Faced with criticism over plans for settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to deflect international criticism by accusing governments of aligning themselves with Palestinian interests. “It cannot be that the Palestinians are pampered forever by the international community.” Once again attempting to portray Israel as a victim of an international conspiracy yielding to alleged ‘Palestinian incitement’, Netanyahu’s discourse also exposes the dynamics which allow the space for such contradictory statements to flourish.
Contrary to Netanyahu’s claims regarding international leniency exhibited towards Palestinians, Israel remains the recipient of such privileged attention – the result of international complicity in aiding, allowing and recognising the establishment of the state of Israel on Palestinian land. It is within this impunity that Israel is allowed a pedestal from where it promulgates a series of misgivings under the illusion of equality. “It’s time that the international community, certainly the serious members of the international community, understand that this is a two-way street, because peace is not a one-way street and it won’t be.”
Within this generalising statement uttered by Netanyahu, one can already decipher the exclusive nature of Zionist policy, primarily the separation of the ‘serious members’ of the international community from the rest of the international community. Countries which have revolted against colonisation and imperialism, such as Cuba and Venezuela, would definitely fail to form part of this elitist community whose considerations extend to the protection of Israel’s illusive and expanding cartography. Hence, a serious international community according to Netanyahu would presumably consist of countries pledging allegiance to imperialist policies – a community which resorts to force under various guises in the name of peace, leading to a ‘two-way street’ which considers oppressive authority and subservience as equality.
Seeking the understanding of the international community is irrelevant, considering that the majority of countries, along with the United Nations, have condoned Israel’s violations of international law. Palestinians receive vague utterances of solidarity during crises instigated by Israel, while the colonising entity is regaled with benefits in return for exploiting and displacing the indigenous population of Palestine. International criticism against further settlement construction seems to be a prime temporary concern, albeit without any resounding consequences for Israel, whose sole preoccupation is a ‘peace agreement’ in which Palestinians forfeit all rights to land, self-determination and nationhood.
A few days ago Cuban journalist Iroel Sánchez stated, “We will fight imperialism and we will be anti-imperialists as long as imperialism exists in the world”. The common Cuban sentiment is mirrored in Palestinian resistance – despite decades of brutal oppression, Palestinians have not relinquished their right to return or the right to memory which, despite fragmentation due to a multitude of experiences enforced upon the population by Israel; has retained a tenacity to resist Zionist manipulation of history. It is evident that peace cannot be achieved until colonisation is dismantled and Israel, together with the international community, is held accountable for violating international law. All forms of intentional alienation from the Palestinian cause have been exhausted – Palestinians are resisting while Israel is only defending its own illusion.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.