Rdeadly Israeli aid in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, firing of Palestinian rockets into Israel from Gaza, Israeli bombardments in retaliation, terrorist attack near a synagogue in an Israeli colonization neighborhood located in the eastern part of Jerusalem conquered in 1967: in In the space of two days, with the death of nine Palestinians and seven Israelis, this conflict returned to its worst hours.
The current escalation will only surprise those who persist in denying the reality of a deadly spiral. For weeks, the level of violence continues to worry. In the occupied West Bank, the last twelve months have thus been the deadliest for the Palestinians since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. This dramatic assessment was recorded even before the coming to power in Israel of the most right-wing coalition in the country’s history, which entrusted a far-right leader, a member of a formerly banned party, with the security portfolio.
Faced with this outbreak of violence, the calls for calm launched from foreign capitals, from Washington to Paris, resound in the void, no doubt because of their own emptiness. Because they are always accompanied by the invocation of the two-State solution, the only one capable, according to them, of putting an end, one day, to this violence which seems unending. The possibility of a viable Palestine unfortunately vanished a long time ago, for want of a minimum level of trust, of which the two protagonists are now incapable, and for want of a halt to the Israeli colonization of the West Bank which is tirelessly eating away at the territory which should have constituted a Palestinian state.
Camp in denial
Nothing is capable today of maintaining the faintest hope. In Israel first, where society is divided on virtually everything except the Palestinian question, and where the outlook oscillates between maintaining an unstable status quo and outright annexation of entire swaths of the West Bank. Within the Palestinian Authority deprived of its raison d’être, the creation of a state. It is embodied by Mahmoud Abbas, 87, more powerless and discredited than ever with a people who see every day the disappearance of the slightest political horizon and in which the temptation of armed struggle is gaining strength.
The Western sponsors of the late peace process, who have chosen to camp in denial, can gauge the relevance of their indifference by the determination displayed by the new Israeli coalition to uphold “an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel”, which in his view includes the occupied West Bank, and to encourage colonization there. The Arab regimes that spectacularly normalized their relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords, without caring for a second about the fate of the Palestinians, have also fueled the illusion of this status quo.
The latter will remain the guarantee of disaster as long as the link between the occupation and the violence is not recognized instead of being completely concealed by the denunciation, in itself legitimate, of the recourse to terrorism by the Palestinians. Expected Monday and Tuesday in the region, the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, must take the measure of the impasse. If he sticks to the hackneyed antiphons, his visit will be just another lost opportunity to start getting out of it.
Also listen In Israel, the extreme right in power