Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Proponent of Permanent Conflict

“Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the Likud party, is a rightwing nationalist, a believer in Greater Israel and a proponent of the strategy of the ‘iron wall’, of dealing with the Palestinians from a position of unassailable military strength.

He grew up in a nationalistic Jewish home. His father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, who at 100 years old is still a force to be reckoned with, was the secretary of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the spiritual father of the Israeli right. Netanyahu junior belongs to the hawkish wing of the Likud. He denounced the 1993 Oslo Accord between Israel and the PLO as incompatible either with Israel’s security or with the historic right of the Jewish people to the whole land of Israel.

The policy guidelines of his first government, when the Likud came to power in 1996, amounted to a declaration of war on the peace process. Netanyahu spent his three years as prime minister in a largely successful attempt to destroy the foundations for peace with the Palestinians that his Labour predecessors had built.

To his second term as Prime Minister Netanyahu brings the same old ideological baggage and the same dogged determination to deny the Palestinian people the same right to national self-determination that Israel exercised back in 1948. His rhetoric has changed, but his policy can still be summed up in one ominous word: politicide – to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence in Palestine. This worldview identifies him not as a genuine partner to President Abbas on the road to peace but as the proponent of permanent conflict….”

Avi Shlaim

The Guardian

7 September 2010


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