Arab Palestinians oppose ending the occupation

The Palestinians want to keep the lava of the refugee problem at full boil.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s plan to assist the Gaza Strip in becoming an independent entity has encountered wall-to-wall Arab Palestinian opposition. The dual-headed Arab Palestinian regime in Ramallah (Fatah) and in the Gaza Strip (Hamas) totally rejects Lieberman’s proposal to recruit the European Union to build power stations to supply electricity, desalination stations and a sewage treatment plant. This was to be part of a plan that would totally sever all connections with Israel, which would forgo its naval supervision over merchandise entering the port of Gaza and would totally seal the border with the Gaza Strip.

The arguments against exercising Palestinian independence resemble each other. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah, views Lieberman’s plan as a plot “against the Palestinian people’s aspirations for unity, liberty and independence” and as one that “expresses the aspirations of the Israeli extreme right.”

Ahmed Assaf, spokesman for the Fatah organization that props up the Palestinian Authority, argued that the Gaza Strip is still under “Israeli occupation” and so it will remain, because it constitutes a single geographic unit with the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Sami Abu Zuheiri, a Hamas spokesman, explained that “although Gaza was liberated in practice from the military and settlement presence, it is still from a legal and practical standpoint under occupation” and the Lieberman initiative is “an attempt to elude the responsibility imposed on the occupation.”

Abu Zuheiri argued that Israel, “the occupying country,” must continue to provide for the Gaza Strip’s needs including food, electricity and fuel.

THE HAMAS position exemplifies one of the major absurdities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas, which took pride in liberating the Gaza Strip from the occupation via jihad, is struggling with all its might to preserve the “Israeli occupation” and obligate Israel to continue transferring supplies to an entity that avowedly declares that it will liberate all of Palestine, liquidate the State of Israel and kill and expel its Jewish inhabitants.

This is primarily the guiding logic behind the position of the Palestinian leadership that has not renounced the idea of liberating Palestine in its entirety.
The goal of both the PA and the Hamas government is identical, namely, to keep the lava of the refugee problem at full boil, as this constitutes the key to the ultimate objective of the historic Palestinian odyssey – the liquidation of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. This is the real reason behind the Palestinian love affair with the “Israeli occupation.”

Hamas wants to eat out of Israel’s hand and then proceed to eat the hand itself and the entire body.

Israel’s opposition to placing the noose over its neck with its own hands is depicted by Hamas as a violation of international law.

Making the case for Israel

Why does it seem that the whole world is against us ?

In the past few years, Israel has been subjected to increasingly harsh criticism around the world, resulting in an erosion of its international image, and exacting a tangible strategic price. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict serves as the 'engine' driving this criticism, which peaked with and around the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead. In some places, criticism has stretched beyond legitimate discourse regarding Israeli policy to a fundamental challenge to the country's right to exist.

The Resistance Network, based in the Middle East - and comprising nations, organizations, and individuals - rejects Israel's right to exist on the basis of Islamist or Arab-nationalist ideology under the leadership of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas; The Delegitimization Network, primarily comprising organizations and individuals in the West - mostly elements of the radical European left, Arab and Islamic groups, and so-called post or anti-Zionist Jews and Israelis -negate Israel's right to exist based on a variety of political and philosophical arguments.

The Resistance Network advances the 'implosion strategy' that aims to precipitate Israel's collapse based on three principles: 'Overstretching' Israel by undermining attempts to end its control over the Palestinian population; delegitimizing Israel; and conducting asymmetric warfare in the battlefield and against Israel's civilian population to counter IDF military superiority;  The Delegitimization Network that aims to supersede the Zionist model with a state that is based on the ‘one person, one vote' principle by turning Israel into a pariah state and by challenging the moral legitimacy of its authorities and existence.

 The Resistance Network and Israel's delegitimizers leverage the Palestinian condition to advance their cause, yet they do not seek its resolution or accept ideas such as 'co-existence' or 'peace' that embody an acceptance of Israel's existence. Their objectives dictate that any compromise with Israel should be temporary, and even borders that are based on the June 4, 1967 lines would only be provisional.

Therefore, Israel is likely to experience setbacks in its attempts to ensure its security and identity, which merges its Jewish and democratic character, unless it is able to meet the challenge of Israel's fundamental delegitimization effectively.


The Strategic Challenge, Potentially even Existential

 Israel faces a systemic, systematic, and increasingly effective assault on its political and economic model. Its inadequate response reflects a crisis in its foreign policy and security doctrine, as well as its conceptual inferiority. Strategic implications are already apparent: Increased international interference in Israel's domestic affairs; greater limitations on Israel's ability to use its military force; economic boycotts and sanctions; and travel restrictions on officers, officials, and politicians due to application of universal legal jurisdiction (known as lawfare). In addition, in many places Israel has been successfully branded by its adversaries as a pariah state that deserves the fate of South Africa's apartheid regime.

The working assumptions underlying Israel's security and foreign policy doctrine - viewing military capabilities as the only potential existential threat facing Israel - have stagnated for decades. These assumptions yield the conclusion that the security establishment constitutes Israel's primary response mechanism, and resources are allocated accordingly. Meanwhile, Israel's foreign affairs establishment is ill-structured and ill-equipped: Resources are meager: budgets are scarce and diplomats are few in number; there is no clear responsibility for key foreign policy issues, and thus no clear policy; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organized according to geographic regions and designed to operate vis-à-vis countries, and therefore lacks the ability to wage a global campaign on the non-governmental level.

Hence, there is a mismatch between Israel's foreign policy and security doctrine, on the one hand, and the challenge Israel faces in the diplomatic and political arena, on the other hand.  Israel's diplomacy and foreign policy doctrine requires urgent overhaul.