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Sharon’s vision for 2 states was Palestinians’ ‘total surrender’ to a fortress state — Shehadeh

Israel/Palestine
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Raja Shehadeh

Raja Shehadeh

Two excellent pieces on Sharon at The Nation and The New Yorker explain that the Greater Israel with which the world is now burdened (i.e., it devoured the West Bank) was Ariel Sharon’s creation.

Max Blumenthal at The Nation says that Sharon left Israel no exit from the occupation. “How Ariel Sharon Shaped Israel’s Destiny: In a bloody career that spanned decades, he destroyed entire cities and presided over the killing of countless civilians.” You know the back story, here’s the conclusion:

Israeli settlements are firmly entrenched in the West Bank and encircle East Jerusalem, reducing Palestinian areas to the “pastrami sandwich” of non-contiguous bantustans that Sharon had originally envisioned. With the peace process effectively embalmed in political “formaldehyde,” right-wing elements have achieved unfettered dominance over the Jewish state’s key institutions. Typical of the new generation of Israeli rightists is Sharon’s corruption-stained son, Gilad, who has called Palestinian society a “predator,” an “animal” and “stabbers of babies.”

Now that Sharon’s unilateral vision appears to have been consolidated, Israel’s government must perpetually manage an occupation it has no intention of ending. It has no clear strategy to achieve international legitimacy and no endgame. Its direct line to Washington has become a life-support system for the status quo. Like Sharon, who spent his last years in a comatose state without any hope of regaining consciousness, Israel is only buying time.

The New Yorker balances, but does so fairly. On the one hand, it excerpts Ari Shavit’s 2006 piece on Sharon, “The General,” which while often critical (“More than any other single figure in Israel, Sharon led the transformation of a relatively modest and ascetic state into an occupying bully”), buys into Sharon’s enlightenment (“I don’t think that we need to rule over another people and run its life,” Sharon told Shavit, “I don’t think that we have the strength for that”).

But look who The New Yorker found to memorialize the late prime minister: Raja Shehadeh, the Palestinian trekker and lawyer, who explains in “Sharon’s Corrosive Legacy” that Sharon deceived the world about his objectives in the West Bank– they were to deny Palestinians any real sovereignty– and concludes eloquently that Sharon and other leaders who shared “his vision of Israel as a fortress state rather than one that can attain peaceful relations with its neighbors have done their own people the greatest disservice.”

Excerpt:

Can leaders like Sharon, whose special talents flourish only in periods of instability and war, have a vision of peace? During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Sharon proved a master at breaking ceasefires that the United States and others brokered. He used these same skills in his fight against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The pattern of Israeli assassinations and invasions of Palestinian territories suggests that whenever Sharon felt cornered into making a political concession for peace, his government would take an action that was bound to provoke Hamas or other militant Palestinian groups, thus ensuring the premature demise of any efforts at a political resolution to the conflict.

But Sharon knew that he was not going to live forever. He became less concerned with his own political survival than with his legacy. He sought to secure Israel’s hold on the maximum area of Palestinian land, while at the same time suppressing Palestinian resistance. What others called his vision for peace—which he pursued as relentlessly as he pursued war—was based on the total surrender of the Palestinian side and its submission to the dictates of a militarily stronger Israel. But with the whole world watching, Sharon’s brilliance was to portray Palestinian surrender as a painful compromise he was willing to make on behalf of his country, to win for it a true and lasting peace with its aggressive neighbors. This vision was based on sweeping aside the international consensus regarding the end of Israeli occupation of the territory seized by Israel in 1967.

This is extremely helpful analysis, from one of the most contemplative writers you’ll ever meet. The New Yorker is not reaching out to Shehadeh in an act of tokennism or bone-throwing, but because it recognizes the vital importance to the United States of our coming to terms with the Palestinian view of late Zionism (because they know it better than anyone else, and the solution of the conflict depends on their acceptance of a just outcome).

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

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42 Responses

  1. Abierno
    Abierno
    January 12, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Thanks for an impressive article, thanks for the links.

  2. flyod
    flyod
    January 12, 2014, 12:57 pm

    good to see raja getting some exposure. “Palestinian Walks…” is such a great little book. highly recommend

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    January 12, 2014, 2:18 pm

    Agree that it’s helpful analysis, and exposure. But what, specifically, makes you make the inferences, or proclaim the motives, in the last para?

    Sounds pretty definitive. Did you get an email?

