Gideon Levy on Israel's Addiction to the Occupation of Palestine

21 Nov 2009

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Gideon Levy, prominent Israeli journalist who writes for the daily newspaper, Ha'aretz, talks to the Real News Network about Israel's addiction to its occupation of Palestine. Levy says:

"I think that Israel needs an adult who will save it from its own addiction to the occupation. It needs a guide who would push or lead or any other way to take us out from the impossible situation that we are stuck in. And therefore I think that this balance of power, this really twisted relationship between the US and Israel, which is unprecedented -- there is no country in the world that reacts like Israel vis-a-vis the US vis-a-vis dependence on the US. I think this is not a healthy pattern.

Israel is addicted to the occupation because it benefits a lot from the occupation economically and politically and above all because it doesn't pay any price for the occupation. Israelis are living wonderfully. Especially in the last years. They are having a wonderful life, even quite a secure life, most of the time. And there is no reason to change the status quo from the point of view of Israel. It's very convenient. There is a total separation between Israel and it's occupation. Most Israeli's don't know what's going on there (in the occupied territories), don't also care about what's going on there. Have never been there, most of the Israelis -- and why should they bother, the occupation will continue. The problem is that to put an end to the occupation you need a lot of courage and you need a lot of courage and we lack leaders with courage."

Levy argues that one of the key obstacles to overcome, with respect to resolving the situation, is the powerful Israel lobby (AIPAC) in America as well as the Christian right. This coupled with Israel's ability to manipulate the world, creates a problem for ending the occupation.

Against the backdrop of America dropping its precondition for Israel to halt settlement expansions in order for peace negotiations to proceed as well as the Palestinian authority withdrawing from negotiations in light of this breach, Levy says:

"There is no peace process. It's a joke. There are some games going on, a masquerade, but not a real peace process, because nobody has the intention really to implement major steps. Israel wants negotiations, because when negotiations are on, the pressure on Israel is much smaller. Something is going on and they are meeting once in two weeks and then there is a big peace conference without paying any price. Why not? You only gain, because for Israel negotiations are a win-win situation because nobody intends to implement anything and we saw it now for 16 years ever since Oslo.

So there will be negotiations, and maybe even an agreement, another peace plan, but nobody does anything about it. This is the time to put an end to all negotiations because there is no room for negotiations, because the solution is very clear to everyone. This is the terrible mistake that the Obama administration did (to) fall into this trap."

To watch part two of this interview, please click here.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/189.19.

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