Israeli plan to ‘transfer’ 300,000 Palestinians to West Bank is new normal — Zoabi

Israel/Palestine
on 29 Comments

In recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to build thousands more Jewish housing units in a large West Bank settlement, and annex that settlement to Israel. The White House has had nothing to say (as Martin Indyk notes), though liberal Zionists are angered by the plans.  J Street said that unilateral annexation of settlements is the “extreme and dangerous” agenda of Israel’s far right.

Netanyahu’s pursuit of his own narrow political agenda is steering Israel toward imminent disaster.

While Peace Now has called for the firing of David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador to Israel, because he is such a cheerleader for the Israeli colonization project.

Here’s another right-wing idea that has bubbled up in recent days (which liberal Zionists have not yet condemned). Earlier this week al-Monitor reported on a plan Benjamin Netanyahu is considering, devised by one of the legislators in his party, to divide Jerusalem so as to transfer the status of 300,000 Palestinians who have permanent residency under Israeli governance into the West Bank, as part of Area B.

Israel would get rid of 300,000 Palestinians, thereby preserving the Jewish majority in the state, and lessening its responsibility to Palestinians who live under its control. What more naked exhibit of apartheid could you want?

In… September… [member of Knesset] Anat Berko presented detailed maps to Netanyahu in which the city was divided into geographic and political regions, differentiated with colors. Digital simulations were also included. According to her plan, almost all the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian control. In the first stage, they would be under Palestinian civil rule with Israeli security control, like area B of the West Bank. In the final stage, they would have area A status, that is full Palestinian control. This would decrease Jerusalem’s population by 300,000 Palestinians, leaving some 30,000 Palestinians alongside the more than half a million Jewish residents of the city. The Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem would grow from the current less than 70% to more than 95%. Israel would be spared the billions of shekels it now pays in National Social Insurance payments and various stipends to the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, who have permanent residency status in Israel.

Jewish Insider emphasized the rebellion from the right. It headlined its excerpt of the report, “Is Netanyahu’s party ready to divide Jerusalem?” Again, quoting Ben Caspit of al-Monitor:

The plan and the meeting with the prime minister were revealed Sept. 30. A storm erupted at the Likud ministers’ first weekly gathering following the meeting, with members asking Netanyahu whether the news of it was true and whether he supports the plan for partitioning Jerusalem. Netanyahu hurriedly backtracked from the plan. He confirmed that Berko had, indeed, submitted “some papers” to him, but claimed that he does not support the plan and that it goes against the principles of the Likud.

Haneen Zoabi at the Jerusalem Fund, Oct. 5, 2017.

But what about the left? Is there any objection to the plan on that basis? None, apparently. Haneen Zoabi, the besieged Palestinian member of Knesset, said at the Jerusalem Fund yesterday in Washington that Israel has gone so far right that it is unrecognizable to those who remember it ten years ago. Plans that were extremist ten years ago are now in the center: for instance, the idea of transferring Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian sovereign/entity/bantustan in the West Bank.

The whole of Israeli society has shifted since the second intifada… more and more toward the right wing. Today you cannot talk about any meaningful differences between the right and the center within the Israeli politics regarding the Palestinian issue…. When [Avigdor] Lieberman talked about transfer in 2003 if you remember, he talked about transfer from the back of the Knesset, from the last line… and no one listened to him and they tried to silence him. “Don’t talk about transfer, it’s embarrassing us.” Now Lieberman with the transfer has moved from the back of the Knesset to the center of the middle of the Knesset…

The concept of transfer or of land swap that Netanyahu is now debating with Trump administration is a concept which is so, yanni, normal within the Israeli discourse. What was not normal, what was so embarrassing, so extremist ten years ago is now in the center. Now the settlers dominate the government.

When will the American media begin to catch up with this understanding, and reflect the truth of Palestinian conditions? (And let’s hope that liberal Zionists decry the transfer of 300,000 Palestinians, and continue the fracturing of the Israel lobby.)

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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29 Responses

  1. jd65
    October 6, 2017, 1:09 pm

    Normal – that’s the watchword. During our 2015, July/August Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation’s first meeting here in Palestine, the phrase “a normal life,” and the general idea of “normalcy” was repeated by those speaking to us at the Youth Center in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan. Our guide for the day spoke of just wanting a normal life. His village of Silwan suffers regular home demolitions which systematically displace Palestinians as part of this ongoing Israeli public policy. It’s also known for its high rate minors (children) being illegally apprehended by heavily armed soldiers, often in the dead of night, and taken into administrative detention.

