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Sovereignty and independence within a framework of occupation

January 23, 2014 at 4:57 am

According to a report in the United Press International, Israel’s outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, stated that Israel should be willing to recognise Palestine if Palestinians are ready to give up ‘terrorism’. The veiled discourse of security can once again be discerned owing to Israel’s deconstruction of Palestinian resistance – a narrative willingly embraced by the world’s superpowers and capitalist media.

Palestinian statehood, an achievement underwritten by the UN vote, is still mired within apartheid practices and Israeli retaliation. Netanyahu’s settlement construction threat immediately after the vote clearly demonstrates a denial of Palestinian statehood, let alone the ramifications of colonial and apartheid policies. Ayalon’s suggestion that Israel bequeaths sovereignty and independence to Palestinians in return for recognising Israel as ‘the national homeland of the Jewish people’ fails to take into consideration decades of ethnic cleansing, land appropriation, statelessness, refugee, oppression and Israel’s perpetually expanding borders. Demanding that Palestinians recognise the occupying power as a legitimate state is tantamount to relinquishing any vestige of rights to their land and of self-determination.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Ayalon also asserted that Abbas’s statement recognising Israel should be issued in Arabic – perhaps envisaging a scenario in which an official statement by a Palestinian authority would undermine recent support for Palestinians in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The insistence upon linguistic usage goes beyond a common assertion and observation, considering Israel’s quest for dominance in the region. Ayalon’s simplistic view is that such a statement would ‘have a huge impact’ on future Jewish generations. The protection of Jewish identity is a frail obscurity in how Israel would further consolidate their rhetoric on terrorism and the necessity of retaliation.  ‘Protection’ would become another keyword in the quest for dominance.

If such a statement were to materialise, Palestinians would be immediately impacted by the consequences. Resistance has been embedded within Palestinian consciousness for decades. Contrary to what Israel and their international allies allege, security has become an issue with roots within the belligerent occupation of Palestine. Israel fails to make a distinction between resistance and terrorism – indeed; it strives to portray state terrorism against Palestinians as legitimate defence. Recognising Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people would be a regression considering the onslaught of oppression and numerous violations of international law that has occurred. The international community – both individual governments as well as the UN – have failed in their duty to hold Israel accountable. Israel’s state terrorism is sanctioned as a profitable venture for Israel’s business partners, as such, an erroneous justification is sought to distance people from the evident human rights abuse.

Giving Palestinians sovereignty in return for abandoning resistance once again distorts the narrative. Palestinian sovereignty existed before the establishment of the creation of Israel. The proposal is reminiscent of an observation made by human rights academic, Jack Donnelly, regarding the creation of conditions ‘that required human rights in order to guarantee human dignity’.  It may further be noted that human rights as a bargaining tool in the hands of the oppressor reverses any semblance of dignity into a cycle of submission.

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