Image by The Times of Israel
World – Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that Israel harbours no intentions of occupying Gaza or compelling the emigration of Palestinians to neighbouring countries, a conference held in Jerusalem by ministers and government members advocated precisely for the resettlement of Gaza.
Numerous reports and online videos from reputable media outlets depict high-ranking Israeli officials dancing and singing at a conference titled “Settlement Brings Security and Victory”. This sentiment is echoed by segments of Israeli civil society, who endorse these views despite international pressure to establish Palestinian statehood.
Addressing an enthusiastic crowd which frequently sang open opposition to any peace agreements between Palestine and Israel, Public Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir asserted the only effective way to prevent future attacks from Gaza is to regain control over it.
“If you don’t want another 7 October attack, you have to return home to control the territory.”
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich echoed similar rhetoric, emphasising the need to settle the land of Israel, spanning from width to length. This vision encompasses Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
“Without settlement, there is no security.”
While reports suggest certain Israeli politicians, not affiliated with the present right-wing coalition government, criticised the conference, the condemnation does little to alter the fundamental nature of the event and the individuals who participated in it. In essence, they represent two sides of the same coin.
For years, particularly in recent months, global leaders have stressed that the sole viable resolution to quell Israel’s aggression in Gaza is the adoption of a two-state solution, a fair and equitable arrangement for both Palestinians and Israelis.
However, contrary to this perspective, Israeli state officials and the general populace have consistently rebuffed this idea, causing disappointment among Israel’s closest partners and allies. Instead, they appear to favour the continued occupation, displacement, and subjugation of the Palestinian people.
Israel’s Constant Disregard for International Law
According to international law, the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories are deemed illegal. Despite this, they have persistently expanded, and the violence against indigenous Palestinians perpetrated by these settlements has consistently gone unpunished, their actions seldom condemned.
Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its disregard for international processes, verdicts, orders, and rulings despite Prime Minister Netanyahu’s claims asserting their respect for international law.
Therefore, it was not surprising to witness Israeli protesters and notable members of society rejecting and obstructing the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, even after being instructed to allow unimpeded access.
This ruling by the Hague did not sit well with Israeli officials and citizens, particularly those who believe the suffering of Palestinians should persist and that assistance should not be extended to them.
On TikTok, the Middle East Eye interviewed some of these protesters at the Kerem Shalom crossing, where an Israeli protester expressed the view that Israel’s territory should not be utilised to aid their enemies.
“We are not friends with the Gazans. They are our enemies. You do not help the enemies.”
Whilst there are Israelis who sympathise with the Palestinians and oppose the genocide, ethnic cleansing, and colonial practices of a right-wing fascist government, their voices are being suppressed on the global stage by a significant majority which supports the displacement and resettlement of Gaza and the mistreatment of its inhabitants.
And still, the world wonders why October 7 took place.