Gershon Baskin

The state of denial

28.12.2016

Gershon Baskin. Photo: Otmar Steinbicker

The “post truth” era has arrived to Israel.

Every tool of rhetoric, demagoguery and enhancement of fear is utilized in order to entrench the state of denial. First find the enemy, then the collusion and then the ultimate statement of “fact” – the whole world is against us.

The ground has been prepared over years. God is on our side – the Biblical promise of the Land, history, heritage, tradition, millennia of persecution, dispersion, and yes, the miracle of Zionism. We will not be victims, we will not turn the other cheek. We will take our destiny in our own hands. After the Holocaust, the moral imperative of the creation of the State of Israel was accepted by the world in the United Nations of all places. But almost immediately afterwards, it became UM-Shmum – it doesn’t matter what the world says, it only matters what the Jews do.

The issue is not President Obama and his “scheme” to take revenge against Netanyahu. The issue that we should be discussing is why is there unanimity in the world on the positions stated in UNSC Resolution 2334 and why can’t Israel see what rest of the world sees? The world is not against Israel. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the nations of the world support Israel’s right to exist and that is expressed in the resolution itself. The resolution supports the State of Israel legally and legitimately on the lines of 1949, not 1947, which comprises 78% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The resolution “calls upon all States… to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

The reason behind this call is “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, (which) has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Settlements are a major obstacle in the path of reaching the only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that entitles Israel to continue to be the nationstate of the Jewish people. The same institution that once voted to equate Zionism with racism has adopted the most Zionist Security Council Resolution in its history, and yet the Israeli body politic can only see it as antisemitic and anti-Israel.

Anyone who supports the two-state solution should see this resolution as the new Kaf-Tet of November – the cornerstone of international legitimacy for renewing and completing a peace process on that basis. The resolution clearly states that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations. The resolution accepts Israel’s position that the conflict can come to an end only through a negotiated agreement. In all previous negotiations with the Palestinians the principle of territorial swaps has been accepted, taking cognizance of the impossibility of returning to the June 4, 1967 borders.

This will not change.

The resolution speaks directly about the de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-state solution, “and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace; including immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror… refraining from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.” This is exactly what Netanyahu calls for all the time.

The Resolution is answering Israel’s most basic interest as an affirmation of Israel’s need for peace with its neighbors “to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap.”

The resolution is not against Jewish prayer at the Kotel or Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. This is not a re-statement of the UNESCO Resolution that ignored Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Kotel. It is against the illegal transfer of civilians from Israel to the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which are territories that Israel agreed would be included in permanent status negotiations with the Palestinians.

The Oslo Declaration of Principles from September 1993, accepted with enthusiasm by the people of Israel, stated: “It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.”

Now at the end of 2016, getting ready to mark 100 years since the Balfour declaration, 70 years of statehood and 50 years of occupation, reality is hitting us directly between the eyes. The panic, hysteria, public rhetorical lynching of one of the most pro-Israeli American presidents in history, the shaming of the leaders of friendly nations that voted for the Resolution, the naming of a French peace initiative “worse than the Dreyfus Trial” – all of these are acts of self-inflicted insanity. These days are so reminiscent of the years before the end of South African apartheid. The denial of reality and the virtual celebration of global isolation is the same mood voiced by South Africa’s white leadership before they forced themselves to understand that their dream of continued control without democracy had to come to an end.

That is where Israel is heading, but for us there is a shortcut to redemption based on the Zionist dream of a secure and safe democratic state of the Jewish people.

The world cannot force us to do what we don’t want to do. Eventually we will make the right decision for ourselves.

However, that decision is time-linked. Today we can chose the two-state solution, which enables us to continue to exist as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people. In a very short period of time, with continued settlement building, Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the international community no longer seeing the two-state solution as viable, the only choice will be to transform Israel into a bi-national democratic state that is not the nation-state of the Jewish people nor the nation-state of the Palestinian people. It will not be a peaceful bi-national state.

The decision to be made is in our hands, not in the hands of the United Nations. Yes, it take two sides to make peace, but the adoption of a clear strategy and policies that advocate reaching a two-state solution is much more likely to succeed than the current strategy of entrenchment of Israeli control and creeping annexation.


