Tel Aviv, January 13, 2013
Dan Perry of the Associated press has reported that in recent days political opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu have warned that more years under a Likud administration might indeed erase the Zionist state from the pages of history.
Mr. Perry states that it is the feeling of many within the opposition party that the continued taking of Palestinian land and subsequent settlement of Jews on the land will lead to a population in which the Arabs are in the majority. This would be the first public acknowledgment of the unspoken fear among Israelis that the Israeli nuclear ansenal will be neutralized by the Arab womb.
Perry states that former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has voiced the concern that the Zionist project is in danger. “Netanyahu is leading us toward the end of the Jewish state,” she said in a statement Friday. “Israelis must choose between extremism and Zionism. Israel is in great danger and everyone must wake up now.”
Perry also writes that Shaul Mofaz, a former military chief and defense minister, has warned that Arabs will soon outnumber Jews in the Holy Land. He has stated that there is a priority to partition the land to prevent the emergence of a “binational state.”
….. and that leaders of the main center-left Labor Party have expressed much the same sentiments.
I know that Netanyahu’s Likud led coalition of nationalist and religious groups have taken a hard-line stance against Palestinian presence in the Holy Land and continue to confiscate land on a daily basis. And I also know that the outcry against such a process has been voiced by many in the opposing coalition.
….. and also that Netanyahu’s right wing strongly opposes any territorial concessions on the lands Israel captured in 1967 — the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. His coalition of hard-liners refuse to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians or to recognize the legitimacy of their claims to return their lands as stipulated by UN resolution 242.
Mr. Perry relates that the Author Amos Oz, who has long been viewed as an oracle of sorts in Israel, called the governing coalition “the most anti-Zionist in the history of Israel” for ignoring the demographic issue…. and Author Amos Oz was quoted by Haaretz as saying on Friday, “If there will not be two states here…(Israel will not)…be a binational state — it will be an Arab state,” “They believe Jews can rule an Arab majority (but) no apartheid nation in the world survived without collapsing in a few years.”
I am in agreement with Mr. Perry that Netanyahu himself has at times conceded the logic of the argument that if Israel insists on ruling the entire Holy Land, Jews will be in the minority. I would say though that even as Netanyahu takes more land away from Palestinians and attempts to make facts on the ground by pouring in more settlers, he cannot escape the eventual reality that Palestinians will be the majority population. Perhaps he hopes that The Israeli goverment will be able to control them by legislating a two tiered government — but wait, isn’t that an apartheid government?
Mr Perry relates that Netanyahu will give nary an ear to past security chiefs Yuval Diskin, Meir Dagan or Gabi Askennazi who have spoken out about following a realistic (and rational) peace plan with the Palestinians. Diskin, in fact, has warned that the restraint in Palestinian violence was in real danger because every day as Israel steals more lands, builds more (Jewish) settlements, and pushes away Palestinian dreams of a state (in creating little Bantustans), a chance for real peace would be diminishing.
The chances of a two state resolution based upon a just peace agreement, and without blooshed, are diminishing not just because of Netanyahu but because a majority of Israelis vote to keep him in power. He is on a catastrophic merry-go-round perhaps on which he can’t get off.
However the actual reason of why Israel will not seek a just peace at this moment and give up lands it has acquired by war and confiscation is because Zionism was founded and remains committed to racism. Remember that Zionism is an ideology that was founded by wealthy, powerful European Jews in the nineteenth century, well before the holocaust event. These were bankers, successful business people, professional people, most if not all of whom, could live an affluent life style without the limitations of anti-Semitism that faced the common Jew in the street. What was in it for them to be inspired by Theodor Herzl — A land in which they could have more autonomy, and most importantly CONTROL? But what would this mean for the people who were already there — if not Jewish, then that would mean that they were to be controlled unless one were of the same mind as Golda Meir who claimed that Palestine was a land without people (of consequence) for a people without a land.
After reading Ilan Pappe’s the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine I discarded all illusions of the idyllic Just Palestine for Jews acquired from watching Leon Uris’ Exodus…..and as time has gone on, I am becoming biased by recalling Rabbi Yaacov Perrin claiming that even one million Arabs are “not worth a Jewish fingernail”…..or General Rafael Eitan’s description of having Arabs “scurrying around like cockroaches in a bottle,” or remebering (a recanting) Dov Weisglass claim that he wouln’t starve entrapped Palestinians in Gaza but laughingly stated that he would put them on a diet. Ultimately to hear former Israeli minister of foreign affairs, Aivgdor Lieberman, advocate transferring all Palestinians out of Israel and the West Bank (sounds like ethnic cleansing to me) I must repeat that the reason for lack of peace in Israel-Palestine is because of the racist Israeli attitude that the Israelis have no one (as in not equals) to talk to in the peace process.
I am sorry to counter Mit Romney but without equality, there can be no truth in dialogue. Without truth there can be no justice, and without justice there cannot be a lasting peace.
Even though I cannot agree with Dan Perry’s analysis of why Israel cannot face up to acceptance of a just peace, I would agree that Israel’s future as a nation is in doubt.
Discounting MEMRI’s distorted translation of Ahmadinejad’s pronouncement of the temporal status of Israel, I would have to agree with Iran’s quirky president that unless Israel complies with the UN’s resolution for a just peace, Zionism very well could disappear from the pages of history.
All the Palestinians want is the autonomy and control for themselves as a people – the basis under which Israel was founded.
With all due respect, Dan Perry has reported on the Middle East for two decades and currently leads AP’s coverage in the region. Follow him on www.twitter.com/perry_dan. Associated Press writer Ariel David in Tel Aviv contributed to this report.