This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 17/05/2011
Once again, Israel proves to whomever still needs a proof, that its regime is completely similar to the oppression regimes and the Arab movements of “resistance.” Meanwhile, Israel claims that these regimes are completely opposite to it both on the intellectual and practical level; and that it is confronting them.
The Palestinian protestors against Israel are only being faced with bullets of oppression and killing from the part of its army, which is erroneously called a “defense army”. The stands of its politicians, which are calling for their rights, are as gloating, as arrogant, and as disregarding as the stands of the Arab regimes that the people are rebelling against. So how are these Israelis responding to those who are protesting at their borders while brandishing the slogan of the right to return? They are doing so with the same way that is being used by the Arab oppressive regimes in order to respond to their citizens who are calling for restoring their dignity and respecting their rights; meaning that Israel is denying the right of the people to call for these demands on the basis that there is no right to return to start with, or by saying that the protestors are backed by external agendas and that their protests are supported by a plan to wipe off Israel.
Have we not heard similar responses to the protests of the Arab youths in their cities and villages, and from the part of their rulers and leaders? Those responses basically implied that freedom is available, thank God, and that there is no need to protest, and that these protesters are carrying out a conspiracy, that they are supported by external sides, and that they belong to “armed gangs.”
Through this action, the Israeli system is not only providing a prototype similar to that of the Arab regimes while describing itself as being the “first democratic country” in the region; It is also providing those regimes with the service that they need by restoring the language of blood and fire to the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation instead of ensuring the right conditions for peace and instead of respecting the peace commitments thus destroying the pretexts of the “resisters” and depriving them from the legitimacy that they are seeking. Indeed, the glossary of the Arab “resisters” needs the language of the confrontation and the open war in order to grant legitimacy to their organizations and movements of “resistance.” When the Israelis kill unarmed Palestinians on the borders with Syria and Lebanon – in both cases, the sides that control these borders are well known – they would be offering a precious gift to those who are in control. This gift consists of letting these sides know that their slogans - which are based on hushing every protesting voice in the name of the confrontation with the enemy - must prevail over the slogans of dignity, justice, and freedom as these have now become the demands of the Arab protestors.
Thus, this is the clash that both sides need - the Arab regimes and the Israeli regime - in order to keep things the way they are. This extended clash is allowing the above mentioned regimes to survive because their survival is necessary for the so-called liberation that is failing to come. This clash is also allowing Israel to live in a state of militarization and war society, not caring for all the peace calls and initiatives. This society is afraid that the respect of the requirements of the international legitimacy will destroy the bases of its internal coherence.
In both cases, the Palestinian cause and its sons are the victims and the fuel of the battle. The Palestinians realize, or supposedly realize, that neither the slogans nor the protests at the borders will bring them back to Palestine. This is because those who have indeed returned to the West Bank and to the Gaza district where the Palestinian flag is being raised today, and those who constitute the essence of the promised Palestinian state, did not return this way. Israel on its part could have acted differently without using the method of killing against the few hundred youths who ventured to cross the barb wire in order to realize the “dream to return.” But the political interests, on both sides, were overwhelming. Thus, the regimes and movements that had sponsored the protests of the return [to Palestine] obtained what they wanted. And Israel obtained a bloody day that brought the elements of the Arab-Israeli confrontation back to square one.