Mustafa Barghouthi MP, the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, has described peace with the "settlers' government" of Benjamin Netanyahu as a "pipe dream". The solution, insists Barghouthi, lies in popular resistance.
Calling for a strategy which combines popular resistance, national steadfastness and the mobilisation of international solidarity in order to achieve national unity, Barghouthi said, "The features of the apartheid system set up by Israel in the Palestinian territories have become evident through settlement expansion, the construction of the apartheid wall, the Judaisation of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, and the conversion of the West Bank into Bantustans."
The elected member of the Palestine Legislative Council added that the Israeli government does not want peace. "Israel seeks to replace the idea of an independent Palestinian state with autonomy under occupation."
According to Barghouthi, "Israel has turned the longest occupation in modern history to a system of racial discrimination that is the worst in the human history." He noted that there is no other option left but popular resistance in parallel with a raft of sanctions and boycotts on Israel.
As such, he called for the imposition of sanctions until Israel stops its crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories and freezes settlement activity. This should be a prelude to removing settlements altogether, he explained, the ending of its racist military occupation and the arbitrary policies it has been applying in Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
"Israeli society is drifting towards extremism, particularly when it comes to the power and influence enjoyed by the settlers within the political parties and the government," concluded Barghouthi, noting that more than 30 per cent of the new members of the Likud Party are settlers themselves.