Palestinian September Is an Israeli-Palestinian Disaster

Netanyahu's government did not generate the Arab spring or initiate the Palestinian September. But Netanyahu's government has done nothing to prevent what may occur when Arab spring and Palestinian September come together.

Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit
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Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit

The picture is clearing up. The Arab spring is an Arab disaster. In the coming years there will be no democracy in Egypt. The choice in Egypt will be either chaos, Islamic dictatorship or military dictatorship. In the coming years there will be no democracy in Syria. The choice in Syria will be either a bloodbath, an Alawite dictatorship or a Sunni dictatorship. In the coming years there will be no democracy in Jordan. The choice in Jordan will be either weakened Hashemites, the Muslim Brotherhood or Palestinians. In the coming years there will be no democracy in Libya. There the choice will be disintegration, disorder or renewed despotism. Perhaps in Tunisia a real change for the better will occur.

But the bottom line of the Arab spring is that the lives of hundreds of millions of Arabs will be worse. More poverty, more crime, more fear in the streets. More oppression of women, more persecution of minorities, more hatred of the West. Monarchies like Saudi Arabia, which thwarted the Arab spring - are now emerging as responsible states. In contrast, the republics defeated by the Arab spring are turning one after the other into failed states. They are tainted with fanaticism, spreading misery and creating unprecedented instability.

The picture is clearing up. The Palestinian September is an Israeli-Palestinian disaster. The Palestinian September was conceived by two European statesmen - Bernard Kouchner and Javier Solana. Those two naive men figured if they grant international sponsorship to Salam Fayyad's Palestinian-state plan, they would force Israel to make a final-status arrangement.

But the Israelis did not cave in to the pressure. The Palestinians fell in love with the plan.

The train left the station. Now, when everyone understands the train is racing to the abyss, nobody can stop it. On September 20 the General Assembly debate will begin. At the beginning of October the assembly is likely to adopt a destructive resolution. Presumably Israel will take unilateral retaliation measures and the Palestinians will go the The Hague.

At the same time quiet mass demonstrations will probably begin in the West Bank. Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor Mahmoud Abbas will want violence. But the two men's failure in managing the conflict will induce violence. Suffice it for one demonstrator to be killed. Suffice it for one Jewish terror cell to carry out one murder. The autumn air will fill with gas fumes and one spark will be able to ignite them.

Both Israel and peace are about to be struck a historic diplomatic blow. But the blow's immediate tangible effect will be the creation of an uncontrollable confrontation situation in the West Bank.

The picture is clearing up. The combination of the Arab spring with the Palestinian September could create a perfect storm. Since the big Arab revolution is not offering real hope, it awakens rage and hatred. The first wave of rage and hatred was focused on Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gadhafi and Bashar Assad. The second wave will be focused on Israel. Facing the wave will be transient, weak Arab leaders who will have difficulty containing it.

Thus, if Palestinians are killed at Jerusalem's gates - Cairo, Amman and Istanbul will rage and storm.

If an alert squad in some settlement opens fire at Palestinians ascending on it - the Middle East will tremble.

In the newly created historic situation there are no shock absorbers. No stabilizing forces. Every isolated incident could instantly turn into a strategic one. The quiet is hanging by a thread.

The clearer the picture, the gloomier it gets. What makes it especially gloomy is the inexplicable behavior of Israel's government. The government is not launching a political initiative that would moderate the Arab, Palestinian and Turkish hostility. The government is not stretching out its hand to the Arab nations and Arab masses. The government is degenerating the alliance with the West and burning its bridge to the Arab world. It insists on positioning Israel in a way that highly increases the chance it will be hit by the storm.

Netanyahu's government did not generate the Arab spring. Netanyahu's government did not initiate the Palestinian September. But Netanyahu's government has done nothing to prevent what may occur when the Arab spring and Palestinian September come together. Instead of bolstering the Jewish national home in anticipation of the hurricane, Netanyahu's government is hacking away at its foundations.



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