    I hope you’re right.

  4. Shuki
    Shuki
    January 12, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Wow. Max Blumenthal and the founder of Al-Haq (an organization with terrorist ties that drove the anti Semitic Durban conference. Two voices of reason.

    The notion that a solution to the conflict depends on the palestinans acceptance of what they perceive to be a just outcome encapsulates why there has been perpetual conflict for 60 years – their idea of a just outcome is one in which there is no more Israel and the Jews are driven into the sea. As much as Max, Raja and Phil would like to see that happen, it won’t. Israel is too strong and her people know all too well what happens when their fate is left in the hands of others.

    • just
      just
      January 12, 2014, 4:51 pm

      Both ‘voices’ are far more reasonable than you have proved to be, Shuki.

      Are you mourning the passing of Sharon? Because what Raja Shehadeh says is quite painfully true:

      “that Sharon deceived the world about his objectives in the West Bank– they were to deny Palestinians any real sovereignty– and concludes eloquently that Sharon and other leaders who shared “his vision of Israel as a fortress state rather than one that can attain peaceful relations with its neighbors have done their own people the greatest disservice.””

      ergo, the ugly walls and the Israeli terrorism that has, thus far, gone unchecked.

      It cannot last.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      January 12, 2014, 5:33 pm

      Al Haq has terrorist ties and Amnesty international is a front for al Qa-ida.

      What planet are you on, Shuki?

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      January 12, 2014, 5:57 pm

      Do you even read what you write? You’re suggesting, sneeringly, that a negotiated resolution which depends on mutual agreement is somehow not contingent on BOTH sides actually agreeing to the terms? That’s just the obvious conceit/obstacle. You believe Palestinians should just shut up and agree to whatever Israel presents as “fair.”

      The not immediately obvious obstacles are the perpetually shifting (e.g. Jewish State/nation-state of the Jewish people, or whatever it’s going to be tomorrow) goalposts presented by Israel. Well that and the Israeli precondition that there not to be any preconditions and that they alone decide what a precondition is. OK that’s two preconditions. And maybe that some things will NOT be discussed (i.e. Jerusalem and suburbs). Crap, that’s three preconditions. And Ariel… D’Oh! And the Jordan Valley… D’Oh! And water rights… D’Oh! And Eastern Borders… D’Oh! Outposts… D’Oh! Checkpoints… D’Oh! D’Oh! D’Oh!

      Etc. Etc. Etc.

      What were we “negotiating: again? Why can’t the Palestinians just agree, Shuki asks?

      Agree to what, exactly?

      Time has run out on this game. Thirty years ago you could play it with some plausibility of equal blame. Not now. Too much info and history on Israel’s strategy of bad faith.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 12, 2014, 6:22 pm

      >> Israel is too strong and her people know all too well what happens when their fate is left in the hands of others.

      You’re absolutely right: Palestinian Israelis do know that all too well.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 12, 2014, 7:38 pm

      @ Shuki

      Yep, everybody knows the Palestinians have been living on their land for many, many centuries, just waiting for Jews to invade their land so they could push them all into the sea. Just, as you said last Christmas Eve that, “The history of the 1967 war is well settled and there is little if any disagreement among legitimate scholars and historians with regard to the Arabs being the instigators.”

      You really need to move beyond page 1 of Hasbara 101, Shuki. Your endless lies are ridiculous and so, so very boring.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      January 12, 2014, 9:15 pm

      …Al-Haq (an organization with terrorist ties that drove the anti Semitic Durban conference.

      Durban, AKA the UN World Conference against Racism 2001, was anti-semitic, how? The proposed resolution about Israel’s obviously racist treatment of Palestinians criticised Israelis, not jews.

      their idea of a just outcome is one in which there is no more Israel and the Jews are driven into the sea.

      You’re a liar, and not a very good one. For more than 10 years Israel has been busy ignoring the Arab Peace Initiative. People around the world see it. And they see that most hasbara is just one lie after another.

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 12, 2014, 9:42 pm

      @ Shuki ” the anti Semitic Durban conference”

      The conditions that prompted the Arab states to adopt the three no’s were

      2. The conference has agreed on the need to consolidate all efforts to eliminate the effects of the aggression on the basis that the occupied lands are Arab lands and that the burden of regaining these lands falls on all the Arab States.

