Uri Avnery in a powerful column about the Zionist state walking off a cliff with its eyes open:
Israel is dominated by the settlers, who resemble in spirit the Crusaders of the 12th century. Fundamentalist religious parties, not much different from their Iranian counterparts, play a major role in our state. The political and economic elite is steeped in corruption. Our democracy, in which we took so much pride, is in mortal danger.
Some people argue that all this is happening because “Netanyahu has no policy”. Nonsense. He has a clear policy: to maintain Israel as a garrison state, to enlarge the settlements, to prevent the foundation of a real Palestinian state, and to go on without peace, in a state of eternal conflict.
Just now it was been leaked that Netanyahu is going to give a historic speech – another one – very soon. Not in the Knesset, whose importance is approaching nil, but in the really important forum: AIPAC, the Jewish lobby in Washington.
There he will unfold his Peace Plan, whose details have also been leaked. A wonderful plan, with only one minor defect: it has nothing to do with peace.
It proposes setting up a Palestinian state with “provisional borders”. (With us, nothing is more permanent than the “provisional”). It will consist of about half the West Bank. (The other half, including East Jerusalem, will presumably be covered with settlements.) There will be a timetable for the discussion of the core issues – borders, Jerusalem, refugees etc. (In Oslo, a timetable of five years was fixed. It expired in 1999, by which time negotiation had not even started.) Negotiations will not start at all until the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish People and accept its “security requirements”. (Meaning: never.)
If the Palestinians accept such a plan, they need (in the words of the US Secretary of Defense in another context) “to have their heads examined”. But of course Netanyahu is not addressing the Palestinians at all. His plan is a primitive attempt at marketing. (After all, in the past he was a marketing agent for furniture). The aim is to stop the international campaign of “delegitimatsia”.
Ehud Barak, too, had something to say this week. In a long TV interview, almost entirely consisting of political gibberish, he made one important remark: the Arab uprisings provide Israel with new opportunities. What opportunities? You guessed it: to get increased quantities of American arms. Arms and America Ã¼ber alles.