The future of Palestine: righteous Jews vs. the new Afrikaners

Professor John Mearsheimer, in a speech delivered at The Palestine Center in Washington DC on Thursday said:

As anyone who has spent time in the Occupied Territories knows, it is already an incipient apartheid state with separate laws, separate roads, and separate housing for Israelis and Palestinians, who are essentially confined to impoverished enclaves that they can leave and enter only with great difficulty.

Israelis and their American supporters invariably bristle at the comparison to white rule in South Africa, but that is their future if they create a Greater Israel while denying full political rights to an Arab population that will soon outnumber the Jewish population in the entirety of the land. Indeed, two former Israeli prime ministers have made this very point. Ehud Olmert, who was Netanyahu’s predecessor, said in late November 2007 that if “the two-state solution collapses,” Israel will “face a South-African-style struggle.” He went so far as to argue that, “as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.” Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who is now Israel’s defense minister, said in early February of this year that, “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”

Other Israelis, as well as Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu, have warned that if Israel does not pull out of the Occupied Territories it will become an apartheid state like white-ruled South Africa. But if I am right, the occupation is not going to end and there will not be a two-state solution. That means Israel will complete its transformation into a full-blown apartheid state over the next decade.

In the long run, however, Israel will not be able to maintain itself as an apartheid state. Like racist South Africa, it will eventually evolve into a democratic bi-national state whose politics will be dominated by the more numerous Palestinians. Of course, this means that Israel faces a bleak future as a Jewish state. Let me explain why.

For starters, the discrimination and repression that is the essence of apartheid will be increasingly visible to people all around the world. Israel and its supporters have been able to do a good job of keeping the mainstream media in the United States from telling the truth about what Israel is doing to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. But the Internet is a game changer. It not only makes it easy for the opponents of apartheid to get the real story out to the world, but it also allows Americans to learn the story that the New York Times and the Washington Post have been hiding from them. Over time, this situation may even force these two media institutions to cover the story more accurately themselves.

The growing visibility of this issue is not just a function of the Internet. It is also due to the fact that the plight of the Palestinians matters greatly to people all across the Arab and Islamic world, and they constantly raise the issue with Westerners. It also matters very much to the influential human rights community, which is naturally going to be critical of Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians. It is not surprising that hardline Israelis and their American supporters are now waging a vicious smear campaign against those human rights organizations that criticize Israel.

The main problem that Israel’s defenders face, however, is that it is impossible to defend apartheid, because it is antithetical to core Western values. How does one make a moral case for apartheid, especially in the United States, where democracy is venerated and segregation and racism are routinely condemned? It is hard to imagine the United States having a special relationship with an apartheid state. Indeed, it is hard to imagine the United States having much sympathy for one.

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5 thoughts on “The future of Palestine: righteous Jews vs. the new Afrikaners

  1. delia ruhe

    Mearscheimer is right, of course: there isn’t gonna be two states. Bibi is working as fast as he can to get even more facts on the ground than are needed to overturn any such notion. It’s a whole lot easier to do that than to remove enough colonizers to make anything like a viable Palestinian state possible. That leaves only one option: a bi-national state, either democratic or apartheid.

    My money is on the apartheid version, since it’s already virtually in place. Any attempt to democratize it will start an Israeli civil war and will convince every Israeli Jew with a second passport to abandon Israel.

    In sum, Israel is doomed. Too bad. It was once a good idea, but I guess it’s no longer necessary.

  2. DE Teodoru

    NO ONE, not even Mearsheimer, is discussing what Israel’s top right-wing journal, AZURE, has broached in its editorial: “Losing Our Minds” about the exasanguinating educated Sabra JEWISH population. Everyone is quoting Likud’s hasbara figures on olims in-gathering into Israel. Yet, any of you who work in the high-tech or academic worlds invariably amaze at how such a small country of so few people can be so massively represented in Western institutions. The fact is that few Israelis are into that whole Zionist thesis of lebensraum, expanding from the Nile to the Euphrates for a Jewish state as represented in the national flag: a Star of David between two blue lines. Jimmy Cater often tells of how Jewish leaders said to him that they would block his re-election for having returned Sinai to the Egyptians. Ben Gurion– while condemning Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” tactic for violently expanding Israel— has promised he would “bit by bit” bring Israel to its Biblical frontiers. These go far beyond Palestine and the Arabs know it. A Palestinian State would end the REAL Zionist dream, blocking its expansion in both east and west directions. Yet no Zionist can now admit to the ultimate lebensraum goal as it seems ridiculous to think that way in the face of a declining population. The last Israel leader to “leak” was Sharon when he declared that all Jews must move to Israel by 2020 or lose their Jewish souls. For now, Likud’s is goal to make sure that no Palestinian state is created that blocks further expansion as it would be located to both Israel’s east and west, the routes to the two rivers.

    Not only is Israel bleeding OUT Israelis and getting no adequate Aliyah transfusion of Diasporics but Israeli politicians also fear that a Palestinian state would have an even bigger effect than Iranian acquiring nuclear capacity (per Israeli polls, 40% 0f Israelis would leave if Iran gets nukes). The existence of a Palestinian state at both ends of Israel might cause most Israelis to leave over time because of having to live next to an aggrieved state Israel has long victimized. CONSTANT GROWT of Israel, it is argued, is the only way to deny the 75% of World Jewry that has chosen NOT to live in Israel an excuse for evading their “Jewish duty to the Jewish State.” To further honey the pot, Israel hopes to create idyllic living conditions—AT AMERICAN TAXPAYER’SA EXPENSE– that are so good that Diasporics can’t refuse to make the aliyah.

    Zionism IS a typical East European racist ideology because taking nationalism to such exclusivist extremes becomes justified only with a racist premise: THE JEWISH RACE ingathering in the JEWISH STATE! How else can displacing the inhabitants living there for over a millennium by imposing on a European Jewish population that has other citizenship ties elsewhere be made to accept total obligation to a “Jewish state”? European Ashkenazi Zionists have been held to this typical East Euro race-trumps- ethnicity notion: that one’s nationality is one’s race. How else can one justify the obligation of ALL Jews to the “Jewish state”? The Sephardic Jews found this out to their detriment— having their children stolen from them by Israel to be raised as Ashkenazis. For a long time Israel denied equality to Mizrahis as to Palestinians for the same reason—because of their Arab ethnicity. Ashkenazi EMIGRATION FROM Israel has been accelerating so the only solution has been to attract Euro/US Hasidics—valued for their birthrate, as pointed out by Mearsheimer– as solution to Israel’s demographic problem vis-à-vis the Palestinians. This not so hidden racist game has created an entire population of parasitic people that impose their religious concepts on secular Ashkenazis, thus further accelerating the departure of the latter in disgust. Only in an ever expanding Israel, where there’s plenty of lebensraum so these immiscible groups wouldn’t have to collide– Ashkenazis, Mizrahis and Hasidim—do the Zionists think there can be a Jewish State of such cultural diversity. There is no solution, however, to the political Zionist Likudification of the Israeli Gov as it lit the fuse of this Jew-against-Jew RACIST bomb over which group is fit to rule. It is really suicidal for Israel to expand its territory as its population shrinks. Israel’s settlements for lebensraum are not GROWING ROOM but rather SEPARATION room so the three segments do not engage each other in bloody conflicts. But the Likud “doctors” leading Israel are medically guilty of criminally negligence. For when a patient is loosing blood cells ( high-tech Sabras and Ashkenazis) massively you do not indiscriminately expand volume in such anemic state with parasites as volume expanders only because they reproduce fast (Hasidim in large part don’t work, don’t serve in the military and demand a state shaped to meet their religious standards). It makes no sense to give them anything they want because they alone reproduce at a rate that can compete with Palestinian Arabs while many of them even refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the “Jewish State.” The drain they represent on the economy requires that the American umbilical cord keeping Israel alive become even more engorged than it is now. That’s impossible in America’s current economic crisis. The only plausible solution then is for Israel to settle on something it never wanted because it was always expanding: SET BORDERS, so it can acquire normal social, political and economic ties to the Arab World around it. With every inch of predatory volume expansion, Israel suffers increasing economic hypoxia leading to deadly gangrene within the “Jewish State.” That is the thesis of Ahmadinejad to HAMAS: that Israel should be left alone to die of its own ambitious expansion. Any other thesis attributed to him is hasbara based on the assumption that we are nothing but “dumb goyim.”

