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The Audacity of Peace - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Extremist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech about peace according to his personal view. Talking about Netanyahu’s vision of peace is like talking about the eloquence of George W. Bush.

Netanyahu completely rejects the idea of establishing a Palestinian state and the idea of withdrawing from territories Israel occupied in 1967. Moreover, he categorically refuses to talk about the Palestinian right to Jerusalem, and is also unwilling to discuss the issue of Palestinian refugees. Netanyahu’s vision of peace falsely seeks to calm the situation with the Arabs and the Palestinians. It begins with rights and economic opportunities for the Palestinians including jobs in Israel and opportunities for investment in the West Bank and Gaza. His vision then sheds a strong light on the Iranian threat and considers it the real threat to peace between the Arabs and Israel because it puts the entire region at risk.

These are not only lies; they are irrational, deceitful and misleading proposals. Israel is not trustworthy and is certainly not sincere in its claims that it seeks peace. There are UN resolutions that clearly demand that Israel withdraws from certain territories it had occupied. But of course these resolutions have not been respected nor implemented by Israel. Even peace initiatives were always met with outright rejection and procrastination from Israeli administrations. The strategy that has been adopted in Israel now urges every government to ignore what was agreed upon by earlier administrations. After its rise to power, Likud completely rejects ‘Rabin’s Deposit’, which was put together for complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights and reconciliation with Syria.

Today Likud is washing its hands of Kadima’s positions on the two-state solution. It simply denies everything that has been negotiated in the past. At the same time, Likud brazenly demands that both Hamas and Hezbollah acknowledge past negotiations reached with the current governments of their countries. Even the Arab Peace Initiative which made unprecedented concessions and offered a significant basis for building real peaceful understanding was neither appreciated nor dealt with well by Israel’s leading figures.

Today Israel feels that the US is using a new discourse and an insistent tone regarding the implementation of the two-state solution as a foundation for potential peace. Israeli settlements are still being expanded and developed in defiance of what the international community and Barack Obama want. Israel is a rogue state par excellence and a colonialist state that could not care any less about the ethics and commitments of respectable countries and it persists in a course of action that cannot be ignored.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet including Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman show the world the ugly but true face of Israel’s strategies and policies. Netanyahu’s vision of peace has nothing to do with the honourable and noble word of ‘peace’. What he proposes is a bloody, suffocating and oppressive project. He ought to be seen for what he is; a warmonger and someone who rejects peaceful coexistence. The world should take an ethical stand and make Israel comply with the moral and formal standards that apply to the rest of the world. However, until that happens, the Security Council and those in charge of it will continue to fail regarding the moral issue.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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