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Israel expert: Are we allowed to be arrogant without paying a price?

October 9, 2023 at 12:17 pm

Palestinian protesters march through the streets of Chicago from Israeli consulate in Chicago during a protest organized by Chicago Coalition for Justice as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues on October 8, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. [Jacek Boczarski – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy said in an article in Haaretz newspaper that Israel’s arrogance is behind everything that has happened, adding that the Israelis thought they were allowed to do anything and that they wouldn’t pay a price or be punished for it.

Levy went on to say: “We continue without uncertainty. We arrest, kill, mistreat, rob, protect settlers committing massacres, visit Joseph’s Tomb, Othniel’s Tomb, and Joshua’s altar, all in the Palestinian territories, and of course we visit the “Temple Mount” [Al-Aqsa Mosque], with more than 5,000 Jews visiting it on Sukkot. We shoot innocent people, gouge out their eyes and smash their faces, deport them, confiscate their lands, rob them, kidnap them from their beds, and carry out ethnic cleansing. We also continue the unreasonable siege. And everything will be fine.”

“We build a huge barrier around the Gaza Strip; its underground structure cost 3 billion shekels ($766 million) and we will be safe. We rely on the geniuses of Unit 8200 and the Shin Bet agents who know everything and will warn us at the right time. We move half the army from the Gaza enclave to the Huwara enclave just to secure the settlers’ Sukkot celebrations, and everything will be fine, whether in Huwara or Erez. Then it turns out that a primitive, ancient bulldozer can break through even the most complex and expensive obstacles in the world with relative ease, when there is a great incentive to do so.”

He added that Israel believed it could control Gaza by “throwing it crumbs here and there, in the form of a few thousand work permits in Israel”, but this was “just a drop in the ocean, and is always conditional on good behaviour”. A large majority of the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip live in poverty. According to UN figures from 2021, “81.5 per cent of individuals in Gaza, 71 per cent of whom are Palestine refugees, live below the national poverty line. Sixty-four percent are food insecure.”

Commenting on recent remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and efforts by his coalition to sign peace deals with Arab states, Levy said: “We make peace with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and our hearts forget the Palestinians, so that they can be wiped out.”

We thought we could arrogantly continue to reject any attempt at a political solution, simply because it was not convenient for us to engage in it, and everything would definitely continue like this forever. Once again, this proved not to be the case.

“Palestinians in Gaza have decided they are willing to pay anything for a glimpse of freedom.”

As a result of the Palestinian resistance’s attack on Israeli towns around the besieged Gaza Strip, Netanyahu has declared that Israel is at war and has threatened to punish Palestinians in Gaza. Levy, however, says this will achieve little. “However, Israel has been punishing Gaza since 1948, without stopping for a moment. 75 years of abuse, and the worst awaits it now. Threats to “flatten Gaza” prove only one thing: that we have learned nothing. Arrogance is here to stay, even after Israel has once again paid a heavy price.”

Read: Israel has no one to blame but itself