After a wee bit of education it’s become clear to me that what is widely know as “the peace process” should be renamed “the two state solution stalling process”. In the shadow of the US financial crisis, it’s quite obvious that the occupation will become lower on the American government’s priority list and funding will probably start diverting elsewhere. Seeing as the occupation can’t be sustained much longer, I think it’s safe to optimistically conclude that the two-state solution is unavoidable. So I’m left with one question to my own criminal government: Can’t you take a little sugar with your bitter pill? Do we really have to do this the hard way?
The Ironies of Recognizing the Jewish State
You’d think this bullshit would get old, but Israeli leaders never seam to get enough of this one. Just today (Ha’aretz):
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. envoy George Mitchell… that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.”
I remember something Chomsky said about the issue of “the recognition of the Jewish state” in an interview, once. It was along the lines of “How can you not recognize someone when they’re pointing a gun in your face?” (not a quote, but my own impression of what he said, as I can’t recall the source.)
The other irony would be that Israel refuses to recognize Palestinians as a people, by the commonly accepted falsehood that the Palestinians didn’t assert this “questionable” identity before 1948. Another way to do this is by dividing the people of the occupied territories from the so-called “Israeli Arabs”- a term that embeds this separation in the language and thus the culture, in addition to the physical separation. Hence the impossible situation in which every “Israeli Arab” that calls himself “Palestinian” is deemed a traitor, sympathizing with “the enemy”.
The funny thing is that no one is actually denying that Israel is a Jewish state. On the contrary. Everybody knows it’s the reality on the ground, and that’s why many condemn it. I believe that by diverting the conversation to a phenomena that doesn’t really exist, Israel is implementing yet more of its typical rhetoric, in order to stall the two-state solution.
Netanyahu also stated in the same article:
“Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples…”
On a personal side-note and speaking for myself only, I don’t want the recognition of my country as a Jewish state. Let’s say we have two states. One Palestinian and the other Jewish. I’m an atheist. I was born on the disputed land Israel/Palestine. I reject the Jewish symbols that my country has adopted as nationality- that doesn’t represent me. Just for argument’s sake and with no intent to offend, I’d even go so far as to say that I’m a Palestinian (Palestine is the original name of this territory, since Roman times!). Which of these states will accept me as a citizen with such a loyalty crisis?
Hand in Hand Opposition and Coalition
What I’m always truly at awe with, in my fascist haven of a country is that the self-proclaimed opposition goes hand in hand with the coalition, wether they intend to, or not. While the opposition opposes the government on grounds of personal politics, the coalition trips it up for the exact same reason. The Issues themselves are just a platform to jump from, right into the Prime Ministerial chair, as quick as possible (and down here, it happens quickly…). And that’s how you get United States envoy George Mitchell stuck between opposition hyena Livny and Coalition vulture Lieberman.
So while Tzipi Livny whispers in one ear (Ha’aretz):
“lack of progress in the peace process was not to Israel’s benefit… Israel must determine its borders at the same time as fighting terror.”
Avigdor Lieberman whispers into the other (same article):
“"New ideas" must be found, because the path taken by previous governments did not lead to "good places, to say the least… Past prime ministers were prepared to make wide-ranging concessions and the result of the Olmert-Livni government was the second Lebanon war, the operation in Gaza, severance of relations with Qatar and Mauritania, [abducted Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit still in captivity and the peace process at a dead end…”
By now you must be familiar with Lieberman’s inauguration speech, where he declared Israel is not bound by commitments it made at a U.S.-sponsored summit in Annapolis. Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to clearly state his policy towards the Palestinians and really it seems that there’s no connections between the government factions. Although Ha’aretz journalist, Yoel Marcus, decided (with typical Israeli inability to analyze a situation, due to Zionist blinders) that this mess is shrewdly premeditated, I’m highly doubting that assumption. The likelihood of this situation was obvious, and people were questioning Lieberman’s appointment to foreign affairs, the minute it came up, based on his racist reputation towards Arabs.
The ugly part of all this is the cynicism dripping from Netanyahu, excusing this current stalling with what he calls “a unity government”. So we’re suppose to understand that it’s hard to reach an agreement because of the multiplicity of opinion in government, on the Palestinian issue. It’s not like he doesn’t support settlements, Lieberman doesn’t support proof of loyalty from Arab citizens, and Livny wasn’t a major player in he Gaza onslaught… Nothing like that…
While “my” government is busy tripping each other over a cardboard crown, I’d like to agree with Lieberman for a split second; The Road Map is a road to nowhere. I’d like to support that with the words of Abraham John Muste:
“There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”