It’s the Palestinians’ Fault, Let Them Pay

This cynical and useless game, whose only purpose is to prove again that the occupied ones are to blame, will end in bloodshed.

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
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Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Executive Committee of PLO  on March 31, 2014.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Executive Committee of PLO on March 31, 2014.Credit: AFP
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

Occasionally the chutzpah of the Americans, and even of the Israelis, believe it or not, reaches still newer heights. This can be seen in the threats of both countries to by the United States and Israel to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority. Israel threatens to withhold taxes collected on behalf of Palestinians and has even made threats against their wireless carrier.

The United States threatens to suspend aid to the PA; Europe, Washington’s thrall, is next. It’s unbelievable that the occupier is imposing (more) sanctions on the occupied.

It’s unbelievable that what has emerged from all the talk about Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel is more sanctions on the Palestinians, as if to tell them: You broke it, you bought it.

But who broke it? Who’s to blame for the collapse of the talks? What exactly did the Palestinians do to deserve punishment (again)?

After Israel repudiated its promise to release a handful of Palestinian prisoners and began to set conditions for fulfillment, published another tender for the construction of new homes in the settlements, refused to submit its maps with proposed borders, sabotaged the talks with the ridiculous demand of recognition it as a Jewish state, showed not the slightest inclination to end the occupation and continued to build unabated in the settlements and to kill innocents, also unabated – after all this, the Palestinians took a minor, almost desperate step, so they are to blame.

They turned to the world and asked to join 15 international conventions, perish the thought. The Palestinians had the great temerity to apply to join the Geneva Convention, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and conventions against genocide, racism, discrimination against women and against people with disabilities, the Hague Convention on the laws and customs of war on land and even the international convention against corruption. You broke it, you bought it, dear Palestinians.

The Palestinians did not use terror or violence; they didn’t even sign the Rome convention, which would have opened the door to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They only approached a few international conventions and were furiously assailed from Jerusalem to Washington.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is threatening; the government’s coordinator of activities in the territories is preparing a bank of targets. And the U.S. secretary of peace, John Kerry, and the president of righteousness, Barack Obama, the “honest brokers,” are already laying their hands on the money.

First we must ask – what sin did the Palestinians commit by seeking to join international conventions?

Israel is so certain of the justice of its path, of its army being the most moral in the world, and its occupation as more enlightened than any other – so what is there to be afraid of? What does Israel have to hide that it is so fears the international bodies of justice and law? What is this foolish chatter about the Palestinians being the ones taking a “unilateral measure”?

Every Palestinian child who is shot by the Israel Defense Forces, every new home built in the settlements and every decision Israel makes not to release the prisoners are not unilateral steps. They are taken, after all, after consulting with the Palestinians. Only turning to the world is unilateral, and breaks the talks.

Second, we must ask what is the purpose of the punishment? Stopping the assistance and the talks will mean the end of the Palestinian Authority. Is that what the United States wants?

Is Israel aware of the implications of this step, which will bash in the skull of the fictitious creation called the Palestinian Authority, whose sole purpose is to be Israel’s subcontractor for security, sanitation, education, health and garbage collection? And what will be after the PA is bashed? That will take place after the 8 P.M. main news broadcast, which is as far as Israeli vision goes.

This cynical and useless game, whose only purpose is to prove again that the occupied ones are to blame; that there are two symmetrical sides to the conflict; that there is no basic justice or terrible injustice for all to see; that sanctions must not be imposed against the occupier, but should and must be imposed against the occupied – this game will end in weeping and thereafter in bloodshed.

Israel, with the blind backing of the United States, will win again, and the Palestinians will be on the ropes. Good for you. Bravo, Obama and three cheers for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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