Articles > > IMMUNITY IN EXCHANGE FOR SOVEREIGNTY

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-04-12
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

Immunity in exchange for sovereignty . I did not come up with that headline, I borrowed it from Haaretz Editor-in-Chief Aluf Benn, who broached it as a lens for interpreting the results and implications of Israel's .
 
That 'immunity' is now within Netanyahu's grasp given his comfortable right-wing majority. He only needs to reach out and pluck it from the Knesset to escape prosecution. The 'sovereignty' in question is what Israel will impose on its settlements in the West Bank. Netanyahu will seek immunity from the right-wing parties after the recent addition of the New Right Party (led by Bennett/Shaked) to the victors' ranks has raised the number of right-wing seats in the Knesset to 66 instead of 65 [sic: The New Right failed to pass the threshold]. In exchange, Netanyahu will commit to imposing Israeli sovereignty over the settlements without uprooting a single settler from any outpost.
 
The next Israeli slap in the Palestinians' face will be annexing wide swathes of the West Bank. We do not know if it will happen all at once or in several installments, but it will receive a ready-made green right and coordination (read: encouragement) from the Trump administration. It might happen quickly, maybe even as the first decision following the new right and far-right government's formation – a process that officially takes four or at most six weeks – amidst predictions that it will not take so long.
 
The next slap's timing might coincide with the unveiling of the [U.S. sponsored] 'deal of the century', or it might come soon before or after it. Nothing has been corroborated yet, but one thing is for sure: Now that they have dispensed with swallowing up Jerusalem and the Golan and have done away with the refugees' issue, Tel Aviv and Washington are inching closer and closer to swallowing whole what Israel has already bitten off from the West Bank.
 
A week or slightly longer has passed since Netanyahu announced his intention to annex the West Bank, or parts of it, without eliciting an official U.S. response to advise or reproach. Instead, we have seen the exact opposite. Trump hastened to declare Netanyahu's victory before the latter himself and to congratulate him. Now the time is ripe to push for the 'deal of the century' with help from Bibi. There is no longer any need to highlight the U.S.'s complicity in the project of liquidating Palestinian rights and usurping Arab rights. It has become so blatant that it is almost impossible to obscure.
 
With Washington's support, Israel has run roughshod over the [1993] Oslo Accords in both letter and the spirit, simply to take action without bothering to officially announce it. In contrast, the Palestinians have never ceased discussing the need to cancel the Accords, or issuing resolutions from the highest leadership levels along those lines, or at least hinting at it.
 
But what action have they actually taken? They cling desperately to the agreement and its requirements. This needs to stop now. In fact, it should have stopped a long time ago. At the very least, they must withdraw from the terms of the Accords and their onerous obligations, in deeds before words. What we really need right now is less talking and more acting. Perhaps we do not need any talking at all. Perhaps we should follow Israel's example and treat it in kind. It has already put paid to the Accords without so much as an official statement. Now we must bury them for good – also without so much as an official statement.
 
It is time to examine the latest Israeli elections through a different lens, and change our approach. Israel today is not and will never again be that of the Oslo Accords. Much of the River Jordan's water has flowed under the bridge in the quarter century since. We should stop discussing whether it is the right or wrong path to take – all that matters is where it will lead us. We must consolidate the conviction that we must not allow the historic mistake the Palestinians committed twenty-five years ago to maintain its choke-hold on us. We cannot persist with the same mistake, now that where this path, and the entire 'transitional' project for that matter, has led us is clear to all who have eyes to see – indeed, even to those lacking vision and the most fanatic supporters of the Oslo track.
 
The game is up; it is time to set the new rules for a new game.