Fear of democracy– Netanyahu calls for Palestinian deal so as to avert ‘binational state’

Israel/Palestine
on 22 Comments

Benjamin Netanyahu has now joined the chorus of Israeli officials who say that Israel must avert a one-state future because it would be suicidal for the Jewish state. I haven’t seen this in the mainstream US press, but it’s in the Forward, picking up Haaretz, and the Times of Israel:

“The purpose of the future agreement with the Palestinians is to prevent the eventuality of a binational state and to guarantee stability and security.”

What will Netanyahu do about his fear of democracy? Surely nothing concrete to try and save the Jewish state; Netanyahu made no mention of John Kerry’s white horse, the new Arab Peace Initiative. Though even David Makovsky of the Israel lobby group WINEP is pushing that one.

At our site, Marc Ellis has mocked the new initiative‘s approval of “land swaps.” Yousef Munayyer at the Daily Beast also points out the absurdity as licensed theft: 

Most absurd, however, is the renewed effort to change language in the Arab Peace Initiative to accommodate Israeli colonial behavior.  Kerry sought and received statements from Arab foreign ministers regarding “land swaps” as part of a territorial agreement. After this, Kerry hailed the statement he’d been working to secure as a “very big step forward.”

If this is a step in any direction it is indeed a step backwards. PLO negotiators, the same party recognized by the Arab League, have long embraced the notion of land swaps. In fact, as leaked documents in the Palestine Papers archive show, land swaps were thoroughly discussed in negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis then led by Ehud Olmert. The problem was that when Palestinian negotiators objected to the extent of additional Palestinian land the Israelis wanted to keep, the U.S. representatives acted as an enforcer for the Israeli position. Then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice responded to Ahmed Qurei’s objection to Israel keeping Ma’ale Addumim, a massive colony deep inside the West Bank, by saying “Then you won’t have a state!” 

The message from the U.S. was simple: If the Israelis don’t get to keep what they want, even if they took it illegally, then you, the Palestinians, will live under perpetual occupation.

This is not the first time U.S. mediators try to manufacture progress out of a step backwards

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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22 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    May 5, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Israel say its a democracy but fear…democracy?

    Netanyahu simply cant accept jews/arabs having the same right.

    • MHughes976
      May 5, 2013, 4:17 pm

      He can’t accept that Jewish and non-Jewish people should have the same rights in Palestine, because that negates Zionism: that Jewish people and they only have a natural right to a share of sovereignty in Palestine is the basic claim of Zionism.
      Mind you, if Netanyahu is actually preparing to put something on the negotiating table, really means it, that would, even for me who thinks that the 2ss is monumentally unfair, be a step forward. Genuine negotiations rather than a negotiation pantomime would be something useful.

  2. American
    May 5, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Israel has always paid lip service to 2 states …Netanyahu latest statement is just more of the same….he’s just using the Israel aversion to One State to make dummies think he will work hard on 2 States to avoid the One State solution ….just more babble…..he has no intention of allowing either one.

  3. libra
    May 5, 2013, 5:05 pm

    Another good catch Phil, revealing what Zionists truly fear. If nothing else this shows how a Palestinian demand for equal rights in a single democratic state would change the whole dynamic with respect to Israel. I can’t see any other way for the Palestinians to empower themselves.

    • seafoid
      May 5, 2013, 10:19 pm

      It is going to take time for the Palestinians to see that.
      But pressure is also coming from outside now. Is bibi rehashing his Bar Ilan speech? The bots assume the status quo is forever. He’ll never be able to triangulate between the settlers and justice. But that is how the system was designed. It does what it is supposed to do.

  4. Blownaway
    May 5, 2013, 5:35 pm

    Just look at a map of The Wall existing and proposed to see what Netanyahu has in mind for the Palestinian “state”.

    • Sumud
      May 5, 2013, 7:51 pm

      The Wikileaks US embassy cables leaks contained one from Netanyahu from 2009 with him outlining his ‘dream’ Palestinian state:

      Netanyahu said his government is reviewing Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians. There is a consensus in the government and among 80% of the Israeli public that the Palestinians should be able to govern themselves. The only limits on Palestinian sovereignty would be elements that affect Israel’s security. A Palestinian state must be demilitarized, without control over its air space and electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into treaties or control its borders. Netanyahu concluded that he and opposition leader Tzipi Livni “only disagree about the name,” i.e. the two-state solution.
      Link: link to cables.mrkva.eu and if that doesn’t work in future search “wikileaks 09TELAVIV936″

      Sound familiar? Sound like Netanyahu would like to do to the West Bank what they have done to Gaza, and slap on the name “Palestinian State”? That’s what I thought. And since Israel would control the borders AND the airspace of the Palestinian state, if the natives become unruly Israel can easily put them under a Gaza style siege.