    Muslim, a 15 year old boy from Silwan, spoke to us about being arrested 15 times – presumably for throwing stones – since he was 9 years old. For Muslim and hundreds of other minors subject to administrative detention, being arrested often means being beaten, deported out of your hometown or village, being separated for extended periods from your family, being afforded no legal representation, having no formal charge lodged against you, etc… One of Muslim’s arrests had him jailed for 8 days, forcing him to miss a good amount of school while he was confined to a prison cell. When asked by a member of our delegation what the jail was like, he replied, “4 walls. No sun. No air.” This is the current “normal” in Silwan and many other Palestinian villages and refugee camps.

    Our delegation’s next meeting, via Skype, was with an American Friends Service Committee youth group in Gaza. Throughout the discussion with these young adults from Gaza (which is quite literally the world’s largest open air prison), the desire for a “normal life” was specifically mentioned again. Despite being periodically assaulted over the last 6-7 years (2008-09 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge, etc…), leveling their infrastructure, killing thousands, including hundreds of children, creating mass unemployment, etc., these kids keep moving forward. This is their “normal” since the illegal blockade of collective punishment was imposed on Gaza by Israel in 2007. These youth somehow remain vital and actually retain a sense of humor in their talk with our delegation. It is near miraculous.

    In solidarity circles, the term “normalization” is oft used and is a big term in the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions movement. Our meeting with one of the main leaders of this movement, Omar Barghouti, touched on this normalization concept. There are many interpretations and shades of what this concept means, but in a general way, it means if one tries to simply make the occupation more comfortable to live under, as opposed to resisting it, one “normalizes” the occupation. Situation normal… SNAFU.

    When we met with Nomika Zion (Other Voices) in Sderot, she told us that in most all of Israeli society, “[T]he occupation is second nature… [This] means you don’t see it anymore.” This is another way of saying that it has become normalized. And she meant this in the most negative sense. She also directly referred to the situation between Sderot and Gaza as “abnormal.” Since the illegal blockade of Gaza, Sderot is one of the Israeli towns close enough to the Gaza border to consistently receive their retaliatory rocket fire. Nomika’s two references to normality were extremely tame compared to other criticisms she had for Israeli action, policy and society. For someone who has lived under the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza to still be so honestly self-critical of her own society’s behavior and policy is brave and illuminating. She is a living lesson.

    When Benjamin Netanyahu and countless other politicians and pundits refer to Israel as “the only Democracy in the Middle East,” they are trying to convince the West that we share a similar standard of democratic “normalcy.” And when seen through the prism of other colonial enterprises historically, Israel’s illegal occupation and systematic abuse of International Law can appear, in away, normal. But in another much more profound way, when seen up close and in detail, it’s gruesomely abnormal. They’ve transformed a perverse abnormality into their own, relatively unique, normalcy.

    Israel’s normalization of the abnormal is mirrored in the U.S. by the alarming rate of our cops killing our own innocent, unarmed black civilians. The situation in the states is not as bad as in Israel, but the parallels are clear. And this is not to minimize what is happening to black men and women in the U.S. It feels like it’s getting noticeably worse by the week. Reading about another U.S. police officer killing another unarmed black civilian in our newspapers back home is becoming way too normal.

    Last March in Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer wrote this of Israelis’ relationship to their own country: “Deep down, they know normalcy is an illusion.” But it’s not an illusion. It’s a choice. They’re choosing supremacy over normalcy.

    So what’s the “normal” bottom line? I see both Israel and the U.S. espousing a desire for creating a normal situation for the Palestinians and Israelis, while actively working against one. Their conception of “normal” for the Palestinians seems unfortunately, and thoroughly, linked to their own control and repression of another people. On the other hand, everything I’ve heard and seen here from the Palestinians themselves during our delegation points to their conception of “normal” as containing true universal and equal human rights. Something much closer to what true democratic (and hopefully still, American) ideals represent. It’s about freedom, equality and justice. Got Normal?

