For the politically illiterate, the story goes that Ehud Barak ordered the Hebron eviction, therefore he was to blame. For the mainstream, this was enough. All the right ministers came out and condemned Barak, while feigning loyalty to the PM. Barak got all the blame, and thus he took the beating. Bibi was left unscathed, even though the action could not have occurred without the PM’s approval.
But all this theatre is merely a distraction because what the Hebron eviction really reveals is the Netanyahu regime’s land policy. Considering the amount of illegal properties the Arabs build on Israeli land without penalty or eviction, the Netanyahu regime quite clearly holds PA territory above that of our own sovereignty, despite Netanyahu’s noises to the contrary.
Later, on the day of the Hebron eviction, the PM released a disingenuous statement, but if you weren’t listening you could’ve easily missed it, and most people did as they were incensed by the Hebron episode. While Bibi said he’s ‘for increasing the Jewish presence in Hebron’ it came with the key phrase tagged on at the end, ‘but within the law’. So Bibi’s in favour of expanding the Jewish presence in Hebron, as long as it is within the confines set out with the Oslo Accords? If the leader of a democracy cannot recommend changes or amendments to the law, then who can? This is the very reason we elect politicians, to represent our needs. And where required, propose laws that help improve our lives in some way.
This subtle revelation shows us something fundamental about the way Netanyahu manipulates public opinion, as well as something else about his underlying motivations as a politician…
At a time of difficulty for the Netanyahu regime, either a lefty or right winger comes out with the appropriate noises, thus quelling the crowd and soothing the masses. So for example, when Abbas threatened to go to the UN to have a Palestinian state declared (after Obama’s UN speech in Sept 2010, in which he stated that within a year there would be a Palestinian state), Danny Danon was dispatched to make threats that any changes on the ground would mean annulling the Oslo Accords, meaning Israel would be free to annexe Judea and Samaria. At other times Israel’s Russian bear, Avigdor Lieberman, has been wheeled out. In the case of Hebron and Migron, Lieberman took his threats to the highest possible level (before any action would actually be required) and threatened coalition stability.
This is a new and improved Netanyahu we’re seeing. Last time he was PM (1996-9) he also agreed to expel the indigenous Jewish community from Hebron. But that still wasn’t enough for US Pres Bill Clinton, desperate to find anything that could help a peace agreement breakthrough, thus help give Clinton a much sought after legacy. So Bill helped Ehud Barak get rid of Bibi, and Barak as PM was more ready to talk to Syria and betray our Christian allies in Lebanon by pulling out of there. Bibi learned from this episode…
The Hebron episode contained a key clue to it. If Netanyahu effectively said he supports past, defunct, agreements above the sovereignty of his nation, it means something. It means he’s still keeping the agreed PA territory in tact while at the same time the PA is attempting to get Israel harassed by the ICC (International Criminal Court) for alleged war crimes. It’s not that Bibi is that stupid, he knows what’s going on but it all boils down to what each Israeli leader currently desires, a Nobel Prize for Peace.
When the likes of Shaul (Sha’ul) Mofaz, recently elected head of Kadima, made noises about going back to ’67 and beyond’, as well as threatening the ‘settlers beyond the Green Line’, he was laughed out of town by the majority of the Israeli electorate. But this is no different from what we’re seeing of Bibi, and Bibi made a similar statement to Mofaz on the day of the Hebron evictions.
This isn’t just food for the soul of the Israeli left. These politicians are sounding their mating call to the international community, those Arabists in the US State Dept, the likes of Catherine Ashton at the EU, and the Nobel Committee, that if they think creating a Palestinian state will get them awarded a Nobel Prize, then they’ll do it.
As with Peres, it doesn’t matter if being awarded the Nobel Prize for the Oslo Accords* means the peace won’t hold, it doesn’t matter to them if Arafat arms his ‘police’ force to many times the agreed size in preparation for another intifada, and neither do Jews in Hebron or a million Israelis hiding in bomb shelters matter. They are politically expendable. What matters is Israel’s political class are sufficiently rewarded for giving us the honour of being led by them (like lambs to the slaughter?).
This is why Prime Minister Netanyahu’s actions on the ground contradict his statements. This is why he’ll probably delay an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations until after the US elections. This is why Jews in Judea are treated like our enemies, and our enemies are given the benefit of the doubt, no matter how much evidence backs up that doubt. This is why every successive leader, since 1993, has attempted to enforce the hare-brained ideas of the international community.
Ironically, it seems that at long last we have something we can be grateful for to Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat. If it weren’t for the infamous three ‘Nos’ (no peace, no recognition, no negotiations with Israel), the key being no recognition of a Jewish State, then they would’ve accepted the above leaders offers and we would’ve long since had an Iran-backed terror proxy state next door.
At least some leaders around here stick to their principles…
*to be fair to Rabin, even though I have my criticisms of him, he did begin to voice doubts about Arafat’s sincerity over Oslo, even before negotiations started. It was Peres who was really behind pushing the Oslo Accords despite all the warning signs. Later, after the signing of the Accords and the massive amount of casualties incurred by Israel, Rabin conceived of our security wall which has saved a great many lives.
David Brooks’ blog is Empires of Sand where he writes about various issues relating to Israel.