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Rhetoric of blame and recognition

Within Zionist perspectives, essential components of "peace" are the urge to assign blame upon Palestinians and the tendency to wallow in the mild "condemnation" of the settler-colonial state by the international community. Having accomplished this sequence, peace is then constructed as "an Israeli need".


Recent rhetoric by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni exposes the superfluous negotiations as part of a strategy leading towards oblivion. Expounding upon the obvious discrepancy with regard to equity, both ministers sought to obliterate Palestinians from the framework, with the exception of instances where acknowledging the existence of the indigenous population would serve to increase exposure to Israel's self-imposed "victim" stance.

Speaking during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Jerusalem during which references to past negotiations were made, Lieberman said: "What is interesting from our point of view, certain countries and leaders… refused to blame the Palestinians for sabotaging the agreement. After some time… they started to blame Israel, and of course placed all pressure on us." According to YNet News, Lieberman also alleged that the possibility of resolving issues raised during the negotiations was ruined by Palestinians' "sudden request" to seek international recognition.

Dwelling briefly upon inconsequential details such as "raised voices" during discussions, Livni's statement to YNet news insisted that peace "isn't a luxury".

"We need this," said Livni. "It's an Israeli need."

Should Abbas fail to determine an absolute end to the negotiations, the views expressed by Lieberman and Livni will continue to serve as the pretext for any concocted agreement which might result. The settler-colonial state's demands will be met with utmost reverence, irrelevant of any futile condemnations uttered by the international community as compensation for its allegiance to illegality.

While an issue is being created due to the supposedly sudden and unilateral move by Abbas, Israel has remained constant in its aim of the total displacement of Palestinians from land and memory. It pursues this through manipulative diplomatic channels to be achieved by appropriating peace as an Israeli need and substituting Palestinian freedom for acquiescence to safeguard the settler-colonial state's need for continuity.

However, the issues of freedom and need for Palestinians are more complex. In the absence of addressed needs, freedom becomes even more illusory. Furthermore, the dangers of substituting need for freedom are exacerbated by a leadership which, despite its recent overture in favour of recognition, still retains ties to the illegal state. Unless need and freedom are constructed within converging parameters, the Palestinian struggle for liberation as a precondition to peace will remain undermined and conditioned by hostile dictates.

Given the recent developments, "blaming Israel" is likely to regurgitate itself by Israel in order to retain its fabricated legitimacy supported by the same international organisation which Abbas has resorted to in his quest for recognition. The twin rhetoric of blame and recognition is likely to result in another scenario through which Israel attempts to manipulate any criticism by lamenting against "unilateral moves" that require retaliation. However, if Abbas negotiates international recognition from within imperialist interpretations, Palestinians are likely to face additional restrictions on freedom through the UN and its selective agenda promoting protection of the settler-colonial state.

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

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