  3. Ian Arbuckle

    It can be said that the larger, obvious, and two dimensional picture which is so admirably laid out in Professor John Mearsheimer’s talk is framed in the power structure of domestic politics in Tel Aviv and Washington, and as any thinking student of the matter will attest, these politicians have little to do with broader multi dimensional reality and a lot to do with maintaining power, ego, money, and the ability to weave fantasy into policy.

    Such policy is more driven by the realities that it wants to avoid rather than those it is necessary to face and that is as true for Netanyahu as it is for Obama.

    Although the great threat from extremists Muslim hoards is wearing thin all round as an excuse for western state terrorism and has become a totally transparent lie to the few who saw through the 9/11 illusion as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan fiascos of imperialist aggression, never the less it is clear that these have become even more desperate times, in which it is not too even important to even be coherent or rational in order to implement the necessary diversion, war.

    When ones policies need to be draconian it helps to have a war to push them through so the point at which the interests of delusional Zionists running Israel and the Corporate monopolist lackeys that run America meet is clearly in creating yet another war as soon as possible against Iran, and probably Syria and Lebanon while we’re at it.

    Sure it is suicidal and genocide but seen from their point of view in accordance with the logic made by Mearsheimer the Zionist self delusion has left them no other tools in their kit to avoid them facing themselves. Suicide on a profit high too, seems the only way out for the ever shorter term minded capitalists that cannot fix their free wheeling speculative corporate roller coaster now totally on a self destruct path. As in the 1930’s war again and as usual looks like the short term fix for power elite, not people.

  4. delia ruhe

    Funny you should mention the 1930’s, Ian Arbuckle, because I am currently working my way thru Richard Evans’s 3000-page history of the Third Reich and marvelling at how the current age echoes the Weimar Republic: dysfunctional government; the absence of a political middle-ground; disenchantment with democracy; the desperate eagerness with which people embrace propaganda; the astonishingly widespread desire for a political messiah to lead the country out of the wilderness (whether that’s Obama in the US back in 2008 or, presently, Avigdor Lieberman in Israel).

    Avrum Burg’s *The Holocaust is Over* compares present-day Israel to the Weimar Republic, and altho he could have done a more thorough job of filling out that analogy, he’s really on to something. Holocaust-mongers love to cite 1939 when they want to remind Israelis that *Holocaust, The Sequel* is just over the horizon.

    There is definitely a war in the offing — how else can the US get out of this recession (11 million unemployed; a bazillion dollar national debt) but thru the good graces and greed of the military-industrial complex? And the war is gonna involve more than just Iran. Or Lebanon. Or Gaza. Or Syria. Or wherever else it might start. Israel is not gonna suicide quietly: muscle-Jews have a philosophy which says “It’s better to die with a gun in your hand than without one.”

    In sum, I don’t seem to be the only one whose mind is on the 1930s.

  5. DE Teodoru

    In reading the other comments to this post I feel rather appalled at the thought that others see things as I do. How much I would thank God to realize that I’m way over the top and that there is no Zionist exploitation of Judaism like a devil tempting the Jew Jesus to sin on the eve of his greatest travail. But in the case of Jews the Holocaust was their test of faith in advance of the demonic temptation. Who am I, or is any one of us, to judge circumstances we do not suffer as do some Israelis. But my criticism of the Zionists is not for their Zionism– that is an equivocal issue with a century of controversy to it. It is that Zionism has usurped Judaism as sheep’s clothing for a wolf and decided that it will conscript all Jews into its Jewish state, even if it needs to once again use the capacity of man to be wolf to man. Today 3000 prominent European Jews signed a petition critical of Israel’s lebensraum through settlements thesis:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/02/AR2010050201605.html
    No, they will not be stampeded in fear to be “good Zionists” like the “good Germans” that let Hitler have his racist way. These pillars of our Western society, Ms. Delia Ruhe, are NOT going to allow the dead to be dug up to be sacrilegiously used as props for a murderous masquerade. Hopefully they will give courage to Netanyahu, he’ll need it. So, you see, Mr. Norman Finkelstein, you are not the only “righteous Jew,” hereditary victim of the Holocaust, who insists on Jewish morality in memory of your kin calling forth Judaism’s thousands of years deep moral roots. As a New Testament Christian I draw strength from that. Thank you.

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