    • Bumblebye
      October 6, 2017, 4:29 pm

      Regarding killings by US police – a fig I saw in a tweet today : a third of those killed by strangers on an annual basis are killed by police. A third.

  2. Nathan
    October 6, 2017, 1:26 pm

    Why is the word “transfer” (in the headline) placed in quotation marks? Apparently, the editor understands that this is not really a transfer. However, in the article, the term transfer is not placed in quotation marks, indicating that indeed the accusation of transfer is being presented as serious. I would suggest that Mondoweiss decide if this is a “transfer” or a transfer.

    Anyway, it’s the old “cursed be you if you do, and cursed be you if you don’t”. The annexation of West Bank territory by Israel in June 1967 is regarded to be illegitimate. However, the proposal to place some of this territory under the rule of the Palestinian Authority is also illegitimate (it’s “transfer” / “apartheid”). So, it would be nice if Mondoweiss could decide if it’s okay to have annexed territory in 1967, or if it’s okay to restore it to Palestinian rule. Surely, it’s one or the other. However, if it was bad to have annexed territory, and it is also bad to return the territory – then someone should explain what the rules of the game are. What would be the policy of Israel that would be okay in the judgment of this website?

    Transfer is about moving people (expulsion, in simpler terms). All the proposals that one reads in the news are about changing the border (either changing the Green Line, or undoing some of the annexation of 1967). There is nothing wrong with agreeing on a change of borders. It is dishonest to present a proposal for changing borders as if it’s transfer (i.e. the expulsion of residents). The quotation marks in the headline indicate that someone at Mondoweiss understands the manipulation intended here. There’s no reason for manipulation. Just state your opinion that you oppose the changing of borders, period (although, in honesty, that would mean that Mondoweiss agrees that the Green Line and the annexation of the area of around East Jerusalem are legitimate).

    Anyway, I would suggest not getting too excited about the various proposals. There is not going to be any changes in the borders, so let’s not get a heart attack. If there will be negotiations, and if there will be an agreement to end the conflict – there probably will be a change of borders. However, there won’t be negotiations, and there certainly won’t be an end-of-conflict deal.

    • JeffB
      October 6, 2017, 2:28 pm

      @Nathan

      Agree completely. Saved me writing a reply. If there is a country called “Palestine” which has territory is occupied by Israel then Israel via. negotiations can relinquish territory to this country. If there is no country of Palestine there is no occupation. I’m not sure how either way this is apartheid.

      MP Zoabi is correct that the Israeli center is considering solutions from the right that they used to dismiss. But again MW has always argued the peace process failed. Now Israelis agree and are discussing alternatives. That’s what they had claimed to have wanted for years.

      Also agree with you on the damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach to Israel.

      • eljay
        October 6, 2017, 11:54 pm

        || Nathan: … Anyway, it’s the old “cursed be you if you do, and cursed be you if you don’t”. … ||

        || JeffB: … agree with you on the damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach to Israel. ||

        One of you has the expression in quotation marks and one of you doesn’t. Is it understood that it is not really as you present it, or is it indeed being presented as serious? I would suggest that you Zionists decide.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        October 7, 2017, 11:22 pm

        JeffBhole said on October 6, 2017, at 2:28 pm:

        Agree completely. Saved me writing a reply. If there is a country called “Palestine” which has territory is occupied by Israel then Israel via. negotiations can relinquish territory to this country. If there is no country of Palestine there is no occupation. I’m not sure how either way this is apartheid.

        Also agree completely: There’s been a political entity in Palestine called Palestine since at least 1923, with internationally agreed borders and everything. Your precious little apartheid loving zio infiltrators, invaders and colonizers formally declared the borders of their Jacob from the Bible in 1948, in Palestine, then promptly proceeded to pretend otherwise, and your genocidal foreign zio colonizers, ethnic cleansers and usurpers are not legally or morally entitled to even one square inch of the Palestinian people’s homeland of Palestine, regardless.

        JeffBhole said on October 6, 2017, at 2:28 pm:

        I’m not sure how either way this is apartheid.

