The Warnings We Should Be Hearing
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a world-renowned expert on terror, needs experts to understand that the burning of a major mosque by Jews will spark a larger conflagration? As Haaretz reported on Sunday, prominent Mideast experts met with the prime minister to administer this warning, along with a warning that building 850 new housing units in the West Bank, as a "patriotic" response to the evacuation of Beit El's Ulpana neighborhood, will indirectly lead to the outbreak of a third intifada.
Three assumptions are behind the experts' warning: one - that Netanyahu and the military and civilian agencies working with him do not want a third intifada. Two - that Netanyahu is the right address for such warnings. And three - that the Palestinians take in stride any non-religious ill that our hostile regime inflicts upon them.
There is much truth to the third assumption. The eyes of a non-Mideast expert can see at least five structural occupation-induced ills, which separately and together could lead to a popular uprising.
As usual, there is not enough room to enumerate everything and besides, aren't those reminders so tedious? We will therefore present a quick survey before returning to Netanyahu. Let this be our contribution to the 45th anniversary of the country being made whole.
Summer is here, and as usual, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will survive it without running water. We control the water sources and decide that Jews will have unlimited water and the Palestinians will make do with what is left over. In Gaza, this "leftover" water is not fit for drink by either man or beast.
About two million people live in the shadow of land that was stolen for colonies, in the shadow of attacks on residents, farmers and shepherds, of arson, shootings and intimidation. We dominate the expanse, therefore we develop master plans for Jews and construction prohibitions for Palestinians. Colonies combined with discrimination have created those scattered stains on the map, known as the Palestinian enclaves (bantustans, in another language).
Our domination of the expanse manifests itself in fences and walls, a complex network of movement permits and prohibitions and blocked roads. These, together with control over population registration, have created the policy of closure. Its essence: freedom of movement, marriage, work and residence for Jews ("the white man," as our Interior Minister Eli Yishai said) throughout the country. For the Palestinians there is separation, isolation, concentration and a stranglehold.
The sum total of all this is the lie of the democratic state and the truth of the Jewish state. As opposed to what we might have reasonably expected, all this has still not been enough to spark an uprising. Perhaps because the first two intifadas only led to the perfection of Israel's system of lies and domination. (Or: Israel Defense Forces is victorious, if we use the jargon of nearsighted, bleeding wrestlers.)
This is precisely the reason that right-wing groups have an interest in upgrading the reasons for a third intifada, namely, introducing an apocalyptic-religious element to it. Not because they want an intifada, but because they want to suppress it. They want an outbreak to occur, while the Arab world is mired in civil wars, both cold and hot. Their interest is in reaping demographic and territorial dividends from that intifada. How? For example in a mass expulsion of Palestinians to Jordan - "the Palestinian State," according to many a settler.
The right wing, which has raised the settlements to a level of sanctity greater than that of Mount Sinai, is the natural habitat of Netanyahu, as well as the dominant military and civilian groups. Let us not forget that.
The debate about whether or not to demolish the Ulpana buildings is merely a tactical dispute in their shared road, in which suppression of the third intifada is part of the master plan.
Therefore, the Mideast experts should not be warning Netanyahu. Instead, the warnings should go to the millions of Israelis who want cottage cheese to eat, an apartment to live in and normalcy - a number of whom are planning this summer's protests. These experts should not warn Israelis about the dangers of burning down of a mosque, but rather, the dangers of their government.