Why do Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and other Zionist leaders insist that “without Palestinian recognition that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, there will not be peace”? They have declared themselves as such. They enjoy the support of most European nations, United States of America, Canada, Australia, and many other countries in the world that have no problem whatsoever in describing the state of Israel as such. Many Arab countries – with leaders suffering from near-sighted vision – would have no problem going along with that concept. Almost every country with significant military, economic, or diplomatic power and influence either fully agrees with the description of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people or has no real problem with it. So, why does the Israeli leadership insist on demanding that recognition from the powerless, penniless Palestinian leadership?
Here are some thoughts in that regard:
Some say that the likes of Netanyahu and Lieberman enjoy humiliating Palestinians. Insisting on that demand gives the Israeli leadership the opportunity to further add the insult of surrender to the 62-year old injury of the open wound of the Palestinian people. Gaining such recognition or not is of little relevance. Continuing to insult the Palestinian people and to humiliate its leadership is what matters to those Israeli leaders; for that is their aphrodisiac.
Some say that the Israeli leadership does not see peace to be in the best interest of their Zionist experiment in Palestine, for peace would bring the Zionist expansionist project to an end. Therefore, in order to eliminate any chance for peace, Israeli leaders demand that which they know would be impossible for any Palestinian leader to accept, even if he/she were sympathetic to it. No Palestinian leader would dare even to ask the question, let alone make the decision to grant such recognition. Therefore, the Zionist leaders would use Palestinian rejection of Israel as the state of the Jewish people to not have peace, blame it on the Palestinians, and continue with their expansionist Zionist project with the strongest military in the Middle East backed by the unconditional support of the United States of America.
Some say that the Zionist leaders wish to extract a final Palestinian declaration of surrender and acceptance of defeat, thereby declaring total victory for the Zionist project. In spite of the Palestinians’ loss of their country, the ethnic cleansing that never stopped since 1948, the inhumane impoverished conditions under which millions of Palestinians have been living for more than sixty-two years, and the international acquiescence to covering up the Zionist crimes in Palestine, the Palestinian people never accepted defeat and continued their resistance against the Zionist project that sought their annihilation as a people. A Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would give the Zionists their much-needed satisfaction – which they never enjoyed – of a total undisputed victory.
Some say that such Palestinian recognition eliminates the Palestine refugees’ Right of Return that is enshrined in international law, and specified in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948. Paragraph 11 of resolution 194 states that the UN General Assembly “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”). A Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would render implementing this long-overdue resolution 194 to be in conflict and inconsistent with such recognition, for none of the Palestine refugees is Jewish.
Some say that the Zionist demand of Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would have as much impact on the future as it would on the past. In addition to accepting that the Zionists were victorious, such a Palestinian recognition would offer a prior tacit approval for any future act that the “Jewish” state would do to protect its “Jewish character” in the future; including further ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Israeli citizens every time their numbers threaten the solid Jewish majority that would be necessary to maintain that “Jewish character” of the state. Since virtually all Muslim and Christian Israeli citizens are Palestinians, a Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would do away with – or significantly weaken – all citizenship rights those Palestinian-Israelis had, have, or will have in the future. Such recognition would deal a significant blow to Palestinians’ struggle for equal citizenship rights in their own country, and prepare the grounds for their ethnic cleansing sooner or later.
In addition to all of the above, there is one more explanation for why Zionist leaders demand Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Zionist leaders know that their state is not legitimate. They know that they built their state over the fresh ruins of Palestinian society. They know that their state of Israel was born in sin; ethnic cleansing, murder, terror, deliberate mass killing of civilians, land robbery, etc. They further know that they are at the height of their power; they enjoy the unconditional military, political, economic, and diplomatic support of the only superpower on the planet Earth. They also know that the Palestinian leadership is at its lowest point in its history, desperate, powerless, unpopular among its own people, penniless, totally dependent on the Israeli most powerful ally, and incapable of counter balancing the power of the state of Israel; locally, regionally, or internationally. Taking all of these facts into consideration, Netanyahu and Lieberman and people around them smell blood. They see in this current Palestinian leadership their best chance to get the most valuable prize of them all; legitimacy. By extracting such recognition from the Palestinian leadership, the Zionist leaders believe that they would be gaining Palestinian recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist project, legitimacy of all past Zionist actions, legitimacy for all future Zionist actions against the Palestinian people anywhere, and legitimacy for all future Zionist actions targeting any form of Palestinian resistance or struggle for equality against the exclusionary nature of the Zionist experiment in Palestine.
In demanding that Palestinians recognize the state of Israel to be the state of the Jewish people, the Zionist leadership is seeking from its victims to legitimize its crimes against them. In this demand, the rapist is seeking from its rape victim to testify in the Court of history that the act of rape was legitimate. However, regardless of the balance of power, regardless of blockades, regardless of ethnic cleansing, regardless of the volume of suffering, regardless of apartheid, regardless of destruction, regardless of ugly racism, regardless of hourly discrimination, regardless of unspeakable crimes, regardless of any threat, regardless of any fantasy Zionists might harbour, regardless of the divided Palestinian house, and even if Palestinians face total annihilation from the face of the Earth, the Zionist-sought Palestinian recognition to legitimize the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people will never happen. Under certain circumstances, Palestinians would have the capacity to forgive the Zionist crimes; but to give them legitimacy… Naaaayyyy!
Hope is the stuff from which life is made!