      3. The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/three_noes.html

      This is simply a reflection of UNSC res 476

      “1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;” http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8

      No peace with Israel: While territory sovereign to Egypt was under Israeli occupation the two states were technically at war. In the eventual Egypt Israel Peace Treaty Israel was first required and agreed to withdraw from all Egyptian territory before peaceful relations were assumed. http://wp.me/pDB7k-ZZ

      No recognition of Israel: There is no legal basis for demanding recognition.

      States plead for recognition http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      ” ..in the view of the United States, International Law does not require a state to recognize another state; it is a matter for the judgment of each state whether an entity merits recognition as a state. In reaching this judgment, the United States has traditionally looked of the establishment of certain facts. The United States has also taken into account whether the entity in question has attracted the recognition of the International community of states.” http://tinyurl.com/n6ftzn

      There are numerous UN Member states who do not recognize other UN Member States.

      All states are never the less required to show “respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. This is reflected in UNSC res 242. http://wp.me/PDB7k-6r#unscresolution242

      No negotiations: Israel is in breach of numerous UNSC resolutions, International Law, the UN Charter, relative conventions. There is no legal requirement for negotiations. For example the words ‘negotiate’, ‘negotiations’ do not appear in UNSC res 242 on which the Egypt Israel Peace Treaty is based.

      Israel was and still is required to adhere to the law, negotiations or not. Egypt and Jordan were correct in refusing negotiations while Israel was in breach of its legal obligations in respect to their sovereign territory.

      The signing of a negotiated peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was by default an act of recognition and; after Israeli withdrawal peaceful relations were assumed. Likewise with Jordan. Both are examples of what UNSC res 242 was formulated to achieve. The end of hostilities between UN Member States.

      However, while Israel occupies non-Israeli territories in Palestine, the Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms, the Alghajar village ( UNSC res 425 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/e25dae8e3ce54fb5852560e50079c708?OpenDocument and UNSC res 426 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/db9fd6b989bc0381852560e50079a532?OpenDocument ), Israel is technically at war and those states have a right to “restore” sovereignty over their territories. (Professor Stephen M. Schwebel / Elihu Lauterpacht http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#Schwebel )

      “Israel is too strong and her people know all too well what happens when their fate is left in the hands of others.”

      Uh huh. Israel’s people have been deceived for 65 years. The Zionist Movement‘s Israel has been led for 65 years to create illegal facts on the ground to a point where it cannot now afford to adhere to International Law without being sent bankrupt for decades.

    • Sammar
      Sammar
      January 13, 2014, 1:40 am

      Hi Shuki –

      what shampoo was used in your brainwash? Seems to have worked really well ;)

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 12, 2014, 5:32 pm

    RE: “Now that Sharon’s unilateral vision appears to have been consolidated, Israel’s government must perpetually manage an occupation it has no intention of ending.” ~ Max Blumenthal

    MY COMMENT: The Likud-run government of Israel has fully adopted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s concept of the “Iron Wall”: an approach that in essence calls for beating the Palestinians into submission. Hence Ariel Sharon’s dictum: that force is the only thing the Arabs understand. And the only alternative to force is more force.
    [ David Bromwich, Mondoweiss, 9/04/09 ]

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      January 12, 2014, 7:10 pm

      Avi Shlaim claims Ze’ev Jabotinsky meant the Iron Wall strategy to end at one point and not to go on forever.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 13, 2014, 1:43 am

        That would go diametrally against the core teaching of Wladimir Jabotinsky: an unrelenting, inflexible iron wall of bayonets, as he characterizes it, is not allowed to put down its guard before the last Palestinian is eliminated. That is, oin plain logic, the one point at which it can end. If Schlaim is proposing any contrary theory about his master it surely aims at more obfuscation.

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        January 16, 2014, 10:05 pm

        RE:“Avi Shlaim claims Ze’ev Jabotinsky meant the Iron Wall strategy to end at one point” ~ LeaNder

        MY COMMENT: If so, it would only be after Jews have unilaterally decided Israel’s borders (if they are ever satisfied with Israel’s borders).

        FROM WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

        [EXCERPT] . . . [Ze’ev] Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinians would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that “Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the
        native population cannot breach.”[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he [Ze’ev Jabotinsky] argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible. . .

        SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Wall_(essay)

        ENTIRE ‘IRON WALL’ ESSAY: “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

        P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Ethics of the Iron Wall”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – http://www.jabotinsky.org/multimedia/upl_doc/doc_191207_181762.pdf

  6. seafoid
    seafoid
    January 12, 2014, 5:35 pm

    Sharon was from Poland. Poland was carved up between 3 powers in the 1700s. Fortress Prussia, Austria and Russia.
    Poland never gave up. Came back in 1918. Why the f$ck would the Palestinians give up?

