Monday, May 03, 2004

Disaster ahead

"Israel nowadays is like a plane flying on autopilot," Ilan Pappe writes in the LRB. "The course is preplanned, the speed predetermined. The destination is the creation of a Greater Israel which will include half of the West Bank and a small part of the Gaza Strip (almost 90 per cent of historical Palestine): this will be a Greater Israel without a Palestinian presence, with high walls separating it from the indigenous population of Palestine, who will be crammed into two huge prison camps in Gaza and what's left of the West Bank. Palestinians inside Israel can either leave and join the millions of refugees languishing in the camps or submit to an apartheid system of discrimination and abuse. In many parts of the Western world the media still describe this as the only safe route to peace and stability. The discourse of peace employed by the Quartet - the US, the EU, Russia and the UN - since the Road Map came into being seems to blind many reasonable observers, who still seem to believe that this course makes sense. But it should have long been clear that Israel is heading for disaster."