  5. traintosiberia
    May 5, 2013, 5:37 pm

    Its time to recap the Iraq war against the development in ME. This is what 30 years ago Oded Yinon envisaged and PNAC popularized it wrapping it in US flag.
    America wants this problem go away but it is being tethered to all the whims of Israel that keeps on morphing to new mutant every day . Even a weak saddam was a Saddam .So he has to go.Even a weak Iraq was still an intact Iraq with potential to stop Israeli hegemony , so it has to be balkanized . Israel knew it but it taught US a different lesson in forecast ” life will be fine and people will be happy. They will be a beacon of hope to Iranian and other and oil be cheaper” . Cheap oil would have made Saudi weaker but that did not happen . So to make it weaker , a slow process of destabilization around it along with most vicious propaganda had to ensue until it yields .And it yielded . Following 911, there was virtual war in the media against Saudi for years . Even Boston Bomber was thought by FOX , could be used against Saudi . What Saudi could do to escape the wrath of Israel? Either change the ruling system or bow to the demands from Israel. Palestine is the goat that they can sacrifice at the altar .But the god will demand more. We will hear after Syrian capitulation again from Saudi another new initiative where they will agree to allow Israel to remove Israeli Arabs and West Bank Plaestiniains to Jordan or to Iraq or to Syria in the face of manufactured violence in its backyard.That development will undermine the confidence of Saudi and enrage it against Iran on one hand , on another hand force it to agree to new Israeli demands. Using anger of Saudi ( custodian of Mecca a good propaganda trope to mobilize muslim support or numb their opposition ) against Iran , USA under pressure from Israel will ratchet up pressure on Iran .Saudi will be asked to generate right emotion of hatred against Iranian rulers even if Iran were not to be found doing anything in its backyard ( remember that plan to kill Saudi ambassador ) . Iraq war’s benefit to reach Israeli bank was delayed by few years but it is making its way slowly.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    May 5, 2013, 7:15 pm

    RE: “Fear of democracy– Netanyahu calls for Palestinian deal so as to avert ‘binational state’” ~ Weiss

    AND YET, AT THE SAME TIME, NETANYAHU SEEKS TO ENSURE THAT A “DEAL” WILL NEVER COME TO FRUITION*:
    “Israeli Premier Backs Referendum on Any Peace Deal”, By Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 5/02/13

    [EXCERPTS] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Thursday that any peace agreement with the Palestinians should be put to a referendum, a move that some Israelis view as a potential obstacle to a deal even as Secretary of State John Kerry works intently to renew long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. . .
    . . . As part of the peace effort, Mr. Kerry embraced a proposal earlier this week by the Arab League to revive the Arab Peace Initiative, introduced in 2002, and to ease its demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 boundaries by accepting the possibility of minor and mutually agreed-upon land exchanges.
    But Mr. Netanyahu has not endorsed the idea of land exchanges, and rejects any mention of the 1967 lines as the basis for talks. He has not commented on the new Arab League proposal but has reiterated his stance in recent days that talks should resume with no preconditions. . .
    . . . Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks in favor of a referendum, widely viewed as a nod to rightists in his governing coalition who are pressing for new legislation on the matter, came at the start of a meeting in Jerusalem with Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter of Switzerland.
    “There are a few things that I think we can learn from you, and one of them is the referendum,” Mr. Netanyahu told Mr. Burkhalter. “Not for every issue; not on every point of debate; but on one thing: that is, if we get to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, I’d like to bring it to a referendum. And I’d like to talk to you about your experiences with that, and many other things.”
    Mr. Burkhalter replied that Mr. Netanyahu was welcome to visit Switzerland any time and learn about that country’s experience with referendums.
    Left-leaning Israeli supporters of a peace deal have long argued that a referendum could impede the leadership’s ability to seal a treaty with Palestinians.

