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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Opinion | Israelis, Palestinians and Their Neighbors Fear: Is This the Large One?

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That state of affairs was exacerbated by a long-simmering struggle over what Halbertal known as “sacred territory.” Briefly, right-wing Israeli Jews had gotten a courtroom order to evict six Palestinian households who’re dwelling in properties on land that was owned by Jews in East Jerusalem earlier than the town was divided within the 1948 struggle. Palestinian households are preventing their eviction in courtroom. Certainly, Israel’s Supreme Court docket was slated to rule Monday on whether or not the Palestinians could possibly be expelled however delayed the choice due to the violence.

Palestinians argue that it’s unfair that Jews can reclaim land or properties they owned in East Jerusalem earlier than 1948 however Palestinians haven’t any authorized means to reclaim land they owned in West Jerusalem or anyplace else in Israel earlier than 1948.

Clashes over these sacred dates and sacred areas could be incendiary sufficient, however they had been additionally fueled, as I stated, by scenes on TikTok. In April, some Palestinian youths uploaded a brief video of themselves assaulting an Orthodox Jew on public transportation, as a approach of inspiring copycat assaults. In response, a far-right Jewish group named Lehava led a march via Jerusalem to the Damascus Gate of the Previous Metropolis, chanting “Arabs, get out.”

The entire mess makes a Gordian knot look easy to untangle. However what’s all of it telling us?

The obvious and essential level is {that a} dangerously naïve consensus has emerged in Israel lately suggesting that Israel mainly has the Palestinian battle suppressed and people Palestinians dwelling within the West Financial institution and East Jerusalem are mainly resigned to dwelling beneath everlasting Israeli management. This consensus was so highly effective that in all 4 of Israel’s current elections, the query of peace with the Palestinians — how one can obtain it and what occurs whether it is ignored — was not on the agenda.

The Abraham Accords engineered by the Trump administration, normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco — whereas precious in serving to to stabilize the area — additionally strengthened the notion that the Palestinian trigger is mainly yesterday’s information. Immediately’s headlines show the fallacy of that pondering.

By the best way, the Biden administration has no curiosity proper now in being compelled to react to these headlines. It doesn’t consider the circumstances are proper for any actual progress on the Israeli-Palestinian difficulty, and the very last thing it desires — when its major focus within the area is attempting to revive the nuclear cope with Iran, which is already inflicting enormous tensions with Israel — is to get distracted by having to mediate a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians or blunt Iranian makes an attempt to inflame the state of affairs in Jerusalem.

However the place will we go from right here?

Partially that depends upon Bibi Netanyahu. Of all of the loopy coincidences of this second, possibly the craziest is that it is available in what could possibly be Bibi’s last days as Israel’s prime minister — after greater than 12 years in workplace. Netanyahu has an curiosity in seeing his rivals fail to type a brand new coalition to unseat him. He would really like Israel to go to a fifth election — giving him an opportunity to hold on and possibly keep away from jail if he’s convicted in his present corruption trial. A method Bibi may do that’s by inflaming the state of affairs a lot that his right-wing rivals must abandon attempting to topple him and declare as a substitute that that is no time for a change in management.

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