By Mohannad El-Khairy – Dubai
So, here we are.
One of the most right-wing governments has taken over Olmert’s Apartheid duties in Israel; Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm of what can only be deemed as a fascist and openly racist administration with the likes of Avigdor Lieberman and Co. forming the majority in a coalition government. Back in 2003, when holding the post of Transportation Minister under Sharon’s reign, Lieberman declared to the Knesset that all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails should be drowned. I suppose the Israeli people have spoken.
Meanwhile, demographics say a lot. Approximately 280,000 Jewish settlers, growing at a rate of 5% a year, live in the West Bank strategically located around and ruling over 2.5 million Palestinians. They are protected by Israeli Occupation Forces, deemed illegal for over 42 years following United Nations resolution 242, which – in point 1 – calls for the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict [of 1967]”. Yet by 2006 the number of roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank has risen by 40 per cent, with 528 permanent and temporary checkpoints and physical roadblocks disrupting all aspects of Palestinian life, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Jerusalem. That, by definition, is Apartheid.
Talks of a two-state solution, considered to be the resolve to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, seem to have been revived in these times of “Hope & Change”. Yet this “solution” was never meant to be one.
A little lesson in revisionist history will help clarify this point. In his book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, Israeli professor and historian Ilan Pappe demonstrates that the problem of the two-state solution dates back to when it was first introduced as a concept, with the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 (UN Resolution 181). In November of that year, the UN proposed to divide Palestine into three parts: on 42% of the land, over 800,000 Palestinians were to have a state that included 10,000 Jews, whilst a new Jewish State was to be created on almost 55% of the land which would assimilate 500,000 and 438,000 Jews and Palestinians, respectively. The third part consisted of an enclave that contained Jerusalem, internationally administered by the UN itself.
Broadly speaking, we are taught that the Jews accepted the plan; the Arabs rejected it, so Israel declared independence, the Arab armies invaded, the war began, and Israel triumphed against all odds.
However, Pappe’s research asserts an altogether different perspective: “The almost equal demographic balance within the allocated Jewish state [proposed by UN Resolution 181] was such that, had the map actually been implemented, it would have created a political nightmare for the Zionist leadership: Zionism would never have attained any of its principle goals”. Pappe quotes Simcha Flapan, one of the first Israeli Jews to challenge the conventional Zionist version of the 1948 events, as saying that had the Arabs/Palestinians decided to go along with the Partition Resolution, “the Jewish leadership would have been sure to reject the map UNSCOP (the UN Special Committee on Palestine) offered them”.
The reason for this is in the innate intention of Israel’s early founders. David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the colonial state, had always envisaged a purely Jewish Palestine – even before the UN Partition Plan of 1947. After regular meetings with his “war cabinet”, an ad-hoc group of Jewish officers that had served in the British army, he wrote a letter in October 1947 (one month before Resolution 181) to General Ephraim Ben Artzi, the most senior officer among them, explaining that he wanted to create a military force able both to repel potential attacks from neighboring Arab states, and “to occupy as much of the country as possible, and hopefully all of it”. This vision had even been ratified as official Zionist doctrine five years earlier, during the Biltmore Conference held in New York from May 6th to May 11th, 1942. The resulting Biltmore Program defined the space “the geographical territory [that] the Zionist movement coveted, in other words, Palestine as whole”, Pappe notes.
Today, settler colonization in the West Bank is expanding at a record pace. The formidable journalist Khalid Amayreh, living in Occupied Ramallah, describes Israel’s most intensive expansion of settlements since 1967, effectively spelling the end of the two-state solution, in an interview with Abdul Hadi Hantash, a noted expert on the proliferation of Jewish colonies in the occupied lands. Hantash says that Israel is openly lying about its current activities in the West Bank, with initiatives such as the plan for 73,000 more housing units in the West Bank and the Judaization of East Jerusalem; as a matter fact, Peace Now – an Israeli advocacy group monitoring land seizure and settlement expansion – also confirms Hantash’s figures.
However, as noted above, demographics speak for themselves. Popular television program “60 Minutes” recently aired a reportage entitled “Is Peace out of Reach”. The reporter states that “demographers predict that within ten years, Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza”. There was even a study conducted by the CIA casting doubt over Israel’s very survival beyond the next 20 years. The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region”. A one-state solution is the only solution, yet it will effectively mean the end of the Jewish state and, ultimately, exposing the true nature of the Zionist intention, its brutal methodologies, and its illegal, immoral, manipulative policies of dispossessing and disrupting an otherwise innocent population from their natural rights.
Forming the very basis of Israel’s raison-d’être, the Zionist intent to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians happened in two major waves, first in 1948 and then in 1967. With settlements expanding at a record pace, and one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history in power, is a third, more disastrous, more meticulous wave is being prepared? Is mass-transfer of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza being quietly mapped out to counter the demographic imbalance? And if a two-state “solution” actually is implemented to finally “resolve” one of the most brutal conflicts in contemporary history, won’t the US-funded, Israeli-puppet-mastered, Palestinian leadership in Ramallah continue to submit to Zionist orders, more settlement expansions, more socio-economic policies than enslave the Palestinians, more injustices by proxy-rule? And if the People revolt, will this be the carte-blanche excuse the Apartheid State will be waiting for to justify its expansionist objectives of Eretz Israel? So many questions, with so many potential outcomes…
The bottom line is this: the very intention of the state of Israel is to take over the entire country, and ethnically cleanse its native population. There was never an Israeli intent to live side by side, let alone with, the Palestinians. Since inception, Eretz Israel – or Greater Israel – was and continues to be the ultimate objective. Israel’s end game is to render the Palestinians like the Native Americans of North America; a forgotten, scattered people with no chance of regaining its homeland, let alone build on its rich heritage and culture. In fact, it already uses Palestinian traditional attire, foods, music, and dance as part of the “ethnically diverse Israeli nation” – a nation built on the stolen identity of another.
As the international community attempts to endorse the idea of a two-state solution, Israel continues to capitalize on Palestinian political divisions, and the People’s general unwillingness to accept peace without justice.
We should refuse the two-state scam, and adopt a one-state solution: the People of Palestine demand out loud Liberty, Peace, the Right of Return and Equality, for both nations to co-exist and be Victorious.
(About the map: Jewish photojournalist and radio producer Jeff Blankfort received this map from the Jewish Week newspaper, as a form of email advertising for Chabad Lubavitvh Community Centre in Manhattan. Blankfort writes: “Like many other maps I have seen over the years issued by Jewish organizations, secular and religious, for the Jewish community, there is no Green Line. No delineated West Bank or Gaza. It’s all Israel”.)
– Mohannad El-Khairy contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.