The ‘conflict of narratives’ hoax wins the day.
You’ve got to hand it to Bibi – he is the master of micro-politics. What he lacks in vision he makes up for with details. He is also becoming very good at setting the media’s agenda, something he wasn’t able to do in either his first term or the first couple of years of his second term.
The “Jewish State” demand has effectively cornered Abbas into a familiar position: the Palestinians will reject a generous Israeli offer, without actually being offered anything. This has turned out to be the most incredible turn of events. Netanyahu refused the 1967 borders, refused to accept a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and even refused a settlement freeze; according to reports, Kerry didn’t get a single concession out of Bibi. But if you listen to the international media, you’ll hear that the talks are about to break down due to Palestinian refusal over the “the Jewish State” hurdle.
Almost everything has been written about Netanyahu’s demand: how, by taking what was an insignificant detail in previous rounds of negotiations and turning it into the heart of the process, he has managed to erase the Palestinian recognition in the State of Israel (which was the Rabin government’s greatest achievement); how he pushed the internal debate inside Israel even further into the ethnic-chauvinistic sphere, ignoring the fact that Israel is already a de-facto bi-national state with a Palestinian minority of more than 20 percent; how he further delegitimized the democratic idea of “a state for all its citizens”; and how he has given an excuse for the American Jewish community to turn its back on the Palestinians and turn a blind eye to the occupation.
The media is not asking the most basic questions: aside from uttering the words “Palestinian state” – a term that becomes more elusive and hollow with each passing day – what exactly has Netanyahu agreed to? What will this state look like? Where does he envision the borders? Ever since he returned to office in 2009, Netanyahu has refused to say anything about everything that matters – borders, settlements, Jerusalem, the Gaza corridor. And he gets away with it.
Following Netanyahu’s footsteps, journalists and officials are now coming out with more talk of a “clash of narratives,” (to quote The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren) which supposedly lies at the heart of...Read More