The Israeli Prime Minister’s speech, disseminated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (what I like to call the Science Fiction Department of the Globe for their interpretation of reality) is another exercise in using rhetoric to pre-emptively set the scenario for the next battle against the impending global resistance to Israel. I will go through the speech (in italics) with some of my comments. Mary Rizzo
Last week, I met students of the National Defense College in my office in Tel Aviv and we had a fascinating discussion, during which I came to regard these students – I came to regard you – as sharp-witted, as having a large amount of experience in your respective fields, with a proven track-record of contributing to the State of Israel. I was impressed by your skill, your aspiration to excellence, but mostly, I was impressed by your dedication, from your deep commitment to Israel’s security, to the future of the State of Israel.
That is nice that he offers his compliments. It’s a military school in a militarised State and these people have to go above and beyond (or is that below and beyond) in commitment to the maintenance of the military status of “excellence”. It is not surprising that these students already have a “large amount of experience” since this means being involved in armed conflict against an “enemy”. But let’s think for a moment. Palestinians are not yet a state, the Palestinians are people and thus, this enemy that has been battled for real are an occupied people. A State that occupies is responsible for the well-being of the occupied people, and are not “allowed” to wage war upon them. This is why Netanyhu is impressed with the dedication, because commitment to Israel means disregard for international law.
While we are standing in this wonderful place, we can extend our view, both in time and in space.
And I though the City Hall of Rome had the best view from the window. But at least we are seeing that he recognises the “space travel” that his science fiction writers probably have cut their teeth and old habits die hard.
I believe in Israel’s security and its future and in our ability to base our existence here in peaceful relations.
It is interesting that he states that they actually have to base their existence on the intentions of someone else. This is actually a good thing.
If one were standing here in the middle of the nineteenth century, one would not be raising such issues, because one would not believe that there would be anything here. There were thirty, or at most, forty thousand Jews in the entire Land of Israel. No one would have dared to believe that what has happened here could actually happen here.
Now, this is interesting! “one would not believe that there would be anything here” and he goes on to mention the absence of a Jewish majority… the indigenous population that was living there was “nothing”, they did not exist, or soon, they would be made to be that way. It is an interesting thing to actually hear being said when it is clearly evident that such a concept of “manifest destiny” is about as racist as anything that could be uttered.
A hundred years later, the number of Jews grew to six hundred thousand, and today we are close to six million. For the first time since the period of the Second Temple, the majority of Jews will live in their homeland.
Actually, the majority of the world’s Jews live in the USA, which is the homeland to those born there, but the country of arrival for the others, precisely like “Israel” to the Jews. Yes, Jews have always lived in Palestine. Denying it would be denying history. But after the “period of the Second Temple”, mass migration was the leitmotif of a great deal of the world’s population, not only for Jews, which began settling in Europe for the most part, and that “settlement” became the national homeland, with the linguistic and cultural attachments. To state that the homeland is in some historical and far away place is similar to the totalitarian thoughts of a return to the past Golden Age that were popular throughout history, from Ghengis Khan to Hitler. That some still believe this fairy tale says a lot about how little history and culture are comprehended.
These things required vision, daring and great faith, and also our ability to concentrate our capabilities in the economy, in education, in culture, in science, in technology, in agriculture, and above all in security, in security and in faith. I have great faith that we will be able to surmount these hardships, and establish a future of peace between us and our neighbors. But any such faith, like Zionism itself, requires correct detection of the problem and quick provision of the right solution.
That Zionism was only one of the several items for “resolving” what had been defined as “the Jewish problem” in the West and not the only possible vision of Jewish people to live in the world with others, is something that Netanyahu misses, but this of course, is established in the fabric of anyone who has “made it” in Israeli society. It seems that the acceptance of this paradigm as the progressive solution to the Jewish problem (which even those who promoted it as a self-driven ideology were aware that without the support of those outside of the Jewish community or social system, it would never become reality. It had to be enticing for them.. it had to solve the Jewish problem for Europe and the USA).
We can see the problems from here. Climb one of the towers, look east, and you will see the Dead Sea, and the Jordan mountains. If you choose a higher tower and look west, you will see the Mediterranean Sea. At its maximum breadth, the Land of Israel is very small, and if we make peace agreements, the borders will be moved. Therefore, our first problem that makes it difficult with regard to our national security is that we have a very small country.
