Of course Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, went to New York to address the United Nations, similar to what his counterpart, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, did on the same day. While world leaders were expecting something substantial form Netanyahu, he chose the “power or art”, well not very artistic though. Netanyahu, and similar to his predecessors, wants the world to be busy with the so-called Iranian threat and how close Iran is to manufacturing a nuclear bomb. For me, nothing is new here, I grew up in Palestine and always heard similar rhetoric sometimes about Iraq, sometimes about Iran, Syria…and you name it.
Of course Mr. Netanyahu did not want to mention Israel’s outdated nuclear reactor in Dimona, in the Negev desert.
I have to say, am very impressed about the drawing, I am not sure if he consulted a team of experts to come up with this masterpiece, or he just came up with it by just invoking his drawing talent.
I mean this is a smart way to keep the international community from discussing what is really happening on the ground, such as Israel’s illegal and ongoing criminal occupation of Palestine, its illegal colonies and its constant violations.
Back to the drawing, maybe I said that before but it seems am very impressed by it, you know when a child wants something that you don’t think he or she should get, you show them something else, a drawing maybe?! A diagram, and if you are as creative as Mr. Netanyahu you mix your masterpiece with the element of danger, or to call it what it is “fear factor”.
Maybe some leaders expected Netanyahu to be talking about his vision to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, maybe addressing international legitimacy resolutions or at least granting the world his insight and belief on how the conflict should be resolved.
But why, why would he, or any of his coalition partners, talk about that while they can continue to use fear in order to push the international community into a new war.
Israel has a nuclear reactor, a really old and likely leaking reactor that lived beyond its proposed age, and who knows, well maybe some people do, know what Israel is doing there.
But Netanyahu was so proud of the drawing he brought with him, or maybe he just drew it on the way to the UN, and then likely asked his bodyguard about a red pen to draw that final red line that Iran should never be allowed to cross.
Back in Tel Aviv, several leaders of the Israeli opposition slammed Netanyahu’s speech at the UN and considered it unilateral. They demanded Netanyahu to coordinate Israel’s move regarding the issue with the United States and keep all talks far away from cameras and the media.
Head of the Kadima opposition party in Israel, Shaul Mofaz, said that “Netanyahu drew a nice portrait, but did not draw an international, effective, plan that is meant to stop Iran’s nuclear agenda”, and added that what Netanyahu should have done is holding secret talks with the United States in order to reach an agreement on how to deal with Iran.
Most of Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations focused on Iran and its “nuclear agenda”, and how close Iran is to manufacturing a nuclear bomb, as according to Netanyahu, Iran will produce the bomb by next summer “unless the world acts in a decisive manner”.
Labor Party leader, Shelly Yachimovich, said that Israel is united behind the efforts to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, but also stated that “Redlines cannot be achieved by drawings displayed on different podiums, but are dealt with in closed rooms”.
Yachimovich added that the redlines and clear agendas to counter Iran can be reached through direct cooperation with the United States, and by rebuilding the relationship of trust between Washington and Tel Aviv to best serve Israel’s interests in the region.
She also demanded Netanyahu to stop comparing the current situation in Israel today with what the Jews faced during World War II and the holocaust.
“This type of comparison does not help us, it is wrong”, she said, “We are now a sovereign nation, I am the granddaughter of victims of the holocaust, we should not compare our weakness back then with our supreme military, national and moral power today”.
Of course, several leaders of coalition parties praised the speech and said that Netanyahu managed to draw attention to the core of the issue and the “urgent need to stop Iran”, and “uproot this evil before it happens”.
Well, I reiterate how impressed I am with the diagram Netanyahu drew and presented to the world, but I guess they have electricity, screens and computers at the United Nations, so next time, Mr. Netanyahu, maybe you should prepare a more powerful presentation, make sure to add tom flashing text, animations and some audiovisual effects such explosions and fire… and oh maybe some skulls.
If we want to have a moment of truth, if we want to look at the situation as it is, then we would come to a major conclusion about the reality in the Middle East and this ongoing conflict.
Israel is a country with nuclear capabilities, its research is ongoing and “who knows” what they are hiding in store.
But, as a country that built itself on the ruins of another nation, on the destroyed villages and towns that once stood, Israel needs tension in the region, needs to keep the world busy and looking away; time is a very important factor here, year after year since historic Palestine was occupied in 1948 and the state of Israel was established, Israeli leaders needed to keep the world busy.
Stone by stone, one acre after the other, the land of Palestine kept shrinking and is still shrinking; settlements were built and expanded, more settlements are being built, the apartheid wall, natural resources, lands, meadows and hills are all in Israel’s hands.
The Palestinian territories are fragmented, isolated and Israel is still stealing more Palestinian lands to build and expand its illegal colonies.
When and if we reached the final status of the supposed peace talks, the Palestinians will have no more land to plant or inhabit, the occupied West Bank is being transformed into isolated ghettos.
When Israel was established on what stood of the historic land of Palestine in 1948, the Palestinians lost %78 of the historic land of Palestine, and in 1967, Israel occupied the remaining %22.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization recognized Israel and its right to exit on %78 of the land of Palestine, and despite this huge concession, Israel wants peace talks that are aimed at reaching an agreement on how to share the remaining %22, by keeping its illegal settlements and settlement blocs, and by maintaining full control on borders and natural resources.
Millions of Palestinian refugees are scattered around the world, and in the West Bank, they dream of returning home, to where they lived. But Israel insists on violating all related United Nations resolutions in order to maintain its brutal and criminal occupation.
Peace for a person like Netanyahu and his fundamentalist coalition partners means more land, and more control for Israel, less lands and next to nothing rights to the Palestinians.
Maybe the International Community should be talking about what type of sanctions should be imposed on Israel for its crimes and for its theft of Palestinian lands.
Occupation is a crime, occupation is racist, and colonialism must be brought down before any peace agreement is reached.
If you want peace, if you believe in peace, you cannot support a country that maintains occupation and land theft, you cannot support a country that ethnically cleanses an entire population.
In my humble opinion, the solution to the conflict should not be a two-state solution; it should be one democratic state that guarantees the rights of all of its citizens. Of course, this solution is not easy, especially when taking into consideration decades of violence, oppression and occupation.
But Israel looks at the Palestinians in the occupied territories, and the Arabs in historic Palestine as a strategic threat, a threat that jeopardizes the “Jewishness of the state”, therefore, peace for Israel means more lands, less Arabs and less Palestinians; it is a Zionist state that uses Judaism in order to achieve it colonial goals.
The Palestinian people, like any other nation in the world, deserve their freedom, their dignity and their liberty. Every Palestinian has the right to return to his homeland, be it in Haifa, Eilat, Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. We need to achieve justice before we can achieve peace, peace cannot survive without justice.