This week has been dominated by the words and rebuttals of Netanyahu and Obama – understandably, this week has also revealed how far the world must go in order to create some kind of lasting and just peace for the Palestinian people. The big take away for others might just be how absolutely insane and embarrassing Netanyahu is on the international stage. Sure, some might find his empty slogans and laughable assertions that can easily be proven false to be a sign of strength, instead of weakness, but others can clearly see that Bibi’s path is running Israel into the ground. Assaf Oron calls his Prime Minister the Ugly Israeli:
Here’s our PM in plain view of the entire world, demonstrating in first person what is domestically known as the Ugly Israeli: a ridiculously arrogant, pushy, free-riding, zero-self-awareness caricature of a person. (For Americans, think about that rude sloppily dressed Yankee tourist barging into a vegetarian restaurant in India and demanding a hamburger.)
As a Red Sox fan I am happy with the analogy, but as someone who supports the Palestinian fight against the injustices of the Israeli occupation, I am happy with the entire piece (which you should definitely read in its entirety). One thing that Oron fails to mention, though, is that the zero-self-awareness of Bibi and the epidemic of denial among many Israelis (and certainly their American supporters) is truly the only existential threat that Israel faces. By refusing to negotiate a peace deal, Netanyahu and his brethren are condemning Israel and Palestine to a one-state solution in which Jews will once again be the minority west of the Jordan (perhaps condemn is an inappropriate word considering my support for this outcome). Netanyahu, the Israeli people and their American backers must realize that the future of the Israeli state depends on changing paths.
It is common for Palestinian supporters to say that permanent apartheid will be the inevitable result of the current Israeli policies. Yet apartheid is never permanent; it is (and will be in Palestine) an ugly stepping stone to reconciliation and justice. In Israel and Palestine this means one state with a Jewish minority. Fortunately, not all people are as blind to the future as the current Israeli leadership. Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad (Israeli CIA), has said that attempts to block recognition of the Palestinian state at the UN in September would be a mistake that would lead to the imposition of Palestinian terms on Israel. In other words, Dagan realizes that a fragmented Palestinian state along 1967 lines is the best possible outcome for the Israelis.
I wonder if anyone will listen.
Photo from HuffPo