Spoiler Alert: Netanyahu and Lieberman Aren't About to Make Peace With the Palestinians
Israel might make a show of attending an international conference or starting a peace process, but only to buy time.
Here they come again, the gullible ones. They get hit again and again, but they keep falling for it; they keep on believing and never seem to catch on.
They believed in everyone, from Yitzhak Rabin to Benjamin Netanyahu.They’ll surprise us yet, they said, they’ll end the occupation. They’ll establish justice, just wait, you’ll see.
Rabin and Shimon Peres almost made peace. Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert wanted peace (it just didn’t work out for them) and Netanyahu will still make peace, together with Avigdor Lieberman. Any minute now. After all, Lieberman lately has been sounding like Uri Avnery – 1967, two states. Zehava Galon with a beard.
The naïve, who were caught in the net of Oslo and later in the Bar-Ilan trap, will fall for the Netanyahu-Lieberman joke. They are repeatedly taken in and never learn their lesson. Perhaps they are dreaming; perhaps they are despondent. Perhaps it’s a desire to delude themselves or deceive others. Something’s being hatched here, they say – a regional conference, world peace, just give it a chance. Wait, you’ll see.
You don’t need the current wave of flattery directed at Lieberman, certainly not of the embarrassing proportions of Yedioth Ahronoth, and not just from his lackeys in the media, who always promised he would do great things but never delivered. Even in Haaretz there have been opeds hinting that perhaps, who knows, maybe…
But on this issue, even the most unsuccessful forecaster can make a confident prediction: There will be nothing. Nothing.
Spoiler alert: There’s no chance anything will move under Netanyahu-Lieberman, because neither of them has any such intention. They never did, and they never will. Why should they? Even leaving aside their ideology and beliefs, they have no reason, no incentive, to take such bold steps.
Most Israelis are satisfied with the current situation, and they certainly prefer it over any change. The world’s governments make hollow statements, but no one is actually taking any action. Western grumbling won’t be enough to bring craftsmen like Netanyahu and cynics like Lieberman to make any move that will cost them.
We’ve got to tell the world this before it, too, falls into the trap. Israel might make a show of attending an international conference or starting a peace process, but only to buy time.
This incredible, repetitive phenomenon of right-wing leaders gaining power in Israel and then masquerading as cooing doves is unmatched in any other country.
Why didn’t Netanyahu and Lieberman declare war on Tuesday? Why haven’t they started to get rid of Hamas, to exterminate Hezbollah, to annex the territories, to conquer Gaza, to destroy Palestinian homes, to put terrorists to death? Why are they competing to show who is more peace-seeking?
Because they know that it’s easy and worthwhile to deceive everyone. Mumble “two states” and you’ve gained another few years of occupation. Declare that “the unity of the people is more important than the whole land,” and trusting people will seize hold of it.
The hollow right has nothing to offer, other than preserving the status quo, which is its sole objective. It never had a long-term plan, but who cares about the long term, anyway?
In the days to come, the voices of the creditors will become stronger. They will say that Lieberman will yet be Sharon; that deep in his heart, Netanyahu wants peace.
We must silence these voices, because they are fraudulent. Israel has the most right-wing, nationalist government it has ever had. It’s true there have been right wingers who have made surprise moves over the course of history, but they had a motive for making change, accompanied by courage and values.
The Netanyahu-Lieberman team has none of that. We have to internalize this and not spread dangerous illusions.
Leave that for the right; it does it very well.