On the eve of the change of government in Israel, December 2022, the extreme right hastened to spread promises everywhere, first of all an unequivocal promise to solve the situation in the occupied territories with a “Strong Hand”.
Extremists, starting with Bezalel Smutritz and Itamar Ben Gvir and even Chief of Staff Kochavi and Defense Minister Binyamin Gantz, will soon find out:
There really is no such option.
It doesn't matter what we call the occupied territories - Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, or the Palestinian Authority. International law has considered them occupied territories for 55 years now.
Over those years we have not been able to change that reality.
And we tried everything:
- We expropriated land
- We robbed water reservoirs
- We built a separation wall
- We set up gates that never open
- We separated farmers from their land
- We put up barriers
- We separated Gaza from the West Bank
- We weakened the Palestinian Authority
- We put thousands in administrative detention
- We “neutralized” terrorists to the state of corpses
- We deported families of suicides
- We jailed leaders
- We prevented family visits
- We demolished houses
- We made targeted assassinations
- We hit the heads of terrorism again and again
- We increased pressure through economic tools
- We gave carrots and withheld them
- We recruited collaborators in every alley, street, and neighborhood
- We activated advanced intelligence
- We dismantled the social fabric of the Palestinian people
- We destroyed the political structures
- We arrested children
- We broke into houses in the dead of night, waking toddlers from their slee
- We terrorize
- We deterred
- we threatened
- We used a strong hand
- We have established an army of tweeters on social networks to fight the war of consciousness on our behalf in the international cyber spaces in all languages.
- We recruited celebrities to tell how moral and nice we are.
- We have whitewashed the Hebrew language: we are not colonizers but homesteaders. Where? In the homeland of course.
- In a brilliant move, we called the thousands of uninhabited acres in areas C in the West Bank "state lands" and thus qualified them for accelerated land expropriation for the construction of new settlements.
- We called this looting the "Homesteading Project in Judea and Samaria" and thus planted in the Israeli public a false narrative that it is not Palestinian land, but rather It is about the realization of a modest Zionist dream: a small cottage with a red roof on a hill overlooking ancient Jewish landscape and strictly kosher.
- We did as much as possible to conceal the price of that cottage, and in any case, those who pay for it are the Palestinians and the taxpayers in Israel: continuous riots with dead and injured including old women and children, break-ins into houses, demolition of houses and repeated evictions from residences, burning of fields, uprooting of olive trees.
- This is a partial list...
And nothing helped
- We failed to eliminate 2.5 million Palestinians
- We failed to make them lovers of Israel
- We have not been able to subdue their spirit over the generations
- The generations that grew up in the occupation and into a life without hope began to respond with force upon force
- With hatred for hatred
- We have increased the cycle of terror and dread and we are all paying the bloody price
- And alas - we also failed to convince the world with the story that there is no one to make peace with. Good story, just a shame it's not true!