    • puppies
      puppies
      January 12, 2014, 6:43 pm

      Ariel Scheinermann, actually a Jewish Palestinian by birth. Parents from White Russia but born in Palestine. A traitor, in addition to all his other attractions.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        January 12, 2014, 6:58 pm

        Not that it matters, but his mother was born and grew up in Russia. She met Sharon’s father when he went to Russia (Odessa I think) for agriculture studies.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 13, 2014, 1:14 am

        puppies- Please explain, how Sharon is a traitor.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 13, 2014, 1:50 am

        Already explained. He was born in Palestine, as a Jewish Palestinian. He joined the foreign Zionist invaders and took arms against his fellow Palestinians; he became one of the most heinous criminal against peace in those ranks. If that does not characterize a traitor, I don’t know what would.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 13, 2014, 7:44 pm

        puppies- This is ridiculous. He took up arms not against his fellow Palestinians but against those that would limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. His interests and theirs were not the same. This is not treachery. It’s called sectarianism.

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 13, 2014, 4:51 am

        @ yonah fredman “Please explain, how Sharon is a traitor”

        Anyone who leads their country towards a position where it can no longer afford to abide by International Law because its illegal facts on the ground are tooooooooo expensive to undo, is a traitor and an idiot. Sharon was a traitorous idiot, fittingly killed by his own obesity.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 13, 2014, 5:42 am

        talknic- I doubt that is what puppies meant.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        January 13, 2014, 6:30 am

        talknic:

        illegal facts on the ground are tooooooooo expensive to undo…

        There are no “facts on the ground” that are too expensive to undo. Expense isn’t the problem.

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 14, 2014, 12:29 am

        Sibiriak “There are no “facts on the ground” that are too expensive to undo. Expense isn’t the problem”

        It is now. Israel would be sent bankrupt for decades & likely erupt into civil war outside of Israel’s actual sovereign extent

        Israel would lose the ability to exploit lucrative resources in non-Israeli territories it now occupies.
        It would lose the income derived from selling non-Israeli land to illegal Israeli settlers
        It would lose the ongoing rates, taxes on those properties.
        It would lose billions of dollars worth of future and past investment
        It would be faced with compensating those Israeli’s who have been duped into illegally settling in non-Israeli territories while at the same time;
        It would be faced with having to re-locate and house hundreds of thousands if not a million or more Israelis currently in non-Israeli territory http://wp.me/pDB7k-tM#nonannexed-territories back into Israeli territory and;
        It would be faced with compensating Palestine, not just Palestine and Palestinian refugees
        If civil war were to erupt in non-Israeli territories between the Israeli Govt and hundreds of thousands of Israelis not wanting to move OR become citizens of Palestine, the neighbouring Regional Powers would have every right to intervene, as they did in 1948

        Israel would become a failed state

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 14, 2014, 7:03 am

        @Friedman (no Reply button) Don’t be even more ridiculous. No one outside your bubble is asking your racist definitions of things. In the regular world, if you are born in Palestine and get a Palestinian birth certificate (see one here: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/a-palestinian-messenger.html#comment-624284, and your country is still your country under a mandate administration), your loyalty in times of war (caused by gratuitous Zionist invader aggression) is to the people of your country, not to some invader whom you fancy on religious and racial grounds. The opposite in the normal world is called treason.
        A clearer example is, for anyone born in the US who did not explicitly relinquish his citizenship, that he’ll hang if he plays Israel first when we get openly attacked by the Zionist state.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        January 14, 2014, 8:36 am

        talknic:

        Israel would be sent bankrupt for decades & likely erupt into civil war outside of Israel’s actual sovereign extent

        You make some excellent points about the costs that would be incurred by Israel if a reasonable two-state settlement were agreed upon.

        I’m not persuaded, however, that Israel’s refusal to accept a reasonable 2ss is best framed in terms of the expenses that would be involved, rather than in terms of a complete lack of political will to pursue such a solution.

        Before I continue, let me clarify one point: reasonable two-state settlement proposals, including those from the Arab League, have involved allowing Israel to retain a good portion of the settlements via land swaps, so a complete removal of settlers is not what we are discussing.

        Let’s look at the two issues you raise— potential bankruptcy and civil war.

        Potential Bankruptcy

        Israel would lose the ability to exploit lucrative resources in non-Israeli territories it now occupies. It would lose the income derived from selling non-Israeli land to illegal Israeli settlers. It would lose the ongoing rates, taxes on those properties

        It would lose billions of dollars worth of future and past investment. It would be faced with compensating those Israeli’s who have been duped into illegally settling in non-Israeli territories while at the same time; It would be faced with having to re-locate and house hundreds of thousands if not a million or more Israelis currently in non-Israeli territory link to wp.me back into Israeli territory and; It would be faced with compensating Palestine, not just Palestine and Palestinian refugees

        You point to some important expenses that removal of some settlements and outposts would involve, but you fail to take into consideration 1) the savings that would counterbalance the costs, and 2) the massive amount of financial aid that would flow to Israel if a 2SS were agreed upon.

        Investment losses and the costs of compensation would be offset by the promised influx of aid, both to Israel and Palestine, from the U.S., the EU etc. that would accompany a reasonable two-state settlement.

        More importantly, the costs of the Occupation to Israel are enormous, and what benefits that do flow from it enrich narrow vested interests, not the society as a whole, and tend to reinforce the huge socio-economic inequality in Israel.

        The gist of your argument is that settlements are profitable for Israel, and that Israel would suffer great economic losses, indeed bankruptcy, if a portion of the settlements were removed. That contention, however, does not hold up to concrete economic analysis.

        Economist Shir Hever has made such a detailed analysis in his book, “The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation” (http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745327945&). A brief summary of his views can be found in his New Left Project article “Why Does Israel Still Occupy the Palestinians?”

        http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/print_article/why_does_israel_still_occupy_the_palestinians

        Shir Hever on the cost of the Occupation to Israeli society:

        Within Israel, the arguments used to support the occupation on the basis of its purported economic benefits to Israel have gone silent. Even Marxist economists who effectively demonstrated the profits derived by Israel from the occupation in its first two decades largely abandoned the notion that Israel occupies the Palestinian territories for economic profit after the First Intifada of 1987, since when Palestinian resistance to the occupation has exacted a heavy economic toll on Israel – although clearly Palestinians paid a much heavier price for daring to challenge Israel’s occupation (Swirski, 2005).

        The costs of the occupation to Israeli society can be divided into three. First, the massive subsidies to the illegal colonists in the West Bank are estimated at about US$ 3 billion annually and growing by 5%-8% annually. Second, the cost of security for the colonies, and the military expenditure to keep the Palestinians under control (both in the West Bank and Gaza) is about double that – at US$ 6 billion annually, and growing at about the same rate as the civilian costs (Hever, 2005). Third, the social costs of the occupation are too numerous and complex to list here, including the collapse of public services, social solidarity and democratic institutions within Israel, and the widening of social gaps to monstrous levels.

        Ever since the Israeli economy began to absorb cheap Palestinian labour in 1967, more and more companies adopted a business model dependent upon cheap labour, and so worker’s rights have been eroding, contributing to a spike in inequality (Swirski, 2005). Meanwhile, the dual legal system for Israeli citizens and for Palestinians has strained Israel’s democratic institutions beyond what they could bear (Kretzmer, 2002).

        It would therefore seem that the rational course of action for the Israeli government would be to end the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

        Shir Hever on the non-economic reasons for the continuation of the Occupation:

        So why do Israelis support the occupation, even though they realize that it is an economic burden? The answer is complex, as Israelis are not a homogeneous group. Several elite groups in Israel support the occupation because after decades of occupation and repression, they have become defined by it.

        1. The army commanders are trained and educated to see Palestinians as enemies, and have adopted a narrow, mechanistic approach to dealing with them. Rather than bother with the “why” of Palestinian resistance, they focus only on the “how” of controlling the Palestinians and suppressing their resistance. As a professional group which specializes in the use of force for problem solving, it is not surprising that soldiers and officers tend to adopt a right-wing perspective on the occupation, many of them strongly empathise with the colonists, and many young Israelis whose beliefs are more leftist find ways to evade military service. When conscription rates have fallen to about 50%, young Israelis who go to the army do so out of choice (Harel, 2010).

