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

 

Breaking: Israel Shelling Beit Hanoun Hospital

The Israeli military have started to shell and shoot at Beit Hanoun hospital. There are still 61 medical staff and civilians, three patients and two International Solidarity Movement volunteers trapped inside. More>>

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news