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Dayan’s attempt to justify settlement expansion delegitimise the Zionist state

A recent blog in the Times of Israel  by Dani Dayan, Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (known to the rest of the world as the occupied West Bank) epitomised the extent of Zionist fraudulence. Arguing the necessity and legality of Israel’s settler-colonial expansion of settlements in the West Bank, Dayan’s erroneous justifications for exterminating Palestinian existence and resistance included the repudiation of international law, the Zionist interpretation of peace and an appropriation of Nelson Mandela’s philosophy.


Articulating intense displeasure at the achievements of the boycott movements, Dayan attempts to mellow the impact of defeat by intensifying Israel’s commitment to settlement expansion which, he declares, are “legal, legitimate and necessary for peace”. Dayan cites the boycott progress as hindering “the values which Europe holds dear”, disregarding internationalist solidarity and striving to associate the movement with alleged European values. It is illogical to tarnish the success of the movement with a region that still has to move beyond symbolic gestures of solidarity with Palestinians while acquiescing to Israel’s ever greater demands in return for economic benefits.

The cited attributes of legality, legitimacy and peace which Dayan associates with the construction of a forged memory, as well as the theft of public space reinforcing the Zionist project, are limited to the abhorrent political structures supporting the illegality of the Jewish state: Zionism, imperialism and the United Nations. It is through this framework that Dayan can claim, “The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are not only legal but are impeccably legitimate.” The Zionist expansion is supported by imperialism, while the UN has distanced itself from the rigour of international law. In its support of the illegal Zionist state since the atrocities of the Nakba, the UN created the contradiction and distinction between legal frameworks and resolutions stipulating the illegality of Israeli settlements and the organisation’s affirmation of Israel’s “right to exist and defend itself”.

Dayan’s rhetoric attempting to embellish the alleged “defensive war for survival” delegitimises the state of Israel and subsequent settlement expansion. Settlements are the means of a continuous expulsion of Palestinians and their collective memory and historic legitimacy from the land; a means to assemble a fabricated nation dependent upon the annihilation of the indigenous population and their landscape. Depicting Jewish settlers as a persecuted minority requiring protection in order to claim that “it would be immoral for Israel to wind back the clocks and go back to square one” only attests to the sanctioning of further premeditated violence against Palestinians. A Zionist presence in Palestine is an impediment to peace. Hence, contrary to Dayan’s claims that renewing Jewish presence in Palestine through illegal settlement construction is a precursor to peace, it should be stipulated that the repudiation and dismantling of the illegal imperialist-supported Zionist state is the necessary equivalent to an authentic beginning on the path towards peace.

In an exhibition of repulsive appropriation and exploitation of language and philosophy, Dayan states: “Peace is not achieved through ethnic separation. Reconciliation is not achieved by the disappearance of your adversary but by your learning to coexist with him.” Again, the Zionist trait of reinforcing abstracts in order to normalise decades of murder and land usurpation persists, revealing the insatiable compulsion to impose a despicable superiority, an illusion sustained only by the conspiracy between Zionism and imperialism. However, legitimate resistance makes it clear that there is no reconciliation prior to self-determination, land reclamation, the retracing of Palestine’s disappeared and the recognition and implementation of the rights of all forcibly-displaced Palestinians, as well as the establishment and continuity of collective memory as a unifying Palestinian force deriving its legitimacy from the authentic struggle which Dayan strives so hard, but fails, to obliterate.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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