My Piece As Published in The Hill Congress Blog

Feel free to post comments here:

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/231789-netanyahus-coming-to-town

Netanyahu’s coming to town

 By Miko Peled

Netanyahu is coming to town! He’ll speak at a joint session of congress and at the AIPAC national convention.  We’ll hear about the threat of Islam, terrorism, Iran! How delightful! But what about Gaza?

As 2015 begins, 1.6 million people in Gaza are still living the consequence of Netanyahu’s killing spree of summer 2014: Over two thousand killed, more dying daily due to lack of shelter, heating and medical care. The countless injured are denied care in Israel, though Israeli modern medical facilities are available a few short miles from Gaza.

So one would expect the discussion on a solution to Palestine/Israel would gain momentum.

But first, we have to bring up a few sticky issues: Why not use the $3 billion in foreign aid Israel receives annually to rebuild the destruction Israel created in Gaza?  Millions (!) of tons of U.S. made bombs dropped by IDF on Gaza is no small liability.

We should touch on the fact that had it not been for Israeli forces pushing Palestinians out of their homes in 1948-49, there would be no Gaza “Strip,” and no refugee problem. No small liability here either.

My father was the late IDF general Matti Peled. He was, among many things, military governor of Gaza. In the years leading to and during the 1967 War he was a member of the IDF high command. In preparation for my book “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” (2012, Just World Books) I spent many days in the Israeli army archives. What I saw confirms that the myth of an existential threat on Israel by Arab armies is precisely that, a myth!

Records show clearly that as early as the mid 1950’s Israel was ready to take the West Bank and Gaza and complete the conquest of Greater Israel. The Gaza strip was constantly under attack as soon as it was created and overpopulated with thousands of traumatized, homeless refugees. The taking of the West Bank was an Israeli strategic objective from the very beginning, and in 1967 the political climate allowed the IDF to take it. Exactly like in 1948, as soon as the gun barrels fell silent, Israeli bulldozers began destroying Palestinian towns and neighborhoods in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to erect towns for Jews only. Israeli commanders referred to the 1967 conquest of the West Bank as “finishing the job.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the so-called Two State Solution was never a serious option. As one staffer at Capital Hill said to me, “Israel does not even offer equal rights to Palestinians who are citizens of Israel.” So how can we expect that Israel, a State that offers exclusive rights to Jewish people and whose boundaries include all of Greater Israel, aka Palestine, allow for the creation of an independent state for Palestinians?

My point exactly.

The choices in Palestine go beyond Fatah or Hamas, and the choices for a solution are not one state or two states. Now, almost fifty years and billions of dollars after 1967, the integration of the West Bank with the rest of Israel is complete, and the expectation that Israel would seriously negotiate to reverse this is beyond absurd.  The choices now are whether to continue the same old Fatah vs. Hamas, Abbas vs. Netanyahu paradigm, or push for freedom, justice and ultimately peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike. The new paradigm is transforming all of Israel/Palestine into a single democracy with complete equal rights. A one person one vote system will allow Israelis and Palestinians, two highly productive, educated societies, to reach their true potential in the beautiful country they share.

Peled is an Israeli writer and a activist living in San Diego California. He is the author of “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” (2012, Just World Books). He writes and speaks extensively on the issue of Palestine/Israel.

Facebook Shut Me Down

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One minute all was fine and the next minute I couldn’t log in. It was as simple as that.  I think it has something to do with the fact that I exposed an Israeli plant, or troll or paid collaborator or maybe he (or she) was all of the above. The person’s name is not relevant because it is most likely fake anyway, and the names change constantly. This one is called Trevor something.

How do we know someone is an Israeli plant? Easy. Read the content. They go from Palestinian solidarity to Nazi ideology very fast. In fact they  go from one to the other so fast,  it becomes obvious it’s an Israeli intelligence plant. Shutting me down is not Israel’s primary objective, but delegitimizing the Palestinian cause is. The case that Israel wants to make is that the Palestinian cause is anti semitic, that it is aligned with the Nazi ideology and Islamic fundamentalist international terror networks and Iranian nuclear ambitions. Well, something like that.

So this one character on FB, who had befriended hundreds of my FB friends was spewing Nazi ideology and trashing me in the process, mostly for being Jewish and therefore not being sincere regarding the Palestinian issue. He was claiming that I was a Zionist plant and since you can’t trust F’n Jews anyway… well, you get the idea.

The important thing is that Israel is on the defensive. Israel is trying to change the subject and is failing miserably. The Israeli military is weak. It is no more than a brutal, over-armed, over-financed and overly confident terror organization. The legitimacy of the IDF is being put to question by everyone except for the greedy dealers who provide it with weapons.  Israeli politicians and army commanders, when from time to time they lift their heads out of the sand, see a grim sight and they are worried.

 

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They are worried about the effects of BDS, they are worried about the growth and the influence of the Palestinian solidarity organizations around the world and they are very worried about the growth of SJP and other students groups on campuses in the US.  They know that no matter how many marches Bibi Netanyahu may walk and how many speeches he may give in US congress, the world is going to side with the Palestinians and Zionism will be be thrown out along with all the other racist, colonialist movements.

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Since there is little Israel can do to make things better, they spend their resources on putting out little fires, and my FB pages were the little fires they can put out. It is pathetic, it will make no difference whatsoever. The voice of the Palestinian solidarity will not be weakened, my voice will not be weakened and the struggle will go on. In other words, with or without Facebook the struggle continues until the Zionist regime is behind us and Palestine is free, until every prisoner is freed, until Gaza is free and rebuilt and until every refugee is allowed to return and is given restitution.