        And no one gives a shit whether you’re “sure”, or not “sure” about the stinking Zionist apartheid regime that’s been operating in Palestine for decades.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 6, 2017, 5:18 pm

      Why is the word “transfer” (in the headline) placed in quotation marks? Apparently, the editor understands that this is not really a transfer.

      why asked a question if you’re going to answer it yourself nathan? most news sources have editorial guidelines they follow. ie, the guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-q

      Headlines and standfirsts (where absolutely necessary), captions and display quotes all take single quote marks.

      mondoweiss doesn’t use double quotes in headlines, ever. when you see single quote marks in a headline it means the headline is quoting someone (in this case, zoabi). and as a rule, people do not quote themselves when they are speaking nor do people quote others’ individual words when transcribing someone’s speech from a video. this is why the word transfer was not quoted in the article.

      plus, when we blockquote either speech or when citing an article we generally do not also use quotemarks. it can be assumed the text in a blockquote (which is generally in italics) is the quote.

      zoabi:

      The whole of Israeli society has shifted since the second intifada… more and more toward the right wing. Today you cannot talk about any meaningful differences between the right and the center within the Israeli politics regarding the Palestinian issue…. When [Avigdor] Lieberman talked about transfer in 2003 if you remember, he talked about transfer from the back of the Knesset, from the last line… and no one listened to him and they tried to silence him. “Don’t talk about transfer, it’s embarrassing us.” Now Lieberman with the transfer has moved from the back of the Knesset to the center of the middle of the Knesset…

      The concept of transfer or of land swap that Netanyahu is now debating with Trump administration is a concept which is so, yanni, normal within the Israeli discourse. What was not normal, what was so embarrassing, so extremist ten years ago is now in the center. Now the settlers dominate the government.

      (my bold) the headline quoted zoabi. not really that complicated. and certainly nothing to do with “editor understands that this is not really a transfer.”

      i can’t fathom why, as a rhetorical device, you think claiming the editor agrees with your opinion makes your case stronger. clearly, it doesn’t. it just makes you seem foolish.

      • Nathan
        October 8, 2017, 2:00 am

        Annie – The headline of the article is a quote from MK Zoabi, so your quotation marks should be around the entire quote. However, you have placed quotation marks only around the word “transfer”. Surely, there is significance in that editorial decision. It’s not an editorial blunder.

        Anyway, your comment, unsurprisingly, doesn’t deal with the essence of the issue that I raise: “It is dishonest to present a proposal for changing borders as if it’s transfer”. Surely, if one complains that Israel’s rule over a particular territory is an illegal occupation, then a proposal that some of that territory be placed under Palestinian rule should be just fine with MK Zoabi and with Mondoweiss. Since, however, this is not fine (it is regarded to be an extremist policy), the conclusion should be that Israeli rule is fine and should not be changed. It’s one way or the other.

        I’ll add a little thought. If one’s political view is that no matter what Israel does or proposes, it is always wrong / bad / illegal – then the conclusion is obvious: the State of Israel shouldn’t exist. In other words, the message is that an illegitimate state can never have a legitimate policy (or proposal). Even rectifying a Palestinian grievance is illegitimate. I once told you that this website is dedicated to presenting Israel as an illegitimate state. It would be interesting to hear your denial.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2017, 11:47 pm

        It’s not an editorial blunder.

        you’re right, it’s not. the headline perfectly reflects what zoabi said and i have no interest in chomping on your theories about what is or is not a transfer or what you think this website is dedicated to.

      • Mooser
        October 8, 2017, 8:01 pm

        “I once told you that this website is dedicated to presenting Israel as an illegitimate state. It would be interesting to hear your denial.”

        The denial, idiot, is right here. Read it an weep.

      • Nathan
        October 10, 2017, 3:51 am

        Annie – No one has to theorize about transfer or about the ideological line of this website. We all understand what it’s all about. I understand that you cannot be frank about your ideology. If you were to state that this is a website dedicated to proving that Israel is an illegitimate state (i.e. it shouldn’t exist), then it would be an admittance that the news presented here is slanted (propaganda in the advancement of a cause). And, obviously, you can’t deny it either. So, your answer that you don’t take an interest in my theories was a nice try.

        Anyway, transfer is about expulsion of a population. The proposal to change the border in such a way that the sovereignty in a particular town is given to the Palestinians is not an expulsion. Borders have changed throughout history, and people who were residents of “X” become residents of “Y” (without leaving their homes). It’s absolutely normal. The presentation of a proposal to change the border as evil is dishonest and slanted. Moreover, if you oppose the changing of borders and sovereignty, then you should admit that the present situation is legitimate (i.e. Israel’s rule is to your liking).

