There is no sharing in settler-colonialism, Josep Borrell, only land theft
When the so-called humanitarian pause is over, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “We are returning full power to carry out our aims: destroy Hamas, ensure that Gaza won’t return to what it was, and of course to free all of our hostages.” No one ever doubted that, but the international community has descended into further disgrace with its silence over Israel’s next round of ethnic cleansing in Gaza.
Netanyahu’s agreement to the hostage deal served as relatively good publicity, of course: “These incredible images of people being reunited with their families — the humanity of it, the sense of accomplishment of that and the possibility and promise that more and, ultimately, all of the hostages will come home.” This was despite the fact that it is possible that not all Israeli hostages will be freed by the end of the pause.
Those who are left run the risk of becoming part of Israel’s “collateral damage” in the enclave.
Meanwhile, as the focus on Gaza and the pause continues, Israel is ramping up its arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, ensuring that the number of prisoners it releases as part of the deal is negligible in comparison. Since 7 October, Israel has arrested 3,260 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.
On top of this, extreme far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is requesting funds for “security and security infrastructure” in the West Bank. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, was “appalled” by this, according to a post on X, in which he described settlements as “Israel’s greatest security liability.” Even so, according to Borrell, Israel and the Palestinians “both have equal and legitimate right to the same land, so they have to share it,” imparting colonialism in the most erroneous way possible.
If Israeli settlements are a liability, they always were, including the early colonial settlements that paved the way for Israel’s colonisation of Palestine. The UN’s differentiation of settlement expansion is merely an excuse to justify Israel’s colonial enterprise and the international community’s recognition of it as a state. For Borrell, and the rest of the EU, sharing the land is equal to enforcing the two-state paradigm, in which, hypothetically, Palestinians get some slivers of land while Israel owns and manages it all.
The scenario unfolding in Gaza should at least prompt Western leaders to reconsider their two-state rhetoric. Netanyahu has stated that Gaza will not return to what it was; that overt threat speaks of the next phase of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the enclave. The entire world has watched Israel kill thousands of Palestinians and displace most of the population of Gaza, while diplomats debated over pauses – “humanitarian”, of course – in accordance with the hypocritical politics they espouse. Is there any consideration in the West for Israel’s genocide about to resume after the pause? How many more Palestinians will Israel kill before it is determined that there is no humanitarianism in this lull which has the world focused on hostages and not the process of settler-colonisation?
Settler-colonialism is not a sharing concept; it is theft. So, when will Borrell and all diplomats and politicians who speak of the two-state compromise face any accountability for encouraging genocide by refusing to acknowledge the reality of Israeli settler-colonialism, which seeks to replace the indigenous population with settlers?