A Utopia or a Vision for Peace
By Ilan Pappe | ZNet, July 28, 2009
[Contribution to the Reimagining Society Project hosted by ZCommunications]
Whenever the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state is mentioned by Israeli politicians, they take for granted that their interlocutors understand that the future state would have to be demilitarized and disarmed, if an Israeli consent for its existence is to be gained. Recently, this precondition was mentioned by the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to President Barrack Obama’s two states vision, presented to the world at large in his Cairo Speech this June. Netanyahu made this precondition first and foremost for domestic consumption: whoever has referred in the past to the creation of an independent state alongside Israel, and whoever does so today in Israel envisages a fully armed Israel next to a totally disarmed Palestine. But there was another reason why Netanyahu stressed the demilitarization of Palestine as a sine qua non: he knew perfectly well that there was no danger that even the most moderate Palestinian leader would accept such a caveat from the strongest military power in the Middle East.