WORLDVIEW: The Israel nightmare

White House hugs

 
1,078Views 9Comments Posted 02/06/2020

By Jonathan Power

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has announced that in a month’s time he will start to annex the large-scale Jewish settlements inside Palestinian territory, a step as provocative as one can imagine. Not even President Donald Trump’s administration which has supported Israel with many measures has gone along with such thinking.

Supporting the creation of settlements, Trump appears to think, is one thing, annexing a step too far. On the other hand he has made it clear how close to Netanyahu he feels. He may well end up supporting the prime minister.

Most of the world, including all the European allies of the US, will not go along with annexation. The UN ruling that Jewish settlements are illegal under the Geneva Convention is supported by almost every country except the US.

It’s as clear as it’s ever been that a two-state solution can no longer be a viable political goal, because: a) in terms of the demographics a Muslim majority in Israeli-controlled territory is less than a decade away, b) the Israelis have effectively already created a single state encompassing both Jews and Palestinians. To all intents and purposes, it imitates the South Africa of apartheid days, a unitary state with a minority group attempting to rule by oppression over a majority.

South Africa
The only way to bring peace is to do what the white South Africans did under President F.W. de Klerk. As de Klerk once explained it to me, he felt compelled to negotiate with the African National Congress-led by Nelson Mandela, not because of the outside world's sanctions, but because he realized that South Africa was becoming unliveable for all and a way had to be found for the minority to live safely under the rule of the majority.

It's time overdue for the U.S. and Europe to make clear that the preservation of Israel as a pure Jewish state is no longer of strategic concern whose interests must be preserved at all cost, by money, by political muscle and, in case of a showdown, by military equipment. If this penny can be made to drop in the Israeli mind and the Jewish diaspora then, as did the white South Africans, it would be time to sit down with the Palestinians and work out how to return to a two-state solution or to hold an election in a unitary state. But first for this to happen the West has to shed its notion of the whole of the Middle East being strategically important.

 In an important essay in Prospect magazine, Edward Luttwak from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC made a convincing argument for this.

In strategic terms, he argued, the Arab-Israeli conflict has become almost irrelevant since the end of the Cold War. The conflict has had no impact on oil prices since the 1973 Saudi embargo, the last time the 'oil weapon' was wielded.

The US and some of its European friends seem to have bought the Israeli argument that they are potentially up against the threat of the combined armies of the Arab world. But military expenditure in all the Arab states, apart from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, has fallen rapidly since the 1973 war. Even when Egypt was aided by massive Soviet military purchases and gifts in the 1960s it was quickly defeated in both 1967 and 1973.

The annexation would make the West Bank into a patchwork of Bantustans as existed in South Africa during the years of minority rule and apartheid. It is an unstable solution that can only lead to continuous Palestinian uprisings that inevitably will take a big toll on civilians on both sides.

Outsiders, including Trump, have long held out hope for a two-state solution. But Netanyahu has killed this off without satisfactorily explaining to his own public how this will bring them peace. Probably around half of Israelis don’t back him on this but such is the political game in Jerusalem, at which Netanyahu excels, he is the dominant force.

Hanging over him is his trial for corruption that is coming up in July. By this annexation move, he hopes to mobilize the conservative half of the electorate to his defense. Perhaps he hopes to intimidate the judges.

 The US and the rest of the West should de-couple itself from the Middle East, from both the Arab side and the Israeli side. It should declare it has no strategic interest in the region. This would create the space for both the Palestinians and the Israelis that they need in order to come to an accommodation.

If Netanyahu persists in his aims he must be made to realize he stands alone. Without Western aid, both civilian and military, and diplomatic support by the US, the Israeli electorate, seeing itself cast loose, might well turn against him by a significant margin. A successor could end the talk of annexation, end the growth of settlements and compensate the Palestinians for land already settled by Jews by giving them Israeli land. This would work to restore the concept of a two-state solution and find a way to make a long-overdue peace with the Palestinians. If Netanyahu is convicted in the July trial then maybe this could still happen.



Comments 9

user
Jud

Islam did not come about until the 7th century when Mohamed the child molester was living. Sheesh.

3 months ago
user
Cicero3

== Muslims are killers by religion == Have you ever read the Old Testament? The books of Joshua and Judges describe the God-ordered enslavement, race war & genocide in Canaan. When Joshua conquers the city of Ai, he follows orders and exterminates all 12,000 residents in a biblical holy war without mercy. When he defeats and captures five kings, he murders his prisoners of war.

3 months ago
user
Jbbrown

Israel has always kicked the butts of the muzzfucks. Israel should hit Iran before they can hit first. Remember that the Jews are the chosen!

3 months ago
user
Jbbrown

Israel has always kicked the butts of the muzzfucks. Israel should hit Iran before they can hit first. Remember that the Jews are the chosen!

3 months ago
user
Oh ya

Someday some country will turn Israel into glass

3 months ago
user
Snake Pliskin

The US has always been involved. If you dont stop terrorism and communism at the root, it soon comes to your country. That is how it works, Stick. How do you figure it has nothing to do with the US? Remember 9-11? How about Korea? How about Ukraine? You are a fool. You know nothing about what you are saying.

3 months ago
user
Stick

Who are we trying to bullshit here? The Israelis have never seriously been interested in a two-state solution, and have dreamed of the day that they annex Palestine. We surely don't need the hate mongers of the US, including Trump and these two clowns with their anti-Muslim garbage, spreading their ill-will in affairs that should not have anything to do with the US. In my opinion, the Israelis are more evil and prejudiced than the Palestinians could ever be. One thing I do know, the US cannot afford to be involved in any one nation annexing another.

3 months ago
user
Jbbrown

The Muslims don't want peace they want subjugation of others very similar to leftists. Israel should take what they want and the ragheads be damned! If the ragheads want to fight than Israel can push them back 30 miles and take even more land. Muslims are like the rioters in the USA they only understand force and at least the Israeli's have balls

3 months ago
user
Snake Pliskin

JP. Need I say more? I like to watch Israel grow but not for the reasons most people do. Most people have been taught that Israel was promised to Abraham's descendants la la la la la. I do not but I will not debate that here. I like it because in an Islamic part of the world, I like to see less Muslims and more of...... anything else. Muslims are killers by religion and that is not going to change. So more Israel and less Palestine is fine by me.

3 months ago
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