khaldi1_Issam RimawiAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_palestine Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Green Line Is a Red Line for Peace

Israel’s refusal to accept the 1967 border and an independent State of Palestine is a rejection of the simple principle of Palestinian rights. No normalization agreement between Israel and any Arab country will change the fact that Palestinians will not vanish.

RAMALLAH – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel is ready to move ahead with “peace for peace” rather than “land for peace” (which was the original intent of the Middle East peace process). Even when US President Donald Trump’s administration offered Israel the annexation of over a third of the occupied West Bank in its peace plan, ensuring Israel’s perpetual control over the Palestinians and their land, the government coalition couldn’t agree on the offer and did not achieve consensus on the plan.

It didn’t matter. Earlier this month, a debate in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) to approve the agreement normalizing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates was held at the same time that Israel approved almost 5,000 illegal settlement units in under 48 hours. The text on which politicians voted contained no reference to stopping the annexation. In fact, Netanyahu and several members of the government coalition made explicit references to the expansion of settlements and to the non-acceptance of an independent Palestinian state, adding that all of Jerusalem, including its annexed part and holy sites, would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty. Rather than a two-state solution, their plan involves a “Greater Israel.” This is why Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that refuses to demarcate its borders. 

Israel is carrying out this enterprise by confiscating Palestinian land, isolating East Jerusalem, fragmenting the West Bank, and besieging Gaza. It can do so because it does not fear any consequences. Some of the condemnations of previous settlement projects came from leaders who have loudly opposed any measures to hold Israel accountable for the occupation, whether through the International Criminal Court or by banning settlement products. Interestingly, the latest settlement expansion may serve as a wake-up call for those who have been embracing Israeli officials, believing that “charm diplomacy” could bring about a more conducive environment for peace.

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