After Hamas attack to Israel on October 7th, which was the deadliest ever in the history of Israel’s creation, it is now safe to say that Benjamin Netanyahu’s dream of creating an independent Jewish state without Palestine is gone forever.
Just before the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7th, which led to the killing of nearly 1400 Israelis, it seemed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was about to complete his masterpiece, which was a permanent peace agreement with the Arab world while completely ignoring the Palestinians. The attack, however, reminded Israelis and the world, for better or worse, that the Palestinians are still there in their homeland, and that the century-old conflict here involves them first, not the Emiratis or the Saudis.
In his speech at the UN General Assembly a couple of weeks ago, Netanyahu presented a map of “The New Middle East,” depicting the State of Israel stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and building a “corridor of peace and prosperity” with its neighbors across the region, including Saudi Arabia.
“The Palestinians could greatly benefit from a broader peace. They should be part of the process, but they should not have a veto over the process. And I also believe that making peace with more Arab states would actually increase the prospects of making peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said back then. The irony, however, was that there was not even a small spot referring to a Palestinian state, or an area that the Palestinian Authority ostensibly controls.
Ever since he was first elected prime minister in 1996, Netanyahu has tried ceaselessly to avoid any negotiations with the Palestinian leadership to resolve the Palestine-Israel issue. Instead, he has chosen all these years to simply bypass it and push it aside. “Israel does not need peace with the Palestinians to prosper,” Netanyahu has repeatedly claimed in these years.
Abraham Accords only fueled Netanyahu’s illusion
The Abraham Accords that Israel inked with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and later with Sudan and Morocco, reinforced this false belief of Netanyahu. He even went so far to say before Israel’s last election that “for the past 25 years, we have been told repeatedly that peace with other Arab countries will only come after we resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.”
“However, I believe that the road to peace does not go through Ramallah, but bypasses it. Instead of the Palestinian tail wagging the Arab world, I argued that peace should begin with Arab countries, which would isolate Palestinian obstinacy,” he continued.
In just like that, Netanyahu believed that a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia was supposed to be the icing on the “peace for peace” cake that he spent years preparing. But almost overnight, all the palace of Netanyahu’s dreams of a country for Israel without Palestine in the lands of Palestine faded away by Hamas attack on October 7th.
Maybe now, he has come to this realization that the road to peace does go through Ramallah and eliminating Palestine is a wild dream that can never come true.