Netanyahu: Even in peace, the occupation will never end

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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 Republished, with permission, from +972 Magazine.

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  1. I continue to think that Jews currently living illegally in the occupied West Bank, will eventually find themselves living in an independent Palestine.

  2. An opportunity was so missed! After WW2 and creating Israel, this branch of the Abrahamic religions could have opened their arms even against ‘threats’ (nothing like what had actually happened) and shown that those of the 3 Abrahamic faiths can live in harmony.

    For those born outside these faiths, we continue to be gob-smacked at the hatred they have perpetuated since their inception and continue today. For what purpose? After all We Are All One Humanity, We Are All Born Naked Without Shame, We Are All Born Equal Under The Sun.

    Shame on all of you!

  3. Netanyahu is talking nonsense, classic cognitive dissonance.

    A military occupation is exactly that: an act of belligerence and, therefore, a situation that is defined by – and governed under – International Humanitarian Law (aka The Laws And Customs Of War)

    You can’t have a continuation of a belligerent occupation AND have a “Peace Treaty”, precisely because those are mutually-exclusive propositions.

    Israel can have a formal, signed Peace with the state of Palestine.

    Israel can continue to impose an edless belligerent occupation of the stateless Palestinians.

    It can have one, or it can have the other, but it can’t have both.

    To argue that it can is manifestly absurd.

  4. How much better it would have been in 1948 if the Jewish promised land had been some state in America that the UN awarded them
    They could have terrorized the natives into feeing to another state, killed their live stock, taken their homes and farms, and done everything they’ve done in Palestine.

    Its very fortunate for the zionist though that they didn’t chose some portion of the US…other wise they would all be long gone and Israel the shortest footnote in the dustbin of history.

    People every where feel the same about their land.

  5. @RENFRO, we all can blame president Truman for objecting and even opposing the formation of a new illegal state in the ME but he didn’t, or he was pressured, NOT to act on his own instincts! In the hindsight the right thing Truman should’ve done was to punish the Germans for their atrocities by convincing or forcing the Russian into accepting the allocation of East Germany to those who suffered the most during the war! Unfortunately the war weary US wanted to get out of EU and get on with the rebuilding of EU as an economic payback for its sacrifices in the war! A huge missed opportunity for Humanity!

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