By Jafar M Ramini
After the blood bath in occupied Palestine in 2022, more than 230 Palestinians were killed. The Israeli Occupation Forces and the heavily armed Jewish illegal settlers in the West Bank continued their feral killing spree into 2023 unabated. In the first month of this year, Israel murdered 36 Palestinians. Ten of those murders took place in Jenin, my birthplace. This massacre in Jenin was the catalyst for two attacks by Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem that culminated in 8 Israelis dead.
Continuing their brutal reaction to any attempted Palestinian attacks, the Israeli cabinet met and passed new, harsh measures to deal with the resistance and their families and friends. From previous records, this is not new. The Israeli forces take great pleasure in following our dead into the grave. Vengeance is mine, sayeth Mr Netanyahu, Mr Ben Gvir et al.
Into this cruel, blood-soaked atmosphere, Mr Biden, The President of the USA, decided to despatch his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken to the Middle East to try and convince the Israelis and Palestinians to defuse the tension and calm the situation. Mr. Blinken started his tour of the area in Egypt and then proceeded to Israel where he met with Israeli officials and said a few soothing words about both sides deserving of security, dignity, and prosperity. And of course, still flogged the dead horse that is the two-state solution. What Mr Blinken did not mention was the occupation, the longest in history, nor the Apartheid regime that Israel applies over the indigenous population living under Israeli occupation. Mr. Netanyahu’s response was devoid of any mention of Palestine, the Palestinians, peace, or even the prospect of a negotiated settlement, based on past agreements with the Palestinians, the United Nations and the Security Council resolutions, nor even international law.
His entire speech concentrated on Iran and the threat it represents for Israel, the area and the world. Why should he deviate from his usual course of lies and propaganda? He has been warning the world about Iran’s possible nuclear bomb for the last thirty years. As for us, the Palestinians, Mr Netanyahu’s firm stance has been, and continues to be, ‘there will never be a Palestinian State, not on my watch.’ He reaffirmed this uncompromising stance after he was reelected to office two months ago, but declaring, as per his coalition manifesto, “The Jewish people has an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop the settlement of all parts of the Land of Israel—in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria,”
From this can anybody see room for a two-state solution?
Then, from Tel Aviv, Mr. Blinken went to Ramallah he met with Mr. Abbas and his cronies, exchanged pleasantries, and offered the same platitudes.
I received some unconfirmed reports that he also pressured Mr. Abbas to resume the security coordination with Israel, promising him more training and equipment for his security forces to regain control in Jenin, Nablus, Hebron, etc…In other words, toe the line, stop any form of resistance by your people and you can keep your imaginary authority.
What Mr. Blinken, his boss, Mr. Biden, the Israelis, not to mention the corrupt Palestinian Authority haven’t realised yet, is that the genie is out of the bottle and in no way is it going back.
The genie I am speaking of is a new generation of young Palestinians who were born since the Oslo Accords and have known nothing but a brutal occupation and a corrupt government, and who see no prospect of a dignified living or any sign that anyone cares about them or their lives and future. As such, they have come to the conclusion, on their own, that living on your knees is no living at all and that, in the absence of justice and accountability, they have taken the only recourse open to them. Resistance. This resistance is independent, youth-lead and not affiliated, or influenced by anybody or anything other than the bitter taste of constant humiliation, anger and despair.
No, Mr Blinken, platitudes will not bring peace to Palestine or the Middle East. What they will truly bring is a tsunami of violence that will sweep everything and everyone in its path. Give them hope, Mr Blinken.
Time to re-think.
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst.
2 February 2023