Israel as the crashed Germanwings Airbus A320

Though it is provocative and contentious I think my headline is appropriate for an article about an Israel in the process of committing suicide. I’d also like readers to know that the inspiration for my headline was an observation made by Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. In his latest post which called for the formation of an Israeli Salvation Front, he wrote: “The country is in existential danger. Not from the outside, but from the inside.” (That’s the way it was for the passengers and crew on Germanwings Flight 9525).

Another widely respected (Jewish) Israeli writer I want to quote is Akiva Eldar. He opened a recent article for Al-Monitor with one of the most illuminating and witty sentences ever written by anybody since the beginning of Zionism’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine 68 years ago. Here it is. “It seems that for the first time in a long while, US President Barack Obama believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Eldar was commenting on Obama’s response to Netanyahu’s pre-election admission that an independent Palestinian state would not be established on his watch.

In the course of an interview he gave to The Huffington Post Obama ignored Netanyahu’s disingenuous. post-election back-tracking and said he believes that Netanyahu is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state. He, Obama, put it this way:

“We take him at his word that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”

Eldar’s main point was that Israel also has to evaluate its options. If it continues the occupation, he wrote,the demographic balance will force it to choose between becoming a BI-NATIONAL STATE or an APARTHEID REGIME.”

Israel’s problem, entirely of its own making, is that it has to continue the occupation. Why?

Any Israeli government that attempted to withdraw from the occupied West Bank to make the space for a viable Palestinian state would trigger a Jewish civil war – a certainty that was described to me way back in 1980 byShimon Peres. (At the time he was the leader of the opposition to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s ruling Likud and I was acting as the linkman in a secret, exploratory dialogue between him and Arafat.).

As I reveal in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Peres said he feared it was “already too late” for peace based on two states. When I asked him why, he replied: “Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s stuffing the West Bank with settlers to create the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews” (to get them out of the West Bank dead or alive).

At the time Peres spoke those words to me there were only about 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank and in and around occupied East Jerusalem. Today there are about 600,000. If it was too late in 1980 because of the numbers, how much more too late is it today?

It’s possible that if an American president read the riot act to Israel and said that it would be subjected to boycott and sanctions if it did not end its defiance of international law, perhaps as many as half the total number of illegal Jewish settlers would be prepared to abandon the West Bank in exchange for generous financial compensation; but that would still leave very many who would fight.

As I also reveal in my book, Israel’s Defense Minister of the time, Ezer Weizman, told me that Sharon had convened a meeting of senior military personnel at which a blood oath was signed. Those who signed it committed themselves to making common cause with the settlers to “fight to the death any Israeli government which sought to withdraw from the West Bank”.

The background outlined briefly above explains why the two-state solution has long been dead (was it ever really alive?) and, more to the point, why Akiva Eldar is right when he says that Israel remaining in occupation has a choice of only two options – bi-national state or apartheid regime.

Israel as a fully exposed (totally naked) apartheid state would at some point be boycotted and sanctioned by the international community, governments and all. At some point, as was eventually the case with South Africa, even an American president and a British prime minister would have to tell apartheid Israel that enough was enough.

My speculation about what would then happen is the following.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page