        2. Certain business interests, especially in the fields of arms trade, finance and “homeland security,” directly profit from the conflict (Klein, 2007). Many Israeli millionaires made their fortunes by providing services to the army, or by peddling temporary and ad-hoc “security” solutions to a public that has adopted fear as its main pillar of politics, culture and moral justification. Israel’s domestic demand for security products is extremely large. According to OECD publications, Israel spends 8% of its GDP on security (OECD, 2010), which makes it as the most militarized state in the OECD, (most OECD countries spend 1%-2% of their GDP on security). It also places Israel as one of the biggest spenders on security in the world. But a recent study found that Israel actually spends a lot more on security than the official figures admit. A more accurate estimate is that Israel spends 12.3% of its GDP on security (Wolfson, 2009).

        Israel has also become one of the world’s largest arms exporters, estimated to be the 4th biggest global exporter (Associated Press, 2007). Israeli arms companies are able to present themselves as “experts in fighting terrorism,” because of their close ties with the Israeli army and the fact that their equipment is used and tested on Palestinians. The same logic also made Israel the world’s capital of “homeland security” products (Gordon, 2009).

        This reality is clearly the result of decades of conflict, occupation and resistance to occupation.

        Financial companies also benefit from the culture of fear and the instability in the capital markets, although their benefits are less direct than those of the arms dealers.

        3. Israeli politicians, many of them former military commanders, compete with each other for the image of the “tough guy,” to best assuage the worries of a fear-stricken population, even as they stoke the flames of panic.

        Netanyahu is a prime example of this. On the one hand, he markets himself as Israel’s “strong leader,” and attacks his opponents as “soft.” On the other hand, he continuously expresses fear of Iran’s possible nuclear weapons.

        Such politicians have nothing to gain by making compromises in the framework of negotiations with Palestinian leaders, because were the repression of Palestinians to end and the conflict to subside, the political capital of these politicians would lose its value, and they would quickly be replaced by a new generation of politicians (Ben Meir, 1995).

        More significant than these elite groups, however, are lower socioeconomic classes in Israel, which deserve special attention. Although this group is cut-off from the centres of military, economic and political power, it is also the largest group in Israeli society, with massive electoral power.

        The Jewish lower classes in Israel, whose members are disproportionately religious, unemployed and poor, and who disproportionately originate from Arab countries, have been largely supportive of Israel’s military adventures and opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state (Shalev, Peled & Yiftachel, 2000). Etc.

        (See the article for the rest of his argument)
        ——————————-

        Civil War

        Talknic:

        If civil war were to erupt in non-Israeli territories between the Israeli Govt and hundreds of thousands of Israelis not wanting to move OR become citizens of Palestine, the neighbouring Regional Powers would have every right to intervene, as they did in 1948.

        The real problem of a possible civil war is a political one, not an economic one. If the Israel government, backed by a strong majority of the population truly wanted to remove a portion of the West Bank settlers, they certainly have the financial wherewithal to do so. Israel has engaged in a whole string of wars since its inception—it could certainly afford to suppress a settler revolt. The problem is: there is no political will to do so.

        Israel would become a failed state.

        Israel is right now an apartheid state—which is a guaranteed failure. Ending the occupation and agreeing to a reasonable two-state settlement, however, would only make things better for Israel, not worse. If a 2SS were achieved, Israel could begin the long process of transforming itself from a Jewish-supremacist ethnocratic state into a democratic state for all its citizens. The Occupation and the militarist-messianic mentality wedded to it only delays that much-needed and inevitable transformation.

      • talknic
        talknic
        January 14, 2014, 1:21 pm

        @Sibiriak My post was on Israel adhering to the law.

        Negotiations are the only legal way for Israel to circumvent the law.

      • just
        just
        January 13, 2014, 5:47 am

        Wonder why he changed his name. Wasn’t Scheinermann catchy enough?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 13, 2014, 6:34 am

        This is Father Coughlin turf. I hope you’re proud.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 13, 2014, 7:55 am

        They changed their names to leave the past behind but it didn’t matter because they became Cossacks. They cannot escape the past.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 14, 2014, 6:47 am

        So freaking what? Yours is on Smuts and Rhodes turf.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 14, 2014, 7:13 am

        @just – All these fake-Hebrew renamings were intended to kill Yiddish culture and language. You can get a load of that in the ravings of the inventors of Zionism. They wanted the abhorred gentle souls of the “staedtl” to disappear (in which they fully agreed with some other people…) and the birth of warriors. Very successful social engineering.

