Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Masada plan of the settlers

Must-read Jonathan Cook:  "The Price of Torching Mosques":
"The goal of the settler movement is to destroy any hope of a two-state solution, which is seen as limiting the Jewish people’s right to all of the land promised by God. Egged on by an ever larger number of rabbis, the hardliners in this camp are too blinkered to understand that Israeli leaders, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have already voided the peace process.
It was no coincidence that the torching of Tuba’s mosque came in the wake of an application last month to the United Nations by Mahmoud Abbas to recognise Palestinian statehood. The Palestinian Authority president raised the stakes, and so too did the settlers – by this time including Israel’s Palestinian Arab minority, a fifth of the population, in their “price tag”.
The Jewish extremists’ new strategy is apparently to stoke hatred and violence on both sides of the Green Line. As has been noted by Jafar Farah, the director of the Mossawa Center, an Arab Israeli advocacy group, the intention is to drain any residual support among Israeli Jews for a Palestinian state by persuading them that they are in an apocalyptic struggle for survival."
and:
"With no hope of statehood, Palestinians will have to devise their own new strategy for coping with the reality of an apartheid system in which the Jewish settlers become their permanent neighbours. Trapped in a single state ruled over by their occupiers, Palestinians are likely to draw on the experience of their cousins inside Israel.
Israel’s Arab community has been struggling with marginalisation and subordination within a Jewish state for decades. They have responded with a vocal campaign for equality that has antagonised the Jewish majority and resulted in a wave of anti-Arab legislation.
The two Palestinian communities, both confronting a harsher future under Israeli rule, have every incentive to develop a unified platform and struggle jointly – and more powerfully – against an overarching regime of Jewish privilege.
Their response could be tit-for-tat violence – that is certainly what the settlers would prefer. But a more effective and likely long-term strategy is a civil rights movement much like the ones that fought against Jim Crow laws in the US and against apartheid in South Africa. A simple rallying cry, voiced to a world exasperated by Israel’s self-destructive behaviour, would be “one person, one vote”.
Netanyahu and the settlers hope to subdue Palestinians with the establishment of a Greater Israel. But as the conflagration of mosques suggests, they may ultimately achieve the opposite. By reminding Palestinians on either side of the Green Line of their common fate, Israel may yet unleash a force too powerful to control. The price tag – this time demanded by Palestinians – will be high indeed for the Jewish supremacists."
The all-or-nothing logic of the settlers should be turned around to leave them with nothing (although I don't see the game playing out that far, as the Jews will commit another form of suicide first, by starting a war they can't win).
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