Watchdog: Obstructionist Israel Plans to Continue Existing
Tel Aviv (AP) – In its latest report on what it calls Israeli intransigence, Peace Now calls attention to the Jewish State’s declared intent of maintaining itself despite opposition from hundreds of millions of opponents. Peace Now called the news “disappointing” and “yet another example of the Netanyahu administration’s willful political and demographic blindness.”
In advance of a visit to the area by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Peace Now report covers numerous areas of Israeli activity as it affects the question of the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It characterizes the Israeli assertion of the country’s right to exist as a way to establish certain facts on the ground that would make accommodation of any good-faith proposals by the secretary unlikely.
“Once again the radical right-wing government of Netanyahu and his ideological allies have demonstrated their complete unwillingness to consider dismantling the entire Zionist enterprise, which we have long maintained is the only just way to resolve the issues surrounding the Occupation of Palestinian territory,” the report’s conclusion reads. “Only by subjecting Jewish Israelis to expulsion, genocide and oppression at the hands of Palestinian hordes can this administration satisfactorily demonstrate its commitment to a negotiated peace.”
Former Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer said his organization focuses on Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Territories, referring to all areas acquired by Israel in war. Since Israel secured its initial existence by defeating several invading as well as local armed groups, that definition applies to all areas currently under Israeli civilian or military rule.
“International Law does not distinguish between territories acquired in a defensive war and those captured in an offensive war,” explained Oppenhemier. “In which case all of the areas that the nascent Israeli armed forces secured in 1948 and 1949 are to be considered illegally occupied. The question of 1967, ” meaning the additional territories captured by Israel from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in a pre-emptive series of operations against amassing enemy forces, “is merely an extension of the same illegality inherent in Israel since the beginning.”
The report calls on Netanyahu to negotiate the complete relinquishing of all Israeli territory in good faith.
As its practice has always been the Netanyahu government ignored the Peace Now report, but others welcomed it. “We have been claiming the very same thing for generations now,” said Haled Mash’al, the now-retired head of Hamas, the Islamic militant movement that runs the Gaza Strip. “We are not wedded to the sword. If the Zionist entity would agree to destroy itself, we would let it do so unmolested.”