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Tue Oct 13, 2015, 02:17 PM


This dance of death was only a matter of time


By stalling while deepening the occupation, successive Israeli leaders — of whom Netanyahu is only the most recent — have dragged Israelis and Palestinians into a dance of death.

The terminology one applies to this latest spike in violence is academic. It also distracts from the underlying and fundamental issue: that successive Israeli leaders have, like the knight in The Seventh Seal, tried to cheat the inevitable, which in this case is the end of the occupation. Israeli leaders continuously choose the path of dodging fate, notching up one Pyrrhic victory after another over the Palestinians in an attempt to buy a little more time, seize a little more land, and shore up a little more political support.

For the time being — as my colleague Noam Sheizaf recently wrote on this site — Israel still holds the tools to end the occupation with a degree of control over the matter. And it will and must end; such a combustible situation, in which millions of Palestinians are bottled up and subject to the one-two of both random and structural violence that military occupation brings, cannot continue indefinitely.

Flare-ups such as the current “wave of violence” (which is only the “latest round” for Israelis — arbitrary lethal violence is a daily fact of life for Palestinians under occupation and siege) may act as a valve to temporarily release pressure. Ultimately, however, a meltdown is unavoidable. If the recalcitrance of the Israeli leadership — of whom Benjamin Netanyahu is simply the latest, and probably worst, incarnation — continues, the occupation will be ended on Israel’s behalf. The unpredictability of such a process does not need spelling out and risks coming at a price greater than anything we have witnessed until now.

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