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Netanyahu's Right: The Occupation Can Actually Go on Forever

All the prophecies of doom that were a source of hope for those who believed the Israeli occupation must come to an end have dissipated.

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right. He’s right when he says the world is in Israel’s pocket. He’s right when he says Israel has a bright future at the United Nations. He’s right when he appears cocksure, cheerful and optimistic as never before, certainly not as premier. He has every reason to feel this way. Netanyahu is right — and it’s a disaster.
We’re disappointed. It’s discouraging for anyone who believed in the world, who believed in President Barack Obama or in Europe, who believed in the power of public opinion in the West to impact governments. It’s disheartening for anyone who believed there would be no more colonialism in the 21st century, that a brutal military occupation could not continue into its third generation. All the prophecies of doom that were a source of hope for those who believed the Israeli occupation must come to an end have dissipated.
They promised us international pressure and sanctions; global isolation and a halt to U.S. aid; boycotts and ostracization. Instead, we got an occupation that has never been so entrenched, and an Israel that has never been so strong.
You promised it couldn’t go on forever, but we’ve discovered the opposite is true. And how. Why? Because Israel can, because it’s strong; because Israel is far from being isolated. Admit it, the Israeli occupation is more embedded than it was 10 years ago, and its end isn’t even discernible on the horizon. We must recognize that.
We must also recognize that the Palestinians are isolated, divided, and forgotten as never before since they first appeared on the world stage. The Arabs are bleeding, Muslims are reviled, migrants are feared — and the Israeli occupation only benefits from all this evil. The world has lost interest in a conflict that may be the most dangerous one for its own security, the one creating the widest shock waves. It has lost interest in a conflict it could bring to an end relatively easily.
There is no other conflict upon which there is such sweeping global consensus. No other topic unites the world like the Israeli occupation does. From India to Africa, Beijing to Washington and Moscow, everyone says they oppose it — yet hardly anyone does anything about it. It’s a mass of contradictions. No other country is as dependent on the support of the international community as Israel, yet Israel allows itself to defy the world as few dare.
The only remaining players are civil societies and organizations such as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. They haven’t given up, they are working with great determination to combat a situation in which millions of people live under a cruel foreign occupation. But they are on their own.
It turns out that the power of public opinion in Western democracies is limited, certainly when it comes to Israel. Even the international media is gradually shifting in Israel’s favor — which is to the occupation’s benefit — or losing interest, which also works in its favor. Universities are in uproar, the European left is up in arms, American liberals protest, yet their governments plod on. They pay measly lip service yet still invite Netanyahu amid much pomp and circumstance — as happened recently in the Netherlands, that country with such a liberal and enlightened image. Why invite someone who has declared that he has no intention of bringing the injustice to an end? And then there’s that U.S. military aid deal.
This marvel — a country so dependent on the world while behaving as if it didn’t exist — has no logical explanation. All the familiar arguments, from guilt over the Holocaust to anxiety over Islamists, are insufficient to explain conduct that flies in the face of the international community’s declared values and interests. We must recognize this. We must also recognize that Netanyahu is right when he promises the UN General Assembly that, in a few years, many more countries will vote for Israel. We should recognize that the world won’t lift a finger to free the Palestinians (and Israelis) from this malignant occupation. We must recognize that Netanyahu has good reason to be smug.
The ball now lies back in Israel’s court, where, alas, there is indifference and it’s almost deserted.

Gideon Levy

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.744034Schermata 2016 09 25 alle 15.07.11

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Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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