Now, as we know, Israelis have always expressed in their military plans that what had to be done was to “take the heights”. Every hill, every mountain, yes, every “tower” had to be taken. Beautiful panoramas are popular since the days of Moses, but Moses was able to stop himself before conquest. It is not a size problem (and I know that sounds funny) but it’s what is done with what one’s got. And this has always been the Israeli problem of compensation for lacking the proper dimensions. Thus the need to put on a uniform, to become a warrior in order to make up for not measuring up. To take a land and be able to “control it visually” has also been a modern-day Israeli obsession. This is why from high-tech monitoring systems to “spyware”, Israel uses the Caesar-inspired philosophy, without really knowing how to do it properly: Veni, Vidi, Vici… I came, I saw, I conquered. Israel came, yes, that it indeed has done, it saw, and from standing on towers to developing indestructible “spy-balls” to throw into enemy territory, it still hasn’t figured out how to conquer and win. Why is it that it can’t win? Because it has adopted the Caesarean motto only superficially. It won’t admit that conquest is war. Israel has always worked hard at giving it a different name, and here is where Netanayhu utters the magic words… It’s about SECURITY. Caesar never worried about that matter, he was able to admit what he was, but that was 2000 years ago. Systems of justice were only available for the conqueror, not the victim of the conquest. To attack and call yourself a Defence Force is something only Israel can get away with. Again, something to do with compensation for their small size.
This in itself does not mean that there are security problems – Monaco has no security problems. Neither does Luxembourg have any security problems. Both these countries are smaller than we are.
And neither of them drove the natives out or killed them!
But when you combine the smallness and the country’s dimension and look at some of our neighbors, their activities and their stated intentions – this combination of such minute dimensions and neighbors, some of whom negate the State of Israel’s existence and use all means in order to abrogate our existence – this creates problems of national security which don’t exist in any other country or for any other people.
This obviously, is very entertaining to read. That it is always “someone else’s fault”. What they say, what they “intend”. Actually, no one DOES negate that Israel exists. Everyone knows it does. They negate an ideology of Israel to exist AS A JEWISH STATE, which is indeed a different concept. A lot like Israel negating that Palestinians come from all over the land that currently is occupied by Israel. Reality is one thing, what someone says and thinks is something else. What someone does is a third thing from that. However, Netanyahu does ignore many national struggles around the globe. There are MANY people, from Africa to South and North America to Asia and Oceania who are claiming their national rights and identity and are being denied this by those who have conquered them. It is a result of a millennium of colonial conquest.
In order to provide a response to this issue, given our attempts to achieve peace with the Palestinians, we need to respond to two problems: on the one hand, the problem of the denial of our right to exist, and on the other hand, the problem of security which stems from Israel’s geographic dimensions.
Indeed, the Palestinians have the same identical problems: they are denied the right to exist and they are denied security. Add something else to it, they are denied geographical identity. Most of the world is willing and able to recognise it. The Zionists know they drove the Palestinians out of what today is Israel… why is it that Netanyahu insists on such a lie when the truth is no longer hidden?
The way of dealing with the denial of the State of Israel’s existence is the recognition of the State of Israel’s right to exist.
As I said before, all recognise Israel exists, making that into a “right” is a political problem that means recognition of the history of Israel. Yes, why not confront that in an international court once and for all and then it can be decided. I am sure most Palestinians are able to face the past. I am sure countries with vast refugee populations are able to present their testimony. Why not go on with it and push for obtaining recognition rather than demanding it. If you have nothing to be worried about, you should actually offer to go on the witness stand and present your case.
This is the first foundation. This is a demand which we state in the clearest, most direct manner to our neighbors.
Ah, ok… it’s a demand. Sorry… a demand is a demand!
This is not in order to receive their approval, which we do not need. We need this in order for the Palestinians to internalize this right.
Well, if you are demanding, you will never obtain. If you are willing to stand behind your State’s history proudly, do not be afraid and perhaps you might obtain something. Internalising someone else’s demands never worked. Even slaves revolt sooner or later.
If we are asked, which we are, to recognize the Palestinian state as the nation-state of the Palestinian people – and we are willing to do so – it is only natural that we ask our Palestinian neighbors to recognize the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This is not only natural – it is necessary, just and logical, and it is the first foundation of peace.