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to nytimes.com

    * P.S. Netanyahu is what is known as “a snake in the grass”.
    What does “snake in the grass” mean?link to idioms.yourdictionary.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 5, 2013, 11:47 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Why Kerry and the Arab League Will Come Up Empty”, By Uri Avnery, The Progressive”, 5/03/13

      [EXCERPTS] . . . Kerry seems to be an honest man. A serious man. A patient man. But does he really believe that his endeavors will lead anywhere?
      True, this week Kerry did achieve a remarkable success.
      A delegation of Arab foreign ministers, including the Palestinian, met with him in Washington. They were led by the Qatari prime minister – a relative of the Emir, of course – whose country is assuming a more and more prominent role in the Arab world.
      At the meeting, the ministers emphasized that the Arab Peace Initiative is still valid. . .
      . . . If the American Secretary of State really believes that he can nudge our government slowly and gradually to “meaningful” negotiation with the Palestinians, he is deluding himself. If he does not believe it, he is trying to delude others.
      There have been no real negotiations with the Palestinians since Ehud Barak came back from the Camp David conference in 2000, waving the slogan “We Have No Partner for Peace”. With this he destroyed the Israeli peace movement and brought Ariel Sharon to power.
      Before that, there were no real negotiations either. Yitzhak Shamir announced that he was happy to negotiate forever. (Shamir, by the way, declared that it was a virtue to “lie for the fatherland”.) Documents were produced and gathered dust, conferences were photographed and forgotten, agreements were signed and made no real difference. Nothing moved. Nothing – apart from settlement activity, that is.
      Why? How would anyone entertain the belief that from now on everything would be different?
      Kerry will elicit some more words from the Arabs. Some more promises from Netanyahu. There may even be a festive opening of a new round of negotiations, a great victory for President Obama and Kerry.
      But nothing will change. Negotiations will just drag on. And on. And on.

      For the same reason that there has been no movement in the past, there will be no movement in the future – unless…
      Unless. Unless Obama takes the bull by the horns, which, it seems, he is exceedingly unwilling to do. . .
      . . . If this will and this power do not exist, the whole great peace effort is an exercise in deception, and honorable men should not indulge in it.
      They should honestly face the two sides and the world and tell them:
      No, we can’t.

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to progressive.org

  7. a blah chick
    May 5, 2013, 7:33 pm

    “The purpose of the future agreement with the Palestinians is to prevent the eventuality of a binational state and to guarantee stability and security.”

    Because a Palestinian state would be traditional and patriarchal, I know that because I heard it on TV.

    It’s very simple, Mr. Sara doesn’t want any solution that would jeopardize the cushy little fiefdom he and his ilk have set up. The only way the elites there can stay in power is by some manipulation of the demographics. Everyone knows that.

  8. Mike_Konrad
    May 5, 2013, 7:36 pm

    So Netanyahu talks outside of both sides of his mouth. So what?

    Don’t the Arabs do that, too.

    Look there is NO solution to this. There can be NO agreement acceptable to both sides.

    Israel will never divide Jerusalem. The Arabs will accept nothing less.

    The Israelis will never withdraw to 1967 borders, the Arabs will accept nothing less.

    The Israelis will never accept a binational state, since it would mean the loss of a Jewish majority. The Jews, after 2000 years of persecution would accept nothing less.

    You can talk all you want, but this is not going to be solved.

    What can be done, by increments, is to insist that the Arabs in Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank) be given a measure of civil rights, and take that as a starting point.

    As one Israeli general put it, the minimum the Arabs would accept is more than Israel would agree to.

  9. Nevada Ned
    May 5, 2013, 7:57 pm

    A document from the 1960’s has surfaced* recently in the papers of George Wallace, segregationist politician from Alabama. Governor Wallace, faced with demands for voting rights for African-Americans, declared that any deal would have to be approved in a referendum.

    And of course only whites would get to vote in the referendum.

    *Not really: this document does not exist. But Mondoweiss readers will understand the point.

  10. yourstruly
    May 5, 2013, 9:03 pm

    considering how poorly our own indigenous nations fared in their dealings with the u.s. government, when it comes to land swaps palestinians should be wary of accepting advice from secretary of state kerry. otherwise they’ll end up with mostly barren & isolated land, and even then should, say, precious metals be discovered on palestinian soil, expect israel to lay claim to it, regardless of any clauses in the land swap agreement which forbid such chicanery. worse yet, based on past performance, there’s no reason to believe that the u.s. would oppose israel’s violation of the original agreement.

