Israeli Democracy: A Convenient Illusion
by Stephen Lendman
Israel’s more hypocrisy than democracy. Rhetoric belies longstanding policy. Nothing ahead suggests change.
Democracy exists in name only. Arundhati Roy calls India a “limbless, headless, soulless torso left bleeding under the butcher’s cleaver with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart.”
America’s the same. So is Israel. They’re pariah states. They’re rogue states. They abhor fundamental freedoms. They prioritize war and instability. They deplore peaceful conflict resolution.
Israel’s an ethnocracy. It’s polar opposite democracy. Israeli leaders refer to “Jewish democracy.” It’s Orwellian. Structural inequalities explain.
Israeli Arabs are citizens. They compromise 20% of the population. They can vote. They can sit in parliament. They’re little more than potted plants.
Jews alone have power. Arabs have no say. The Law of Return affords it to solely to Jews. Arabs are unwanted. They’re persecuted. Institutionalized racism denies them equal rights.
Citizenship and Entry in Israel legislation prohibits Israeli Arab spouses in Palestine or abroad from entering Israel. Residency rights are forbidden. Families are divided. They’re denied fundamental rights.
Israel builds walls, not peace. Fortress Israel is policy. It assures permanent conflict. It justifies occupation harshness. It assures continued repression.
It mocks resolving the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict equitably. It’s a distant dream.
Throughout its history, Israel spurned peace. It’s done it repeatedly. In 1949, it rejected Arab states’ territorial concessions. They were offered in return for letting 100,000 displaced Palestinians come home.
The same year Israel spurned Syria’s peace offer. Subsequent ones were rejected. Nasser’s peace overtures were rebuffed.
Israel’s hardline. It’s inflexible. It wants things its way. It demands. It doesn’t negotiate. It’s all take and no give. It pretends otherwise.
After the 1967 Six Day War, Palestinians wanted peace. They wanted an independent state. Israel wanted none of it. Arafat was repeatedly rebuffed. Pre-Camp David, so was Egypt’s Sadat.
In 1988, the PLO publicly recognized Israeli sovereignty. In 1993, it did again. It did so within the Green Line. It comprises nearly 78% of historic Palestine.
Israel wants it all. It wants all valued parts. It wants control of the rest. It wants Palestinians denied all rights. It’s always been that way. It’s no different now.
Israeli leaders are hardline. Sharon was uncompromisingly rejectionist. Netanyahu exceeds the worst of his extremism. Palestinians are between a rock and a hard place.
They’re considered subhuman. Their rights don’t matter. They never did. They don’t now. They’re demonized. They’re called terrorists.
Israeli schools indoctrinate Jewish children to be warriors. Textbooks call Arabs hostile, deviant, primitive, cruel, immoral, and violent. Hateful language describes them as “robbers,” “bloodthirsty,” and “killers.”
In contrast, Jews are called industrious, brave, and superior. Notions of making the desert bloom are taught. So is claiming God promised Israel solely to Jews.
“A land without people for a people without land” is grilled into impressionable young minds. They’re manipulated to believe nonsense. They’re taught fiction, not fact.
Israel’s Ministry of Education sets guidelines and content. They reflect Jewish exceptionalism, ethnocentrism and superiority. Arabs are deemed inferior. They’re called purveyors of violence.
They’re described as cruel, dirty and hateful. They’re vilified for not being Jews. Children don’t understand. They’re taught to hate. It shows in how Israelis treat Palestinians.
Conflict resolution remains a distant dream. So-called peace talks are fake. They’re orchestrated to fail. They never succeeded before. They won’t this time.
On August 14, they resume. They’ll do so in Jerusalem. Jericho will host a follow-up meeting. Over 800 new settlement homes were announced at the same time.
On August 11, Israel’s Housing Ministry announced the marketing of land for nearly 1,200 units. Nearly 800 are earmarked for East Jerusalem. All are on stolen Palestinian land.
Before agreeing to talks, Abbas and other PA leaders knew about Israeli plans. They agreed to proceed anyway. Imagine talking land for peace while valued Palestinian areas are stolen.
Imagine agreeing to what demands condemnation. Imagine going along with a charade. Imagine negotiating unconditional surrender. Imagine doing it with a world class predator.
Imagine doing it under occupation harshness conditions. Imagine not negotiating ending it. Imagine leaving issues mattering most off the table. Imagine pretending otherwise.
Imagine a charade with the final outcome decided. Imagine betraying millions of Palestinians who deserve better.
On August 11, Haaretz editors headlined “Settlements will continue to determine Israel’s future,” saying:
“The government will do anything it can to sabotage the talks with the Palestinians.”
“There is no other way to interpret the Civil Administration’s endorsement of plans to build 878 new housing units in secluded West Bank settlements.”
“The government will also forge ahead with creating facts on the ground, just in case the talks get under way.”
“The addition of 91 settlements to Israel’s national priority areas attests to this.”
Saeb Erekat’s chief Palestinian negotiator. He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator. He pretends to care. His actions speak louder than words.
Washington feigns concern. It’s in lockstep with the worst of Israeli policy. It’s done nothing to stop lawless settlements. It supports occupation harshness. Whatever Israel wants it gets. It’s longstanding policy.
Advancing Israel’s Greater Middle East Agenda matters most. According to Haaretz editors, it’s “determined to battle anyone seeking to thwart this dream.”
If any further proof’s needed of official “derangement, it’s the decision not to sign the scientific cooperation agreement with the European Union as long as the agreement is restricted to the 1967 borders.”
“Israel is the only country outside the European Union that was invited to join.”
Failure to do so means sacrificing NIS 1.5 billion (over $350 million). Advancing Israel’s imperium matters more.
Cabinet members aren’t the only responsible parties. Opposition figures are guilty by “silence.” So are academics and research institution officials.
An unnamed Netanyahu associate claimed Israel “want(s) to find a creative solution.” At issue signing the agreement while doing no harm.
“But there is no creative solution, wink or bluff that can prevent the tightening closure on Israel,” said Haaretz editors.
“It seems the settlements will continue to determine Israel’s future.” Peace is a convenient illusion. Palestinian betrayal is longstanding policy. Nothing’s planned to change things. Business as usual continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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