The powerful juxtaposition of the U.S. delegation in Jerusalem on Monday, May 14, opening up the new U.S. Embassy while Israeli military snipers picked off and killed 61 Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza again brings the Israel-Palestinian crisis to everyone’s attention.
To better understand these two connected events – totally at odds with each other – let’s assess the Israeli government’s long-term goals, Netanyahu’s tactics to reach these goals, and why these goals and tactics are built on an unsustainable house of cards.
The Strategic Goal: Permanent Occupation
According to many distinguished social scientists, such as Professors Ran Greenstein, Richard Falk, Virginia Tilly,Gershon Shafrir, Yoav Peled, and Andy Clarno, under Netanyahu’s leadership, the Israeli government is making its post-1967 occupations of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem permanent.
This means that Israel’s systematic construction of “facts on the ground” effectively precludes a two-state resolution of this conflict. It also results in the incremental creation of an apartheid state. While Israel still brands itself a democracy, it is actually an ethnocracy. Palestinians residing within its 1948-1967 borders are second-class citizens, while Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank live under various forms of military occupation. As for those in Gaza, these Palestinians are caged in by an indirect military…