Satisfaction – that’s what Israeli faces radiate, at least as observed by people who just came out of Ramallah or Gaza and watch Jerusalem’s busy Ben-Yehuda Street, the Ramat Aviv Mall or Ben-Gurion International Airport.
To the Israelis, nothing exists beyond the moment. It’s just like the smugness exhibited by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his private playing field, the AIPAC conference. Have our diplomats been expelled? Is the American administration angry? We’ll bow our heads for a moment, the storm will pass, and we’ll be accepted into the honorable club of the OECD. The main thing is that Israel’s obstinate policy of separation has succeeded and that two adversarial Palestinian entities has been created.
More than a decade ago, during one of the futile rounds of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Saeb Erekat allowed himself to wonder: “Aren’t the Israelis thinking about their grandchildren?” A similar question is heard from inhabitants of Gaza whose homes were destroyed and whose children were killed, as well as from Palestinian farmers in the West Bank who have had their fill of harassment from settlers. Everyone wants to know: Don’t the Israelis understand that they cannot depend forever on their economic and military superiority? That it is impossible to maintain forever an aggressive regime based on extreme inequality and privilege for Jews?