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Beiträge von Gershon Baskin
2016

The state of denial

Settlements, annexation and the death of Zionism

It’s not just the economy

Encountering peace?

Building a shared society

Transitional mind-shifts

Excuse me for asking

Israel needs a fully functioning opposition

Putting the end forward

Speaking peace out loud and all over

Secret back channels

Left, Right, Zionist, anti-Zionist

Clear and measurable steps

Russia?

Palestine-Jordan confederation and peace

The waiting game

The apology, democracy and peace

Sisi, the peace broker

Anti-anti-normalization

The republic of Israel-Palestine?

My enemy's leader

De-risking peace - Part 5

De-risking peace - Part 4

De-risking peace - Part 3

De-risking peace - Part 2

De-risking peace - Part 1

The Left is right

The French connection

The United Nations and Israel’s legitimacy

A moment of opportunity

The darkness of our times

Addressing the core

The worst negotiations, the best negotiations

Palestinian turmoil and Israeli interests

This one is for you - the Palestinians

Palestinian suffering makes no sense for Israel

Creating a compelling vision for peace

It is also in our hands

Sooner or later

There is no partner

There is no partner

2015

Yes, it is difficult to make peace

What does he really want?

To those who oppose Israeli-Palestinian peace

Israel – my sad home

Have I got news for you

It is still not too late for peace

Netanyahu, tell us what you really think!

The partnership challenge

The binational reality that we are experiencing

Abbas is still the leader who can make peace

A new intifada?

After Abbas

The distance between here and peace and security

Doing the wrong thing at that wrong time

The one and only solution!

Yeshayahu Leibowitz was right!

The disengagement – 10 years on: What we choose to forget

Needed - a new approach to Gaza

A bad agreement is better than no agreement

Obviously no peace now, so what then?

Ramadan Kareem!

Israel’s strategic choices regarding Gaza

Anti-normalization hypocrites

FIFA, soccer and the Palestinians

Both sides now

It’s time for Palestine

The citizens’ challenge – from despair to hope

We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouks

The world is not against us

This is what you voted for, and this is what you will get

The no decision elections

A cautious peace, but peace nevertheless

For the sake of Israel, Netanyahu must be sent home

Going ballistic even prior to an agreement

To the new IDF chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot

The Peace Bridge

The choices we must make

Israeli elections – It’s not about the economy

Threats and security

2014

Returning to negotiations

Our most important elections

The missed opportunities

We want peace, but they don't

Our future is in our hands

Defining who we are

Unlike religious wars, political wars have solutions

Today and tomorrow

If we had a real leader

Jerusalem of peace, Jerusalem of war

No tango going on at all

The Gaza challenge

Is Hamas prepared to end this war with a long-term ceasefire?

The end of the ceasefire, the renewal of war and the end game

The aftermath

Some thoughts this morning

Regional forum for security and stability – Gaza first

After a long phone conversation with a Hamas leader in Gaza

Don’t destroy Gaza, build it!

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 3 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace (part 2 of 3)

Framework document for the establishment of permanent peace

Palestinian refugees in Syria

Annexing the West Bank – a catastrophic plan for the Jewish people

Mutual and reciprocal recognition

Our Palestinians, their Jews

A very personal statement on peace

2013

Contextual reciprocity

Negotiating atmospherics

My Conversation With Hamas

Ramadan Kareem

Wahrheit, Lügen und Rechtmäßigkeit

Kauft palästinensisch!

Rat für den Präsidenten

Keine Fortsetzung des Unilateralismus!

Diesen Weg müssen wir einschlagen!

Die Kluft im Umgang mit den israelischen Arabern schließen

2012

Eine Ein-Staat-Realität ist nicht durchführbar

Strategische Fehler und Herausforderungen

Mord an der Chance für Ruhe

Das Ende des Raketenbeschusses aus Gaza

Die Aufgabe eines Staatsmannes

Es gibt einen Ausweg

Atomwaffen raus aus dem Arsenal

Was Abbas Israel sagen sollte

Obama, gestatte es uns nicht!

Ist mein zionistischer Traum gestorben?