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Netanyahu’s latest reckless move in the Jordan Valley

Sep 17,2019 - Last updated at Sep 17,2019

The recent pledge by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the occupied Jordan Valley if he wins this week's elections may be seen as another desperate act to entice extremist settler voters to stay on his side.

Netanyahu appears prepared to go to any length, however dangerous to the region — his country included — for the sake of an election victory.

Not only does he aim to retain power, but to salvage himself and his family from the legal consequences of the corruption cases against them.

Earlier, Netanyahu also promised to annex the illegally built Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank within the same context. But that is not the complete story. The truth is that the Zionist expansionist colonial scheme aims at total control over the entire area of the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

The difference between Netanyahu's evident recklessness and others' more subtle colonisation planning is merely stylistic.

There is no question that Israel's political establishment, not just Netanyahu, is certain about Washington's approval of such measures whether within or outside the scope of the so-called “Deal of the Century”.

By the time this is published, the result of the Israeli election will be known. But whether Netanyahu has won makes little difference.

No matter who runs the government, Israeli colonisation and eventual annexation will continue so long as the seven-decade occupation remains unchallenged; unchallenged by the Palestinian leadership, the Arab states and the international community, which, through the UN, has passed dozens of resolutions condemning Israel's illegal behaviour.

Strangely, over the decades, the Palestinian, Arab and international reaction to Israel's continued defiance of international law, sustained aggression and land annexation has been limited to toothless verbal protests, which are no more than a minor irritant to Israel.

No amount of condemnation has been able to delay, let alone reverse, the creeping annexation.

The common pattern is that any Israeli crime is followed by a storm of condemnations and protests. Sometimes a UN vote as well. But that is it.

The protests quickly die down and the latest aggression is added to the mountain of facts on the ground.

With time, such facts become acquired Israeli rights in the eyes of the US and Israel's other backers. That is what happened with Jerusalem, the settlements and now the Jordan Valley, which is about a third of the West Bank.

Jerusalem, which was occupied in two stages, in 1948 and 1967, was actually annexed in 1981. But the annexation was only approved officially by the United States over a year ago, and as a result, the US embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The construction of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, began right after Israel occupied it in 1967.

Just a few months ago, David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, gave Israel his country's green light to start formally annexing parts of the West Bank, obviously the parts that are already settled and colonised. And now it is the turn of the Jordan Valley, which every Israeli government since 1967 has said it ultimately intends to keep.

I am not going to repeat the worn-out mantra that Netanyahu's actions threaten the peace process and/or the two-state solution because there are no such things.

Both have long been reduced to mere slogans, only convenient for hollow and meaningless diplomacy.

It is time that more serious action is considered at all possible levels: Palestinian, Arab, European and, of course, at the UN, to address the issue of occupation and to demand its end in accordance with international law.

This conflict has been going on for more than a century. It should be brought to an end.

Israel's dangerous behaviour is leading to more war and instability across the region and even around the world. It is not just the responsibility of Israel's victims to reverse the danger. Dealing with a global danger is a global responsibility. The roots of every crisis in the region, every war, radicalisation, rise of terror groups and more can easily be traced to Israel. Denying this striking reality will not make it disappear.

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