With the recent BDS gains weighing heavily on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mind, the rhetoric is once again emphasising a return to “peace talks” without preconditions. The latter premise, as usual, applies solely to the Palestinians.
In a meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, Netanyahu has availed himself of the opportunity to amalgamate reminiscences about the historical ties between Israel and the Czech Republic with garnering support for the two-state propaganda which the Israeli leader is using to counter growing support for the BDS movement. In doing so he distorted reality with his sophistry.
“Friendship between Israelis and the Czechs,” said Netanyahu, “goes back almost 67 years when we were fighting for our independence, and we’ll never forget the timely and invaluable assistance from the Czech people as we were fighting for our very life.” Historical hyperbole aside, Netanyahu proceeded to outline regional turmoil in the form of undeclared failed states like Libya and Syria, as well as the emergence of ISIS, to arrive ultimately at an unfair equation of Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which embrace anti-colonial struggle, with the barbaric groups supported by Western imperialism.
Emphasising Israel’s preconditions – “a Jewish nation-state, Israel, living in peace with a demilitarised Palestinian state” — Netanyahu added that Palestinians keep evading negotiations, preferring instead to focus upon alleged unilateral actions such as BDS and drafting resolutions to be presented to the UN Security Council. According to Israel National News, Netanyahu declared, “Unfortunately, the Palestinians don’t negotiate. They ran away from negotiations. They ran away from [former Prime Ministers Ehud] Barak; they ran away from [Ariel] Sharon; they ran away from [Ehud] Olmert; they ran away from me.”
In his final comment regarding BDS, Netanyahu described the movement as “a rejectionist, extremist Palestinian position in which there is no room for Israel in any borders.” This claim is debatable, at the very least, as in the website introduction to the movement, the 1967 borders are referred to explicitly.
The absolute rejection of Israel, however, is what the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle necessitates in order to advance through its own narrative. Despite Netanyahu’s accusations of unilateral actions, the Palestinian Authority has asserted itself repeatedly as a willing accomplice of both Israel and the US, embarking upon political processes that fragment Palestinian territory while bolstering its own role as both a collaborator with the occupation and yet still an internationally-recognised representative. Netanyahu’s commitment to the two-state compromise, and indeed that of the PA, does not go beyond the dynamics of sustaining an ongoing cycle of negotiations as a diplomatic form of violence through which colonialism is intended to be legitimised.
Hypocritically, Netanyahu calls for the focus to be “placed upon Palestinians” in order to ascertain whether there is agreement “to a solution of two states for two peoples.” The focus is already on Palestinians, however, as part of an agenda that consolidates Israel’s impunity. Palestinians remain ensnared within the grandiose concept of the “international community”, “peace” and “open-ended negotiations without preconditions” which provide Israel with enough loopholes to negotiate and colonise simultaneously, all the while ensuring that Palestinian visibility and unity is incarcerated by the PA and its acquiescence in Israel’s brutal occupation.
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