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Opinions of Peter Belmont
Speaking Truth to Power

Israeli rage at PLO-in-UNESCO shows its real refusal to make peace

by Peter A. Belmont / 2011-11-04
© 2011 Peter Belmont


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In a very interesting article, Moshé Machover: Israel’s fury explained, the author shows from Zionist history and writings(1976-1977) why Israel’s anger over the PLO’s recognition as a “state” by UNESCO is consistent with Zionism’s long-term refusal to share the land of Palestine with the Palestinian people. In other words, he shows—or claims—that the occasional and most reluctant Israeli professions of willingness to negotiate a “two-state solution” are not to be believed.

”Let me quote from a Matzpen discussion paper co-authored by Emmanuel Farjoun and myself in August 1976 and published in the journal Matzpen in February 1977, when the first Rabin government was in office. The decisive majority of the Zionist leadership, both in the government and in the… opposition, is resolutely opposed, as a matter of fundamental principle, to the establishment of any kind of independent Palestinian state.”

First, the Zionist legitimation for the existence of the State of Israel as an exclusive Jewish state has always been entirely based not on the right to self-determination of the Jews who live in this country, but on the alleged ‘historical right’ of all Jews around the world over the whole of the ‘Land of Israel.’ From this viewpoint, recognition of the existence in Palestine of another people, the Palestinian Arab people, which has a legitimate claim in it would undermine Zionism’s legitimation and self-justification.

Second, the Zionist leadership indeed takes into account the eventuality that within the framework of a settlement Israel may be obliged to withdraw also from parts of its conquests west of the Jordan River. But from a Zionist viewpoint any withdrawal from any part whatsoever of ‘the historical Land of Israel,’ especially west of the Jordan, is—in principle—temporary and contingent on transient conditions.

If Israeli politicians really view any “settlement” (i.e., peace deal with the Palestinians) as contingent and transient (i.e., temporary), then one can understand their rage at the acceptance of Palestine as a “state” by UNESCO—and as a “state”, presumably, upon the entire land of the West Bank and Gaza including occupied East Jerusalem.

Because what this move by UNESCO delegitimizes (as, indeed, it does) is NOT the state of Israel, as so often claimed, but, rather, the dream or plan or aspiration of the Zionists to occupy the whole of Palestine without the presence therein of any “Palestinian” presence whatever.

This is why Israel must be dragged kicking and screaming into any real activity whose end-point will be a “just and lasting peace.”

This is why Israel has so energetically violated the Fourth Geneva Convention with its confiscation of Palestinian lands, its building of settlements and wall, and its moving of 550,000 settlers (so far) into occupied territories. It is an energy directed toward achieving the Zionist dream of a One-State-Solution, and that state Israel, without any significant Palestinian presence west of the Jordan River.

This great Israeli energy, so willing to blast international law to smithereens, is not going to be blown away by the mere power of Palestinian aspirations, for Israel has a vastly powerful army and Palestine (even with all its friends combined) has not.

That is why it is so important that the PLO (or a friend) soon introduce into the UNSC a draft resolution similar to UNSC 465 (1980),[1] but with enforcement “teeth”. And upon the anticipated veto of this draft resolution by the USA, the PLO must re-raise the same resolution in the UNGA, seeking in both bodies to require Israel—under threat of significant sanctions—to remove all settlers, dismantle the wall, and dismantle the settlement buildings, all of which are present in occupied territories in violation of international law, as stated both by the UNSC and the ICJ.

Israel’s friends are not afraid of decisions taken and actions made while “kicking and screaming” as long as the “kicking and screaming” is done by others (such as Palestinians, Lebanese, Iranians, Americans).

But the “kicking and screaming” must evidently be done by Israel itself if there is to be progress on a “just and lasting peace” between Israel and Palestine. There is no other way. The “coming to terms” that Zionists must undergo, by which they will accept once and for all, that the Land must be, and will be, and will permanently be divided between Israel and the Palestinians can only occur after the application of such sufficient “tough love” (or other toughness) to Israel by the international community that they pass through the phase of “kicking and screaming” implied by the death throes of the legitimacy of the Zionist dream into the relatively quiescent phase of “coming to terms” with the result—Israeli withdrawal from the presently occupied territories, an end to the settlements (or the vast majority of them), and an end to any and every claim by Israel, now and forever, and explicitly, to a legitimate ownership interest in the land of Palestine outside the borders of pre-1967 Israel.

Israel did not need to chose for itself the path of “kicking and screaming”, but they have chosen it. Abundantly and “in spades”.

Let the games begin.


[1] UNSC-465: remove all settlers, dismantle all settlements—but no “teeth”.


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