The Future of Israel/Palestine
Against The Current vol. 139
Publisher: Against The Current
Date Written: 01/03/2009
Year Published: 2009 First Published: 2008
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX13498
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts address to both houses of the U.S. Congress in May, 2006 was the clearest, most explicit presentation of Israels conception of where it is going vis-à-vis the Palestinians. It is perhaps the most skilled use of Newspeak since George Orwell invented the term in his novel 1984.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmerts address to both houses of the U.S. Congress in May, 2006 -- which until today represents the Israeli government plan -- was the clearest, most explicit presentation of Israel's conception of where it is going vis-à-vis the Palestinians. It is perhaps the most skilled use of Newspeak since George Orwell invented the term in his novel 1984. Just as Orwell's totalitarian propagandists proclaimed WAR IS PEACE, so Olmert declared in Washington: ISRAELI EXPANSION IS WITHDRAWAL and UNILATERAL REALIGNMENT IS PEACE. (He had help with the language. Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel drafted large sections of the speech together with an American advisor who specializes in "Republican language.")
And where are the Palestinians in all this? Irrelevant, in Israels view, and manipulated as usual. Should we realize that the bilateral track with the Palestinians is of no consequence, said Olmert to Congress, should the Palestinians ignore our outstretched hand for peace, Israel will seek other alternatives to promote our future and the prospects of hope in the Middle East. At that juncture, the time for realignment will occur. Realignment would be a process to allow Israel to build its future without being held hostage to Palestinian terrorist activities.
Talk about an Orwellian formulation! The truth is that Israel has nothing to negotiate and no will to negotiate. Greater Jerusalem is ours, the settlement blocs are ours, the borders are ours, the water is ours, even the sky is ours. Whats left to negotiate?
The end result, towards which Israel has been progressing deliberately and systematically since 1967, can only be called apartheid, which means separation in Afrikaans, precisely the term Israel uses to describe its policy (hafrada in Hebrew). And it is apartheid in the strict sense of the term: one population separating itself from the rest, then dominating them permanently and institutionally through a political regime like an expanded Israel locking the Palestinians into dependent and impoverished cantons.
Israel will expand to about 85% of the country, take all its resources and elements of sovereignty (such as control of movement and borders), and leave the Palestinian majority to live in a truncated Bantustan-state with no meaningful sovereignty, no freedom and no economy. Whether separation-with-domination is based on race as in Apartheid South Africa, or on religion and nationalism as in Israel/Palestine, is irrelevant.