Friedman’s Crocodile Tears

For decades the Israeli government's official position, at least in the international forums, has been that it is for a two-state solution to the crisis. That much-publicized view is, of course, for international consumption.

Facts in the ground always betrayed such assertions. Because, what the Zionist governments since the time of her foundation have been doing is very clear: it's called occupation and expansion as part of a very sinister colonial enterprise -‘Rhodes-style’ - in which the indigenous, the conquered, people are pushed to exit or to live a life of a subdued conquered people.

It was no accident that since 1967 after the occupation of the West Bank the Zionist governments have been doing everything to expand their settlement activities and thereby make a mockery of the two-state solution. They made such a mess with the settlements deep inside the West Bank that if today by some miracle the nuclear Brahmins of our time and the UNSC were to unequivocally say that the Palestinians can have their independent state in the moth-eaten West Bank and Gaza, it would be impossible for even the most crafty statesmen to carry out the task of a functioning state. That is how the Occupied Territories look like today, thanks to all the illicit money poured from the USA, the UK and the western world. In principle, the two-state solution has been made null and void by the very apartheid framework of the Israeli governments - Likud and non-Likud alike. That is the hard fact.

Still, however, the USA government, the greatest benefactor of the state of Israel, continues to say that it believes in finding a two-state solution to settle the old crisis.
Now, Tom Friedman, the Op/Ed columnist for the NY Times, is also saying that such a solution is impossible. He wrote last month in the New York Times: “It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians” (The Many Mideast Solutions,” February 10).

Friedman's above-mentioned piece is significant given the fact that as a Jew himself who believed in the dream of Israel he has been one of the major voices of the community that is heard both inside and outside the USA. As an ardent Zionist his columns on the Middle East have never been objective or unbiased. When it comes to the Palestine-Israel conflict, he has always tried to belittle the war crimes of the state of Israel, often blaming others for their so-called self-inflicted punishments carried out by the more powerful Israel. I have been highly critical of his hypocritical views that attempted to find an excuse for the unsupportable crimes of the rogue state.

Friedman continues, "The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.
How did we get there? So many people stuck knives into the peace process it’s hard to know who delivered the mortal blow. Was it the fanatical Jewish settlers determined to keep expanding their footprint in the West Bank and able to sabotage any Israeli politician or army officer who opposed them? Was it right-wing Jewish billionaires, like Sheldon Adelson, who used their influence to blunt any U.S. congressional criticism of Bibi Netanyahu? Or was it Netanyahu, whose lust to hold onto his seat of power is only surpassed by his lack of imagination to find a secure way to separate from the Palestinians? Bibi won: He’s now a historic figure — the founding father of the one-state solution."

So far so good! Then, in his all too familiar way, Friedman puts the blame on the Palestinian people, its Palestinian leadership and the resistance that has been fighting the apartheid state. That is where you can again discover his disingenuous self. He blames the weaker party for killing "the two-state solution". Gideon Levy could also smell the rotten rat in Tom's piece when he criticizes Israel's position, "Israel never meant, not for a moment, to reach the two-state solution. Israel is the strong party as well as the occupier, so the blame cannot be divided between it and the weak, occupied side. Nor can one settle for blaming Netanyahu, the settlers and Adelson. Are all the others, from Shimon Peres through Tzipi Livni to Isaac Herzog and Ehud Barak, any less guilty? And are most of the Israelis, who enabled this situation to continue all these years with their indifference, any less guilty?"

Anyway, Tom is now for a one-state solution. The question he did not answer is what type of one-state? Will it be a state like the apartheid South Africa in which the indigenous people are treated inferior to the settler community? Or is it going to be a state with equal rights for all? After all, Israel can’t be both Jewish and democratic at the same time with a sizable Palestinian people that are non-Jewish. Every Israeli student knows that in a one-state formula, which Friedman dreads, and I don’t blame him for his fear that the indigenous people, in spite of being rendered a minority through a criminal process of Jewish influx and forced exodus of the Palestinian people since the illegitimate birth of the state of Israel, will one day become a majority which is bound to change the Jewish characteristics of the apartheid state.

It is surely an outcome that Tom would rather see Israel avoid. Thus, he bemoans the current reality, which I must add was brought in by the Israeli leaders and their extremist supporters within the settler community. He sarcastically advises the presidential candidates in the US election: “Keep talking about the fantasy Middle East. I can always use a good bedtime story to fall asleep. But get ready for the real thing. This is not your grandfather’s Israel anymore, it’s not your oil company’s Saudi Arabia anymore, it’s not your NATO’s Turkey anymore, it’s not your cabdriver’s Iran anymore and it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore. It’s a wholly different beast now, slouching toward Bethlehem.”

That is why one should read Tom’s article as the last ditch effort to save Israel from that catastrophic end! Either Israel stops her criminal activities and finds a solution with the weaker Palestinian leadership for a two-state solution, thereby maintaining her Jewish character, or continues to doing what she has been doing to make it impossible for the viability of an independent Palestine living side by side the Jewish state thereby leaving no option but to settle for the hard reality of a one-state.
Bottom line: Israel cannot be both democratic and Jewish in a one-state formula. She has to devolve into fascism in which she has to use the tyranny of the Jewish majority (the settlers and their descendants) to take the power away from the subdued indigenous Palestinian people. Is it something that Jews around the globe desire for Israel?

If we are all - Jews and non-Jews - serious about finding a just and peaceful solution to the old problem, it all boils down to stopping Israel from committing its apartheid crimes. That means BDS: boycott, divestment and sanctions - the very formula that brought down South Africa's apartheid character. That is the only non-violent way left for sobering the unruly, rogue Israel. As Gideon Levy also noted: "The carrots have all been devoured by Israel, only the sticks remain."

Let’s use this BDS stick. If Israel cannot be sobered by such punishment, God help us all!

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