Jul 24,2018 – JORDAN TIMES –
Finally, the Israeli Knesset had passed a law declaring Israel as a Jewish state, in fact declaring the land on which Israel exists, Palestine, as the land of the Jewish people only, not others. The others in this case are the Israeli Arabs and any other Arabs who happen to be residing on any part of Palestine that Israel is planning to annex. The steady process of Palestinian land colonisation, through massive construction of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, has been ongoing since 1967. So far, the settlements, with the designated for Jewish-use-only highways connecting them to the pre-1967 Israel and the security corridors surrounding them, have covered more than 50 per cent of what was the West bank in 1967. That leaves just about 10 per cent of truncated and disconnected shreds of Palestinian territory for the claimed Palestinian state under the two-state solution myth.
Years before the Knesset decision, efforts of Israeli leaders to extract from the Palestinians and the Arab side recognition of Palestine as a Jewish state, have not succeeded. The Palestinians would have forfeited not only their current rights to their homeland, but their historic rights as well had they agreed to do so. Israel would have declared the Palestinians in Palestine now as occupiers, intruders and aggressors and as such, would have chased them for compensation for intruding on “Israel’s land” for thousands of past years.
As expected, reaction to the current Israeli decision has been somehow furious, although it is not all that negative to have Israel reveal its real intentions with respect to the Palestine issue, seal the myth of the two-state solution, end the fake claim that Israel is the only democracy in the region, declare to the world that Israel is not a peace seeking country had it not been for Palestinian dithering, and stop crowing about Israelis being the innocent victim of threats from a hostile regional and international environment.
The Israeli move has been widely criticised. Some criticised it, like some Israelis and some American Jews, for not being necessary for Israel to provoke so much condemnation by admitting an existing reality that has been working well without the declaration. Some foreign media, some world figures, and the Palestinians and the Arabs have condemned the decision as wrong and dangerously serious, depending on how viewed by each side.
Everyone is familiar with this pattern of empty protests in response to routine Israeli aggression and violations of international law. This pattern has been repeating itself for decades, almost unchanged. Israel’s recurrent illegal actions on the ground are often met by loud verbal objections and wide condemnations. But while the Israeli action is never reversed, the protests fade and evaporate with no accountability or consequences for the violator. Nothing could be more tempting for Israel’s continued aggression and creeping annexation of Palestinian and Arab land than such a favourable cycle.
Only recently there were vigorous condemnations of the American decision recognising the occupied city of Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital. They had no effect. They were followed by louder protests when the US embassy was moved to Jerusalem. They had no effect either. Israel now is declaring Palestine as the historic land of the Jews. The ongoing protests, hollow as often, will soon fade without leaving any effect too. Soon Israel will commit another blunder and the pattern will keep rotating.
But the entire discourse is in fact irrelevant.
The real issue is that Palestine, all of Palestine, is illegally occupied. Any unilateral decision or action taken by the illegal occupant is illegal too. The UN has been accumulating dozens of resolutions declaring Israel’s actions as illegal. The debate, therefore, should focus on ending the occupation, not on what Israel is doing with the property it illegally and in flagrant violation of international law and the rights of the original Palestinian owners took hold of.
It would be foolish to expect Israel to give back what it had conquered voluntarily, particularly under the current circumstances, where the UN is totally helpless, indeed paralysed, when it comes to holding Israel accountable for its illegal actions in Palestine, and while the Arab situation is so terribly crippled and completely disabled as never before.
All the recent controversial US and Israeli actions: The Jerusalem decision and the current Knesset’s Jewish state decision, just two examples out of many, were no more than admittance of existing facts. They followed the fact, not created it. The question therefore is: Was the situation in Jerusalem any different before the US Jerusalem declaration? Was Israel really waiting for the time to come to return Palestine, or parts of it, to its rightful Palestinian owners had the Knesset not taken the national Jewish state move?
The answer to both rhetorical questions is an obvious No. What the said declarations just did is that they admitted the existing facts, ugly, offensive, shocking, aggressive, illegal and provocative as they actually are on the ground. Would it feel better for the Palestinians if Israel continued to steel their land under the fake cover of the so-called peace process and the two-state solution saga?
I think the Palestinians and the Arabs, indeed the international community as well, have enough evidence by now to reconsider the peace process mockery that has been ongoing for three decades, to stop decades of convenient self-deception. The issue is the occupation that should end in accordance with the rule of international law. The Palestinians have full right for justice to be restored and for their rights to be recovered. It is time to see the tree for the forest.
If someone kicked me out of my house and occupied it, I do not think it will be wise, of me, or in any way helpful, to waste my energy fighting over any rearrangement of my furniture or changing a living room into a bedroom by the usurper occupant, rather than saving all effort to liberate the house. Once fighting over such side issues, the real issue, the occupation, becomes secondary.