Friday, September 25, 2015

Former Israeli Prime Minister's Critique of Settlements

Former Israeli Prime Minister’s Critique of Settlements

by Stephen Lendman

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin spoke candidly about Israel’s settlement project in a recording heard in a documentary titled “Rabin: In His Own Words.” 

The Times of Israel said it’s “being publicized for the first time” - the film’s release planned ahead of the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s November 4, 1995 assassination, the only Israeli leader killed in office, a victim of Jewish terrorism, Palestinians their usual target.

On February 26, 2969, Levi Eshkol died while serving. Rabin notoriously partnered with Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat in agreeing on the deplorable Oslo Accords - a measure assuring continued occupation harshness, including land theft and brutal persecution.

The late Edward Said (1935 - 2003) minced no words denouncing it, explaining “the fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people's rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton's performance, like a 20th century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance, (and) the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation.”

It was unilateral surrender, a Palestinian Versailles, affirming a vaguely defined negotiating process accomplishing nothing to this day. 

Long-suffering people got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They're still waiting.

Major longstanding unresolved issues include Palestinian self-determination free from occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital.

In a 1976 interview, Rabin blasted the settlement movement (then in its infancy), prefacing his comments, saying “I have said, and this I ask really not be used. I’m not going to (say it publicly), and I’m not a political lunatic for saying this.”

“From a historical perspective, a person might ask what the State of Israel was dealing with in 1976, in some crappy, insignificant place, in a mystical argument on which they pin the existential problem of the State of Israel. It’s unbelievable.”

Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful) was an extremist group involved in establishing settlements throughout the Occupied Territories under the slogan: “The Land of Israel, for the people of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel,” an agenda for violent land theft.

Rabin’s comments were stunning. He denounced it, saying “I see in Gush Emunim, the ideologically driven founders of the settlement movement, one of the most acute dangers in the whole phenomenon of the State of Israel.”

“What is ‘settlement’ anyway? What struggle is this? What methods? ‘Kadum’ (a settlement) is a bloated fart.”

“Gush Emunim is not a settlement movement. It is comparable to a cancer in the tissue of Israel’s democratic society. It’s a phenomenon of an organization that takes the law into its own hands.”

Years before Oslo, Rabin hinted at what he’s best remembered for, saying “I don’t say with certainty that we won’t reach (the point of) evacuation, because of the (Palestinian) population.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to contain over the long term, if we don’t want to get to apartheid, a million and a half (more) Arabs inside a Jewish state.”

In 1992, he was elected pledging peace with Palestine, a promise never fulfilled, occupation harshness more horrific than ever under Netanyahu’s fascist rule.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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