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February 22, 2021

The path to peace

Opinion

February 22, 2021

On January 26, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on his Twitter account a Likud election video in which a map of the entire territory of historical Palestine appears under the words “one state”.

This was not the first time that a prominent Israeli politician has publicly expressed his dedication to the vision of Greater Israel – a Jewish nation state that is sovereign over all lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including Palestinian territories. In fact, such declarations are so common in Israeli election campaigns that Netanyahu’s tweet barely generated any serious discussion in the international arena.

But international observers did not remain silent about Netanyahu’s latest ode to “Greater Israel” simply because they viewed it as electoral bluster meant to drive votes towards the Likud. They ignored the tweet because they have long been aware that Israel wants to expand its sovereignty over all of the land.

Indeed, while many still occasionally employ the empty rhetoric of “salvaging the two-state solution before it is too late”, no serious observer believes that the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state is an actual goal of Israel, or any of the hegemonic world powers such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

Today, the “two-state solution” is nothing more than a distraction. It is a myth used by Israel to divert attention from its efforts to make the dream of Greater Israel a reality. Israel’s actions, from relentless settlement expansion to systematic dehumanisation of Palestinians, make it clear that it has no intention of ever allowing the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state.

Based on what Israel does, not what its Hasbara says, there are only two possible ways forward from the current status quo: the formation of a single apartheid state over the entire land of historical Palestine, in which only a handful of Palestinians live as second class citizens, or a decolonised one, where all citizens enjoy equal rights and freedoms regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

It is not hard to imagine how the first scenario would play out. Apartheid rule has been a defining characteristic of settler colonies like Israel throughout history.

In a nutshell, settler colonialism is a type of colonialism that functions through the replacement of an Indigenous population with a settler society that, over time, develops a national identity and claims sovereignty over the colonised land. To achieve their goal of becoming fully sovereign over the land they colonised, settlers first expel or eliminate the majority of the Indigenous population. They then establish a system of segregation, or apartheid, to cement their supremacy.

Excerpted: ‘The path to peace in Israel-Palestine is through decolonisation’

Aljazeera.com