The so-called Israeli “left” is at it again. Last month, the leader of Israel’s opposition, Isaac Herzog, unveiled his “peace plan” in Israel’s Knesset and on the pages of the New York Times. Herzog’s plan reiterates the need for the two-state solution and the separation of Israelis and Palestinians and calls for an “end to conflict”. For the unacquainted, this plan is seemingly harmless and quite reasonable. But beneath its vagueness lies the now commonplace attitude that Israel has towards Palestinians: that Palestinians are not equals but merely a problem that needs to be resolved. If Herzog does not know it already — let it be said clearly: it is doomed to fail.
At its core, Herzog’s plan is no different than other proposals put forth by Israelis and Americans, notably Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton and adapted by none other than the late Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon who turned Gaza into a large prison following Israel’s withdrawal from there ten years ago. It calls for the annexation of Israel’s colony blocs, the continued construction of the illegal separation wall, and the cutting off of Occupied Jerusalem’s Palestinian towns from the heart of the city. And herein lies the problem: while claiming to support the idea of “two states”, Herzog and his predecessors merely seek to legitimate Israeli colony activity.