by Khalid Amayreh
Some Palestinian and Arab officials are hoping that the results of recent Israeli elections may lead to the reactivation of the moribund peace process with Israel.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who only two weeks ago threatened to dissolve his Ramallah regime, reportedly extended an invitation to Yair Lapid to visit Ramallah. Lapid’s party, Yesh Atid (or there is future) won 19 seats out of 120 seats comprising the Israeli Knesset or parliament.
Similarly, US Secretary of State nominee John Kerry has voiced the hope that Israel’s election results will lead to the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, languishing for decades under Israeli military occupation.
We all hope that there are still genuine chances for peace in a region long tormented by occupation, violence and war. However, a closer look at the results of the Israeli elections shows that there is virtually no chance the upcoming Israeli government, which may not last long anyway, will significantly enhance prospects of peace in occupied Palestine.
Many media outlets, especially in the West, keep parroting reports from Israel claiming that both the right and left camps won equal numbers of seats in the Knesset. This is simply not true. It amounts to a scandalous, though not necessarily deliberate, falsification of realty.
No Right or Left in Zionist Ideology?
First of all, the classification of political groups and parties in Israel into “right and left” shouldn’t be taken at face value. It often reflects the inherently racist Israeli-Zionist ideology. In fact, “leftist” parties in Israel differ little from other right-wing parties.
An Israeli leftist party would be viewed as decidedly fascist in a European setting. Similarly, rightist, let alone extremist right-wing parties would have no chance to be licensed in any European country that respects its laws and principles.
Take for example Tzipi Livni’s Tnu’ a party, which is classified in Israel as part of the Left camp.
This party advocates the annexation into Israel of most Israeli colonies established ever since the 1967 Arab Israeli war. Needless to say, all these colonies are illegal and illegitimate under international law.
More to the point, the party is absolutely opposed to the repatriation of millions of Palestinian refugees uprooted from their ancestral homeland at the hands of Zionist invaders from Eastern Europe and Russia.
And as if this were not enough, the leader of this “leftist” party said on several occasions that in case a Palestinian state was established, Israel would have a definitive right to expel Israel’s Palestinians (nearly 25% of the population) to the would-be Palestinian state.
So, how in the depth of hell could we describe a Nazi-like party that advocates ethnic cleansing and lebensraum as “Leftist?”
Some people might think that Livni’s party represents the exception rather than the norm.
The Hard-core Zionists
But, nay, the truth of the matter is that Livni and her party stand to the left of her other “leftist” parties such as the Labor Party, headed by Shelly Yachimovich and Kadima, headed by the certified war criminal Shaul Mofaz who on several occasions called for the destruction of Gaza and annihilation of its people.
As to Yesh Atid, its founder and leader, Lapid, has objected to classifying his party as leftist. He said his party was not leftist but rather “centrist”?
Then there is the celebrated Mermaid Meretz, which has garnered only 6 seats. Well, these people may be leftist in the sense that they support gay marriages, equal workers’ wages. Women rights and a peaceful solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.
However, it is well known that most if not all these liberals-rather-than leftists are hard-core Zionists who oppose the dismantling of Jewish settlements and especially the repatriation of significant numbers of Palestinian refugees back to their homes and villages in what is now Israel.
It is really very difficult, if not outright impossible to be truly Zionist and truly leftist at the same time. It is really a stark oxymoron, an obscene contradiction in terms.
Knesset members are outright fascists
Which leaves us with the stark reality that more than 90% of the Israeli Knesset members are outright fascist.
For those who might be prompted to raise their eyebrows upon reading my words, I’d like to remind them of the following. Both the right and left in Israel are against the establishment of an egalitarian state in mandatory Palestine in which Jews and non-Jews enjoy equal rights.
Both the right and left in Israel would rather support apartheid that sees Israel become a binominal state, especially if Israel’s “solid” Jewish majority is threatened.
And both the Israeli right and left are decidedly against the return to the lines of the fourth of June, 1967. This is in addition to their absolute rejection of any notion suggesting the repatriation of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194.
Interestingly, it was the so-called Israeli left that started the settlement enterprise. It was the Israeli left that started and intensified the Judazing of Occupied East Jerusalem and it was the Israeli left that rejected all Arab gestures for peace. Remember, the Israeli left ruled Israel nearly 30 years before the advent of the right in 1977.
In light, it would be more than naïve and more than stupid to really think that the results of Israeli elections will expedite peacemaking.
I don’t blame the Americans and Europeans for issuing optimistic and breezy statements, welcoming the elections’ outcome. These people have been doing this for ages. Beside, these statements don’t cost Europe and the U.S. a penny.
However, the big disaster occurs when some Palestinian and Arab leaders start making similar statements.
It is often said that wise people learn from other people’s mistakes. The less wise, learn from their own mistakes. But the true calamity occurs when people neither learn from their mistakes nor from other people’s mistakes. That is a real disaster.
Does the current Palestinian Authority fall under this category. I hope not, but I am not sure. The next few days and weeks will provide a satisfactory answer.
I hope that my fears and apprehensions are misplaced, but an inner voice tells me otherwise. (T/P02/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)
* Khalid Amayreh is a journalist living in Palestine. He obtained his MA in journalism from the University of Southern Illinois in 1983. Since the 1990s, Mr. Amayreh has been working and writing for several news outlets among which is Aljazeera.net, Al-Ahram Weekly, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), and Middle East International. He can be reached through [email protected].