August 19, 2010

One of the most important videos you've never seen is this one, in which Benjamin Netanyahu, 9 years ago -- thinking there is no record -- explains his actually strategy to inflict pain on the Palestinians. He also describes how easy it is to manipulate the US, and how he made sure that the Oslo Accords would mean nothing.

First he says that the plan for the Palestinians is to:

hit them hard. Not just one hit... but many painful [hits], so that the price will be unbearable. The price is not unbearable, now. A total assault on the Palestinian Authority. To bring them to a state of panic that everything is collapsing ... fear that everything will collapse... this is what we'll bring them to...

The woman Natanyahu is speaking to wonders if the world won't object to what Israel is doing to the occupied Palestinians (she uses the word occupiers herself. He says the world will say nothing, just that Israel is defending itself. As for the US...

“I know what America is. America is a thing that can be easily moved, moved in the right direction... Let's suppose that they [the Americans] will say something [i.e. to us Israelis] ... so they say it...” [i.e. so what?]

He then moves on to deal with the Oslo Accords. Under Oslo, Israel was to give back land in three phases. However, there was a loophole: if there were settlements or military bases, that land didn't have to be given back. So the question is, who defines what is a settlement or military site?

I received a letter – to me and to Arafat, at the same time ... which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: "I'm not signing." Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron agreement, or rather, ratify it. It had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo accord.

The woman talking to Netanyahu also states that Oslo meant Israel's suicide—Israel's destruction. And Netanyahu seems to agree.

What is clear from this is that Netanyahu at least, and probably the majority of Israel's leadership (since they followed the strategy he outlines), never sincerely intended to fulfill the Oslo Accords. Their strategy for dealing with the Palestinians was to inflict maximum pain, in an attempt to break the Palestinians so they would accept any possible terms.

And finally, it's remarkable that Netanyahu thinks there is nothing Israel could do which would ever really make America turn on it: nothing which would ever make America not support it. The idea that America would stop Israel from smashing the Palestinians is laughable to him.

The question, nine years later, is whether this is still true. Certainly it is true that when Israel attacked ships in international waters the US protected Israel. And it is also apparently the case that the Israeli military were to overfly Iraq to attack Iran, U.S. air command is not to shoot them down.

I suggest watching the entire video, and drawing your own conclusions. For myself, I suggest that it is in neither Israel's best interests nor America's for America to be so unwilling to stand up to Israel, and for Israel's Prime Minister to have so little respect -- indeed, such open contempt -- for the nation which is Israel's primary ally.

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