This is why when Israel asks for peace, it is always a way of screwing anyone else! It only means conquest, but without real vision, just looking out at the panorama from a watchtower.
Two additional foundations the second and the third are derived from the foundation or principle of recognition:
The second foundation is that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of the State of Israel.
Never heard of the concept, “You break it, you buy it?” If he has now admitted there were refugees (one is a refugee from their land or country… this in itself accuses Israel of creating a refugee problem, and by international law, they alone are responsible for its resolution).
It is not possible to maintain this small state as a state with a clear Jewish majority if the State of Israel is flooded with refugees and their descendents. This is also unjust.
No comment will ever be sufficient here! Israel talks about what is unjust for refugees…
This is unjust because the Arab attack upon the State of Israel’s existence in 1948 created two refugee problems. The first one is the Palestinian refugees which the entire world knows about.
The entire world only knows a fraction of what there is to know. The refugee population has grown, it has not reduced. Therefore, it is something that needs to be resolved and not by pushing it to someone else who is not obligated or able to resolve it.
The second refugee problem is of the Jewish refugees who were forced to leave the Arab countries. But no one recognizes this problem because Israel with its limited resources, with a sliver of land, without oil resources, resolved this problem, whereas the first problem continues to exist to this day.
Therefore, in terms of justice, logic or ability – it is not possible to expect that the refugee problem will be resolved within the State of Israel. It needs to be resolved – the Palestinians refugees have suffered greatly, but the solution to this problem will be found outside the borders of the State of Israel.
Repeating that it is a problem, that there is a solution … but it’s not up to Israel to resolve is where the core of the problem sits. This is why Israel will never be able to demand and obtain recognition. I would even propose a solution, if I were so audacious. I would say, “Palestinians, demand, as Netanyahu does, that your number one problem be settled the way he claims his must be settled. Exchange recognition of Israel’s right to exist as long as he recognises Palestinian refugees right to return as any refugee around the world is guaranteed that right. A right for a right.” Oh… that has already been done? Well then we are back to hearing what the playground bully has to say:
The third foundation to reaching an end to the conflict – is the end of the conflict. When we sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians, which I believe will happen – we want it to be a final agreement – an end to the conflict, an end to the conflict’s claims. We are not expecting a situation whereby a Palestinian state established within the borders of the State of Israel will continue to demand the entry of refugees, or that there will be national claims towards the territory and population within the borders of the State of Israel. An end to the conflict means an end to claims.
This is where things have been for over 61 years. Israel has stolen things and land, and now wants it ratified so that the wheels of justice can stop turning. They won’t. He’s not Julius Caesar, he’s a small, small politician in an invented country that has size-obsessions.
I have highlighted three foundations in my speech: recognition of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, resolving the refugee problem outside our borders, and an end to the conflict. These are all connected to the question of recognition of the State of Israel. We raise these matters in an explicit and clear manner with the aim of reaching an agreement. These are the fundamental and necessary conditions, not for starting negotiations – we are not attaching any conditions to opening negotiations, but these are fundamental conditions for the successful completion of a real peace agreement.
Isn’t that what you’ve got the PA and the Quartet for? Not for starting negotiations, but to find the loopholes to make your imperialist dream reality. You call it peace, Caesar knew it was conquest.
The next two foundations are connected to security. Even if the first three foundations are implemented, and I believe that they will be achieved, it will still take an entire generation of Palestinians to internalize recognition and the permanent legitimacy of the State of Israel.
Nothing is permanent, much less legitimacy. Times and morals change. Ethics remain. This is why today’s winners are tomorrows losers. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but actually, the world’s greatest empire is now just another big city with the world’s greatest view outside its Town Hall.
For the foreseeable future, we need to ensure that peace will be maintained. In order to maintain peace, the first foundation is security, and the first foundation of security in the case of the arrangement proposed here is demilitarization. None of us want a repeat of what happened in Gaza, or in South Lebanon. We want to ensure that any territory which we vacate within the framework of an arrangement will not be seized by terrorists or by Iran’s representatives. This is the fourth foundation.
