In the introduction to Donald Trump’s “steal of the century,” its writers set sail on the Israeli-Palestinian peace ship toward a post-sovereignty age: “Sovereignty is an amorphous concept that has evolved over time. With growing interdependence, each nation chooses to interact with other nations by entering into agreements that set parameters essential to each nation. The notion that sovereignty is a static and consistently defined term has been an unnecessary stumbling block in past negotiations. Pragmatic and operational concerns that effect [sic]security and prosperity are what is most important.”
The aim of this pile of postmodern pronouncements is clear. On the one hand, if sovereignty is an amorphous, flexible and dynamic category, then in a few cases it can be shrunk to minuscule and meaningless proportions. For example, in the case of the Palestinian Arab nation. Since it had the misfortune of finding itself in the promised land – but not to it – it must accept that the parameters that will be set for it cannot include full control of its future. But in other cases, like that of the people of the Bible in the land of the Bible, again due to the amorphous and dynamic nature of the concept, sovereignty can be extended endlessly.
And so, the sight of a few shapeless green blobs here and there on the map of Netanyahu and Trump’s Greater Israel – blobs called, in the language of the “Peace to Prosperity” vision, “the State of Palestine” – makes it clear that the sovereignty of this Palestinian Pale of Settlement within the Jewish state will not exceed that which the Jewish community enjoyed 150 years ago in the Russian state.
This “State of Palestine” will be suffocated from every side by the settlement blocs. Israel’s insistence on preserving these blocs, denying territorial contiguity to the future Palestinian state, was one of the reasons for the failure of the previous peace talks. As if that were not enough, the state will also be forced to tolerate the isolated settlements in its territory, the preservation of which will necessitate the everlasting presence around them of the Israel Defense Forces as well as the absolute subordination of the Palestinians to Israeli military sovereignty.
But despite the cries of joy of the pro-Netanyahu and the pro-Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid right, if the Trump-Netanyahu vision is fulfilled and the Palestinian national experience is crushed for good, not only the “State of Palestine” but also Israel is liable to become, in the long term, an unsustainable state. Once the rope of Israeli sovereignty is tied around the neck of the Palestinian nation as a result of the annexation of its lands, the continuation of Israeli sovereignty from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River will necessarily depend on the continued suffering and humiliation of the Palestinians. A state whose sovereignty depends on tightening the bonds of slavery of another nation has no future.
Despite Israel’s desperate efforts of demonize the struggle against the occupation and the settlements and to frame it as anti-Semitic, after the denial of Palestinian sovereignty becomes final – and that is the meaning of the Trump plan – nothing will prevent making the question of Palestine the symbol of the global struggle between the supporters of equality and liberty and the International of Racists of All Countries, who will stand alongside the Israeli occupier. The chances of Israel and its allies winning this fight are about like the chances of the nobility and the priesthood to defeat the Third Estate in the French Revolution.
But until this happens, the opponents of apartheid and the settlements cannot sit idly. First: If and when the efforts to pass annexation laws are renewed – the efforts that were suspended by Trump’s court Jew – the Israeli and Palestinian opponents of annexation must begin organized, coordinated civil disobedience Jewish ethnocratic rule in the occupied territories.
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Second: Even before that, there is something that Israeli opponents of the Netanyahu-Trump plan can do. Those who object to the erasure of Palestinian nationalism and don’t want their own state to fall into the abyss of losing it moral legitimacy have the means to translate this opposition into political power in the Knesset. They can vote in the March 2 election for the Joint List – the only Israeli electoral slate that has openly and decisively come out in favor of civil and national equality between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and against racism, the occupation and apartheid.