By Mya Guarnieri
As though Israeli leaders aren’t doing enough to scare their citizens about Palestinian reunification and statehood, another “warning” has recently popped up on the streets of Tel Aviv. The walls, rather.
It’s right-wing graffiti — a blue Star of David with the date “9/0/11” below. The meaning is clear. Israel’s 9/11, Israel’s catastrophe, is coming in September.
When I saw it, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was part of a governmental campaign. After all, this is the message Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has peddling to anyone who will listen.
According to Netanyahu, Palestinian reunification, which is a critical step toward a viable Palestinian state, is a “mortal blow to peace.” But the so-called peace process has been dead for some time. And the Palestine Papers were a post-mortem that confirmed what settlement building had suggested — Israel is more interested in land than it is peace.
While Netanyahu remarks that Hamas “has not given up the ghost of getting rid of us,” in reality, Hamas has said that it would accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.
While Hamas has not conceded to Netanyahu’s demand to recognize Israel “as a Jewish state” — and why should they when over 1 million of Israel’s citizens are not Jewish? — Hamas has also remarked in the past that it would be willing to accept Israel as a neighbor.
Netanyahu has also remarked, “Declaring statehood in September is a dictate — and you don’t achieve peace through dictates. It’s a very bad idea.” But this dictate that Netanyahu is referring to is simply a page from the Zionist play book.
The Palestinian push for statehood traces the steps of Israel’s founders. The Zionists first lobbied for UN support, which was confirmed by the vote to partition Palestine in November of 1947, and then, on May 15, 1948, declared independence. Every time Netanyahu questions the legitimacy of the Palestinians’ current maneuvering, he is actually calling into question the legitimacy of his own state.
Netanyahu has reportedly remarked that European leaders need to “wake up to reality.” But it seems that it’s the Israelis who need to face the writing on the wall: the Middle East is changing — and fast.
Israel must understand that its own freedom and self-determination is intimately bound to that of the Palestinians. And Israel must face the fact that the world will not stand idly by and let it call the shots forever.