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Eliminating the Palestinians as a political entity by Yitzhak Laor

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In the most recent edition of HaaretzYitzhak Laor, the distinguished Israeli poet, novelist, veteran political activist and author of The Myths of Liberal Zionism, explains how "the government is intent on destroying every political entity in the West Bank and turning the Palestinians into a marginalized, fragmented people." Below is an extract of this article.




In the midst of events, with all the TV commotion enveloping the current crisis, one tends to forget the crux of the matter, the continuous chain linking it to previous steps – the foiling of negotiations with the Palestinians, refusal to release prisoners as agreed upon, incitement against their unity government and the expansion of settlements. All of these are part of this right-wing government's plan to destroy any political entity in the occupied territories, turning the Palestinian people, at best, into a fragmented, marginalized people deprived of their rights.

[...]

That is how the current crisis began – two youths and a young man were abducted in the occupied territories by terrorists, who come from the occupied nation. These facts were known from the outset, and apparently there was no reason for us to "unite as one nation, regardless of left or right." We don't go into around-the-clock televised mode when Israeli hikers disappear in Chile. We don't gather around in a national grief session when a whole family is wiped out in a traffic accident on the Arava road. Only when it comes to the occupation – in which case a brutal murder is much more effective than a land mine – do we turn into a proud and tearful nation.

[...]

Gone are the days of street demonstrations attended by both Arabs and Jews, which ceased with "Cast Lead." Up until the kidnapping crisis people here were occupied with MK Meir Shitreet's housekeeper and her hush money. This was – for those who need reminding – during the hunger strike staged by administrative detainees. The silence continued during the search for the bodies, the mass arrests, the breaking into Palestinian homes and the torture.

Benjamin Netanyahu is not lying when he casts blame on the Palestinians. They are still there, and hence, as far as he is concerned, they pose an obstacle to peace. We are in the midst of a colonial story. Not the oppression of a nation but its elimination as a political entity. No opposition agenda can bypass this truth.

To read the original article in full at the Haaretz website click here.