Land for apartheid: The Camp David Summit
ZNET, 15 July 2000
Barak went to the summit with a magic formula: 10-90. 10 percent annexation, and in the rest - a Palestinian state. No previous Israeli plan ever offered so much land to the Palestinians. Where do these numbers come from?
The newspapers of March uncover the mystery. The current plan was formed then, but was postponed due to the Syria and Lebanon events. "State for annexation", said the main title of Haaretz on 10.3.00, and the subtitle explained: "The prime minister's 10-40-50 plan - 50 percent of the west bank for the Palestinians, 40 percent under debate, and 10 percent to Israel". The plan includes a third redeployment which will increase the A area from 42 to 50 percent, in which the Palestinians will be able to declare a state with a capital in Abu Dis.
"The proposal will leave the status of about 40 percent of the west bank unresolved as well as Jerusalem and the right of return", said the text. Meaning, in return for his consent to the formal annexation of the whole center of the west bank by Israel, Arafat will be allowed to declare a Palestinian state on 50 percent of the west bank, and to sell to his people that the rest of the problems are still being discussed.
The plan itself is all too well known: it is one of the versions of the Alon plus plan, or the Sharon plan, which robs the Palestinians of half of the west bank lands. (The "debated" 40 percent are lands which have already been confiscated from their Palestinian owners since 1967). The only real thing in this plan is that 10 percent will be annexed now, and, thus, will finalize the disconnection northern half from the southern half of the west bank for good.
What changed since March is only the packaging. 90-10 sounds a lot more convincing than 50-40-10. Instead of emphasizing the debated 40 percent, vague ideas about "leasing, for now" are thrown in the air, and to enable Arafat to sell this to his people, these areas are not distinguished by a different color in the published maps. With the right propaganda tricks, any product can be sold these days.
Then why is the rightwing so alarmed? Why would they mind it if Barak will manage to annex 10% and implement Sharon's plan? The fringe rightwing always objects to any plan that leaves the Palestinians with any amount of their land. In their eyes, transfer is the only solution. But the rest are also victims of propaganda, just like the "peace camp": in Barak's single ruler system, nobody can ever know what exactly he is planning, and when he is telling the truth. Now that he is selling the 90-10 story, how can they be sure that he is lying?
In any case, the crisis with the right is only helping Barak implement his annexation plan: in the world he is depicted as the hero of peace, and to the Palestinians he clarifies that this is the last chance: that if they won't give up now the center of the west bank once and for all, he will have to give in to "his people's pressure" and send tanks to the territories. The 1000 injured of the Nakba day events are nothing compared to what will be in the next round.
Furthermore, as long as the right is protesting, Barak can be sure that when the next round will come, the Israeli "peace camp" will be on his side, as it is now.
Ordered from above, just like in Syria and Iraq, the peace demonstrators are marching in support of the leader. Many of them were, until 1993, among the objectors of the occupation and believed that its end requires the dismantling of the settlements and return of all confiscated lands. But today they gather to convince the world, the Palestinians and themselves that it is possible to establish a Palestinians state without land-reserves, without water, without a glimpse of a chance of economic independence, in three ghettos surrounded by fences, settlements, bypass roads and Israeli tanks. A virtual state which serves one purpose: separation - apartheid. "We are here and they are there" - behind the fences, as Barak put it.
Don't the hands tremble when they hold signs supporting Barak, who is responsible for the 1000 injured on Nakba day, and promises to do it again? Didn't the hands of the Hadash (the Communist Party) and Arab PMs tremble when all of them, except for Azmi Bishara's, were raised to vote confidence in Barak, the same Barak who ignored every promise he made to the Israeli Arabs, who is exercising now the land confiscations at Ein-Mahl in order to enlarge The Jewish section of Nazareth? Unlike the religious Shas, Hadash doesn't even need to be bribed. It can always be trusted to continue, even for free, to convince us that apartheid actually means a Palestinian state.