A number of media outlets, some of them linked to the Palestinian Authority, have deliberately played down Israel’s decision to annex areas of the West Bank, and even welcomed the proposal. They claimed that its implementation will lead to a “one-state” solution, which will ultimately allow the Palestinians to rule Israel given their demographic superiority. It’s the rather fantastical theory.
The people making such claims assume that Israel will grant the Palestinians in the annexed territories citizenship so that they will automatically be granted the same political rights that the Zionists enjoy. It is foolish to think this way, and those who have applauded the idea are cruel individuals who do so in order to discourage the Palestinians from challenging Israeli annexation plans.
Such calls also create an environment that allows the PA leadership not to be decisive in challenging Israel over annexation and whether or not to continue security coordination with the Zionist entity. Tel Aviv has confirmed that no fundamental change to the latter has taken place, despite PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s announcement that his government has cancelled all agreements with Israel.
It is clear that the Palestinian mouthpieces who cling to this deceptive engagement with the issue of annexation are demeaning the collective awareness of the people by presenting a very simplistic perception which completely ignores reality.
Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel Hayom that Israel will not grant the Palestinians in the annexed areas Israeli citizenship, those who are demanding that the potential energy of annexation can be used for good, despite its weakness, are still continuing with their delusion. While the PA leadership has not adopted this position publicly, it is neither confronting it nor exposing its objectives. “One state” will not be condemned by the PA so that it spares itself from having to take the measures necessary to confront annexation.
The Palestinian voices calling for annexation to be exploited as a push towards a “one state” solution insult the people of Palestine and their awareness. The people are fully aware that the extreme-right government under Netanyahu is going ahead with its annexation in order to Judaise Palestinian land and create more facts on the ground. It will not allow anything that might threaten Israel’s “Jewish” character by granting Israeli citizenship to more Palestinians; 20 per cent of Israelis are already Palestinian Arabs, remember.
Netanyahu has made the task of these voices very difficult. His refusal to grant Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians in the areas to be annexed means that the process will give the apartheid regime in the West Bank a political framework.
What raises doubts about the reasons for people to make “one state” claims, especially those associated with the PA and its security agencies, is the fact that pushing such ideas is within the context that the Ramallah authority is sending reassuring messages to the occupation state regarding its true motives. For example, the Zionist media reported that security cooperation sessions between leaders of the PA and Israel are still ongoing. Moreover, the PA stresses that it will not allow any outbreak of “violence”, by which it means resistance action against Israel’s military occupation. It is obvious that thwarting resistance operations requires a degree of security cooperation with Israel.
Hence, these misleading messages are basically calling for the Palestinians to surrender and accept Israel’s annexation to allow the PA leadership to avoid a confrontation that may require it to pay a heavy price. They must be stopped.
This article first appeared in Arabic in the New Khaleej on 1 June 2020
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.