[News] Palestinians 'are bound to win': Why Israelis are prophesying the end of their state
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 13 16:25:26 EDT 2022
Palestinians 'are bound to win': Why Israelis are prophesying the end of
Dr Ramzy Baroud - June 13, 2022
While it is true that Zionism is a modern political ideology that has
exploited religion to achieve specific colonial objectives in Palestine,
prophecies continue to be a critical component of Israel's perception of
itself, and of the state's relationship with other groups, especially
Christian messianic groups in the United States and worldwide.
The subject of religious prophecies and their centrality to Israel's
political thought was once more highlighted following remarks by former
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in a recent interview
with the Hebrew-language newspaper *Yedioth Ahronoth*. Barak, perceived to
be a 'progressive' politician, who was once the leader
of Israel's Labour Party, expressed fears that Israel will "disintegrate"
before the 80th anniversary of its 1948 establishment.
"Throughout the Jewish history, the Jews did not rule for more than eighty
years, except in the two kingdoms of David and the Hasmonean dynasty and,
in both periods, their disintegration began in the eighth decade," Barak
Based on pseudo-historical analysis, Barak's prophecy seemed to conflate
historical facts with typical messianic Israeli thinking, reminiscent of
made by Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017.
Like Barak, Netanyahu's comments were expressed in the form of fear over
the future of Israel, and the looming 'existential threat', the cornerstone
of Israeli hasbara throughout the years. At a Bible study session in his
house in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had then warned that the Hasmonean kingdom –
also known as the Maccabees – had merely survived for 80 years before it
was conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C.E.
The "Hasmonean state lasted only 80 years, and we needed to exceed this,"
Netanyahu was quoted
by one of the attendees as saying, the Israeli *Haaretz* newspaper reported.
But, even according to Netanyahu's purported determination to exceed that
number, he had reportedly vowed to ensure Israel will surpass the
Maccabees' 80 years, and survive for 100 years. That is merely 20 years
The difference between Barak and Netanyahu's statements is quite
negligible: the former's views are supposedly 'historical' and the latter's
are biblical. Worth noting, however, is that both leaders, though they
subscribe to two different political schools, have converged on similar
meeting points: Israel's survival is at stake; the existential threat is
real and the end of Israel is only a matter of time.
But the pessimism in Israel is hardly confined to political leaders, who
are known to exaggerate and manipulate facts to instil fear and rile up
their political camps, especially Israel's powerful messianic
constituencies. Although this is true, predictions regarding Israel's grim
future are not confined to the country's political elites.
In an interview
with *Haaretz* in 2019, one of Israel's most respected mainstream
historians, Benny Morris, had much to say about the future of his country.
Unlike Barak and Netanyahu, Morris was not sending warning signals but
stating what, to him, seemed an unavoidable outcome of the country's
political and demographic evolution.
"I don't see how we get out of it," Morris said, adding: "Already, today
there are more Arabs than Jews between the (Mediterranean) Sea and the
Jordan (River). The whole territory is unavoidably becoming one state with
an Arab majority. Israel still calls itself a Jewish state, but a situation
in which we rule an occupied people that has no rights cannot persist in
the 21st century."
Morris' predictions, while remaining committed to the racial fantasy of a
Jewish majority, were far more articulate and also realistic if compared to
those of Barak, Netanyahu and others. The man who once regretted
that Israel's founder, David Ben Gurion, did not expel all of Palestine's
native population in 1947-48, spoke
with resignation that, in a matter of a generation, Israel will cease to
exist in its current form.
Particularly notable about his comments is the accurate perception that
"the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective,"
and that the Palestinians will continue to "demand the return of the
refugees." But who were the "Palestinians" Morris was referring to?
Certainly not the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have already
marginalised the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, and most
certainly have no "broad, long-term perspective". Morris' 'Palestinians'
are, of course, the Palestinian people themselves, generations of whom have
served, and continue to serve, as the vanguards of Palestinian rights
despite all of the setbacks, defeats and political 'compromises'.
Actually, prophecies regarding Palestine and Israel are not a new
phenomenon. Palestine was colonised by Zionists with the help of Britain,
also based on biblical frames of reference. It was populated by Zionist
settlers based on biblical references dedicated to the restoration of
ancient kingdoms and the 'return' of ancient peoples to their supposedly
rightful 'promised land'. Though Israel took on many different meanings
throughout the years – perceived to be a 'socialist' utopia at times, a
liberal, democratic haven at others – it was always preoccupied with
religious meanings, spiritual visions and inundated with prophecies. The
most sinister expression of this truth is the fact that the current support
of Israel by millions of Christian fundamentalists in the West is largely
driven by messianic, end-of-the-world prophecies.
[image: Still hope in Gaza despite destruction - Cartoon
Still hope in Gaza despite destruction – Cartoon
The latest predictions about Israel's uncertain future are based on a
different logic. Since Israel has always defined itself as a Jewish State,
its future is mostly linked to its ability to maintain a Jewish majority in
historic Palestine. By the admission of Morris and others, this pipedream
is now crumbling as the 'demographic war' is clearly and quickly being lost.
Of course, co-existence in a single democratic state will always be a
possibility. Alas, for Israel's Zionist ideologues, such a state will
hardly meet the minimum expectations of the country's founders, since it
would no longer exist in the form of a Jewish, Zionist state. For
co-existence to take place, the Zionist ideology would have to be scrapped
Barak, Netanyahu and Morris are all right: Israel will not exist as a
'Jewish state' for much longer. Speaking strictly in terms of demographics,
Israel is no longer a Jewish-majority state. History has taught us that
Muslims, Christians and Jews can peacefully coexist and collectively
thrive, as they have done throughout the Middle East and the Iberian
Peninsula for millennia. Indeed, this is a prediction, even a prophecy that
is worth striving for.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not
necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.
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