Israel’s leader unmasks the two-state charade, leaders of the free world boo him off the stage, and the PA waits in its usual corner to collect the profits. It’s just another performance at the Theater of the Outrageous.
In a YouTube video released on September 9 (video above), Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a clear, logical two-minute argument for a one-state solution. Besides defending Israeli settlements as catalysts for Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, Mr. Netanyahu challenged the implications of those who advocate uprooting those settlements.
“Israel’s diversity [with nearly 2 million Arab citizens] shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing. And this demand is outrageous. It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous.”
A week later, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon responded to the Israeli logic with what media observers recognized as a departure from his usual genteel generalities; he addressed this particular video with “strong language” for a diplomat. However, stronger still was the need to deny the emergence of a Jew-free Palestine. Mr. Ban indeed confirmed this as the Palestinian goal; but to remove the implications, he pretended that Israel had objected to something else. Observe the bait-and-switch (emphasis added unless noted otherwise):
“The decades-long policy that has settled more than 500,000 Israelis in Palestinian territory is diametrically opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state…. I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing. This is unacceptable and outrageous.”
The global leader then proceeded to muddy the waters a second time:
“Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end. The international community, including the Security Council and the Middle East Quartet, universally views the expansion of settlements as an obstacle to peace.”
It’s a toss-up which is more outrageous: calling any Jewish presence whatsoever in the territories “stifling and oppressive“, or giving “international views” the status of “international law“.
But however “universal” the views of “the international community” may be on Israeli settlement activity, they are light-years away from the Oslo Agreements. Consider Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s report on Oslo II to the Knesset in 1995: “I want to remind you: we committed ourselves… not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.”
In comparison, the creeping “international view” has stooped to counting and condemning every new home built for Jews, including the areas Oslo had placed under total Israeli control:
“In the past two weeks alone [first half of September 2016], plans were advanced for yet another 463 housing units in four settlements in Area C of the occupied West Bank. Official Israeli data shows that the second quarter of 2016 had the highest number of construction starts in three years.”
But Mr. Ban’s tut-tut was only an echo of the response from Israel’s greatest friend. Mere hours after the Israeli video appeared, Washington was already on the phone to Jerusalem about the “provocative” statements by Mr. Netanyahu, calling them “inappropriate and unhelpful“. The Washington Post even wrote that the “no Jews in Palestine” charge was false, citing unidentified “Palestinians” who denied PA Ambassador Maen Areikat’s flat statement to Tablet in 2010. (“Any Jew who is inside the borders of Palestine will have to leave?” “Absolutely.”) The PLO politicians (contradicting their government partner Hamas) clarified that only non-Arab Israelis will be barred from Palestine. But those over-sensitive Jews “quickly” assumed that “no non-Arabs” means “no Jews” (except perhaps for use as target practice for kids). No wonder the US judged PM Netanyahu’s remarks to be “inappropriate“.
Israel’s close ally made it known that this two-minute video was offensive for another reason: it raised “real questions“ about Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution. That such questions (real or pretend) were not raised about the PA’s commitment is remarkable, given Mahmoud Abbas’ statement before the UN a year ago, officially renouncing the Oslo framework altogether: “We cannot continue to be bound by these agreements.”
Noteworthy among those rejected “agreements” was the one brokered by the US in 2008 that offered the PA a full 97% of the West Bank still inhabited by Israelis, plus the controversial “right of return”. Mr. Abbas told the Washington Post that he walked away from it, knowing that he could wait. A year later, while giving that interview, he was still waiting. What for? His ambassador in Lebanon explained it: “Nobody fools anybody. With the two-state solution, Israel will collapse. If the Jews leave those places [Judea, Samaria, and especially Jerusalem], the Zionist idea will begin to collapse…. Then we will move forward.”
In PM Rabin’s above-mentioned Knesset address – just weeks before his murder – he had announced his intention to call off Oslo as a failed experiment, should Arafat refuse to renounce the PLO plan to dismantle Israel in stages:
“We are aware of the fact that the Palestinian Authority has not — up until now — honored its commitment to change the Palestinian Covenant, and that all of the promises on this matter have not been kept. I would like to bring it to the attention of the members of the [Knesset] house that I view these changes as a supreme test of the Palestinian Authority’s willingness and ability, and the changes required will be an important and serious touchstone vis-a-vis the continued implementation of the agreement as a whole.”
This sensible condition disappeared backstage in the Theater of the Outrageous. The Palestinian National Covenant, aka the Palestinian Charter, has remained unchanged since 1968. Articles 1-2 still define British-Mandate Palestine as “an indivisible unit” belonging to “the Arab nation“. Article 19 still declares the 1947 UN Partition of Palestine and “the establishment of the state of Israel” to be “entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time.”
Article 20 of that Charter, which declares the Balfour Declaration “null and void” and Jewish national identity a fiction, is not only still there; it’s the guide-stone for Mr. Abbas’ recent announcement that the PA will sue the UK for issuing that Declaration. This latest antic, which prompted sarcastic remarks from Israeli politicians, has incredibly been greeted in Britain with sympathy for the Palestinians’ “desperation” and “despair“. But both reactions missed the reality that the move is simply an application of the Fatah Constitution (available on the Fatah/PLO site until 2007) which explicitly calls for the “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” (Article 12) In Article 19 of that document, the “armed struggle” which was to have ended in the 1993 PLO negotiations turns out to be non-negotiable; it “will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.”
Yet for the international community, the real threat to the two-state solution is “housing construction” for Jewish families in areas that the PA forbids to “non-Arab-Israelis”… along with the chutzpa of the Israeli Prime Minister in calling the PA’s goal of destroying Israel a form of “intolerance“.
“Outrageous” is too weak a word. How about “obscene”?
Nevertheless, Bible-literate readers know that these developments are merely setting the stage for the fulfillment of God’s word to the Jewish prophet Zachariah (12:2-9):
“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.
It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
In that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah…. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”