Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Netanyahu Will Never Solve the Problem, He is the Problem
By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 17 October 2015
Benjamin Netanyahu's, aka. Bibi, first term in office, as Israel's Despot in Charge (DIC), from June 1996 to July 1999, was mired in political compromise and corruption: Netanyahu was forced to rely on a string of minority parties to secure any jurisdiction over the ruling Labor majority in the Israeli Parliament, aka. the Knesset, and he was known to have repeatedly prostituted his office and his regime in a myriad of corruption scandals. His subsequent fall from grace was swift: Ehud Barak defeated him in the July 1999 election and he spent the next couple of years in political obscurity working in the communications sector.
Thereafter, and for the next eight years, Netanyahu slowly rehabilitated his political fortunes before finally returning to the DIC's Office on 31 March 2009: a post he continues to hold today. Clearly his initial return to office was facilitated by the previous incumbent: Ehud Olmert's lack of popularity among his party and the electorate as well as irrefutable evidence of his involvement in corruption, practically handed Netanyahu the key to the DIC's Office. Moreover, Netanyahu's training for high office, having been educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard, US, where he majored in political expediency and hypocrisy, respectively, was beginning to pay off: the primary skill set required of all Western dictators is the ability to control and manipulate the media and the general public via whatever means is at their disposal.
Nonetheless, while Netanyahu appears to have had some success in the dark arts of disseminating disinformation, he has yet to rise to the challenge of solving the problem that have bedevilled the region for the last sixty seven years.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in the late 19th Century with the ascent of Arab Nationalism and Jewish Zionism: both of which sought to establish a homeland in the Palestinian region for their respective peoples as the power and influence of the reigning Ottoman Empire continued to decline. Later, in the first half of the 20th Century, in the wake of World War I, the region slipped from Ottoman control to the British Empire who exacerbated the growing conflict between the two groups by repeatedly flip-floping on policies that favoured one party over the other. At the end of World War II the situation in Palestine had practically descended into chaos, not unlike the rest of the British Empire at that time, and in 1948 the Jewish state of Israel was formed against the express will of the Palestinian majority and most of the surrounding Arab nations.
It is against this backdrop, where an almost intractable conundrum has festered for more than sixty years, that a statesman is needed to find a solution to the conflict and then go on to resolve it.
As the events of the last few decades have clearly shown, successive Israeli DIC's have not demonstrated the necessary intellect to meet this challenge and have repeatedly failed both the people and a fledgling nation. While the state of Israel itself has grown economically and is militarily stronger than it was, having received an endless stream of fiscal and technological support from the US, its core weakness, and the primary reason for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to this day, is the woeful lack of ability of the authoritarians who have presided over it. In this respect, Netanyahu is no different from those who have ruled before him.
Netanyahu's incompetence can be traced back to his first term of office when he intentionally frustrated the progress of the 1993-5 Oslo Peace Process: the process stalled in 1996. Later, in October 1998, the Wye River Memorandum was initiated to restore the Oslo Peace Process: Netanyahu purposely failed to uphold the tenets of the Memorandum. In his second term, Netanyahu adopted an openly duplicitous policy towards the conflict: while negotiations were often held and agreements were made he continued to undermine their effectiveness by selectively interpreting their meaning. By the end of his second term even Europe and the US had no faith in his ability to secure lasting peace in the region. In 2013, Netanyahu was returned for a third term and in sensing that the Palestinians were making too much progress in their quest for statehood, he initiated a false flag operation in June of 2014: the battle that ensued led to the implementation of Operation Protective Edge and the erosion of all that had been previously achieved. The West Bank, a Palestinian area of control, was bombed back into the Stone Age. In early 2015 Netanyahu was returned for a fourth term and has, as yet, made no effort whatsoever to broker peace in the region.
Clearly Netanyahu's re-election strategy is founded on the principal of the safety of the people is in jeopardy and I know how to protect them. Of course, the truth is infinitely more unpalatable: the creation of a foe, real or imagined, is the precursor of all successful election campaigns where the general public are first placed in fear of their lives before being rescued from almost certain death by the very person who created the threat in the first place.
More importantly, for both the Israeli and Palestinian public, who have endured a conflict that has consumed almost every facet that humanity has to offer, a statesman is needed ... one that has a clear vision of the future and the ability to make it happen. Anything else is simply political posturing and self-preservation at the cost of those they are meant to serve, including their lives.
Netanyahu, like his predecessors, will never solve the problem, he is the problem.
- A politician is only interested in the next election, a statesman considers the next generation.