Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress was not only an attempt to falsify history where he seemed to believe repetition of lies would turn them into facts. It proved he is no partner for peace.
Netanyahu’s stated position on all the issues is extremist and racist, and in essence closes the door on the necessary negotiations on Jerusalem, refugees, borders, and settlements. He blatantly denied the existence of the 63-year old Israeli occupation of Palestine and reached the height of racial extremism against the Palestinians and Arabs when describing the Israeli concept of the Palestinian state: a series of isolated ghettos and Bantustans under direct Israeli control.
Before it’s staunch ally, Israel’s hawkish President tried to portray the lives of Palestinian Israelis as a free people living in a fantastic oasis of democracy. This simply ignores the thousands of Palestinians who are killed, injured or imprisoned by the occupation Netanyahu manages.
Like all his predecessors as Israel’s commander-in-chief, Netanyahu is repeating the behavior pattern of earlier colonial projects: denying the facts and ignoring the reality of daily suppression of generations of indigenous people. He creates for himself illusions to insulate him and his friends, but these smokescreens will not save the Israeli system of racial discrimination.
When Netanyahu puts in front of us and our people the choice of either to be slaves to the occupation or to fight for our rights – as he did from the international podium in Washington DC – we will unflinchingly choose our struggle for freedom and independence. From slavery, we will wrest our freedom.
What happened in the U.S. Congress must dispel all the illusions around this Israeli government and peace. We obviously cannot even think of peace with such a leader. The best response to Netanyahu and his supporters in Congress is the rapid application of an agreement of national unity and the resolve to stick to the grassroots, non-violent resistance across a unified international community. We must coerce a confession and the disarmament of the apartheid state and fight this public type of occupation legitimization in order to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
We must make clear to the American people and political leaders that the civil rights struggle led by Dr. Martin Luther King against racism and Nelson Mandela’s struggle against South African apartheid is the same as the Palestinian struggle for liberty, justice and democracy.
These great leaders inspire our people and, with their guidance, we will be victorious.