Something is changing in North Africa and in the Middle East, it’s obvious. And it seems that something is changing also in Washington. I don’t remember a president of the United States speaking about some “untouchable” things like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with such rotundity. He openly criticized the settlement activity of Israel in the West Bank and defended the two states solution with the borders decided in 1967, which would make retreat Israel from many places now under occupation or covered by settlements in the West Bank to make possible a Palestinian State with a territorial continuity. And he remained the suffering, and humiliations of the Palestinians in today’s situation.
That last part wast the most different in this Barack Obama speech, talking about the right of the Palestinian people and recognizing the hurt made to them.
After that it came the old story: the old a solid friendship between the US and Israel, the right of Israel for self-defense, and that in the picture of a State for the Palestinians, it would be demilitarized, which is like be deprived to the right of self-defense just because they are not the old friend, but the menace.
This was said a day before a meeting between Obama and the prime minister of Israel Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, who is not very happy with what he heard. His press office already said that go back to the borders of 1967 is impossible because would left many israeli populations out of their territory (the illegal settlements and the occupied part of East Jerusalem that Israel count already as part of his map). So the fact occupation is going forward day by day and nothing is stopping it. Going back to the border is for them out of the question.
I was really disturbed by an op-ed article published in The New York Times by Dany Danon I read a few hours before the President’s Speech. He is a member and a representative in the Knesset for Likud, the party of Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said that if the Palestinians make a unilateral action in the UN to get recognized his land as a State, Israel would be justified to take another unilateral actions like occupy the West Bank and (I quote)
“extend full Israeli jurisdiction to the Jewish communities and uninhabited lands of the West Bank. This would put an end to a legal limbo that has existed for 44 years. In addition to its obvious ideological and symbolic significance, legalizing our hold on the West Bank would also increase the security of all Israelis by depriving terrorists of a base and creating a buffer against threats from the east. Moreover, we would be well within our rights to assert, as we did in Gaza after our disengagement in 2005, that we are no longer responsible for the Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who would continue to live in their own — unannexed — towns. These Palestinians would not have the option to become Israeli citizens, therefore averting the threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population”.
So, if this is the plan of Likud, let’s say good-by to peace and let’s say hello to a very particular view to de concept of the democracy, the ethnic democracy.
Are you saying that the growing Palestinian population is a menace to israeli democracy? Are you saying that the growing arab population in the Israeli territories are also a threat to your democracy because with their if they right to vote, the Knesset is having some arabs representatives and if all the Palestinians enter the game they would be very significant?
Your only view is to have a Palestinian population secluded in a few villages without connection with the rest of the world, without connection with themselves, without citizenship and convert their cities and villages in refugee camps, like today’s Gaza?.
Besides: Who can talk about unilateral decisions in this area?. Todays conflicts are the offspring of many unilateral decisions of Israel against direct resolutions from the UN, with the occupation of lands not only in the West Bank, but in Syria and Lebanon, destructions of homes, constructions of settlements, evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, seizing of farm lands, and so on. So, if this are the dispositions of Likud, the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu in Washington today, if is frank, it’s going to be a clash.