Author

Ilan Pappé

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Ilan Pappe writes: “American peacemakers, whether cynical or genuine in their efforts, have consistently failed to understand the essence of the conflict in Palestine. If they ever want to solve it, they need to revisit the dispossession of Palestinians that occurred in 1948 and understand its significance and the fact that 70 years later, Israel continues to systematically displace Palestinians from their homes.”

Pine trees in the Yatir Forest which is being used to displace the Bedouin residents of the unrecognized village of Atir. The original caption on the photo from the website israeltoday.co.il read, "Since the formation of the State of Israel, tree planters have been busy creating forests in the holy land, which was a barren wasteland for centuries."

The policy of ethnic cleansing ever since 1948, and in particular since 1967, is a consensual issue in Israel and thus leaves very little hope for peace and reconciliation. This strategy is marketed differently domestically and externally: It is based on the need to ‘preserve Jewish identity’ to the Israeli public and abroad as ‘Israel’s need for security’. These concepts are used widely across the political spectrum in Israel and provide the ambiguous framework for the Israeli ‘national consensus’. They also underpin the political instruments which deny the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine and to bring about its goal of maintaining a Jewish majority. The problem with Israel thus is not a policy here or there, but its overall strategy that has not changed.