      • Mooser
        October 10, 2017, 2:16 pm

        .” I understand that you cannot be frank about your ideology. If you were to state that this is a website dedicated to proving that Israel is an illegitimate state (i.e. it shouldn’t exist), then it would be an admittance that the news presented here is slanted “

        But Mondowiess doesn’t need to do that, “Nathan”. All Mondo has to do is let you post.

        Think about it “Nathan”. If Mondo is fundamentally dishonest, why would they publish anything which doesn’t further denigrate and delegitimize Zionism?
        Now do you know why your comments are published?

        And you being here means they don’t even have to make you up, or present your views second-hand.

    • Brewer
      October 7, 2017, 3:00 am

      Transfer is in quotation marks to indicate irony. The apposite phrase is ethnically cleansed. That process began in 1947 and has never ceased despite the progression of the Zionist narrative as the truth comes out:
      1. We didn’t do it, they ran away of their own accord.
      2. Well maybe we did but it was in the heat of battle.
      3. Well yes we did it deliberately but without it there could not have been a Jewish State.
      4. Everyone now knows so what the hell, let’s do it openly.

      • Misterioso
        October 7, 2017, 12:18 pm

        @Brewer

        Mabruk!!
        Concisely and truly stated!!

        Nathan and JeffB are thoroughly indoctrinated Zionist zealots. The good news is that they and their ilk are hastening the inevitable demise of Zionism.

      • Mooser
        October 10, 2017, 2:20 pm

        . “The good news is that they and their ilk are hastening the inevitable demise of Zionism.”

        Well, according to “Nathan”, their comments wouldn’t be here if they didn’t help toward that end.

  3. Ossinev
    October 6, 2017, 2:52 pm

    @Nathan
    “Anyway, it’s the old “cursed be you if you do, and cursed be you if you don’t”. The annexation of West Bank territory by Israel in June 1967 is regarded to be illegitimate. However, the proposal to place some of this territory under the rule of the Palestinian Authority is also illegitimate (it’s “transfer” / “apartheid”). So, it would be nice if Mondoweiss could decide if it’s okay to have annexed territory in 1967, or if it’s okay to restore it to Palestinian rule. Surely, it’s one or the other. However, if it was bad to have annexed territory, and it is also bad to return the territory – then someone should explain what the rules of the game are. What would be the policy of Israel that would be okay in the judgment of this website?”

    The “website” does not “judge”. Contributors submit comments on articles. The articles offer opinions on issues relating to the I/P conflict.

    As for your comment above this is convoluted head spinning nonsense and only a trained psychoanalyst could fathom wtf you are desperately trying to say. That is my opinion not my judgement since I am not a psychoanalyst.

    I do agree with you that there is not going to be any change in borders. That presupposes that the 2SS is still an option when patently it is now merely an anachronism. Just waiting for Abbas and Co to exit stage left to begin the unravelling of the status quo farce and the overt Apartheid scenario to enter stage right.

    Tick tick.

    • Mooser
      October 6, 2017, 9:23 pm

      “As for your comment above this is convoluted head spinning nonsense and only a trained psychoanalyst could fathom wtf you are desperately trying to say.”

      I am continually amazed by the things they don’t know enough to not say.
      Just 75 years after the Holocaust, and we have raised a generation which thinks it is an international aristocracy. And people talk about “trauma”.

  4. yonah fredman
    October 6, 2017, 3:44 pm

    As a two state solution seems out of reach, rather than ‘withdrawing’ from illegally annexed territories. Instead in the context of the one state reality it becomes withdrawing rights privileges or benefits from noncitizens demoting them from the half step of i.d. cards (hawiye) to the nether world of Palestinian documents.

  5. Bumblebye
    October 6, 2017, 7:32 pm

    My gast is flabbered. I am listening to Richard Spencer expounding on his white zionism. He wants the US to be not *just* an ethno-state for white Europeans, he wants to expand ‘white privilege’ and he want a ‘right of return’ to any white europeans who want to go to the US. And he doesn’t self describe as a racist.

    bbc radio 5. Interview by Stephen Nolan, approx 15mins. If not a specific podcast, then it starts around 1hr 45mins into the show when it’s available online. Nolan’s a very canny interviewer, so worth listening.