  11. shachalnur
    May 6, 2013, 3:31 am

    In the current circumstances One state or Two state solution is a past station.

    Palestinians are not in a hurry.

    Iran,Hezbollah,Syria(n rebels),Hamas,AlQaida in Sinai,Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.

    US went off to play golf.

    Looks like the only solution left is the …..Six state solution.

  12. eljay
    May 6, 2013, 8:05 am

    >> “The purpose of the future agreement with the Palestinians is to prevent the eventuality of a binational state and to guarantee stability and security.”

    He added, “Let me re-phrase that, just to be clear: F*ck all of you and the Palestinians – we like our oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist ‘Jewish State’ just the way it is.”

    >> The root of the conflict, he said, was the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the Jews’ right to a country.

    Jews don’t have a right to a country.

    >> Israel, while perfectly willing to sit down to talks

    Israel may be willing to sit down to talks, but – as history has shown – that doesn’t mean it is willing to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    >> “It’s not about a Palestinian state, it’s about a Jewish state,” Netanyahu, who is serving as acting foreign minister, told the ministry officials.

    He added, “Let me re-phrase that, just to be clear: F*ck all of you and the Palestinians – we like our oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist ‘Jewish State’ just the way it is.”

  13. Talkback
    May 6, 2013, 9:39 am

    If Israel talks about a Palestinian state it means an Israeli controlled Bantustan for Palestinians who control other Palestinians but have no right to the land of “Eretz Israel”. Rabin wasn’t different.

  14. American
    May 6, 2013, 10:29 am

    Whack a mole, whack a mole…….the supremes are very busy trying to stay the supremes…..

    Israeli official protests Google’s use of ‘Palestine’
    May 6, 2013

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — A senior Israeli official called on Google to reconsider its decision to change the wording on its services and products from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine.”

    Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin also told Google CEO Larry Page in a letter sent Sunday that he was in essence recognizing a Palestinian state that does not exist.

    Google spokesman Nathan Tyler told the BBC late last month that the company was “following the lead” of several bodies, including the United Nations, in adopting the name change from “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine” across its products.

    “Such a decision is, in my opinion, not only mistaken but could also negatively impinge on the efforts of my government to bring about direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

    Israel mulls new strategy on muzzling its critics
    link to electronicintifada.net

    “This year’s gathering is no different, with three working groups of particular interest for anti-apartheid campaigners. The first is “the working group on the guise of delegitimization and anti-Zionism,” whose goal is “to identify…new legal, political, economic and other strategies [that] can be employed to pre-empt and defeat these campaigns” such as “changing the law to sentence boycott activists.” Aside from a commitment to further “lawfare” strategies — challenging Palestine solidarity campaigns in court — this group also aims to “improve communication and intelligence about the delegitimizers” and “identify offensive steps that can be taken…to help create a more positive image of Israel.
    “Other suggestions include “research…to discern the group or groups that may be funding, directing, influencing and/or manipulating anti-Israel agitation”, and “critical studies of Palestinian society, and other Middle Eastern societies, its politics and culture for developing a new symbolical weapon in this struggle.””

    • Annie Robbins
      May 6, 2013, 11:44 am

      “changing the law to sentence boycott activists.”

      argh. like termites eating away at our (alleged) democracy.

      • American
        May 6, 2013, 12:42 pm

        ”eating away at our (alleged) democracy.”’……annie

        Exactly.
        Just as Washington warned…. unscrupulous men who use the tools of a democracy to lift themselves to unjust domination and destroy the democracy that made it possible for them to do that in the process.

        change the law to outlaw free speech?…..what more needs to be said about the cancerous activities of the Zionist in the US.

    • MK_Ultra
      May 6, 2013, 12:13 pm

      Don’t like the message? Well…kill the messenger, of course. Nothing could be more appropriate and effective than that.

  15. hophmi
    May 7, 2013, 10:53 am

    “What will Netanyahu do about his fear of democracy? ”

    Do you think that maybe it’s a fear of Jews being attacked as they have been for years by West Bank and Gaza Palestinians, rather than this fear of democracy? Does this fear of democracy charge ever extend to Palestinians who refuse to sell their land to Jews?

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