a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

The truth is, Israel doesn’t want peace

Posted by Thomas Nephew on December 1st, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told us once Israel wants peace:

“The truth is, Israel wants peace, and the truth is, the Palestinians are doing all they can to torpedo direct peace talks,” Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting.
(AP via Politico, 9/18/11)

If so, he’s got a funny way of showing it.  First he has a Hamas leader killed who was negotiating with Israeli officials.  Then: a massively disproportionate attack on Gaza — following a history both in the past year and the past twelve years of the same.  And now, after Palestinians gained a limited measure of formal recognition at the U.N.,

Israel plans to build some 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements in response to the Palestinians’ successful bid for recognition at the UN General Assembly this week, a senior diplomatic source told Haaretz on Friday.

According to the source, Israel also plans to advance long-frozen plans for the E1 area, which covers an area that links the city of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

If built, the controversial plan would prevent territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank, making it difficult for a future Palestinian state to function.
(In response to UN vote, Israel to build 3,000 new homes in settlements; Ravid, Haaretz, 11/30/11)

The truth is, Israel doesn’t want peace — at least its government and those who will probably re-elect it don’t.  Judging by its actions, the Netanyahu administration wants conquest, occupation, blockade, and humiliation of Palestinians in their territories.

That’s nothing new, but it’s important to see the plain truth and I think it’s important to be willing to say so.  Because of our nation’s nearly unconditional support for Israel, Americans don’t have right to just claim this is an intractable problem or say a pox on both their houses.  We need to look at facts like those in the map or in this chart, prepared by “Visualizing Palestine“:

Palestinian and Israeli deaths since September 2000
via Visualizing Palestine)

The chart plainly shows an Israel far too interested in just killing alleged enemies (and anyone in the vicinity) — and not interested enough in preventing enmity by not killing first so often.  The same could be said of the U.S., unfortunately.  Yet both countries might actually be more safe the less often they kill in the name of safety.  From a BBC report centered on a Gazan colleague’s loss of a baby boy:

Before I left Jehad’s house, leaving him sitting round a camp fire with other mourners, I asked him – perhaps stupidly – if he was angry over Omar’s death.

“Very, very angry,” he said, his jaw tensing as he glanced at the photos on his phone.

Jehad may well not look for revenge, but other Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank will.

EDIT, 12/1: “–following..” clause and links added.

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