Olmert or Netanyahu: Will it make a difference?

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Yesterday, the world was informed that Ehud Olmert will shortly resign as prime minister of Israel, apparently due to his investigation for problems of corruption. Here and there around the internet, one can read speculations about what it will mean for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, because the most popular politician in Israel today continues to be Bebe Netanyahu, a right wing Likud hawk.

Will it make any difference to the peace process if Netanyahu were elected next prime minister? Not likely, since while in office, Olmert did little more than talk peace, while supporting a continuation of the military occupation and colonial activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Olmert beat back Annapolis by sipping tea with Abbas, while foreign minister Livni led Condi Rice on a wild goose chase.

The reason there will be no change in the so-called peace process is Israel's project to capture Judea and Samaria (West Bank to everyone else) and the fact that no major Israeli political party espouses an independent Palestinian state.

The Truth of Israel's Intentions was written by Karen Nakamura, The Electronic Intifada, in July 2006, in response to Israel's latest propaganda meme, "the right to exist," and shows that a Palestinian state is as allusive today as it ever was.

Israel complains endlessly about how Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.

The truth is that no major Israeli party believes in a viable Palestinian state.

Just who is denying whose right to exist is clearly stated in the following direct excerpts from the platforms of Israel's most powerful parties, Labor, Kadima and Likud.

Labor's Platform:

1. Jerusalem: United Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty. The Palestinian residents of the city will enjoy municipal rights in the quarters in which they reside, and special arrangements will be established for the sites sacred to Christianity and Islam. 2. Self-Determination for the Palestinians: The Labor Party recognizes the Palestinians' right to self-determination, and does not rule out in this connection the establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty. 3. Security: The Jordan river will be Israel's eastern security border and there will be no other army stationed to the west of it. 4. Borders and Settlements: Israel extends its sovereignty over areas that are major Jewish settlement blocs. 5. The Right of Return: Israel does not recognize the right of return of Palestinians to areas under Israeli sovereignty. Israel will negotiate with the Palestinians on allowing the return to areas under Palestinian control.

Kadima Party Platform:

1. The Israeli nation has a national and historic right to the whole of Israel. However, in order to maintain a Jewish majority, part of the Land of Israel must be given up to maintain a Jewish and democratic state. 2. Israel shall remain a Jewish state and homeland. Jewish majority in Israel will be preserved by territorial concessions to Palestinians. 3. Jerusalem and large settlement blocks in the West Bank will be kept under Israeli control. 4. The Israeli national agenda to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and achieve two states for two nations will be the road map. It will be carried out in stages: dismantling terror organizations, collecting firearms, implementing security reforms in the Palestinian Authority, and preventing incitement. At the end of the process, a demilitarized Palestinian state devoid of terror will be established.

PEACE AND SECURITY chapter of the Likud Party Platform:

1. Declaration of a Palestinian State: A unilateral Palestinian declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration.

2. Settlements: The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria [West Bank] and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

3. The Permanent Status: The overall objectives for the final status with the Palestinians are: to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of a stable, sustainable agreement and replace confrontation with cooperation and good neighborliness, while safeguarding Israel's vital interests as a secure and prosperous Zionist and Jewish state.

4. Self-Rule: The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel's existence, security and national needs.

4. Jerusalem: Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem, including the plan to divide the city.

5. The Jordan River as a Permanent Border: The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan River will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel. The Kingdom of Jordan is a desirable partner in the permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians in matters that will be agreed upon.

6. Security Areas: The government succeeded in significantly reducing the extent of territory that the Palestinians expected to receive in the interim arrangement.

So collectively what Israel's major parties propose is either no Palestinian state (Likud) or a state consisting of South African Apartheid style bantustans (Kadima, Labor).

So what will be the difference between Olmert and Netanyahu? Rhetoric!

Karen Nakamura is an investigative reporter for the progressive Coastal Post newspaper located in the San Francisco Bay area. She has been writing on the Palestine/Israel conflict for fifteen years. Active in the civil rights movement since the 1960s, she presently confines her activism to writing blistering tomes for the alternative press. Reproduced by permission.

Tags: Abbas, Israel, Netanyahu, obama, Olmert, Palestine (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Rec'd

by SocialDem 2008-07-31 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Rec'd

Thanks. People need to be prepared for disappointment because for every administration now since Clinton's and Oslo pretext, the football has been pulled away. No more. Snooker someone else.

by shergald 2008-07-31 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Olmert or Netanyahu

Netanyahu will probably be far worse, if only because the man is not particularly intelligent.

by politicsmatters 2008-07-31 08:03AM | 0 recs
I commend you for this

series of articles....

and recced!

by SevenStrings 2008-07-31 09:00AM | 0 recs
SHErgald IS A FRAUD
It's like a trip to Czarist Russia or Goebbels Germany when shergald is at work. I'm expecting a graphic novel version of "The Protocol of the Elders of Zion" next from shegald and his cronies.
Like most people of shergald's mentality ( and I use that word generously) they are convinced that the Czarist authored document is in fact genuine. To help matters in the ME Egyptian state television made a miniseries of it. I'm sure shergald drooled in his popcorn while watching it.
by demwords 2008-07-31 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: SHErgald IS A FRAUD

On what basis do you make the claim that Shergald is a fraud ?

by SevenStrings 2008-07-31 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: SHErgald IS A FRAUD

He is a paid blogger with nefarious connections.
He has been banned from dKos and believes that the owners of Google are part of an international Zionist conspiracy. Just do a web search on this character and his connections. Also, try to find a post from shergald on any progressive issue...such as health care, trade policy, election fraud.

