Juan Cole: Israel’s Apartheid Deepens, Along With Its Global Isolation

Roundup: Historians' Take

Juan R.I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Palestinian leaders are responding to the aggressive policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deploying new legal strategies, and, in Gaza, a mass rally reminiscent of Arab Spring protest tactics. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly considering taking Israel to the International Criminal Court over Netanyahu’s recent announcement that Israel will build 3,000 new dwellings for settlers in the E-1 area of the West Bank. Abbas indicated that this step would be a last resort, but it is a threat to be taken seriously.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal joined a celebration of tens of thousands in Gaza over the weekend and repeated his long-standing opposition to ever giving up an inch of Palestinian land to Israel. Israeli politicians condemned him for refusing to recognize, and wanting to destroy, the Israeli state. Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of the Kadima Party said that Meshaal should have been assassinated while in Gaza. None of the Israeli leaders who condemned the Hamas leader seemed to grasp that the real threat to Israel comes not from tiny, impoverished Gaza, but from the policies of Israel’s increasingly right-wing politicians.

By denying the Palestinians a state, Israelis are actively destroying the Palestine they agreed to create in the Oslo Accords that Israel signed in 1993....

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