Of course, Israel will REMAIN militarised! They did not manage (but they did a LOT of damage) to wipe South Lebanon or Gaza off the map, nor to change the resistance of its people, or even to fully occupy it the way they need to, although they control the territory, or have others control it for them. They fail to see that if they wish to be the only armed State in the region, this will never be allowed to happen, and it may happen in ways that really DO threaten the security of Israel.
This is not a theoretical discussion for us. We know exactly what happened in the north, and what happened in the south. Heaven forbid that this should happen in the center of the country, on the mountains and the hills that overlook the majority of the State of Israel’s population, on the strategic installations on which you depend and which are vital for our protection – this would undermine our security and naturally also invalidate the peace.
Heaven forbid that others treat Israel as Israel treats others! There are PEOPLE there! Not “nothing”.
Therefore, our demand for effective demilitarization is a fundamental demand for establishing a real and stable peace with the Palestinians. I use the term effective demilitarization because we desire practical and effective arrangements. We all have experience with ineffective demilitarization. Effective demilitarization means that there will not be a foreign army west of the Jordan. A police force, a counter-terrorism mechanism by all means, but there is no reason for such a force to have tanks, artillery or other types of weapons. The second thing is that we will have control of our airspace. This is vital for ensuring our security.
Bibi, this is what the PA and the International Community is there to do for you! It’s all about making you safe in your militarised zone. They are going to go along with you as long as they are able. The rest of the world is watching and will take note of it. Why should ANYONE fear that Israel might wage a war? It is just science fiction!
The third component is to prevent rockets, missiles and other types of weapons from being brought into this territory. The Palestinians’ self-determination does not require that there be, in any shape or form, Kassams or rockets which can be launched on Tel Aviv, on the coastal plain, cities or on other areas of the State of Israel.
The fifth and final of the foundations for peace is international recognition of the very demilitarization arrangements which we have talked about. I wish to clarify that we are not talking about American or NATO soldiers defending us and doing the defense work of the State of Israel. We have never requested this, nor are we requesting it now.
You don’t have to ask for what you already get. You have the USA and NATO money and “umbrellas”, you use your own forces for the personnel. No problem understanding the arrangement. You have the men and women in all the powerful positions in various governments and media. We are sure you never ask for what you already have.
We are talking about an international guarantee, headed by the United States, for the demilitarization arrangements that we will establish. We wish them to make it clear that these arrangements will be completely legitimate, and that there will also be total legitimacy for any action deemed necessary to preserve them. The purpose of this guarantee is that it adds a layer of deterrence against the intentions of those who may, in the future, wish to invalidate, or violate the demilitarization arrangements.
Does a “no first strike” clause come with that? It would be interesting if you offer such a thing. The violation of such would make you lose any “legitimacy” you manage to establish.
Recognition of the State of Israel, resolving the refugee problem outside Israel, an end to the claims as part of the end to the conflict, effective demilitarization and international recognition of the demilitarization arrangements – these are the five foundations which are essential for peace, and also have widespread consensus among the Israeli public. This is also the shared base of the unity government which the Minister of Defense, the other factions and I established.
As long as we unite behind these conditions, the chance of implementing them increases, because the international community respects a clear, solid, logical and just stance, which they also represent.
I think that there is an additional foundation which can assist us in reaching peace arrangements and in keeping them.
I have just come from a tour of the Allenby Bridge. A directive has been given to extend the terminal’s operating hours at the bridge, for both goods and pedestrians. This is part of the policy which we are carrying out in order to make the lives of the Palestinians easier where possible, in fact to improve the flow of the Palestinian economy.
Always for their own good, isn’t it? There is surely a “catch”.
The Minister of Defense has removed a significant number of road blocks, and we are working together in the government in order to remove obstacles for economic projects which could advance the Palestinian economy. We are doing this because we are convinced that economic progress and development will help achieve both diplomatic and political peace.
You want to control them more, this is clear. If you really want them to progress and develop, let them do it for themselves and with the other Arab States. They are your most important customer, so making sure you don’t kill the client is also good managerial practice.
We are convinced of this because there is a struggle here, as in other parts of the world, with dark, radical forces, where the last thing that they want is progress.
Oy oy oy. Shall we drag the Darth Vadar costumes out of storage?
I say that our real test, here, with the Palestinian Authority, is whether they can move closer in Dubai’s direction, or whether they will retreat in Gaza’s direction.