He is a fake, most likely being paid by an interest group.

He is no progressive.

by demwords 2008-07-31 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: As I said before....

I do not mind your rapping me or the diaries I post, but please stop this false representation. You have now become hysterical and will say anything that comes to mind.

Still I do not do TROLL ratings, and you will not change that.

by shergald 2008-07-31 03:53PM | 0 recs
THE FALSITY IS YOUR OWN...

...you place your propaganda on progressive blogs.

You are no progressive and offer no solutions to the I/P situation.
A situation that for the last 8 years has been painful for people on both sides of the Jordan River. A situation created by failed leadership on the part of the Palestinians, parents using their children as cannon fodder and wealthy oil states with religious manics seeking Holy war with the Palestinians as their pawns living in poverty while they luxuriate in their mineral wealth and moral duplicity.

You reject the labor government as a pathway to solving the problem. Yet, that is the best case scenario to start making moves in the right direction.

So, at the end of the day you call Israeli's racists. Since they hail from multiple continents that isn't even possible. Jews are multiethnic.

Basically you spread propaganda to try to win underinformed but well intentioned people on the left to buy into your Palestinians as perpetual victims of the jews meme...

...while at the same time ranting about censorship and zionist conspiracies in the media and google.

Why should anyone except your employer take you seriously?

by demwords 2008-07-31 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: SHErgald IS A FRAUD

Do you have any evidence to support your assertion that he/she is a paid blogger with nefarious connections ?

Or that he is "most likely being paid by an interest group"?

by SevenStrings 2008-08-06 08:17PM | 0 recs
I disagree strongly

Olmert has a non-zero interest in peace and a non-zero interest in the continued existence of the Palestinian people.  Non-zero does not mean very high at all.  However, it is non-zero.

Netanyahu will bring death and destruction on swift wings, on a scale that the Kadima has not.

Personally?  I'm hoping for Labour.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-31 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree strongly

My view is that it will not make a difference. However, if one were to prefer one party of the other, certainly Labor is the one. On the other hand, compared to Likud's last reign under Netanyahu in the late 90s, Labor was not really able to take the peace process forward.

We got the "generous offer" in 2000 which was really a hoax, predictable from Barak's stipulations that "settlements were off the table" and nothing is to be put in writing. In 2005, Barak admitted that he would not have been able to get his own party, Labor, to vote to dismantle (disengage in Sharon's terms) even a single settlement. At the time, there were 150 Israeli only villages, towns, and even cities located in the West Bank. Can't have a sovereign Palestinian state amidst a situation in which a foreign country controls 40% of it ina swiss cheese configuration. Well it was an honest admission compared to the generous offer propaganda intended to blame Arafat for the failure of the peace negotiations.

What has changed? Today, the population of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is even higher, illegal settlements of which there were a hundred, have been merged with legal ones, and the occupation and confiscation of Palestinian homes and lands continues today.

Many of us will be surprised if there is ever a breakthrough.

by shergald 2008-07-31 09:54AM | 0 recs
If It Won't Make a difference who is PM...

...than what is your solution other than getting rid of the Jews?

by demwords 2008-07-31 10:58AM | 0 recs
The deal wasn't a hoax...

...it was that Yasir Arafat was unable to make the transition from a corrupt mafia-like don to becoming a national leader...so he plunged his country into poverty and chaos while maintaining vast Swiss bank accounts. No one in the world is more to blame for the death and destruction of the past 8 than Yasir Arafat.

I love the fact the senior leadership had to fly to France and negotiate with Arafat's "wife" in order to get access to the money. She took her cut and then they pulled the life support.

Yasir Corleone was no statesman. He lived well and made his people pay the price...right now his "wife" and daughter are living in luxury in Europe. After all, why should his family suffer along with his people in the homeland.

by demwords 2008-07-31 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The deal wasn't a hoax...

Thanks for your contribution to the generous offer. Unfortunately, Ehud Barak had a different take on the Camp David negotiations than you do, an honest one delivered in 2005.

You don't really deserve the attention, but I making an exception this afternoon.

by shergald 2008-07-31 12:08PM | 0 recs
You don't deserve attention...

...for your paid-blogger propaganda campaign.

by demwords 2008-07-31 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't deserve attention...

Spoken like a true Repug.

by venician 2008-07-31 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: You don't deserve attention...
Kind of an incongruous comment...
...whatever.
by demwords 2008-07-31 02:29PM | 0 recs

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