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Netanyahu compares Israel to settler colonialists

Israel's right-wing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu talks during a press conference in Jerusalem on 16 April, 2008 [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]
Israel's right-wing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu talks during a press conference in Jerusalem on 16 April, 2008 [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

In his latest attempt to re-write history and justify Israel’s ongoing colonisation, Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that his country is occupying Palestine and argued that empires have always conquered and replaced entire populations throughout history and no one made a big deal.

The Israeli prime minister dismissed criticism of Israel as an occupying country as “nonsense”.  The comments made in the company of Likud officials on Sunday and reported by Israeli sources puts the Israeli premier at odds with international law and the rest of the world which views Israel’s presence in the West Bank and Gaza as a military occupation.

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In comments that further reveal Netanyahu’s extreme position, the prime minister said that “empires have conquered and replaced entire populations and no one is talking about it.”

The comments appear to support the claim made repeatedly by Israel’s critics who insist that Israel’s policies in Palestine have more in common with the past when settler colonialism and empire building was the norm and racist attitudes towards native population was used to justify the denial of their basic human rights.

In his comments, reported by Yedioth Ahronoth Netanyahu stressed the need for power saying that it is “key” and was the only way to change Israel’s relation with the Arab world.

READ: Normalisation with Arabs then peace

Netanyahu went on to caution his party colleagues against making concessions to neighboring countries and groups, saying such strategies make Israel appear weak. He instead that “aligning [Arab] interests with Israel, based on Israel being a technological superpower must lead the way.”

This is not the first time that Netanyahu has spoken with nostalgia of periods in world history when states were unhindered by international norms to peruse a policy of colonisation and aggression. In September he posted a tweet from the official Prime Minister of Israel account that echoed Hitler and exposed what critics said was a terrifying political creed.

“The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive,” wrote Netanyahu. “The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end, peace is made with the strong.”

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