Semite takes on Israel: Bibi's 'cunning' plan won't wash with this Zionist Jew
I am also fervently committed to a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and mutual land swaps, including Jerusalem as a shared capital (more or less).
With that being said, I adamantly oppose the current Israeli administration’s policy in the occupied territories, with an emphasis on its leader, Prime Minister Benyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu.
With only the slightest examination of Bibi’s policies (and based on his published works), it is clear that this is a man with no qualms about exploiting Israel and Israelis in very same ways he criticizes other Middle Eastern regimes, namely Hamas and Fatah.
Bibi has done more to place settlers in illegally-occupied Palestinian lands than any other Israeli PM. Palestinians who have every right to be hostile towards the Jewish settlements and the settlers that inhabit them, often times lash out at their situation (peacefully protesting and sometimes violently), yet, when this happens, Bibi is quick to condemn the angry Palestinians and label them a plethora of adjectives from anti-Semitic –even though the term Semite by its very etymology should include almost every Palestinian– to terrorists.
These settlers, who depict themselves as the “victims” of Palestinian unrest, knowingly and willingly exacerbate the (I emphasize following word) unnecessary situation. Bibi places these people in these areas in an attempt to create a “buffer” zone from Israel proper. If the roles were reversed, would Bibi not holler at the top of his lungs that this was using civilians as human shields?
So, what is the true nature of the illegal West Bank settlements? Luckily, we have a precedent to examine Bibi’s true cunning. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its settlements, relocated their residents elsewhere, pulled out its last IDF outpost and celebrated this in the international arena as much as possible. The explanation being that Israel could trade disengagement of a 38-year-old occupation in exchange for a more docile Gazan population. But, the Israeli government conveniently forgot to mention that they would make life even more miserable for Gazans than before. Not to mention, the unilateral nature of the move left the people of Palestine no closer to self-determination than it was 38 years prior. This created the current situation in which Gazans are now even angrier than ever—and rightly so. Yet Israel is able to spin this when Gazans make the terrible blunder of trying to fight back militarily.
When rockets rain down on Israel, particularly in the south, it strengthens Bibi’s ability use the excuse that Israel left Gaza in a bid for peace and this is how Israel is repaid. Such a situation does not shake the man who has made his career on fear mongering. The true cause for his nervousness came on November 29th, when Palestine was granted official status as a UN observer.
Bibi lost his ability to claim that Palestinians (and most Arabs) do not understand how to deal in diplomacy, as he likes to say, and that they were only capable of violence.
On this claim, Bibi founded his political platform and his policy in the West Bank. And on a more grand scale, his attempt to exploit the David versus Goliath analogy in which Israel is the tiny David just scraping by in the middle of an aggressive, violent Arab Goliath.
This is where we find the answer to the above question. Bibi’s hope is to use the West Bank as a last resort bargaining chip. He hopes to create a situation in which Israel can either swallow the entire West Bank or to eventually use disengagement as a tool for showing Israel’s good faith towards Palestinians.
On the 29th of last month, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas diplomatically squashed Bibi. It seems rather obvious that this is the case, for the Israeli government released at almost the same time, plans to increase settlement building in the West Bank. This is no coincidence.
It is time for Bibi to cut the David and Goliath nonsense. We all can see from history and by a simple examination of the facts that Israel is no longer David. If anything, in a military sense, Israel is Goliath. Israel is only existentially threatened by itself (yes, there have been instances of terrorist attacks, but as recent history has proved, no country is completely impervious to such actions – And Israel has become arguably the best in the world at defending itself from them).
Indeed, the only situation in which Israel can lose its sovereignty and Jewish character is through a continuation of its current policies. If it overtakes the West Bank and does not wish to create an apartheid state, Arabs will outnumber Jews within a few decades.
Palestinians should continue on the current diplomatic road–though it is a long and arduous one—and Israel should rethink its most recent espousing of settlement plans.
It is becoming more and more difficult to support Israel as it stubbornly makes the same mistakes year after year. But, many of us hope that reason will prevail and one day, Palestinians and Jews will surmount their torturous and bloody history. Who knows, maybe we’ll even sing Kumbaya around the campfire.
By Greg Gans
Greg Gans is an MA student presently conducting research towards an MA in Middle Eastern Students at Tel Aviv University.
Have your say-- Do you think there is more credibility when one of Israel's 'own' calls the political leadership out? Share your views on Netanyahu's alleged hypcocrasy. Is this man just a settling, name-calling President who needs a dose of constructive crtiicism? Or does this article miss out another side to the picture?