    • Brewer
      October 7, 2017, 4:34 am

      JeffB can set Spencer to rights. According to him there are no universal moral criteria. What is moral and acceptable for Jews is not applicable to non-Jews. It is written thus and can only be questioned by a qualified Halachic scholar.
      White Zionism? Dream on. Ethnically pure States are the exclusive prerogative of “the people” as defined by the Torah. Logic that does not take this into account is herem. Gast your flabber if you will, one “people” alone, have earned this privilege through a special covenant with God (who makes different covenants with others) and by winning the all-time championship in the Oppressed Olympics (the African slave, Irish and Hindu contingents were disqualified – not mentioned in the Torah). This I have learned from JeffB.
      To sum up, White (whatever that means) Zionism is destined to fail because most of its potential audience are not racist and they have long forgotten Historic oppressions plus they do not have a covenant with God.

  6. edwardm
    October 6, 2017, 9:43 pm

    East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. In the interests of fiscal responsibility, the Israelis should cut loose ALL residents of EJ. What a savings! On another note: If I give you back your wallet, but first help myself to your cash, credit cards and the picture of your spouse (the bride is lovely but she is married to another man!) am I doing you a favor? Damn!

    • Jack Green
      October 7, 2017, 8:24 pm

      edwardm

      Evidence that East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory?

      • oldgeezer
        October 8, 2017, 12:07 am

        @jackie boy

        1. Israel declaration of independence
        2. Multiple rulings of the UNSC.
        3. Rulings of the Israeli high court of justice/supreme court
        4. pleadings of the criminal GoI before it’s high court
        5. Hague conventions
        6. Geneva conventions

        There is more. Technically these rulings etc apply to all of Jerusalem. Nobody but the murderous thugs and criminals who call themselves zionists recognizes a single square inch/cm of Jerusalem as part of Israel. Most of the world has said it will when a 2ss is finalized with East Jerusalem as it’s Capitol. Until then be prepared to be called and derided for the lawless brigands and thieves you are.

      • oldgeezer
        October 8, 2017, 12:21 am

        @jackie

        Oh… and the absence of a legal annexation process.

      • edwardm
        October 8, 2017, 12:37 am

        Take it up with the ICJ

      • ErsatzYisrael
        October 8, 2017, 11:18 am

        Ziotard Jack Green said on October 7, 2017, at 8:24 pm:

        Evidence that East Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory?

        ROFL!

        Evidence that you have more than three functioning brain cells?

  7. amigo
    October 7, 2017, 3:48 pm

    “Editorial Trump Exposed Not Abbas, but Netanyahu as the Peace Rejectionist

    While the Palestinians are cooperating with Egypt on reconciliation, the Israelis continue to play the same broken record and refuse to give change a real chance .

    Sissi has long been determined to jump-start the peace process. But it seems that as Trump saw, there is no serious partner on the Israeli side. Last year Sissi met secretly with Netanyahu and opposition chairman MK Isaac Herzog, after which the two Israeli politicians held talks on a unity government. Everyone remembers how the “talks” ended: a sharp right turn by Netanyahu and the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as defense minister.

    In light of the seriousness shown by Sissi, and the first fruits his efforts have borne, the response of the Israeli government is shameful: “We will not accept any fake reconciliations,” Netanyahu said disparagingly of the PA-Hamas meeting in Gaza, as if Israel does not use the Palestinian rift to undermine Abbas’ legitimacy. Netanyahu then presented a list of conditions; only if these were met would he be satisfied. Education Minister Naftali Bennett also called for the transfer of funds to the Palestinians to be stopped.

    While the Palestinians are cooperating with Egypt on reconciliation – which, if it succeeds, would be enormously significant to the Palestinian leadership and the future of Gaza, where living conditions are almost unfit for human beings, and help renew the peace process – the Israelis continue to play the same broken record and refuse to give change a real chance.”

    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.815915

  8. amigo
    October 7, 2017, 4:01 pm

    “Only by Replacing the Nay-sayer Can Trump Foster a Deal

    “Netanyahu is the one who doesn’t want a peace agreement, because he believes a new, emerging geopolitical reality renders it unnecessary.

