What Netanyahu’s victory means for Palestinians

Published: March 23, 2015
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There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. PHOTO: REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) delivers a speech next to his wife Sara as he reacts to exit poll figures in Israel's parliamentary elections in Tel Aviv. PHOTO: AFP There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. PHOTO: REUTERS

The latest chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saw Benjamin Netanyahu winning a key March 17th election. The victory provided drama and controversy. Trailing in the polls a few days before the vote, he garnered accusations of racism by saying,

“Arabs are coming out in droves to the polling stations. Leftist NGOs are busing them in.”

He was also accused of breaking a promise regarding a two-state solution, as quoted in the New York Times,

“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel.”

Let’s examine.

Netanyahu exploited pre-existing fears in voters, his racism no greater than sports analyst Stephen A Smith, who commented on African American voters:

“Black folks in America are telling one party, ‘We don’t give a damn about you.’ They’re telling the other party, ‘You’ve got our vote.’ Therefore, you have labelled yourself ‘disenfranchised’ because one party knows they’ve got you under their thumb.”

In the last presidential election, 93% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama and 6% for Mitt Romney. Netanyahu reminded the electorate of this parallel dynamic, an understandable political move. As to the two-state solution, it remains contingent on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas negating the existential threat to Israel. Netanyahu’s statement did not change existing policy.

Once again, the chief losers are and will be the Palestinian people, caught between two hostile forces – the conditional and inconsistent restraint of the Israelis, and the otiose aggression of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The solution to Palestine, as always, lies with the Palestinian leadership. The following has been repeated often, but if Israel got rid of their weapons, Israel would be annihilated. If Palestine got rid of their weapons, there would be instant peace and Palestinian statehood.

To confront this we must examine the Hamas Charter, including Article 7, which recites hadith:

“The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

This ideology leads to acts that hinder peace; as shown up by tunnels, ordnance, conventional weapons, and rockets used against Israel. Whether Israel turns bellicose and expands with more settlements, or if Israel forces settlers to repatriate and does nothing in the face of attack, the relevant Hamas ideology sways little.

What does Netanyahu’s election victory mean?

There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. Hatred will continue. As long as the ideology framed in the Hamas Charter holds power – even with Netanyahu being replaced by, say, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa – peace will be unattainable.

Caleb Powell

Caleb Powell

The writer is a Polish/Persian American and worked overseas for eight years, in East Asia, the Middle East, and South America. He now lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family. He Tweets @sonofmizrahi (twitter.com/sonofmizrahi?lang=en)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • wb

    Say what you will, Netanyahu is one of the few people who understands the malevolence of Muslim groups.

    All the debates on Israeli-Palestine, India-Pakistan, Shia-Sunni, US-Muslim world is futile unless and until one opens his hearts and minds to the realities in Hadees and Quran.

    Muslims are a different breed from Christians, Hindus, Jews and others. All the above conflicts are never geographical, political, real-estate or even.

    Political correctness, politeness, niceties have buried truth, facts, reality, history, unfortunately, in today’s world.

    So, hail Netanyahu! Who fears not to speak the ugly truth.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Its all politics. Realistically speaking Palestine has no chance of getting any reprieve until muslim nations back them, and not just with words, with actual actions. If the muslim nations which surround Israel are kind enough to blockade Israel then this solution will be solved within days. However I don’t see any such unity in the foreseeable future.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Muslim nations cannot blockade Israel unless they are both economically and militarily prepared. The last time the Arab nations tried to put up a united front against Israel , Gamal Abdul Nasser ended up telling lies to his own people and King Hussain was left with no option but to sign a peace treaty with Israel.Recommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Uff Wibsy U are there on every blog comments section spewing venom on the M community – whatever the topic of the blog . U work for ET dont U ? Many of my chirpy / sensible / jovial comments get edited out and yours ….Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    That was pretty much a half hearted effort at a “front”. It did not have the backing of that many countries to speak of and there were internecine struggles going on. Plus the Ikhwan were running riot in egypt at the time. Although you are quite right about the outcome.Recommend