Interesting question. Where will the PA go? I think that you should reflect long and hard on that. Anything can indeed happen these days.
I am not saying that it will be like Dubai here tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, but they are growing as a result of the things that they have done and that we are doing. The Palestinian economy here in Judea and Samaria is currently growing at a rate of more than 7%, and it can grow even higher. I want you to imagine what will happen when the skylines of Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron start to be filled with skyscrapers, when malls, cinemas and restaurants are opened, and when the Palestinian youth know that they have a future.
Oh my Lord. They have their beautiful land and Netanyahu is imagining shopping malls! (His speech writers not only dabble in Sci-Fi, but they come from the advertising world too. Today Israel, Tomorrow, Emporio Armani).
I am not ruling out the need for diplomatic agreements; on the contrary, I claim that economic peace will assist diplomatic peace. In the struggle between darkness and terror and progress and prosperity, I have no doubt that the vast majority of the world’s Muslim population will choose progress and prosperity.
Uh, yes, human beings usually choose to abandon darkness and terror. When someone imposes it on them, they are forced to fight back, but they do very well against Israel’s terror and the imposed curfews, blackouts and shortages. I would say that they are millions of years ahead of Israel in terms of progress on this front. Israelis cannot handle to be without their air-conditioning and well-stocked shops.
We saw this a month ago in Teheran, we saw this six months ago in Hebron, Jenin and Ramallah during Operation Cast Lead, and I tell you that we will see it in Gaza tomorrow.
Yes, as soon as you lift the medieval siege, they will for sure be able to live like normal humans again rather than terrorised and deprived of their most basic needs. Why wait for tomorrow. Do it now.
The very fact that the Hamas regime, an offshoot of the Iranian tyranny, is forcing women to wear veils – I can tell you – is not winning it favor among the Palestinians in Gaza, and if they had the power to overthrow this regime, they would do it – and it will be in their power. This is why advancing economic peace and development is integral for helping to promote peace.
Why not ask your Orthodox Rabbis to tell their women they need not cover their hair, (the wig business will suffer, but at least you will have the goal you desire which is to see women’s flowing locks, which seems to be more important to you than patients getting their dialysis).
Eventually radical Islam will be defeated by the global information revolution, by the freedom of ideas which are breaking out, through technology and through ideas of freedom. This won’t happen immediately, but it will happen, and it will happen here as well.
Why not do this talk to Dena out in the UK, who, living according to radical Judaism has sued her entire building because they can’t live in a building where lights are turned on automatically by sensors which the other residents installed. Technology can be a two-edged sword, Bibi, but start with your own Orthodox population if high tech 24/7 is something you really believe in.
The only thing that can postpone and disrupt the rate of the extinguishing of radical Islam is the possibility that it will be armed with a nuclear weapon.
How many nuclear weapons has Israel got? I just love that you never state this clearly, but it’s the world’s worst-kept secret!
Today, this is so dangerous that I would go so far as to say that understanding of this danger is permeating governments, leaders, public opinion shapers, and even armies. If there is one mission that we are partner to, it is to ensure that the forces of moderation, of progress, prosperity and peace will win this struggle.
Then get out of the way! You know nothing of moderation, progress, prosperity and ZERO about peace.
I now turn to the representatives of several countries who are here with us. We all have the same mission, we are all on the same mission – to make sure that the forces of dark radicalism, of medievalism are held back.
The force is with you. We are now entering the twilight zone, and all the other sci-fi slogans for the past century should come to mind.
I am certain of our ability to achieve this goal, and I want to thank the National Defense College alumni for all that they have done to ensure security, prosperity and peace for the State of Israel, and for what they have yet to do.
On the summit of Mount Scopus, we will guarantee peace for Jerusalem and for the State of Israel.
Thank you all.
Empires crumble. Oops, here’s my metro stop, “Colloseo”. Yes, the Coliseum used to be the biggest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire. Yes, where lions ate unarmed Christians and Gladiators fought one another while the ignorant population looked on and was entertained. But now, it’s just another tourist attraction in a city. Good thing Caesar never lived to see it. Your day will come too. Mount Scopus will be another lovely place in the middle of the Arab Nation, located in the State of Palestine.