Moving swiftly from one euphemism to another, Israeli atrocities in Gaza under “Protective Edge” have predictably targeted civilian areas, resulting in further killing, rendering people homeless and causing injuries. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the onslaught, ostensibly to weaken Hamas, will increase steadily.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was reported to have requested international protection for the Palestinian people. The obvious oblivion may be discerned in two recent articles written by US President Barack Obama and EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen. Published in Haaretz and juxtaposed against promotion of the “Israel Conference on Peace” programme, both articles display a patronising attitude towards Palestinians while emphasising Israel’s security concerns as a primary objective to be attained.
Israel’s gradual escalation of brutality against Palestinians is barely mentioned, apart from fictitious mourning by Obama regarding the deaths of the three Israeli settlers and, as an afterthought, a mention of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, burnt alive by vindictive Israeli settlers. The context of colonial violence, however, is eliminated. Instead, Obama regurgitates Israel’s perpetual security concerns by emphasising militarisation, intelligence cooperation, the strategic and hypocritical PA security cooperation as well as the fabricated Jewish right “to live in the historic homeland.” As in previous assertions, the solution for Palestinians is secondary to the assumed and expected rights bestowed upon Israel’s settler-colonial population.
To embark upon a discussion of peace as “undeniably just” necessitates the absolute dismantling of settler-colonialism in order for historic Palestine to be reclaimed by all Palestinians as a legitimate right. Obama’s rhetoric, however, is a reverberation of past amalgamation of security with peace, illustrated by quoting Shimon Peres, who is described as “a dauntless advocate for Israel’s security”. The commitment to further oppression of the Palestinians is clear; renewed persistence ensuring negotiations remain a perpetual, open wound, paving the way for further colonisation of Palestine.
Similarly Faaborg-Andersen extols the alleged benefits of the two-state solution, embarking upon contradictions such as, “The EU understands that it is essential for Israel to ensure the future Palestinian state will not be a failed state.” Amalgamating the contradiction epitomised by peace and security, Faaborg-Andersen declares the latter as beneficial to stability, divesting Palestinians of the “incentive to resort to violence and terror” which, in turn would enhance the “quality of life and national pride that would follow in the wake of a peace agreement and an end to the occupation.”
Predictably, the EU also relies upon the “occupation” narrative to avoid confronting the necessity of obliterating the settler-colonial state. Instead, Faaborg-Andersen evokes discourse of compromise, attempting to portray not only the oppressed and the oppressor as equals, but also placing Palestinian legitimate claims to land within the context of what Israel might allow.
Faaborg-Andersen also relies upon language that allegedly distinguishes between humanitarian aid and state-building assistance, while failing to acknowledge the superior concessions granted to Israel in return for extending colonial and imperialist policies in the region. Rather than impose their demands upon Palestinians, the US and the EU would do well to realise that any compromises embarked upon by the PA and the unity government do not reflect the aims and objectives of authentic Palestinian resistance.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.