World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


A Vote Against Common Sense

A Vote Against Common Sense

By JAMAL KANJ

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ISRAELIS voted on Tuesday to kill the prospect of peace. Out of 34 factions contesting election, voters chose right wing parties advocating land annexation and "Jewish-only" settlements.

This should come as no surprise as an opinion poll conducted by Israel Democracy and Tel Aviv University last month revealed that 67 per cent of Israelis supported their government's policies on the stalled peace process.

For the first time in history, peace was not in the top two issues in the latest Israeli election.

In fact, public opinion surveys carried out over the last year showed that the majority of Israelis preferred the status quo over rigorous efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians.

Having had a de facto peace for the last 10 years, Israelis have reason to aspire to something else in the "hierarchy of human needs".

Other than their extra-judicial assassinations and a "starvation diet" imposed on Gazans, Israelis have enjoyed genuine peace.

At the same time, governments from all political spectrums have persisted in championing the building of "Jewish-only" settlements, intending to prejudge the outcome of negotiation.

In the Tel Aviv University polling, prospective Israeli voters were asked who was best to handle socio-economic issues.

Forty-five per cent believed it was Labour party leader Shelly Yachimovich, while 36pc backed Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Playing to deep-seated Israeli racism and copying George W Bush's second term, "external threat" strategy, Netanyahu succeeded in muddling voters' priorities - so that overblown fear triumphed over reason.

Despite concern over the economy, Israelis voted for the less qualified candidate to lead their country.

In a meeting earlier this week with a group of American senators, the Israeli Prime Minister asserted that the "Iranian threat", not Jewish settlement building, was a threat to world peace.

Likewise, more than 20 years ago Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir told then President George Bush that dealing with Iraq took precedence over peace with the Palestinians.

A decade from now, another Israeli leader will likely conjure up another distant threat to avoid dealing with its occupation of Palestine.

Sadly, the international community continues to ignore the fact that these fictitious, remote enemies exist only as a direct result of Israeli occupation and injustice inflicted on the people of Palestine.

Understanding these palpable facts, world leaders - while remaining powerless - have privately expressed frustration with Israeli policies undermining the peace process.

In 2011, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard telling President Barack Obama that Netanyahu was a "liar".

In the same year German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked the Israeli Prime Minister, saying "how dare you" when he called to complain about Germany's vote at the United Nations Security Council.

Recently, US President Barack Obama was quoted as saying in a private conversation: "Israel doesn't know what its own best interest are [sic]."

Even former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, in an interview with Israel's Channel 7 last Thursday, said the current Israeli government was disinterested in peace or reaching a resolution with the Palestinian people.

Israel will continue to be led by a Prime Minister who bragged in 2001 of his intention "to put an end" to the peace process.

Since his election in 2009, Netanyahu's policies of building illegal settlements have made the prospects of a viable Palestinian state very unlikely.

The leaders of the newly-recognised state of Palestine face new challenges.

Should they allow Israel to eviscerate the meaning of UN recognition, or force their agenda before indifferent world powers?

Protesting against illegal land theft should not be limited to boycotting negotiations and oral condemnations.

In the absence of a viable, independent Palestinian state, a single-state option should become part of a new strategy.

Israelis want to continue their occupation and have peace. They can't have it both ways.


*Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes frequently on Arab issues and is the author of Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news