Netanyahu: Even in peace, the occupation will never end

Secretary_Kerry_Addresses_Reporters_With_Prime_Minister_Netanyahu_(22645207894)

by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man

He’s said it countless times before in myriad ways. But he usually only says it in Hebrew. This week, however, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in English, and on camera, that under his leadership Israel will never end the occupation of Palestine.

Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington earlier this week, Netanyahu dodged a question about whether he supports a one- or two-state solution, and outlined a vision that sounds a lot like an entrenched and enhanced version of the occupation as it exists today.

“I don’t want the Palestinians as citizens of Israel and I don’t want them as subjects of Israel. So I want a solution where they have all the powers they need to govern themselves but none of the powers that would threaten us,” the prime minister said.

“What that means is that whatever the solution is, the area west of the Jordan — that includes the Palestinian areas — would be militarily under Israel,” he continued. “The security, the overriding security responsibility would be Israel’s.”

The mainstay of Israel’s military occupation, of course, is Israeli military control over the Palestinian territories and Palestinians themselves. Through the Oslo Accords, Israel has been able to minimize and outsource much of its control over Palestinians to the Palestinian Authority, but insists on retaining what Netanyahu calls “overriding security responsibility.”

Even after a peace deal, or in Netanyahu’s words, “a solution,” the occupation of Palestine will continue. And without sovereign control of its territory, there would definitely be no independent Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has been saying this for years. In 2014, less than three months after the collapse of the Kerry peace talks, Netanyahu statedthat “that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

A year after that, in 2015, Netanyahu declared that a Palestinian state will never be established on his watch. Fast-forward to 2017 and the prime minister started promising that he will never remove any Israeli settlements from the West Bank, without which even basic Palestinian autonomy is inconceivable. And more than a decade ago Netanyahu was filmed bragging about how he set out to sabotage the Oslo Accords.

None of that is to suggest that Netanyahu alone is responsible for the lack of peace or Palestinian statehood. His views are not all that different than the vast majority of Israeli politicians who hope to replace him one day. But next time anyone tries to lay blame on the Palestinians for “refusing to return to the table,” remember how Benjamin Netanyahu keeps openly stating his unwillingness to ever end the occupation.

Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man is the editor-in-chief of +972 Magazine and a regular contributor of both reporting and analysis. Prior to joining +972 he worked as the news desk manager for JPost.com. Republished, with permission, from +972 Magazine.

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13 Comments

  1. @DonBacon, this raises a fundamental question. If a state knows that it’s Security is not achievable then why trying to establish it in the middle of all its enemies?
    The Late Helen Thomas was right in telling GWB to let them either go back where they came from or give them a pieces of larger land in state of Montana and move them there!

  2. You have to give more credit to what Netanyahu says–he doesn’t want the Palestinians in Israel, which he takes to be all of Palestine. In the long run he wants to get rid of most of them somehow, ideally to Jordan and by general attrition, he and his supporters just haven’t figured out how. War offers many opportunities in their eyes as is clear from frequent right wing references to post war population swaps, such as those between Greece and Turkey after WWI, and ejection of Germans from Eastern Europe following WWII. And it’s not just the right wingers. Recall Golda Meir’s comment on Gaza–We want the bride, she said, but not the dowry. They figure the world will tsk-tsk but go along. So far they’ve been right.

  3. Who is currently in violation of International Law and the Geneva Convention ?
    IT’S ISRAEL

    ISRAEL’S CURRENT LAW VIOLATIONS

    ISRAELI OCCUPATION IS ILLEGAL:
    Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 2(4) & 51 (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations…, Principle 1(1970).

    ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS ON OCCUPIED LAND:
    Laws Violated: Geneva Conventions IV, Article 49(6) (1949). It is illegal to colonize occupied land or transfer non-indigenous population to that
    land.

    ILLEGAL TO TAKE LAND BY FORCE & CLAIM SOVEREIGNTY:
    Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 2(4) (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations…, Principle 1(1970).

    ILLEGAL ISRAELI PRACTICE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING:
    Laws Violated: Forbidding civilian populations the right to return to their homes following the end of armed conflict is in direct violation ofinternational law and UN resolutions. Geneva Convention IV, Articles 45, 46 & 49 (1949), UN resolutions 194 (III) (General Assembly; 1948) &237 (Security Council; 1967).

    ISRAELI APARTHEID SYSTEM IS ILLEGAL:
    Laws Violated: International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1976).

    MASSIVE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS (HR):
    Laws Violated: U.N. Charter, Article 1 (1945); Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations…, Principle 5 (1970).

    COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IS ILLEGAL:
    Laws Violated: Geneva Conventions IV, Article 33 (1949); Geneva Conventions (Protocol I), Article 75(2d) (1977).

    ILLEGAL MASSIVE TRANSFORMATION OF LOCAL LAWS:
    Laws Violated: Hague Regulations IV, Article 43 (1907).

    VIOLATIONS OF U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS:
    Laws Violated: Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations U.N.
    Charter, Article 25 (1945); a few sample resolutions – 54, 111, 233, 234, 236, 248, 250, 252, 256, 262, 267, 270, 280, 285, 298, 313, 316, 468, 476,etc.

    SEPARATION BARRIER RULED ILLEGAL

    These are not the actions of a country that wants peace. Israel has no interest in peace. In reality, it has demonstrated that its interest is in maintaining its control over the most amount of land with the fewest number of Palestinians.

  4. The preamble of UNSC Res 242 states “Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security.” Israel takes this to mean that, since it is surrounded by enemies, it must control security in the area.

  5. Never ever , say never , this is because , if you could only take endless senseless statements of politicians , and compare it effectively to what has been done later by them actually , well , one wouldn’t attribute finally , that much importance and significance to statements . Take Aric sharon , no one could believe that he would be the one , that shall evacuate the Gaza strip , and yet he did it !! Take Menahem Begin , evacuating the whole Sinai peninsula , and signing peace agreement with the Egyptians ( the same “Likud” party ) . One may never Know , what kind of solutions or transitional solutions( emphasizing transitional ) may occur finally . There is no need to lose hope and seal the fate of that region , due to theoretical declarations ,high level of dedication and creativity , may solve any issue .
    Thanks

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