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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Why Israel is an Apartheid State AND

Why Trump’s Honesty is Europe's Hypocrisy

There has been a massive reaction to Trump’s announcement that the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  European leaders have been unanimous in their disapproval.  If one didn’t know better one might assume they had been in the forefront of the BDS movement, as a means to pressurise Israel into a 2 States Solution.

But of course Theresa May, Macron et al. have been vociferous in condemning the ‘anti-Semitic’ Boycott  movement.  They are resolutely opposed to putting any pressure on Israel, knowing full well that no Zionist party in Israel (bar the tiny Meretz) supports a 2 State Solution.  It is in this respect interesting that the Israeli Labour Party under its new leader Avi Gabbay has welcomed Trump’s announcement.  So much for the idea that the ILP represents something different in Zionist politics.

People may be surprised by my heading.  Why should I welcome Trump’s statement that Jerusalem in its entirety belongs to the Zionists? Why should I welcome the death of the 2 States Solution?  Because that has always been the real if unstated position of the West.
Of course I don’t believe that Jerusalem is the property of the Zionist state.  But what I also don’t 
support is the fictional support for 2 states that the West pays lip service to.  There has never ever been a chance of a 2 state solution.  Neither Oslo nor Ehud Barak, the last Israeli Labour Prime Minister ever supported 2 States.  At best they supported a cut down version of a Bantustan.  A ridiculous demilitarised version of Transkei and  Bophutswana.

All opponents of Apartheid opposed South Africa’s homelands policy.  The idea of shunting Black Africans into enclaves controlled by Black collaborators.  But in Palestine all sorts of progressive people have given lip-service to the idea of a Palestinian bantustan.

Unfortunately and tragically so have the representative organisations, the PLO, of the Palestinian people.  As I wrote in Labour Briefing regarding the Oslo Accords in October 1993, ‘this is an agreement built on shifting sands.  It represents a massive victory for imperialism.’
The New York Times agonises over whether Trump has killed off the 2 States solution but it decides he hasn't!
The pursuit of the 2 States illusion has cost the Palestinian movement dearly.  It has been the smokescreen behind which Zionism has effectively colonised the West Bank, laid siege to Gaza and weakened the Palestinians by arming a collaborationist police authority (the PA) to do Israel’s work for it.

The reason for opposing 2 States is not though merely practical.  Partition as a solution to settler colonialism, be it in Ireland or Palestine, is a cure worse than the original problem.  2 States means that the Israeli Jewish state survives.  The ‘conflict’ in Palestine, in actual fact the steady colonisation of Palestine, is a consequence of a political movement based on the ideology of Jewish supremacism. 
In this Israel is no different from any other settler colonial state.  In Ireland the rallying cry of the Unionists was Protestant Supremacy, in the words of the first Viscount James Craigavon, a former Prime Minister, Stormont was a Protestant parliament for a Protestant people.  Likewise in South Africa Apartheid was the means by which White Supremacy was maintained.  The only solution is the deZionisation of Israel. 
Demonstration in the Wadi Arab area of Israel
It is therefore interesting to see how the New York Times the American paper of record sees it.  In an article Did Trump Kill Off a Two-State Solution? He Says No, Palestinians Say Yes Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s main negotiator is quoted as saying that Trump and Netanyahu “have managed to destroy that hope.” Of a 2 States solution.  He is described as embracing ‘a radical shift in the P.L.O.’s goals — to a single state, but with Palestinians enjoying the same civil rights as Israelis, including the vote.’
Ererkat bemoans that “They’ve left us with no option. This is the reality. We live here. Our struggle should focus on one thing: equal rights.”  Of course no one should hold their breath that Erekat is doing anything other than letting off steam.  This is the same Erekat who was willing to hand Tsipi Livni, when she was negotiating with the PA, a ‘big Yerushalayim’ in exchange for just one small Palestinian suburb to call a capital.

Nonetheless Mark Landler of the NYT disapproves.  After having quoted a number of Israeli talking heads he states that ‘Mr. Erekat’s change of heart is unlikely to change Palestinian policy. The dream of a Palestinian state is too deeply ingrained in a generation of its leaders for the Palestinian Authority to abandon it now.’

Which is true in so far as one distinguishes between the PA’s quisling leaders and the Palestinians themselves.  But then Landler goes further and says, without any hesitation that:

‘Israel would be unlikely to accede to equal rights, because granting a vote to millions of Palestinians would eventually lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

And this is exactly what it is about.  A Jewish State cannot be a democratic state.  Israel cannot accede to equal rights.  Therefore, just as in Apartheid South Africa, the Palestinians must be shunted into their own homelands.  Except that the West Bank is nowhere near as big as South Africa so the Palestinians must be content with a few hemmed in urban conurbations as the settlements slowly eat into Palestinian patrimony.

