“We want to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians … we will insist on the vital interests of the State of Israel, first of all security.” Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments provide more than an indication of how security concerns, provoked by Israel’s belligerent occupation, will continue to provide the backdrop for any discussion in which the occupying power will fortify its opposition even to a hypothetical construction of a Palestinian state.
The discourse of contradictions – notably hatred and unity, remain vital in Netanyahu’s conjecture of Palestinian resistance and Zionist claims of victimisation. The latest comments regarding the negotiations disseminated by Israel’s Channel 2 have juxtaposed Palestinian demands and the alleged Israeli concessions in return for further deterioration of Palestinians’ rights. According to the media, Palestinians are demanding recognition of their state, access to the Gaza Strip, the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, border crossing control, authority over a part of the Dead Sea and the ability to sign bilateral agreements autonomously. On the other hand, Netanyahu has offered monetary compensation in return for control over settlements, insisted upon IDF presence on the Jordan border, and a demand that Palestinians renounce all claims to land and the right of return. The state of Israel keeps delegitimizing itself through its repeated insistence that Palestinians conform to illegalities and renounce their collective memory in return for grudgingly allowed a temporary relief within enclaves of land continuously assaulted and appropriated into Israel’s expanding borders.
“We are demanding from them that at the end of the negotiations, they will renounce all their claims, including national claims, and that they will recognise the national rights of the Jewish people in the State of Israel.” At the end of the farcical talks, Netanyahu is expecting Palestinians to live in oblivion of their history and collaborate in the Zionist plan for further fragmentation of Palestinian identity. Any discussions which obliterates the right of return for Palestinians affirms Israel’s ongoing preoccupation with demography, as well as the exclusive dynamics of the Jewish state, which has intentionally marginalised the essence of Palestinian identity into isolated groups burdened with generalisation, segregation and oblivion – a fact which is evident in Israel’s classification of Palestinian refugees.
Comments on the Jerusalem post regarding the Palestinian right of return are imbued with an incongruous irrevocability of who should be classified as a refugee. According to some commentators, the descendants of Palestinian refugees should not be classified as ‘real refugees’, conveniently ignoring the fact that Israel created a new form of exile – a permanence which is inextricably linked to both the prolonged occupation and its apartheid practices, as well as the reluctance of the United Nations to challenge the state it created under the pretext of a resolution. The negotiations cannot be discussed in a manner which isolates the international community and the United Nations from the process. The apparent detachment only serves to consolidate the imperialist strategy of impunity, no longer a strategically concealed effort due to the induced alienation generated through false expectations encouraged by authorities usurping freedom and granting promises of solution.
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