Photo: AFP
Defense Minister Lieberman. He knew what he was saying and why
Photo: AFP
Ben-Dror Yemini

Israeli rightists can stop celebrating

Op-ed: Defense Minister Lieberman’s statement, which was likely coordinated with Prime Minister Netanyahu, makes it clear that even the Trump administration is beginning to understand the catastrophe of the ‘one state’ vision.

After the series of moves and statements made by new US President Donald Trump, it’s slightly difficult to find any indications of a shift from an election campaign to the most important position in the world. Last week, there was his address to the Congress, which instilled a small glimmer of hope, because it did not include any cursing and revilement—and in the Trump era, that’s something too.



From the Israeli and Zionist angle, the greatest concern has to do of course with the blank check he gave Israel—or the Israeli Right, to be more exact—to destroy the Jewish state in favor of the catastrophe of one big state.


This feeling led to a state of euphoria among parts of the Right, and some of its speakers broke into a series of fervent statements. One wants to annex Area C, the other wants Ma’ale Adumim, the third one is already destroying the Palestinian Authority, and the meticulous ones are rapidly moving towards the magical “one state” solution.


Likud MK Miki Zohar. Fulfilling the vision of Israel’s enemies (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Likud MK Miki Zohar. Fulfilling the vision of Israel’s enemies (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


The highlight was when Knesset Member Miki Zohar of the Likud party stated this week that Israel would both annex the territories and deprive the Palestinians of the right to vote. In English, that’s called apartheid.


Israel’s haters don’t need much more than that to confirm their claims against Israel. Why an MK from the ruling party just made it clear himself. The timing is important too, because Apartheid Week is being held these days on many campuses in the West—and there is no greater gift to the initiators of the anti-Israel campaign than such a statement. “Fury as Israeli MP openly calls for apartheid” was the headline of British daily Morning Star, in addition to other media outlets which emphasized the information that will enter the archives of convictions of Israel’s crimes. And we have Zohar to thank for his contribution.


The feeling was that these kinds of statements—in favor of annexation and against the two-state solution—were encouraged following the statement made by Trump, who did not rule out the establishment of “one state” if that’s what the parties want. There is no doubt that that’s what the Palestinians want. After all, they have always rejected an independent state. And there is no doubt that that’s what the supporters of Israel’s de-legitimization want. And their greatest accomplices, the fulfillers of this vision, are the different Miki Zohars.


Nevertheless, we can sound the all-clear signal. Because the statement made by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday makes it clear that the American administration, even the Trump administration, is against the celebration in the Right. The administration, Lieberman clarified, is against an annexation and an expansion of the settlement enterprise outside the blocs.


Lieberman did not say that as an instantaneous whim. He knew what he was saying and why, and he wasn’t speaking on his own behalf alone. He was speaking on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behalf as well, and the statement was likely coordinated between them. Netanyahu does not always favor the national interest over the political interest, but it happens sometimes, even if through a messenger. And it’s a good thing when that happens.


There is something unfortunate in the fact that Israel needs the American administration in order to protect itself from the fulfillers of the nightmarish “one state” vision, and there is no comfort in the fact that the Right is fulfilling the vision of Israel’s enemies. The common lie is that “that’s what the people chose.” That’s not true. There is no majority among the public or in the Knesset in favor of marching towards one state. That is neither the vision of the Kulanu party nor of the ultra-Orthodox parties, and it’s not Lieberman’s vision either.


And one more thing. The two-state solution is not on the agenda due to the Palestinian rejectionism. But it’s even more clear that the fact that the Palestinians are rejecting the two-state-for-two-people formula should not lead to the conclusion that we have to do what they want—in other words, one state. The American administration, it seems, is beginning to understand that. We can calm down.


פרסום ראשון: 03.08.17, 11:41
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