If there is anyone who doesn’t quite get it, let us replace a few words in the above statement.
Israel South Africa would be unlikely to accede to equal rights, because granting a vote to millions of Palestinians Africans would eventually lead to the end of Israel South Africa as a Jewish White state.

This is what the supporters of two states are supporting.  And if anyone has doubts that Israel within the 1948 borders is also an apartheid state that considers its Palestinian citizens as guests to be discarded as soon as convenient, let us look at the reaction of its Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to the riots in Arab areas in the wake of Trump’s announcement.

Lieberman, whose Deputy Eli Dahan, is of the opinion that Arabs are sub-human  has called for Israeli Jews to boycott the Wadi Ara area of Israel where many Arabs live.  They should ‘feel unwanted here’ and become part of Ramallah.  ‘Speaking in an interview Lieberman said that ‘the residents of Wadi Ara were not part of the State of Israel.’   And this is increasingly the view of Israelis, 48% of whom according to the Pew Research Report Israel’s Religiously Divided Society support the physical removal of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.

Following Saturday's violent protest in northern Israeli Arab region against US recognition of Jerusalem, in which rioters hurled stones at police cars and buses, defense minister urges Israeli citizens to boycott area and make its residents 'feel unwanted here'; they should become part of Ramallah, he adds.

Attila Somfalvi|Published:  10.12.17 , 10:35

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday called for a boycott of the Israeli Arab region of Wadi Ara, following Saturday's violent protests in the area, in which rioters hurled at police cars and buses, as well as on Yedioth Ahronoth photographer Gil Nechushtan.
Speaking in an interview to the Ynet Studio, Lieberman said the residents of Wadi Ara were not part of the State of Israel.

"I call on all of Israel's residents to stop buying there," he said. "Simply impose a consumers' boycott and don't go in there—don't enter their restaurants or their businesses, don't get your cars fixed there. The residents of Wadi Ara must understand that they're unwanted and that they're not part of us. They’re working from within to harm the State of Israel.
Lieberman. 'I have never seen a protest in Wadi Ara with a single Israeli flag' (Photo: AFP)

"We've seen terrorists come out of there, we've seen funerals for the terrorists from Umm al-Fahm who murdered police officers at the Temple Mount, and we've seen a terrorist murder people at the terror attack on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Street, including an Arab taxi driver from Lod. They are not part of us," the defense minister said, reiterating his initiative to hand Wadi Ara over to the Palestinian Authority as part of a future agreement.

"They should become part of Ramallah," he said. "There, they will receive convalescence pay, an unemployment allowance and maternity benefits instead of the billions of shekels they are currently receiving from the National Security Institute. Let (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas pay all their rights and payments the Palestinian democracy and the Palestinian society are certainly much better than the State of Israel." 
One of the buses pelted with stones in Wadi Ara, Saturday
Calling for a boycott of the area, Lieberman said: "I urge all citizens of the State of Israel to stop entering stores there, to stop buying and to stop receiving services. We should simply impose a boycott on them and let them feel unwanted here. I have never seen a protest in Wadi Ara with a single Israeli flag. I've seen many Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Authority flags there, and I've never seen a single State of Israel flag there."
Wadi Ara protest

"Wadi Ara is becoming an incitement center," the minister stated. "On Saturday, a journalist was nearly lynched, and there is wild incitement in the schools. The generation being raised there isn't learning anything apart from hatred toward the State of Israel. The residents of Wadi Ara enjoy the best living conditions in the Middle East."

Lieberman added that the residents had a right to protest, but that "terror, support for terror, solidarity with terror organizations and solidarity with Israel's enemies cannot be part of the rules of the game. That's what we see in Wadi Ara and it's the same line separating between them and others."

The defense minister said he hoped the tensions following US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital were over. "On Saturday, I traveled across the Judea area and it was completely calm. According to reports from this morning, everything is calm and quiet. Even the Arab League conference settled for a verbal statement and nothing else. So when I look at the situation in Judea and Samaria today, and on the fence in the Gaza Strip, I believe it's behind us."

As for reports that Saudi Arabia had supported Trump's announcement, Lieberman said earlier in an interview to Army Radio: "The Saudis have personally experienced the meaning of Islamic terror and Iranian subversion, so I think they have a different outlook. We heard the crown prince call (Iranian supreme leader) Ali Khamenei the modern Hitler. Such declarations are not for the love of Israel."

Addressing the tensions on Israel's southern border following the barrage of rockets fired at Gaza vicinity communities from the Strip over the weekend, the defense minister said: "We have hit all of Hamas' critical sites, destroyed a rocket manufacturing facility and a storehouse with strategic Hamas weapons inside the Gaza Strip. I'm certain that everyone can send their children back to school and kindergarten, and I believe all these events are behind us. It's Hamas' responsibility."

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