Palestinian ‘Gratitude’ to the Netanyahu Government

(The following is a cautionary thought exercise, demonstrating the severe dysfunctionality of Israel’s settlement policies and the damage they cause her security needs. For provocative  effect, I have pretended to voice the views of a Palestinian enemy of Israel’s existence. There is hardly a sentence of it I don’t object to. But the relative accuracy or inaccuracy of my depiction of one Palestinian perspective is not the issue, nor could any such rhetorical device ever fail to be controversial. The point is to dramatize the dangers to Israel, present and future, of the direction in which our current Government is propelling us. For clarity: I am a liberal Zionist.)

Mr. Netanyahu, you are the gift that keeps giving and the solution to our practical problems. Thank you.

Of course we believe our own narrative, even if it is one we have devised recently and applied retroactively. For us, whatever your convoluted history, you are just the latest invaders who tried to steal our land and drive us out. We survived the Crusaders, Turks, British and all the others and will survive you too.

Your Jewish dilemma is of European-Western origin and cannot be solved at the expense of the innocent inhabitants of a land with which you may have had some ancient connection, long ago ruptured and rendered irrelevant, no matter what your rabbis say. If you want reparations, demand it from the Romans and the others who persecuted you down the ages, not from us.

Your claim to ownership of Palestine based on the Torah is debatable, authoritative for believers in this religious text and at best virtual for anyone else. Your attempt to libel as “anti-Semitic” anyone who disputes that claim is pathetic and meaningless in today’s globalist and secular world. Our claim to this land has the force of history and indigenous residence bolstering it. We were and are the natives of this land, you are the foreign invaders, nothing else counts.

We could magnanimously allow the presence in our future state of Palestine, from the river to the sea, of a limited number of your ultra-orthodox population, the so-called “haredim”. They could live and worship as a tolerated religious minority similar to the Druze, Armenians, and the various Christian sects, with no national aspirations or rights. We are not anti-Jewish, we are only the righteous resisters to your false ideology of Jewish nationalism, which artificially attempts to convert your religious character into a national entity.

Now we come to our problem, and the excellent solution you are providing for it. Our world operates to an enormous extent on the marketing of symbols, slogans, and images, moreso now in the age of powerful social media than ever before. You have had an easy time of selling your narrative, based on your sad Jewish history, and thereby justifying your colonization of Palestine, with its inevitable dynamic of expropriation, ethnic cleansing and ultimately, annexation. Your situation at the end of WW2 was indeed desperate, and you expertly manipulated the guilt of the Western world (which REALLY didn’t want to absorb the remaining Jewish population of Europe) into providing a hypocritical UN legitimation for creating your racist Jewish state.

You managed it well, with the story of persecuted refugees reaching their ancient promised land, founding idealistic kibbutzim and making the desert bloom, the whole “Holocaust to redemption” fable. It was a compelling, feel-good narrative, enabling an exhausted post-war Western world to conveniently neutralize an old irritant. The bothersome Jewish problem could be solved in a far-away compartment in the Middle East, with negligible cost to a few backward peasants living in a pre-modern rural society.

We didn’t make our lives any easier by playing the role of the savage heathens to the hilt. We had poor leaders, both among the Palestinians and among our wonderful Arab brothers in neighbouring countries, only too happy to exploit our weaknesses in divvying-up Palestine for themselves. They played right into the imagery of genocidal enemies of the oppressed Jewish people, seeking only to destroy everything they had so heroically built and to slaughter them all.

Israel could thus maintain that it was merely acting in self-defense, through all the wars and even after conquering the remainder of Palestine in 1967. The argument that no one could expect Israel to commit suicide by limiting its self-defense capacity, or by ceding strategic territory to bloody-minded enemies, prevailed. Would America tolerate insurgencies or missiles flying into its territory from Canada or Mexico? Obviously not. Behind the masquerade of fighting for survival, Israel could stealthily legitimize the West Bank settlement enterprise and the ongoing racist injustices of its society.

The Arab challenge was how to reveal the truths behind this smokescreen. It is complicated, not least because of certain blemishes on our side of the conflict, including extremist religious fundamentalism and those among us who are the mirror image of the Jewish supremacists running Israel. One of our biggest problems is the Israeli moderates, like those who signed the Oslo Accords in the 1990s and pretended to be working toward a “two-state solution”. Yitzchak Rabin represented a huge danger to our cause, and we are forever grateful to his assassin. To our relief, the internal contradictions of the Jewish camp have reduced their moderates to minority status and their Left to near-extinction.

However, it has taken Netanyahu’s creation of the most openly and explicitly Zionist-racist Government in Israel’s history to tear the veil from her face and unmask the reality. The myth of Israel’s defense narrative has been exposed, far better than we could accomplish. The program of settlement-expansion throughout the West Bank has nothing to do with defense, and in fact weakens Israel’s security by spreading its forces out to protect more and more sitting-duck targets for our Palestinian freedom fighters to resist.

Israel can no longer pretend that its goal is anything other than restoring the “Greater Land of Israel”.  We no longer have to labour to show that Israel is an expansionist, colonialist project, and that its pretensions to moderation and progress are just public relations hype. Mr. Netanyahu and his government are doing the heavy lifting for us, more efficiently than we could on our own.

Proving Israel is an apartheid entity and therefore to be fought with the same tools and unanimity deployed in the anti-South African struggle, was for long difficult. Israel’s free elections, independent judiciary, Arab members of Knesset, Supreme Court justices, Arab professionals in every field, the absence of racial segregation, etc. made it tough going. This Government is sweeping those obstacles away, one by one, and prolonging and deepening the occupation of the West Bank where it is blatantly on display.

Netanyahu and colleagues are on a trajectory to annexation, which will facilitate our full Trojan horse strategy. That is when we will demand “one-man-one-vote”, and assert our growing demographic superiority, especially if they are crazy enough to annex Gaza, too! That is how we will eventually dismantle the evil Jewish state from within through a classic civil rights movement, secure in the sympathy and support of the rest of the world and its rejection of Israel’s transparent, obsolete excuses. Only the resurrection of Israeli moderation could threaten that game plan. If it occurs, we will destroy it as in the past with creative, patriotic acts of what the world calls terrorism and we call resistance.

About the Author
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, studied at McGill, U. of California, Berkeley, and the London School of Economics, living in Israel since 1976, former director of the WUJS Institute (Arad) and of the Israel-Diaspora Institute (Tel Aviv U.), involved in the Israeli plastics industry (former vice-president of ZAG Ltd.), and later in the aquaculture industry in Sri Lanka. Resident in Ra'anana.