  7. Krauss
    Krauss
    January 12, 2014, 6:19 pm

    More than any other single figure in Israel, Sharon led the transformation of a relatively modest and ascetic state into an occupying bully

    I always laugh when I read Centrist/Liberal Zionists write these things. It’s the same ‘ol “let’s blame the Likudniks!” trope. No word that Labor Zionists increased the settlements the most. No word that the de facto ethnic cleansing campaigns in ’48 and ’67 were both done by Labor Zionists. No word that the initial settlements were built by Labor Zionists.

    And so on. This is why these people lose. Sharon was and remains a convenient scapegoat. He was better at what he did than almost anyone else. But to place the most blame on him or other Likudniks for the situation is not a viable strategy. This is why “liberal” Zionists always lose in the left-wing discourse.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      January 12, 2014, 6:25 pm

      I’m pleased that Remnick allowed Raja Shehadeh space to write honestly about the situation and notice the immediate difference in intelligent analysis.

      Sharon, in this analysis, doesn’t become scapegoat for convenient liberal Zionist analysis seeking to shift blame but is placed in a complicated system with his own ambitions and faults.

      Yet at the same time, he is never severed time from the nation’s political echelon where there is a shared ideology which may have competing interests for different people and ideological camps but where there’s a unified core nonetheless with the same broad objectives.

      Sharon in this analysis becomes a more nuanced figure, but also a much more threatening to people sympathetic to Zionism who claim to be liberal, because he is placed in context and can no longer be dismissed as a caricature onto which to blame ‘excess’ – thereby saving the ideological core – instead of seeing him as a natural outcome of a comprehensive set of ideas unified under the banner of Zionism.

    • Sammar
      Sammar
      January 13, 2014, 1:44 am

      @ Krauss

      Sharon was not a convenient scapegoat. He was a butcher and a war criminal.
      He may have been better at what he did than anyone else, although I think there are plenty of people in Israeli politics and the “most moral army” in the world who can or would like to give him a run for his money.

      Yes, a lot of the ethnic cleansing was done by the Labor Zionists. That does not absolve Sharon of the despicable actions he committed. I do not think that history in the long run will see him as a scapegoat but rather as a war criminal.

  8. poohbah
    poohbah
    January 13, 2014, 1:43 am

    nice summary by Robert Fisk of the Independent:

    http://www.timesofoman.com/Columns/Article-1621.aspx

  9. bijou
    bijou
    January 13, 2014, 6:36 am

    the Palestinians’ idea of a just outcome is one in which there is no more Israel and the Jews are driven into the sea.

    Oh really? Have you ever spoken to a Palestinian? Even one? No? I thought so.

    This view sounds to me like a projection. This is exactly what Israel did to Jaffa in 1948.

    I suggest you stick to characterizing what Israel wants and leave the assertions of what Palestinians actually want to them.

  10. amigo
    amigo
    January 13, 2014, 8:18 am

    “Public security minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch launched a criminal investigation after far-right elements issued advertisements celebrating Mr Sharon’s death.”

    Funny how the zios keep telling us about free speech in Israel.

    Apparently , one cannot celebrate the death of a leader in Israel.

    Israel is a very immature and insecure democracy.

  11. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    January 13, 2014, 11:21 am

    I guess that people (and magazines) have OBITs ready for when needed. Shehada’s wonderful conclusion

    Sharon’s brilliance was to portray Palestinian surrender as a painful compromise he was willing to make on behalf of his country, to win for it a true and lasting peace with its aggressive neighbors. This vision was based on sweeping aside the international consensus regarding the end of Israeli occupation of the territory seized by Israel in 1967.

    is itself brilliant. How often do the Israelis wring their hands, crying over their own need to compromise — that is to return to the internationally recognized green-line boundaries? And their crying seems to be especially BECAUSE they have built AT ENORMOUS EXPENSE (but illegally, and thus not “of right”) in the OPTs (and Jolan Heights). [Is “Golan” an Israeli spelling or Egyptian Arabic spelling?]

    It is fascinating that The Nation and The New Yorker were both (it seems) “ready to go” with critical essays upon the occasion of Sharon’s demise.

    Are these in “print” or merely “electronic”? The New Yorker would be especially valuable if “in print”.

    • puppies
      puppies
      January 14, 2014, 7:24 am

      @pabelmont – “ENORMOUS EXPENSE” of MY tax money and Zionist collections from boobies, also subsidized with my tax money. I want it back and I’ll get it back.

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