Bren Carlill of the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council has written a response to an article written by Paul Heywood-Smith and Bassam Dally, both of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association, which recently appeared in ‘The Australian’ newspaper.
Heywood-Smith and Dally argued that, if the Rudd Labor government aspires to play an active and leading role in the pursuit of a long-term peaceful outcome to the Israeli-Palestine conflict, then it must recognise the defiance Israel has displayed as it pursues its significant expansionist ambitions in to territories that are not theirs. They further argue that the Arab-Israel conflict is also at the core of many of the other ills that currently beset the Middle East.
In response, Bren Carlill argues that Israeli expansionism is not a barrier to peace but, rather, that the Palestinians inability to accept an Israeli state is the reason for peace being so elusive. Carlill reinforces his argument about Israeli settlements not being the cause of conflict saying that Israeli settler withdrawal from the Gaza Strip seemed only to increase Palestinian activity against Israel rather than bring peace. He says: “Israel removed its settlements from Gaza, in a voluntary action designed to prompt peaceful Palestinian reciprocation.”
This is a deliberate piece of rhetorical propaganda; indeed, a lie. The then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, removed the settlements because it was simply no longer militarily and economically expedient for the Israeli government to continue to support only the partial colonisation of the Gaza Strip with Israeli settlers. The simple fact was that the cost of protecting the settlers in the Gaza was becoming increasingly prohibitive. Sharon’s plan was simple and is still being played out.
Sharon knew that, after pulling out the settlers, the Palestinians would still use the Gaza as a base for military operations against the Israelis. The propaganda was, and still is, that the Gaza is a separate entity from the West Bank and the rest of Palestine and that, therefore, the Gazans should be grateful that their lands have been returned to them and that there should be no further reason why the Gazans should attack Israel. The geopolitical reality is that the Gaza Strip is not a separate entity and that it is a part of Palestine, as is the West Bank, and the Palestinian fighters in the Gaza are fighting for the freedom of all of Palestine and all Palestinians, not just the Gaza and the Gazans.
The Gaza Strip is a relatively small enclave that the Israelis could deal with easily when they feel the time is right. However, for that time to come, the Gazan people will need to be isolated and persecuted to the point that they are forced to take some drastic action against those that are oppressing them. To this end the Israelis have effectively ghettoised the entire Gaza Strip slowly bringing life in there to an intolerable level which will sooner or later cause a violent reaction from within such that will provide the Israelis with a casus belli to invade the Strip and eventually remove its people to either the Sinai or the West Bank or Jordan while eliminating Hamas in the process. Ultimately the aim would be to incorporate the Gaza Strip into Israel. The Gaza Strip as part of a Greater Israel is the Zionist’s dream and those settlers that were removed from the Gaza will form the vanguard of a new settler movement that will eventually colonise all of the Gaza.
Another aspect of the Zionist dream is for an exclusively Jewish state as against a state that can be shared by Jews and Arabs alike. While Carlill infers that Palestinians are racist because they, as he puts it, ‘fundamentally reject Israel’s right to exist’ he has no problem in telling his readers that: “Absorbing four million non-Jews would remove the Jewish nature of the Jewish state - a non-starter for Israel”. On the one hand Carlill infers that Palestinians and Arabs are racist but then on the other, no doubt hoping that his hypocrisy will go unnoticed, advocates a Jews-only racist state.
The resultant, if the two-state solution were to go ahead, would be two states that will forever resent each other, each believing that the other is living on lands that do not belong to them. They will exist in a state of perpetual conflict that in the end can only result in either the destruction of Israel, since the demographics will never allow Israeli domination in terms of population, or the destruction of the entire region as Israel makes use of its weaponry to suppress Arab aggression toward it.
While the western world, including Australia, has governments that ignore the geopolitical realities of the Palestine-Israel conflict and, instead, perpetuate and succumb to the propaganda and rhetoric of Israeli self-interest there will be no resolution to the Palestine-Israel conflict and, while there is no end to the Israel-Palestine conflict, nor will there be any end to the other conflicts that seem to plague the Middle East. A binational single state for Palestinian Jews and Arabs is the only viable solution for a lasting peace in the Middle East and the Australian government, no matter who leads it, could well play a role in achieving such a peace provided it can advocate for Palestinian interests to the same extent that it currently advocates for Israeli interests.