By William A. Cook, Palestine Chronicle, February 13
‘We should try to spirit the penniless Arab population across the borders by procuring employment for it in transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.’ (Herzl, founding father of Zionism,1895).
The mind of Israel’s “decider” in yesterday’s election, Avigdor Lieberman, Head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, comes out of the late 19th century, a veritable verbal parallel to Herzl: “They (Palestinian leaders) have to disappear, to go to paradise, all of them, and there can’t be any compromise.” This is the same man that casually remarked that Israel should do to the Palestinians what the United States did to the Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, drop the atomic bomb on them. This man will decide who speaks with President Obama about “peace in the mid-east.” This man will control the right-wing agenda that will be Israel’s agenda under its newly formed government, whether Tzipi Livni or Bibi Netanyahu hold the title of Prime Minister. This man will see to it that there is no end of the occupation of Palestine, no Palestinian state, and no evacuation of the settlements, in short, no progress toward peace. This man, a Russian immigrant to Israel, will determine the fate of the indigenous people if and when Israel decides what to do with the Palestinians. This man, who won 12% of the vote, determines for Americans what their vote for Obama’s “change” really means.
Consider the reality of the results in this election: Livni’s Kadima Party, considered center right, and Netanyahu’s Likud, labeled far right conservative, split almost half of the votes, 28 to 27 respectively. Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party garnered only 13 while the Ultra Orthodox Shaas Party of Eli Yishai picked up 11 and Ehud Barak’s Labor Party 13. To form a government, both Livni and Netanyahu need two of these three plus a handful of minor parties, virtually all of them conservative. This is bad news for Livni, since Likud’s far right ideology has more in common with Lieberman, Yishai and the minor parties than Kadima. Livni will have to bring Lieberman into her government with Labor, and add some from the minor parties, if she is to form a coalition. Unfortunately, that coalition will be dominated by conservatives because they can demand that their position direct the new government or they can opt to dissolve it.
What this means in simple terms is a return to the Zionists’ initial impulse as expressed by Herzl those many years ago. America’s “Democratic” ‘friend’ in the mid-east will be run by fanatics of the far-right that openly express their desire to “wipe the Palestinians off the map,” to paraphrase the line used against Hamas. Israel must defend its “right to exist,” we are constantly reminded, against those that want to destroy it; yet we will now be faced with an Israeli government that enunciates blatantly that its intent is to destroy the Arab population that occupies the land given to Israel by its ancient g-d. One blessing may be found in these results, Israel has dropped its mask as the victim that seeks peace in favor of an outward show of its real intent, the erasure of Palestinians from the land that Israel, and Herzl, claims belongs to them alone.
Ironically, following Herzl’ death in 1905, meetings between Arabs and Jews in 1919, resulted in an agreement between “the Arab Federation and the Jews in Palestine detailing how the Balfour Declaration could be affected and guaranteed, how continuation of Jewish immigration on a larger scale could be accommodated while maintaining the rights of the indigenous population, and how freedom of worship, Moslem control of their holy places, economic assistance by the newly arrived Zionist groups could be achieved, with the understanding that the agreement would be implemented contingent upon the claim submitted to the Peace Conference for Arab Independence in Palestine. The parties did not contemplate Palestine as either a Jewish or an Arab state but rather a bi-national state associated with other Arab states” (Cook, The Rape of Palestine, 261). In 1936, this plan was submitted in a revised form to the Zionist Council and rejected out of hand. By 1937, the British Royal Commission had determined that Jewish Arab co-operation was not possible, indeed, that the two sides were irreconcilable. “The Jewish desire for a National Home in fact excluded Arabs and this was the main objection of Arabs to further cooperation” (Rhodes House Archives, Catling Files).
What might have been can be no more, it would seem, with the election of Avigdor Lieberman to be the controller of Israel’s government. We return to the mindset of the Zionists that designed the seizure of Palestine for the Jewish National Home regardless of the people that lived there for so many centuries, the Semitic peoples who became in time Christians and Muslims, non-Jews and, therefore, not welcome then and, it would seem, not welcome now. Such is the state of affairs in Israel as Obama confronts the dilemma that has been the albatross of America’s security for the past 60 years, how to divorce the United States from the union that has brought it continuous bloodshed at incredible cost.
William A. Cook, Professor of English, University of La Verne, California author of Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy, The Rape of Palestine, and The Chronicles of Nefaria.