21:30: Summing up
Ok, ok. I confess. Mea Culpa. I promised to liveblog the Netanyahu speech, but only actually made it through two thirds of it. My excuse is that I’m trying to keep up with the much more important events in Iran for a new foreign news analysis blog I’m putting up together with a friend or two; another excuse that as the man was speaking from within his giant blue latrine, I could hear my braincells atrophy at 70 times the normal rate. But here, for what it’s worth, is a very brief analysis of the Netanyahu’s “peace speech”:
Bullshit. Netanyahu’s speech brings no good news in terms of Israel’s agreement to a Palestinian state – like every single one of his predecessors since 1993, he wants it disarmed and pretty much dysfunctional, not to mention the lack of commitment to settlement evacuation makes it pretty much a certainty he also wants it discontinuous. What is new and worrying about the speech is that added to those unsavoury demands is the unattainable one: That of recognizing Israel as a “Jewish nation ntate”.
But Netanyahu doesn’t ask to acknowledge an existing reality; he seeks to forcibly create it and he wants the world to help. Israel is not a Jewish state; over 25% of our population are Palestinian Arabs, Russian Christians, Thai, Romanian, Chinese, Nepalese, Cambodjan, Nigerian, Cherkes, Druze, Samaritans, not to mention thousands of Darfuri and Eritrean refugess. The chief concern for anyone supporting the purist approach to the idea of a nation state is the Palestinian minority. When Netanyahu says to Palestinians “acknowledge us as Jewish nation state” he doesn’t just mean “say that we are”; he says, “help us become that”; and he means, “take our Palestinian citizens.”
So let us recap. Netanyahu wishes to create a demilitarized, discontinuous statelet, economically and politically forever overwhelmed by Israel; and he wants to use this political non-entity to legally amputate our Palestinian minority citizens, remove them from Israeli democracy and thus preserve Israel’s “Jewishness”. Effectively, that’s political and ethnic cleansing; you can read more about it in my Guardian op-ed and it’s reference post last week .
And for those who say that even a statelet is better than no state at all, and that two state solution will, at the end of the day, bring peace and stability – here’s a pullquote:
If our policy is taken to its logical conclusion as far as the black people are concerned, there will be not one black man with South African citizenship … Every black man in South Africa will eventually be accommodated in some independent new state [Bantustan] in this honourable way and there will no longer be an obligation on this Parliament to accommodate these people politically.
Connie Mulder , Minister of Plural Relations and Development, South Africa, 1978
—————————————————remains of the liveblogging attempt follow————-
More Jewish state stuff, more Jewish state stuff, more Jewish state stuff……
We also need agreement to resolving refugee problem outside Israel.
We wish for the moment Palestinan leadership (who? Abbas? Hamas?) “get up and say we recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state”. Wow.
Re-asserts Israel as Jewish state, blames Palestinians for refusing “generous offers”.
Yep, it’s the Arabs’ fault. They didn’t dance when partition was announced in 1947; Blaming Israel’s presence in west Bank for criticism of Israel is “mixing reason and result.”
Praises peace, economic prosperity. So why peace is so far? Let’s see…
He invites Arab leaders to come and “talk peace,” “even in Jerusalem”. That this would mean recognizing Israel’s sovereignity there before any peace accord is a minor technicality.
He mentions and re-asserts his commitment to unity govt – translation: please, Kadima, save me from my coalition
Why is he speaking from a blue latrine?