You can drive from Jaffa to the Dead Sea without realizing you’re deep into an occupied territory. Perhaps you won’t spot a single Palestinian although they are the vast majority of the area’s population.
Think about where the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians went? Surely, a population that large would be visible on every turn in your trip.
The sad truth is that they are here, but have been increasingly pushed into little enclaves so Jewish Israelis can build luxury homes and swimming pools on top of our hills and over our olive-tree orchards.
Palestinians were gradually and systematically moved out of sight both physically and visually to clear the horizon for a group of Khazarica Jewish settlers, many of them born in the USA and Europe.
Palestinians are basically contained within residential centers, and the largest bulks of the IDF, the immediately visible ones, are stationed just outside those centers.
Much of the space outside is mainly dedicated to those yellow-plated cars (Israeli cars) and the few lucky Palestinians who obtained a travel permit to drive across their own land?
Perceiving the land ‘annexed’ will remove all the legal and moral considerations attached to it. This will make the next ethnic cleansing highly plausible. The Israeli governments have never been serious about relinquishing the Occupied Territories.
Formalizing annexation will strip Israel of the idea that the occupation is a temporary thing. This for decades allowed the country to get away with the continuous violation of Palestinian human rights.
Annexation is definitely a fateful choice for Israel. The existential danger it poses to the future Palestinian state cannot be understated. But this is not be a Palestinian problem only, it’ll also cut deep into Israel’s soul.
Any eruption of contra-violence might not happen straight away, but the build-up will inevitably lead to one. It’s only instinctive and natural.
The consensus among most Palestinians nowadays is that the Oslo indulgence must come to an end. Oslo allowed Israel to be an occupying power but without being physically, financially, or logistically responsible.
Today, Israel’s boots on the grounds were replaced by a remote-control occupation, more robotic and detached, and therefore a lot more callous and sterile. With the annexation plan being put into high gear, today feels (and is) a lot worse than the bad yesterday.
With the annexation in place, Israel will be faced by yet another dilemma. The so-called democracy which Israelis repeatedly gloated about will be in crisis.
A significant portion of the Palestinian population will be under Israel’s direct rule. Given Israel’s constant emphasis on the ‘Jewish character’ of the state and the fear of Palestinian demographic threat, Israel will have limited choices.
Either to grant those Palestinians Israeli citizenship and pave the way toward a bi-national state or deny them citizenship and formalize the apartheid. Or keep on deporting the biblical victims to neighboring Arab countries?
The impact of either choice, to quote Paul Taylor from Politico, would be corrosive to the soul of Israel itself and on diaspora Jews worldview, many of whom see their fate linked to the Israeli state and Zionism.
When it comes to Israel, it’s never about colonial greed only. Israel, as a collective, comes with a heavy psychological baggage.
The country built much of its modern identity on historical traumas and through trauma it justified living by the sword and in a constant state of melancholia and fear.
By annexing Palestinian land, many Israelis, especially on the right, fantasize about the ancient kingdoms of Samaria and Judea.
They try to heal their trauma and the humiliation that came with it by recreating their imagined past. Simply put, part of the reason Israel annexes Palestinian lands is to fulfill its fantasies about a lost glory.
Mondoweiss.net / ABC Flash Point Occupation News 2020.