Desmund Tutu in Haartez Op-Ed: My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

Excerpt: ” The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo. Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo. Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.”

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The Gradual Isolation of Israel and the Inevitable Move of Israeli Voters to the Extreme Right

For those who have been following the news, you must have noticed a relatively new tide in international politics: Barring the USA (and a handful of other geopolitically insignificant countries) there is a real tide of international opinion that is increasingly critical of Israel’s colonialist policies, actions and general violence in the West Bank and Gaza. The most recent evidence for this are two overwhelming votes in the General Assembly of the United Nations. In the first (29 Nov 2012), Palestine was given ‘observer member status’; only nine countries voted against: Israel, the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The second resolution (4 Dec 2012) ordered Israel to open up its nuclear facilities for inspection; only six countries voted against – the usual suspects: Israel, the USA, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

In addition to this, two days ago several key European countries – Germany, England, Spain – and many others threatened to withdraw their ambassadors – a serious diplomatic move – after Israel began constructing settlements on occupied land in the West Bank. In particular, there was outrage at plans to build on an area called E1, which would separate East Jerusalem (universally agreed upon as the capital of the future Palestinian State) from the West Bank. This move was seen as retaliation for Palestine’s symbolic move at the United Nations.

How will Israel respond to this tide of international condemnation and support of the Palestinian cause? Israel, for a few years now, has been moving steadily to the right. For example, Liberman, a far right politician who only recently would not have dreamed of it, is now in main-stream politics. The Israeli people are voting for more extreme and right wing governments who engage in war and extend the occupation. It is fair to say that the average Israeli voter is experiencing a state of paranoia. Israeli voters who go for the Netenyahu/ Liberman coalition and shun right-of-centre and centrist parties believe that the whole world is against them and that they need to bring in war-mongers like Netenyahu and Liberman to save Israel. The problem is that the actions of these politicians is only turning international opinion against Israel and making it lose support. In response to this, in response to international isolation, the Israeli voters will become even more paranoid and insular, imagining a threat at every corner and feeling that the whole world is against them. The logical conclusion to this will be an extreme right government that wages active war against its neighbours. This is not farfetched: we have seen Netenyahu’s warmongering about Iran. If the Israeli government wages war on its neighbours to appease its paranoid and insular Israeli voters then a broader middle-east war will no doubt be set in motion. At that point the Israeli psyche will be deeply paranoid and the Israeli populace isolated (with only America and perhaps Micronesia and Canada for support), to the extent that the voices of reason within Israel will be completely lost, even if now they are not heard.

This broader middle-east war will result in tens of thousands of death, if not more, and will lead to a true re-ordering of geopolitics in the region, including the very definition and structure of Israel and Palestine. Then, maybe, just maybe, we will finally see a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem.

How to Build the Perfect Racist State: The Example of Israel

Israel does not want peace, it wants to rid the land of the Palestinians. Jonathan West shows how Israel maintains an illusory interest in peace, yet all its policies say otherwise. The ultimate goal? A land free of Palestinians with a Jewish ultra-majority: The Perfect Racist State.

1. Loudly insist on all possible occasions that they have “no partner for peace”. If the Palestinian leadership is united, then say that they are unfit to be negotiated with because they are terrorists, and if the Palestinian leadership is divided, then say that no negotiations are possible because the other side doesn’t have the power to deliver its end of the bargain.

2. When negotiations with the Palestinians are unavoidable, ensure that the negotiations are strung out for the longest possible time with endless bickering over minor issues, and ensure that the negotiations ultimately fail or are arranged for a delayed or progressive implementation which Israel can then cancel at a whim citing “security concerns”.

3. Keep building further settlements irrespective of any promises made to the Americans or others. Obfuscate the issue by describing new building as “natural growth”, or claiming that new settlements are “illegal” and will be removed in due course. Of course, they hardly ever are, except that occasionally a caravan will be removed from a hilltop with great fanfare.

4. Whip up as much fury among the Palestinian people as possible so that they are so angry at Israel that Palestinian public opinion is made as anti-peace as can be achieved. Publicise all Palestinian anti-peace actions (violent or otherwise) and claim that they show that the Palestinians will never be satisfied with anything less than driving the Jews into the Mediterranean. This can be achieved with routine killings of individual Palestinians by Israeli soldiers for which nobody is ever brought to trial, coupled with occasional larger-scale operations going after “terrorist infrastructure” which in practice end up demolishing key elements of Palestinian civil society. For maximum effect, such larger-scale operations should be timed to occur whenever the pressure to participate in negotiations is rising.

5. Ensure that the Palestinians remain as poor and helpless as possible, by restricting economic activity of all kinds by means of checkpoints, blockades, barriers and other restrictions. In doing so, encourage the emigration of as many Palestinians as possible, and make it as difficult as possible for them ever to return once they have gone.

6. Prevent as far as possible the building of new Palestinian homes or the expansion of Palestinian towns in order to claim that the surrounding land is unused and unwanted by the Palestinians, and therefore can and should be built on by settlers.

7. Whip up hatred among ordinary Israelis by making parallels with the Holocaust at every opportunity, and ensure that Israeli history textbooks include lies suggesting that the flight of the Palestinians during the 1948 war wasn’t an ethnic cleansing carried out under the guns of Israeli forces but was instead a voluntary movement to make way for the advancing Arab armies. Neglect to mention that the best way for a population to assist the advance of a friendly army is to stay put and do what it can to interdict enemy lines of supply and communication.

(Copyright: Jonathan West).


Now delaying any peace initiatives would enable Israel to slowly expulse the Israeli Palestinians who form 21% of the state and are the main obstacle to the establishment of a Racist State with a Jewish majority. It is no news that discrimination against non-jews is rife both in what is now called Israel and the occupied territories, in many cases this amounts to ethnic cleansing. As Reider explains below ethnic cleansing may not necessarily take a bloody path (although that is certainly one of Israel’s strategies – think of the thousands and thousands of Palestinian civilians killed by Israel), but may involve “family-by-family expulsion from “illegal housing” and discriminative economic pressure to emigrate”, precisley the strategies employed against Israeli Palestinians. I can’t help but noticing the similarities between the German exclusion and persecution of Jews after the first world-war and the Israeli exclusion and persecution of non-jews (here arabs/muslims) since 1948.  Should we wait for a second holocaust? Infact the mass murder of Palestinians by Israel is an extended holocaust, but lacking the dramatic and concentrated killing, people are not willing to make this comparison, no doubt, as well, due to ingrained historical guilt that clouds people’s better judgment.

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