    Mazel tov, Mr. Trump! To be honest, we were not as surprised as you were to discover that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the more difficult side to persuade with regard to a peace agreement, as reported Wednesday in Haaretz by Barak Ravid from seven Western and Israeli sources who asked not to be named. The sources noted that in Trump’s meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the day after he met with Netanyahu in New York, the president said that not only was he determined to advance a peace deal, “he had made many difficult deals, but he’d always heard that the hardest deal of all was Israeli-Palestinian peace,” and he wanted to try to meet this challenge.

    How then will Trump do the impossible, bring the two sides to the table and overcome the obstacles that no one before him has been able to overcome? According to the diplomatic sources, Trump believes that while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is advanced in age and faces internal political difficulties, he wants to leave a legacy behind. And Netanyahu, for his part, understands that he’ll never have a president more understanding of Israel’s security needs than Trump. And as noted, the president, who is no doubt an experienced businessman (although it’s entirely unclear how successful), has made his assessment of profit and loss for both sides and reached the conclusion that one side, the Palestinian side, wants to leave an agreement to his people as part of his legacy, while the other will come to the table because he has been compelled to.

    It seems that never before has this been said so expressly: Netanyahu doesn’t want to reach a peace agreement. It’s no news to anyone that he is unenthusiastic, mounts difficulties, is a procrastinator and knuckles under to pressure. But we all live in the generalized and empty belief that as a people and a nation we turn aside from evil, as the Psalm says, and do good, that we seek peace and pursue it. This is so deeply embedded in our souls, and such an important part of our existence, that even the most extreme right-wingers will insist on calling themselves peace-seekers. That is the reason that Ehud Barak’s statement at the time that there is “no partner” had such a deep impact. Supposedly the nature of the real problem was finally clear.

    And so there’s something sobering in this particular wording of Trump’s, something that could surprise even Netanyahu’s voters, who live with the illusion that while there is no one to talk to, on their side at least there’s the will.

    Well, there isn’t. Not at all. Netanyahu is the one who doesn’t want a peace agreement, because he believes it isn’t necessary.”

    read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.815904

  9. amigo
    October 7, 2017, 4:22 pm

    “Opinion In Israel’s Eyes, No Palestinian Struggle Is Legitimate

    Palestinians who oppose violent struggle champion diplomacy. But in Israel these days, that’s also considered terror.

    A headline in Haaretz on Wednesday reported that President Trump told the secretary general of the United Nations that Benjamin Netanyahu was more difficult to deal with on the peace process than Mahmoud Abbas. That’s can’t be true. Our Netanyahu? Bibi? More difficult than Abbas? There must be some mistake. After all, Netanyahu is dying to make peace. Year after year he has stood on the podium at the United Nations and declared, as clear as penguin black and white: “The people of Israel pray for peace,” and “I am still committed to the vision of peace.”

    It’s just that “there’s no partner,” because “we’re surrounded by wild animals,” because Abbas doesn’t represent the whole Palestinian people, because they’re not ready for democracy, look what’s happening in Gaza. Did they seize the opportunity we gave them? Did they build a port there, concentrate on fishing and make their living from tourism? If only they had the political acumen of Ben-Gurion. The day we give them the West Bank, “Hamastan” will be established there.

    When the Palestinian Authority “unilaterally” joined Interpol – that is, without the Israeli master’s consent – it was framed here as a “diplomatic defeat” on the right, and, shockingly, in the center and the left as well. What reason in the world could there be for people who support the establishment of a Palestinian state to thwart construction of infrastructure and democratic institutions on the Palestinian side?

    The minister for environmental protection, who is also minster of Jerusalem affairs, Zeev Elkin, said that “Israel cannot show restraint in the diplomatic war that the Palestinian Authority leadership is waging against us.” Begging your pardon, Elkin, but what does “diplomatic war” mean? The sick logic that has seeped through Israeli political discourse has enabled the appearance of oxymorons like “diplomatic war” and “diplomatic terror.” Diplomacy, after all, is the polar opposite of terror. Those who oppose violent struggle – that is, terror – champion diplomacy. But in Israel, that is also considered terror these days. So what the blazes do Israelis consider legitimate struggle? According to that same superficiality of metaphor with which the concept of terror is treated, we can call what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians “logical terror”: Palestine is not qualified for membership in Interpol because it is not a state, and we’ll never let you be a state.”

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