Caitlin Johnstone: The Two-State Lie

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Netanyahu is so politically desperate, and opposing Palestinian rights is so popular in Israel, that the regime can’t resist telling the truth about itself.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2014. (World Economic Forum, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article.

There’s been a surprising number of recent Israeli government admissions that not only is a two-state solution not on the table, but that it never was. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted at a recent press conference in Tel Aviv that he’s spent decades thwarting the formation of a Palestinian state, and that he is “proud” of doing so.

Netanyahu’s senior advisor Mark Regev told Piers Morgan that a true Palestinian state with its own military and true sovereignty was never an option for Israel, calling it “common sense” that Palestinians should at best have “less than a state.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. Tzipi Hotovely told Sky News last week that there was “absolutely no” possibility of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

It would have been the easiest thing in the world for the Israeli government to keep up the generations-long lie that it had always supported a two-state solution but the Palestinians kept rejecting it, and claim that only now after Oct. 7 has such a deal become impossible. But at this point, Netanyahu is so politically desperate, and being oppositional to Palestinian rights is so politically popular in Israel, that these goons can’t resist telling the truth about themselves.

It’s actually pretty simple. Once Israel ruled out a true two-state solution on the justification that doing so could allow Palestine to become a military threat, and ruled out a true one-state solution on the justification that giving equal rights to everyone would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish ethnostate, the only options left on the table were genocide and ethnic cleansing.

No Limit on Killing Innocents

Outside Indonesian Hospital in Jubilee, just north of the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza on Oct. 8. (Palestinian News & Information Agency, or Wafa, for APAimages, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The entire position of the pro-Israel side of the Gaza debate is hinged on the premise that there is no limit on the number of innocents you can morally kill when pursuing a military objective. 

From their point of view, not only is it perfectly acceptable that 10 thousand children have been killed by Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, it would be perfectly acceptable if it was 100 thousand, or a million.

As far as the Israel supporter’s moral framework is concerned, Hamas could have killed one-10th the number of Israelis it killed on Oct. 7 and Israel can kill 10 times the number of children it has killed, and Israel’s actions in Gaza would still be justified.

For normal, psychologically healthy people, this position looks deranged. Of course there’s a limit on the number of innocent people it’s acceptable to kill while pursuing military objectives, especially objectives that could be resolved non-militarily. 

The only exceptions would be situations in which there is no other option besides either defeating your enemy by any means necessary or facing your own annihilation. 

Since there is no rational argument that Hamas poses an existential threat to the state of Israel, and since there were options for responding to Oct. 7 without dropping a single bomb, there is no argument to be made that it’s acceptable to kill all these innocent human beings while pursuing the (completely unattainable) goal of wiping out armed resistance to Israel militarily.

Peace could be obtained by negotiating with the Palestinian resistance and achieving a deal that works for everyone. The uneasy, abusive status quo of Oct. 6 could also be revived by simply addressing the massive, spectacular failures of Israel’s military and intelligence services which let Oct. 7 happen in the first place. 

When you weigh these two options against killing a thousand children a week in a military offensive in Gaza, both of them are self-evidently superior in the eyes of any normal, healthy person.

Peaceful Resolution Not Wanted

A peaceful resolution isn’t impossible, it just isn’t desired. It isn’t desired because Israel has long sought to further expel Palestinians from their land, and the “war on Hamas” provides cover for that goal. The claim that Israel has no other choice but to snuff out tens of thousands of lives in the name of fighting Hamas is patently false; it doesn’t need to, it just wants to. Ultimately their argument is “We need to kill all those people because we really really want to,” which is not a valid defense.

After all the lies and atrocities we’ve seen over the last two and a half months, everyone should be reflexively disbelieving of any claims by the Israeli government and begging the forgiveness of Palestinians for not believing everything they’ve been claiming for generations.

Newsweek has published an opinion piece by a former IDF soldier titled “Calling for a Ceasefire Is an Antisemitic Demand That Jews Endorse Our Own Genocide”. 

That’s right, now calling for a ceasefire is anti-Semitic. Ceasefires are anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestine chants are genocide. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

As election season heats up Americans should not allow Biden supporters to draw a distinction between his “domestic policy” and his horrific “foreign policy.” Dead kids are dead kids. They’re just as dead regardless of where on earth they live and their lives matter just as much.

Saying a politician is relatively good on domestic policy but bad on foreign policy is like a woman saying her boyfriend cooks and cleans and treats her nice, and his only negative is that he also happens to murder a lot of sex workers. You don’t get to compartmentalize horrific acts of mass murder away from the sum total of the picture. Biden’s genocide in Gaza and nuclear brinkmanship with Russia are not separate or distinct from the rest of his presidency in comparison to former President Donald Trump.

You’d only believe it’s legitimate to compartmentalize “domestic policy” from “foreign policy” when discussing how good or bad a U.S. president is if you believed American lives matter more than non-American lives. That is not a morally defensible position to hold, and should be forcefully rejected.

“Come to Israel, it’s the only place Jews can be safe!” 

Okay, I’m here. Hey! Who are those guys shooting at us? 

“Oh they say we’re oppressing them. They’ll kill us sometimes but don’t worry, the IDF is here to protect us.” 

Ah what the hell, now the IDF are shooting at us! 

“Oh yeah they kill us sometimes too.”

Come and join the IDF, where the gals are pretty and the fire is friendly.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley

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