"From now on it’s legal to steal from Arabs. For the time being, only land and only in the occupied territories. But there’s no reason for the law to stop there. Why is it permissible to steal land and not cars, jewelry or money?"

February 9, 2017

In Blog News

Imagine Netanyahu arrested in London

And Defense Minister Lieberman extradited from Minsk; settlers’ Minister Bennett quivering in federal prison; army generals not getting off the plane in France.

By Gideon Levy Feb. 9, 2017 | 5:24 AM

On Monday this week the die was cast. Israel was declared the second apartheid state.

At midday in London, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to support the two-state solution any longer, thus marking the end of this strategy. That evening the Knesset passed the confiscation bill, marking the new regime it was establishing in its stead.

Israel has had its say, and it’s loud and clear: one state, from the sea to the Jordan River, and its regime – apartheid. Two peoples, one of them superior. The spit in one’s face can no longer be called rain. This spit requires a response, and the response must be action.

It’s nice that Germany is issuing a denunciation and the Zionist Union is voting against it. Theresa May and Federica Mogherini’s responses are also encouraging. But they no longer suffice. No more empty words, enough hollow lip service. Endgame. This rampage must be stopped, and it will only be stopped with action. No disparaging statements will do any good; Israel is charging, and words will not stop its stampede, especially if Washington continues to cheer, wink or keep silent.

Even the High Court of Justice will no longer serve as the national painkiller. The right will find a way to bypass it.

It is doubtful whether the legislation’s severity has penetrated fully in Israel. From now on it’s legal to steal from Arabs. For the time being, only land and only in the occupied territories. But there’s no reason for the law to stop there. Why is it permissible to steal land and not cars, jewelry or money? What’s the difference? Why is it permissible to kill Arabs only in the West Bank? They’re subhuman. And Israel yawns.

The world, which isn’t exposed to the brainwashing mechanisms here, understands the law’s significance – the end of Israeli democracy, no less. The last time a regime segregated one people from another, and one race from another, the world knew how to treat it. White rule in South Africa also had plenty of excuses and explanations, religious and security-related, but the world didn’t buy its lies. It must not buy them here, now, either. It’s the world’s duty, not privilege, to act. It must not wait for annexation. Another apartheid state has risen in the 21st century – not just any state, but the apple of the world’s eye – and it won’t act against it?

The European Union canceled a summit with Israel. The BDS movement has charted successes, mainly in the area of awareness. This is not enough. How does a justice-seeker react in view of a crime being committed? He hopes the criminal is brought to justice. The new regime’s verdict can be given by only one court – the International Criminal Court in The Hague. That is its role. That is its duty. That is the place to bring the guilty parties to trial. Behind the crime there are criminals. What else did UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres mean when he stated that the new law will have “far reaching legal implications for Israel”?

What sounds like a dream or a nightmare can and must be initiated there. Imagine Netanyahu arrested in London (and wishing he was still at home being investigated about the cigars); Avigdor Lieberman extradited from Minsk; Naftali Bennett quivering in federal prison; the smug consul in New York losing his immunity and the army general not getting off his plane in France. Imagine all the right wing bigmouths, who now feel they’re on top of the world, not daring to pass through Ben-Gurion Airport.

There isn’t and will be no gloating over their misfortune. But there is a desire for justice. Those who set up such a blatantly racist regime must be found responsible and pay for their acts, personally as well. Only fear of the world’s wrath will stop the right from enacting more race laws. Only fear of the world’s wrath will return Israel to the family of nations.

The right wing will argue that asking the world to act “isn’t democratic,” and it will be difficult to think of a better joke. They’ll claim “the majority is what counts,” and it will be hard to think of a sadder joke. Only the court in The Hague will show them how wrong they are. Only The Hague will stop them. And there’s still a long way to go in getting there.