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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/20/19

Forget Trump's "deal of the century." Israel was always on course to annexation

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Brookings Institution)
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When Israeli prime ministers are in trouble, facing difficult elections or a corruption scandal, the temptation has typically been for them to unleash a military operation to bolster their standing. In recent years, Gaza has served as a favorite punching bag.

Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting both difficulties at once: a second round of elections in September that he may struggle to win; and an attorney general who is widely expected to indict him on corruption charges shortly afterwards.

Netanyahu is in an unusually tight spot, even by the standards of an often chaotic and fractious Israeli political system. After a decade in power, his electoral magic may be deserting him. There are already rumblings of discontent among his allies on the far right.

Given his desperate straits, some observers fear that he may need to pull a new kind of rabbit out of the hat.

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In the past two elections, Netanyahu rode to success after issuing dramatic last-minute statements. In 2015, he agitated against the fifth of Israel's citizens who are Palestinian asserting their democratic rights, warning that they were "coming out in droves to vote."

Back in April, he declared his intention to annex large chunks of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, during the next parliament.

Amos Harel, a veteran military analyst with Haaretz newspaper, observed last week that Netanyahu may decide words are no longer enough to win. Action is needed, possibly in the form of an announcement on the eve of September's ballot that as much as two-thirds of the West Bank is to be annexed.

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Washington does not look like it will stand in his way.

Shortly before April's election, the Trump administration offered Netanyahu a campaign fillip by recognizing Israel's illegal annexation of the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

This month David Friedman, US ambassador to Israel and one of the chief architects of Donald Trump's long-delayed "deal of the century" peace plan, appeared to offer a similar, early election boost.

In interviews, he claimed Israel was "on the side of God" unlike, or so it was implied, the Palestinians. He further argued that Israel had the "right to retain" much of the West Bank.

Both statements suggest that the Trump administration will not object to any Israeli moves towards annexation, especially if it ensures their favored candidate returns to power.

Whatever Friedman suggests, it is not God who has intervened on Israel's behalf. The hands that have carefully cleared a path over many decades to the West Bank's annexation are all too human.

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Israeli officials have been preparing for this moment for more than half a century, since the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza were seized back in 1967.

That point is underscored by an innovative interactive map of the occupied territories. This valuable new resource is a joint project of the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and Forensic Architecture, a London-based team that uses new technology to visualize and map political violence and environmental destruction.

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Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: (more...)
 

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1 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


molly cruz

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From what I read he recently threw his old lady under the bus. Is that supposed to throw the dogs off?

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 20, 2019 at 3:12:58 PM

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molly cruz

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In third grade-- 1952 at the latest-- and possibly the year they added "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, which I hated; we learned about the holocaust, and my little 8-year old heart almost burst with sympathy for Jews, many of which surrounded me in my public school in Sea Cliff, NY.

I determined, in my typically proactive manner, that the thing to do was to marry a Jew to contribute to the replenishment of what seemed a worthy gene pool. Little did I know that because I was not Jewish, in their eyes even, it didn't amount to much. But that is exactly what I did, twice. I found out when my first husband and I considered going to Israel to live, and we were told at the Israeli Consulate in NY that it was a terrible idea, because our children, due to the fact that their mother wasn't by blood Jewish, would not be able to be buried there if they died, since they were neither Jews nor Gentiles. So in short, we were stopped at the front desk.

Shocked by the brevity of our rejection, we left, disillusioned and disgusted.

*continued

.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 20, 2019 at 3:57:04 PM

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molly cruz

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I did not regret my decision, because my two boys were exceedingly healthy and smart, something I attribute to miscegenation, as my own super white and inbred heritage was already producing a line of nervous ninnies with notably short attention spans and a tendency toward alcoholism.

Ultimately I have decided that the whole regressive idea of Israel was a serious error, one of several "Wrong Things that there is no Right Way to Do". No matter how you slice it, a Promise from a fictional deity about real estate is bunk, and in this case the results bear me out. Perhaps there was a Right Way, but it certainly wasn't pursued. A striking fact I read suggested that at first, when Israel was on the brink of creating positive ties to its Middle Eastern neighbors, those efforts were squelched by Churchill etal, due to Western "Interests", in the cradle, to fix Israel as the Western Allies' foot there, and further alliances with those countries surrounding them were basically discouraged.

And now we have the discord that seems at the heart of most of the problems that have hatched and grown and festered there in the ensuing years, causing much death and destruction.

My first proactive thought was echoed in a remark made at a White House press briefing, by a popular old journalist named Helen>>?..and it ended her career, I'm sorry to say. She said she thought the Jews should abandon their God-given home and go back to their former homes all over the world, where for the most part they were doing quite well in virtually every human endeavor they tackled.

Since they have proven themselves to be such dicks, however, my own idea-- which was to invite Israel to move lock stock and barrel to Baja California, which was roughly the same size, shape and climate, without the noisy natives, and with all those sturdy Mexicans to do the gardens and house work right next door-- has altered to the thought that Mexico could instead invite the Palestinians to the same place, and let Israel have what they seem to want, though considering the circumstances there, it's hard to understand why.

Borders and racial identities are fading as they should, delusional realms that they are, while Israel, coming late the Global Game, seems to want to make something Great Again, which may never have been that Great to begin with except in their own history book, and the Jews I know are far too sophisticated to sympathize.

Jews, Schmooze, I say! We're all just Earthlings, let's face it, and the sooner we act on that knowledge, the better it will be for all of us, along with our planet.

Submitted on Thursday, Jun 20, 2019 at 4:14:53 PM

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