Israel faces worldwide isolation

When Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin himself deprecates the occupation and calls for a humane and just treatment of Palestinians by the Jews; it is time for Israeli rulers to take stock of their cruelties and alter their political systems.

Political tensions have escalated and all but crossed the point of no return. The two-state solution is all but dead and a just peace increasingly seems like a dead duck. Palestinians hopes are fast diminishing and the alternatives to the current impasse are not easy to project. Rivlin has called for abandoning hate and adopting acceptance of ‘the other’. He has, in fact, called Israel a ‘sick society’. Harsh words, but the hard truth too.

These may be desperate moments for the Palestinians and the growing number of their accompaniers around the world.  And Israel may believe that it can crush the spirit of the Palestinians by its unrelenting repression. But as it has been said: “Injustice is unsustainable it cannot be normalized because there will always be resistance. The third intifada will come …. If the third intifada does not succeed, there will be a fourth. And then a fifth….. as many as it takes, until justice is served”.  (Anna Baltzer)

“From hatred of the stranger to acceptance of the other”.
“The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin conference on “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the other”.

Israeli President calls it “time to admit that Israel is a sick society, the Israeli Holocaust against the Palestinians is worse than Nazis” Both Rivlin and Prof. Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which organized the conference at its premises on the capital’s Jabotinsky Street, spoke of the painful and bloody summer, and the resultant resurgence of animosity between Arabs and Jews that had escalated to new heights.

Referring to the mutual expressions of hatred and incitement, Arnon said that Jews, who in the Diaspora had been exposed to anti-Semitism and persecution, should be more sensitive to the dangers of incitement. “But are we?” she asked.

The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session of a conference on “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the ‘Other’”.

Last week, in Iran, protesters took to the streets to name and shame Israel to reiterate that Palestinians can and liberate their lands regardless of international indifference and western complicity. Simply because this comes from Iran, the western media views it as hate propaganda. This is self-denial of the truth which is that “Israel is a cadence of falsehood and falsehood is bound to perish”. Palestinian prisoners are being referred to as ‘terrorists’. The truth is immensely different. It is the occupation forces who are the terrorists. Not just them; also those who structure policies of subjugation of the Palestinians. They violate international law and are guilty of criminality that must be punished – not necessarily by violence, but by peaceful methods that make Palestine ungovernable and the occupation unviable.

“We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders,” Israel’s ultra right wing Defense Minister recently declared in all his pomp and arrogance:  “We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders,” He even questioned the right of Palestinian citizens of Israel being part of the Israeli parliament The right of return for Palestinian refugees is a core claim among Palestinians. It is a dominant symbolic association to the lands and homes they were displaced from. Many Palestinians from that era still possess original keys to their homes that were consumed by the state of Israel 69 years ago. 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced from their homes and lands during the creation of Israel. So the question is: What is Lieberman’s political logic about allowing the right of return? He stands on morally sinking grounds. Lieberman has lost all sense of rationality and has now approved 3651 new settlement units ostensibly to ease the overcrowding of settlement in 1948 borders.

Israel is exploring every possible ploy to limit the extension and justification legitimate Palestinian claims. But informed people around the world and influential actors in Israel too are beginning to resist the current moves of the government. Reliable sources report that hundreds of former generals and senior security officials are alerting the US that legislation to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops payments to terrorists will damage Israel’s security. US politicians have their political machinery greased by Zionist funds and want to please the extremes with little thought for the grave consequences of their short sighted decisions. 

And here is where alert parts of the international community step in. Dutch BDS activists have launched a campaign charging to defund “Egged Cooperative” which runs Jewish-only buses to and between almost all of Israel’s illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the militarily occupied West Bank, including remote outposts and East Jerusalem. In the USA, 27 percentage points among Jewish college students have dropped support for Israel since 2010. By contrast, Jewish college students grew increasingly supportive of the Palestinians, with a jump from 2% in 2010 to 13% in 2016.

It may be too naïve to label these as signs of hope. But these are signs of moral outrage and Israel must reckon with the climbing rejection of its ways.

Ranjan Solomon is Editor of  Palestine Updates. He may be contacted at

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