Today, the voters in Israel cast their votes to elect a new Knesset, in light of the marginalization of the Palestinian matter within the election campaigns of various parties, with the exception of Gaza which is being brought up in the electoral propaganda as a security threat that must be eliminated, rather than a political cause. This is due to a simple reason, which is that most of Israelis never feel our existence unless their security and interests are threatened. However, the Palestinian threatening, within its current limits, can be lived with.
It doesn’t matter whether Benjamin Netanyahu’s “Likud” party or Benny Gantz’s “Blue and White” party wins, as the difference between them is like the difference between some people who wish to kill us with bullets and others who wish to do the same by hanging. Both parties are against the establishment of a Palestinian State, and they both don’t consider the existence of a Palestinian partner. Also, both parties are opposed to the withdrawal to the 1967 borders, yet, they support the recognition of Jerusalem as a united capital of Israel. Moreover, they are both against the return of refugees to their homelands and properties, and support settlements legality, the annexation of huge settlement blocs and the Zionist narrative of history. Moreover, both parties support the continuation of the Palestinian division, the reliance on power, aggression and sovereignty even after reaching a final solution, noting that the holder of the limitation of Palestinian awareness’s idea is Moshe Ya’alon, one of the Generals party’s leaders.
The fundamental difference between Netanyahu and Gantz is that the latter and his party want to reach a regional settlement and political solution that shall legitimize the current situation. However, Netanyahu and his party want to annex (c) areas as soon as possible, rather than merely the settlement blocs, they also wish to open up opportunities to annex the West Bank at the right time, following to the migration and displacement of vast numbers of Palestinians to Jordan, Sinai and other countries around the world, in preparation for the establishment of “Greater Israel.” Whereas historic Palestine cannot accommodate Palestinians and Jews after decades as a result of the extremely high population density.
There are also other differences between the two parties. For example, Gantz wishes to strengthen and foster the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, while rehabilitating it to become a partner with Israel, in addition to the blockade strengthening and the direction of military strikes against Hamas Movement, including returning to the adoption of the assassination policy. On the other hand, Netanyahu wishes to weaken the PA and eliminate what is left of its political role, in order to play the functional, security, administrative and economic roles away from any political process and within the framework of self-governance, even if that led to the collapse and dismantling of the authority into several authorities, as was the case of the “United Emirates”, or to the displacement plan which is known as “the decisiveness plan” or the plan of Gaza Strip’s expansion from Sinai so that a large number of Palestinians are settled in such area.
In addition to that, Netanyahu aims at reaching a regional solution and at normalization with Arabs without compromising with Palestinians, as he believes that Arabs are capable of convincing Palestinians or forcing them to accept whatever he wants. Nonetheless, Gantz believes that Arab and Palestinians walk on the same path and can be handled as a single package. But even more seriously, both of Netanyahu and Gantz refuse to recognize the Palestinian national rights, and they both deal with the Palestinian cause as a humanitarian cause that can be solved with an economic bribe (noting that such bribe won’t be lucrative due to the lack of financers). This illustrates that both of Netanyahu and Gantz intend to involve Arabs in their plans, however, the difference between them is that Gantz is willing to discuss and communicate with Palestinians as a way to reach out to Arabs, while Netanyahu isn’t willing to discuss and communicate with Palestinians, relying on the logic of force and betting on Arabs.
In short, Israel seized most of the Palestinian land, which is around 82% of historic Palestine’s area including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and 1948 lands, and presently, Israel intends to empty (c) areas of inhabitants and get rid of them, after the successful regrouping of population in cities and inhabited isolates.
In this context, Netanyahu’s intention regarding the gradual annexation of the West Bank must be taken very seriously, as it is not just an electoral propaganda, particularly after the American recognition of the annexation of Golan. There are several reasons which prevent or delay the declaration of the West Bank annexation and the American recognition of the same, most notably of which is that Palestinian people are still surviving and resisting occupation and the West Bank is still inhabited by three million Palestinians, including Jerusalem.
Taking advantage of “Trump’s deal”- in case it was raised after the elections as it is said and in the event it was rejected by Palestinians and accepted by Israel with reservations- Israel may proceed with the annexation and expansion of settlement blocs, through the legitimization of outposts, after military orders were given to expand the area and scope of settlements.
Based on the above, the best response to the Israeli elections’ results, which wouldn’t make any difference for Palestinians whether the Likud and the right-wing extremists won or the “Blue and White” party, falsely called “center-left”, which is a right-wing party that competes with Netanyahu and Likud for the hostility against Palestinians, or in the event of the establishment of Israeli Unity Government to help in passing the “Deal of the Century”, is as follows:
First: To stop betting on what is happening and what could happen in Israel, as Israel will not accept any settlement that shall meet the minimum level of Palestinian rights. Israel, however, seeks to continue with the management of the conflict until the Zionist objectives are fully achieved.
Second: To stop betting on the American administration and the possibility of change in the United States, as the United States alignment with Israel didn’t start with Donald Trump’s era and will not end with it, whereas the thing that took place in Trump’s era is the transformation of the American administration into a full partner with the right-wing, and not only with Israel.
Third: To fundamentally change the Palestinian approaches that have been adopted since Oslo Accord till now, without tinkering or combining between approaches which cannot be combined, especially the combination between approaches that have failed miserably and new approaches that could never succeed unless fully expressed.
It is not the intention here to review Oslo Accord and its commitments and to renounce it only, but also to review the Palestinian approaches, including Hamas Movement’s approach which takes the unilateral armed resistance as a way of liberation, especially after the resistance has turned into a tool to defend Hamas Movement’s Authority, rather than just being a tool for liberation, whereby the equation “contentment in exchange for easing the blockade” which is a humanitarian solution, irrelevant to rights, has become the limit of attempts to reach an agreement regarding Gaza.
“Hamas” is mistaken if it believes that, in light of the factional divisions and the existing Arab, regional and international realities, it would be given a State in Gaza, or that the blockade would be completely lifted on Gaza in exchange for pacification only, whereas disarmament and breaking the will of the resistance movement must take place in order to reach a long-term settlement with Gaza Strip.
Likewise, “Fatah” is wrong if it believes that it would establish a Palestinian State within the West Bank, or that Israel would offer Gaza Strip on a silver platter to Fatah. Nevertheless, Fatah is required to accept “Trump’s deal” or at least, to coexist with such deal and the facts and realities established by Israel.
There is a different path in case awareness and will are available, as the bet shall be, first and foremost, on the Palestinian people, and then on the Arab, Islamic, liberal and humanitarian dimensions of the Palestinian cause. The bet shall also be based on the development of a comprehensive vision from which an effective strategy is emerged, instead of the continuation of the survival, waiting and reaction strategy, as such strategy attempts to stand against the ongoing flood, yet, it didn’t succeed and will not succeed unless the strategy is built upon making substantive change at the track, and based on giving the highest priority to ending the division and restoring unity based on national foundations, genuine partnership and consensual democracy which commensurate with the nature of the stage experienced by the Palestinian people.
Is that difficult? Yes, indeed but possible, especially for the Palestinian people who have always presented creative initiatives, through which, they have surpassed their leadership, power and political elites… don’t you remember the glorious Intifada and the time at which it took place, in addition to almost twenty Intifada, revolution and uprising that have broken out since the birth of the so-called the Palestinian cause over hundred years ago till this moment. Thus, it is time for the Palestinian people to impose their will upon everyone.