The nature of peacemaking according to Netanyahu
By Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel October 7, 2013
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an aggressive, seemingly petulant speech at Bar-Ilan University.
Between Holocaust references and criticism of Palestinian leaders past and present, he demanded that the Palestinian Authority recognize not only the unassailable fact of Israel’s existence, but the historic right of the Jews to have their own sovereign state in this land. As one critic suggested derisively, he demanded that the Palestinians become Zionists before peace can be achieved.
Only then will the current round of peace talks be “significant” and have “a real chance at success,” Netanyahu explained. …
Palestinian refugees leaving the Galilee in October–November 1948
His demand for Palestinian recognition of the Jewishness of Israel is no cheap tactic. It is the key to understanding his theory of the conflict, his view as to why the Oslo process 20 years ago failed, and his distrust of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the new round of talks. ….
The Palestinians cannot bring themselves to end the conflict, Netanyahu believes, because they cannot bring themselves to compromise with an enemy they view as completely evil.
They have not yet shifted from perceiving their enemy as absolutely evil to perceiving him as possessing some justice on his side, however limited…
Even Palestinian moderates share this basic view of Israel: it is an evil, but an evil too well entrenched to remove. Israel does not have even a modicum of justice on its side, only brute force, they believe.
This analysis has become a key plank of Netanyahu’s policy toward the Palestinians…
It is the reason he never fails to discuss the millennia-old Jewish attachment to the land of Israel in his speeches before a United Nations General Assembly that could care less. The Palestinians don’t need to become Zionists, Netanyahu believes, but they need to perceive that Jewish (Zionist) demands, too, are rooted in justice.
Only then will their domestic constituencies and political systems be capable of engaging in peacemaking.
Jabotinsky & Zionist morality
Either Zionism is moral and just, or it is immoral and unjust. But that is a question that we should have settled before we became Zionists. Actually we have settled that question, and in the affirmative.
We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmet agree with it or not. There is no other morality.
1948 Palestinian exodus
During the 1948 Palestine War, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated and destroyed.
These refugees and their descendants number several million people today, divided between Jordan (2 million), Lebanon (427,057), Syria (477,700), the West Bank (788,108) and the Gaza Strip (1.1 million), with at least another quarter of a million internally displaced Palestinians in Israel.
The displacement, dispossession and dispersal of the Palestinian people is known to them as an-Nakba, meaning “catastrophe” or “disaster”.
Prior to its adoption by the Palestinian nationalist movement, the “Year of the Catastrophe” among Arabs referred to 1920, when European colonial powers partitioned the Ottoman Empire into a series of separate states along lines of their own choosing.
The term was first used to reference the events of 1948 in the summer of that same year by the Syrian writer Constantine Zureiq in his work Macna an-Nakba (“The Meaning of the Nakba”; published in English in 1956). (Wikipedia info)