29 September, 2010 — The Only Democracy?
Lost in the debate over the settlement phase is its real purpose, to claim Palestinian land for Israel. Even its hardcore defenders like Avigdor Lieberman, know there will come a time when that has reached its end, when all available Palestinian land has been taken, and all Palestinians capable of being forced to leave will have done so. What to do then?
Well, then Israel will suddenly become interested in drawing borders after 60+ years resisting doing so. And apparently we are nearing that time. Fortunately, we are also nearing a time when Lieberman and company are revealed for what they are. Netanyahu has kept him under pretty tight leash after his appointment caused outrage around the world. But fresh off Israel’s triumphant avoidance of any punishment for allowing his fake settlement freeze to end, Netanyahu set Lieberman loose on the UN.
He is apparently seeking international support for the idea that Israel has a right to suddenly declare some Palestinians no longer Israeli citizens, but citizens of another state without the messy process of moving them (though no doubt violence would result anyways.) I hope people would protest this just as they would if US suddenly declared its Latino citizens of Mexico, though I am sure some are in favor of that. And like most racists, Lieberman was at pains to stress how un-racist his desire to expel one national group without their consent was.
Hopefully, this is a sign that Israel recognizes it needs international legitimacy for its scheme in the wake of its badly damaged pr. Less hopefully, the world does not have a great record of taking actual action to withold that legitimacy in any meaningful. I fear this will become part of the consensus of “serious people” in the same way that “everybody knows” that Ariel will always be part of Israel. But hopefully again, we have seen the power of international citizens led by Palestinians to challenge that consensus.
PS. the article asked whether Lieberman was speaking for himself or the Israeli government. If it was the former, and random citizens of Israel are now permitted to address the United Nations, I hope the UN will give equal time for people calling for some sort of shared democratic state or full withdrawal to 1967 borders. If, as I suspect, it was the latter then I hope that Jewish groups who are always asking Palestinians to condemn other Palestinians are consistent in their treatment of Lieberman.