Opposition to the Palestinian prisoners’ release reverberated during a meeting organised by Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon. According to reports in Maariv, Danon called upon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “reconsider the release of terrorists given the recent terror attacks,” adding that the meeting was a commemoration of the “sacrifice” endured in order to live in Israel.
Opposition to the release of Palestinian prisoners has been continuous, with Israeli ministers exploiting the sentiment and seizing the opportunity to distort the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance, by eliminating the historical process of colonisation and perpetual Israeli state terror. Discourse regarding Palestinian resistance continues to be disseminated within various frameworks of isolation which serves to distance Palestinian identity from Palestinian history. Mired within oblivion serving the fabricated Israeli claims to land, Palestinians resurface in Israeli narratives as an impediment to imaginary collective assertions pertaining to security concerns. Hence the deliberate depiction of Israel in constant alert over alleged terrorism, engrossed in the commemoration of victims, while permanently isolated from the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine which has been perfected throughout decades to avoid the possibility of international condemnation.
The Palestinian prisoners’ release remains the only specimen of commitment which Israel has symbolically adhered to in the course of the negotiations – an ineffective gesture in combination with further settlement expansion. While the release of prisoners has been welcomed by Palestinians, the focus upon the release since the announcement has been utilised by imperialism to highlight Israel’s alleged commitment to peace, notwithstanding the immoral bargaining over people’s lives and the indignity of associating resistance with minimalist concessions; a process sanctioned by the Palestinian Authority and central to Israel’s settler-colonial agenda.
During the course of the meeting, former IDF judge Adrian Agassi declared the Palestinian prisoners’ release as proof that “Israel is no longer a sovereign country, following foreign dictates over national interests”. In a 2009 interview with the Guardian, Agassi had declared that peace with Palestinians “goes against nature” and emphasised his disdain for Palestinian right to their land by stating, “If we had named it the State of Jews, the Arabs would have understood that this land belongs to Jews.” Israeli narrative is imbued with references to compromise regarding land ownership which Palestinians refused, in order to attest to legitimacy and sovereignty. Thus Zionist created a premise through which to refute the atrocities committed during the Nakba in order to enforce the creation of the illegal state upon usurped Palestinian land. The majority of Israeli arguments concerning the legitimacy of the Zionist state are based upon ambiguities such as morality, in order to avoid dealing with discrepancies of expanding support for the colonisation project, due to the absence of legal territorial claims in favour of the myth pertaining to Biblical rights.
Agassi’s clam regarding the depletion of Israeli sovereignty induced by foreign interests disguises the construction of Israel’s settler-colonial state. Foreign dictates have supported Israel’s colonisation of Palestine due to the congruence between colonialism and imperialism in superseding international law through a superior implementation of force. Israel and the US have imposed their narratives of conquest and perpetual war as an alternative normalising the relentless oppression of Palestinians. The depiction of released Palestinian prisoners as detrimental to Israel’s sovereignty is in obvious contradiction to the dynamics of Israel’s imperialist-sanctioned colonisation. While conforming to the Zionist lament deconstructing Palestinian resistance into terrorism, the prisoner release is of no substantial threat to the existence of the illegal state. Within colonialist and imperialist discourse, the prisoner release may be constructed as an extension of conquest, as evidenced by the incessant and retaliatory settlement expansion announced consistently by Netanyahu. The symbolic gesture of goodwill is an additional form of plunder which, despite its illegality under international law, fails to elicit condemnation precisely due to the correlation between international law and the imperialist interpretation of international law. By focusing on the issue of Palestinian prisoners, Israel seeks to appropriate another sliver of Palestinian narrative to reframe within its colonial discourse and utilise within the framework of negotiations in two particular aspects. Besides reinforcing the compliant conspiracy to obtain global support for its plans to maintain the colonisation of Palestine, the opposition voiced by Israelis furthers incitement against Palestinians which is notably prevalent within settler communities, whose violence and terror against Palestinians is sanctioned and protected by Israel.
Israel has regularly denounced international law and deemed the legislation non-applicable when referring to its own record of human rights violations. However, it has reserved the right to evoke the legislation to obtain justification for atrocities committed against Palestinians under the pretext of defending the illegal state and its citizens. The United Nations has acquiesced to Israel’s security concern narrative, delegitimizing Palestinian resistance in the process despite its legality being enshrined in international law. Evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead failed to act as a deterrent to the international community’s unwavering support when Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defence. The recent history is a reflection of imperialist acceptance of Israeli atrocities since the Nakba. The ability to maintain a consistent impunity is synonymous with the fabricated legitimacy constructed by the settler-colonial state, which is in turn supported by imperialism due to the similar characteristics with regard to plunder, violence and exploitation.
The colonial and imperialist selective application and interpretation of international law signify the lack of independence and impartiality exhibited by the UN, which is in turn obscured by the promulgation of equality. Since the establishment of Israel’s illegal state, ethnic cleansing and colonial expansion have been normalised into a balanced conflict regarding the right to land, hence the insistence upon rhetoric such as “resolution” as opposed to the dismantling of the settler-colonial state. The notion of equality, as enshrined within the UN Charter’s preamble which affirms the equal rights “of nations large and small”, affirms the manipulation of the oppressed. Israel has created several facades of equality as exercises in alienation from the human rights violations endured by Palestinians. The domination wielded by Israel is a reflection of the prevailing imperialist structure which applies equality within the confines of rhetoric, while legitimising violence against defenceless nations opposing the required subjugation to global domination.
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