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Ha’aretz Journalist, Gideon Levy: “Israel Is Addicted To The Occupation”

by on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, World

Israel’s most prominent journalist, Gideon Levy, follows up on his recent column — one where he blasted the U.S. for continuing to ‘suck up to Israel’ — with an interview on The Real News Network.  Here he describes Israel as a country “addicted to the occupation.”

He pleads with the U.S. to be a friend of Israel’s and save it from itself.  He considers the relationship between U.S. and Israel as “twisted and unprecedented” in the world.  “There is no country in the world that acts like Israel vis a vis the United States — vis a vis dependence on the United States.”

Israel is addicted to the occupation, because it benefits a lot from the occupation — economically, and politically, and above all, because it doesn’t pay any price for the occupation.  Israelis are living wonderfully, especially in the last years.  They are having a wonderful life, even quite secure life most of the times.  There’s no reason to change the status quo from the point of view of Israel.  It is very convenient.  There’s a total separation between Israel and its occupation.  Most of the Israelis have no idea what’s going on there, don’t also care about what’s going on there, have never been there — most of the Israelis.  And so why should they bother?  The occupation will continue…

Levy believes the U.S. Presidents “who were called friendly to Israel were the worst for Israel.”  He singles out George W. Bush as the very worst, “because in his spirit, Israel really had the full liberty to do whatever it wants — settlements, two wars, assassinations …”

Levy comments on the emergence of J Street — the new, left-leaning pro-Israel lobbying group (hoped by many to offer an alternative to the hard-right, extremely powerful AIPAC):

I know there is a change in the Jewish community in the United States, but it is too little, and too late.  Still the conservative Jewish establishment is so powerful, and I don’t see signs that it is losing its power.  J Street is a wonderful initiative, very promising, but still the power of AIPAC, of the Anti-Defamation League, and other organizations is still very very strong.  And I don’t think it’s a question of months or years that this will change dramatically.

Israel is so much not willing to make peace that someone has to push Israel, and the only actor who can push Israel is the United States.  This can only happen with American pressure.  It will never come from inside Israel — no way.  Most Israelis are passive, couldn’t care less, …

The interview is over seven minutes long — definitely worth viewing:



The second part of the interview with Gideon Levy was just released by The Real News Network.

Levy says:

There is no peace process.  It’s a joke.  There is no peace process, there is some games going on — masquerades — but not a real peace process, because no one has the intention of talking to implement major steps.  Israel wants negotiations, because when negotiations are on the pressure on Israel is much smaller, and something is going on, and they are meeting once in two weeks, and then there is a big peace conference, without paying any price.  Why not?  You only gain.  For Israel the negotiations are a win-win situation, because no one intends to implement anything, and we saw it now for 16 years — ever since Oslo.  […]

This is the time to put an end to all negotiations, because there is no room for negotiations, because the solution is very clear to everybody.  This is the terrible mistake that the Obama Administration did — or they fell into this trap.  […]

The alternative to the two-state solution is the one-state solution — which is not a good solution for the Palestinians — mainly for the Palestinians — because there is a big gap between the two societies.  And there will not be equality, and not be justice, and therefore at least in the first stage the Palestinians deserve their own state.  But I agree to what the PA officials say, that maybe we missed the train, maybe it is too late with almost half a million settlers in E. Jerusalem and the West Bank.  […]

Here’s the full second part of the interview: