Saturday, March 14

The New Coalition & Occupation


The building of a narrow right coalition is in progress. Israeli Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, will utilize his negotiating skills which will bring in every right wing politician possible, including the rabid racists of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahana breed, into his coalition. At the same time he will try to send out tantalizing bait to the Kadima and Labour Parties to temper the extreme right-wing image of his coalition. It remains to be seen if he will succeed in the end, if not at present.

The peace process, which has come to a halt, will not be revived under the right-wing government which is not conducive to any form of agreement with the Palestinians. The occupation will continue as well as settlement expansion. Netanyahu’s election campaign has made no bones about this.

Everything will be done to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Netanyahu is opposed to a Palestinian state. He will go against United States policy. He talks about improving the economic situation of the Palestinians whatever that means. Does this mean that he will continue the “carrot and stick” policy of economic rewards "for being good" and collective punishment for acts of terror? There is a horrifying reek of a paternalistic attitude towards the Palestinians here.

If there is no movement towards establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, the only alternative is the binational-state solution, which would be an apartheid state under the Likud right-wing coalition. This would be antidemocratic under the right wing coalition.

The repercussions of the end of two-state idea for two peoples will be disastrous. Netanyahu talks about improving the economic situation of the Palestinians and some autonomy for them which amounts to limited self-rule. This can be compared to the Bantustan policies of apartheid South Africa of the past.

Apart from that, it gives the Likud led coalition leeway to continuing settlement expansion and prolonging the occupation. This can be seen by all as a big bluff. Israel will continue to take over Palestinian lands creating a situation that will render the establishment of a Palestinian State impossible to achieve.

Lately there have been reports of quarrying in the West Bank for the purposes of building new homes for potential settlers. The profits of this activity go to Israeli entrepreneurs and not to the Palestinians. Is this the economic improvement intended by the future right wing government, even though this practice occurred during previous governments? Destruction of Palestinian Lands, not to mention the damage to the environment because of the quarries will continue. This in itself renders the land uninhabitable.

Israel will be criticized severely for these activities. It will deny any involvement, thus deceiving the critics of the occupation.

Another cause of concern is the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman, the right wing racist, as Foreign Minister. It remains to be seen how he will represent Israel to the world. This man is on record for making many racist statements against Israel's Arab population. His election campaign was racist. He was successful in gaining support for his extremist anti-Arab views. His demand that Arab citizens take an oath of loyalty to Israel in order to retain citizenship is an example of his uncompromising hate for Arabs. It will be interesting to observe how he will represent Israel's claim as not wishing to rule over another nation while supporting the occupation and even being part of the settler movement (He and his family live in Nokdim in the occupied West Bank). It is shocking that a man with such extreme racist views will be Israel's spokesman on foreign policy. Even worse than that is the fact that he holds the balance of power in coalition building. Surely this will give strength to the "Zionism is racism" theory which is denied by Israel in every international forum. It will also add grist to the mill in the upcoming Durban 2 Conference of Israel's racist attitudes.

While the US, Canada and Italy will not be attending the conference because of its anti-Israel bias, Lieberman's appointment as foreign minister will not serve Israel's interests. It will also strengthen the much maligned view of Israel's racism towards its Arab citizens and the Palestinians.

There is no reason for optimism for the future of any renewal of the peace process.

Another problem that needs to be tackled is the release of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier imprisoned under Hamas. Outgoing Israeli PM Olmert never succeeded in negotiating his release because of the price tag of releasing Palestinian prisoners, many of whom, with blood on their hands. For the unfortunate parents, no price is too high and understandably so. If the life of Gilad Shalit can be saved and he can return home then this must take top priority more than any other consideration. It is doubtful if Netanyahu has what it takes to secure his release.

1 comment:

LAMBCUT said...

(This post was originally published on a popular New Zealand political blog, It was authored by Lambcut and concerns a previous blog by Busted Blonde about the Holocaust - Wiki-ing, Tweeting, and the Western media generally. It is directed primarily at a Western audience, within the Westminster Democracies. It touches on issues surrounding Gilad Shalit. Lambcut wrote:

"No sane person is a Holocaust denier. The Holocaust, without a breath of a doubt, was the greatest travesty and horror of the twentieth century. Having said that, if one puts aside sub groupings amongst Semitic peoples (Arabs, including Palestinians are Semitic too), the horror continues into this century unabated, and it continues unsung. We, and I mean we in the Western aligned countries, continually report on the lives lost among our people in the fight against “terror”, against the “Axis of Evil”.

Oy! It’s enough already!

It’s actually quite hard to Google up good sound sources on the death ratio regarding the US and Allied occupation of Iraq. Try it and see. You have to go allot more than six clicks deep. It behooves an inquiring mind to wonder why. Where are, and what happened to the ladies and gentlemen of the forth estate.

American and allied losses are around 4,500. That figure we can be sure of. It Googles easily and in bulk from sound sources. On the other hand, estimates of the number of Iraqis killed since the war started on March 20, 2003, range from nearly 91,000 to more than 600,000. Blowed if I know with any certainty; and nor do you. What we can know with considerable certainty is that Iraqi civilian losses outweigh ours, tens of thousands to one. Reporters there make their reports from sheltered compounds in the major cities, quite misleadingly, as though they were in the field as first hand observers.

Lambcut knows this from first hand knowledge of reporting with regard to the 2006 Israeli incursion into the Lebanon. Let us not go into that, or BB, out of misplaced protectiveness toward Lambcut, will never publish.

Try Googling Corporal Gilad Shalit. He is the Israeli soldier still held hostage presumably somewhere in the Lebanon. See what you get in the first six clicks. A multitude of sound sources Google up from that search. Now try Googling information on the 11,000 Palestinians held by Israel; held without trial or due process of law. You won’t find a single name from among the souls languishing there. Not one. Not in the first six clicks; probably not on the first six pages.

Armed response to the situation in Gaza is usually reported as terrorist attacks upon Israel. Would we have described the armed uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto is a terrorist attack upon the legitimate German controlled Polish government? The Lamb doubts it. But, the situations are analogous.

There can’t be much doubt for any “well informed person” (although Lambcut seldom meets any here in NZ) that the entire Middle Eastern problem centers on strategic control of Middle Eastern oil stocks and Palestine’s importance in that regard. It’s all about the oil. The Western media has managed very ably to perpetrate the myth that Palestinians and Israelis have “always fought” and that peace cannot reasonably be expected - ever. Let Lamcut tell you, as a matter of incontrovertible historical fact that Israel didn’t even bloody well exist until 1948.

Get this - England and France spent around 300 years at war. How long did the Irish conflict last? We can hope for and we can expect peace in the Middle East. Unnaturally drawn borders never last. Be in no doubt, the lack of hope with regard to the Israeli Palestinian conflict is Israeli generated spin.

As to Lambcut’s suspicion of fatuous, superficial, sound-bite twitter reporting: in that thing Lambcut shares BB’s suspicions. Poor, indeed very poor journalism is at the root of the matter. All of you who might still regard the media as a special thing, the forth estate of government with a singular privilege and a commensurate responsibility, you go forward now, and do something about it."