There’s a lot of secrecy surrounding the negotiations, and we hear the United States secretary of state’s optimism, the analyses of the diplomatic reporters, and a great many lordly declarations from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinmetz and their ilk.
If these were delusional right-wing extremists, we would say it’s a good thing they didn’t pass the electoral threshold, because they are liable to doom us to eternal control over these lawless territories. But they are speaking like masters because they are the masters. As far as they’re concerned, the Palestinians are meant to remain slaves without rights. One is permitted to be pessimistic after hearing these arrogant men, and one is allowed to be pessimistic in the face of the total impotence of the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left, which is busy entertaining itself on the social networks.
It seems as if the Palestinian leadership is participating in the negotiations in return for Western recognition of its right to represent its people, a right that Israel disparages because it disparages the Palestinian people’s right to exist. The self-evident colonialist common denominator among all Israelis is that only we have a need for security and the right to maintain an army and to ignore international law by continuing to build settlements. The Palestinian armed forces are helping defend us, not the homes that are raided at night by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and not the orchards that are torched by the abominable settlers.
A timetable for withdrawal? We will determine it, no one will determine it for us, says the master. After all, the lebensraum is ours.
The master also creates a “counter-discourse” on the television he produces − issues by which the Palestinians must prove the “seriousness of their intentions” and their “sincerity.” First they demand that the Palestinians recognize the Jewishness of the state, a demand made of no country in the world, and the next day comes allegations of “incitement.” In other words, the Palestinian people, which has been suffering decades of destruction, is not permitted to talk about this destruction from the perspective of the state that itself has turned the kitsch of mourning into its culture’s sole focus.
The ceremony of prisoner releases is the most symptomatic part of the media propaganda related to the negotiations. It’s enough to look at the protocol, under which families of terror victims are interviewed before every release. When was the last time you’ve seen an “ordinary” father interviewed when his son’s murderer, who was sentenced to life, is released after 20 years? Never. Why? Because every lifer has his sentence commuted and is released after 15 or 20 years, with no interviews with the unfortunate father.
The Palestinian claim is much simpler: Who among those who’ve killed us has been brought to trial? And here, too, the voice of the natives is not heard in Hebrew. If anything can shed light on the future of a diplomatic arrangement, it’s the behavior of the media, which take the extreme right-wing discourse for granted.
The hope for a resolution in the current round assumes that the Palestinians will give in and their representatives will impose the American dictates on their people, otherwise they will be accused of undermining the talks. Then they will not be able to repay us with the worst damage they are allowed to inflict on us − turning to international institutions so that they, in turn, can express their outrage at Israel. Has any colonial regime ever collapsed as the result of international outrage?
The moment has come to say in Hebrew that the Palestinians have given up three-quarters of the land and Israel is refusing to yield on the remaining quarter. In the narrow spectrum between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett they are arguing only about how many more slices can be taken from the quarter left them.
Every day Israel erases the Palestinian voice. Security? Only we have such a need. Internal debate? Only we have that. Uprooting settlement blocs? Impossible. But transferring the Wadi Ara villages outside Israeli jurisdiction? There’s nothing simpler than that. They built our cities, we took their lands and water, and now they can be part of the no-man’s-land the Americans are preparing beyond the Green Line. After all, their blood is cheap, because they are not our own.