Genocide advocate Ayelet Shaked revives Peres plan for West Bank
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada, Oct 1 2016
Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s justice minister, faced protests as she spoke to law students and professors at Columbia University’s law school on 19 September. In a secret audio recording taken during the closed event, Shaked can be heard seeking to revive a discredited idea long championed by Shimon Peres, the leading Israeli politician who died this week. The idea is that a deal could be struck with Jordan to push Palestinians under its jurisdiction as Israel maintains effective control over the occupied West Bank. A key objective behind Peres’ plan, the so-called Jordanian option, was to sideline the PLO and neuter Palestinian resistance to Israel. Palestinians saw it as an affront to their right of self-determination. Shaked denies Israel is an occupier, claiming that the West Bank is merely “territory under dispute.” She also brags about the recent moves by major social media companies to censor Palestinians. Shaked states:
Last week I met Facebook management and Google and now they’re willing to do proactive steps. We asked from them to monitor by themselves the incitement in social media, the social networks, like they are doing to child pornography. The threat of legislation is making the companies more cooperative and they are now actually agreeing to do proactive steps in order to try and reduce the amount of incitement of the Internet.
The recording was obtained by The Electronic Intifada. Recently, Facebook suspended the accounts of editors at two of the most widely read Palestinian online publications. Facebook later apologized, claiming it had made a mistake, but the Palestinian publications believe the suspensions were related to Facebook’s dealings with the Israeli government. In July, Shaked and Gilad Erdan, Israel’s public security minister, introduced a bill allowing courts to order social media companies to remove content considered a “danger to personal, public or state security.” Shaked and Erdan criticized Facebook for not removing enough content that they claim promotes “terrorism.” Ironically, in Jun 2014, Shaked herself used Facebook to promote what amounted to a call for genocide of Palestinians. She posted an article calling for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.” Her post, along with violent declarations by other Israeli officials and senior religious leaders, came amid waves of violence and lynchings by racist Israeli mobs on Palestinians, including children. There is no indication that Facebook has censored Israeli political or religious leaders. Shaked was invited to campus by the Columbia Law Israel Organization to talk about her role as justice minister. The event “was advertised through closed listservs and [was] exclusive to law students,” according to Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), though EI was told that several law professors also attended. After an opaque screening process, only about a dozen students and professors were allowed to attend the event, students told EI. While Shaked met with the group, student activists protested her appearance. They held signs and handed out fliers highlighting her racist statements. Columbia Law student Rachel LaFortune told EI:
It was more about making a statement of solidarity and not about obstructing the event.
Law student Sami Cleland added that the protesters wanted to provide a counterpoint to Shaked’s views. In the audio recording, Shaked and an unidentified colleague are challenged by attendees over the government’s definition of incitement versus free speech, Israel’s adherence to international law and the legal validity of settlements. Shaked claims:
According to the international law, Judea and Samaria are not occupied territory, but they are territory under dispute.
In reality, Israel has abused international law to implement control over the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to fit its own needs. Israel’s settlements in the West Bank amount to war crimes. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is forbidden from transferring its own civilian population into land it has occupied since 1967. The illegality of Israel’s settlements has been repeatedly confirmed by UNSCRs and by the 2004 ruling from the ICJ. Shaked also suggests that Israel annex “Area C” of the West Bank. This is the designation given to around 60% of the West Bank under the 1993 Oslo agreements where Israel retains full military and civilian control. Most of Israel’s settlements are in Area C and Shaked estimates that about 90,000 Palestinians live there. She says:
We said we should annex this area and of course give full citizenship to those Palestinians. Israel can handle 90,000 Palestinians to be part of Israel and full citizens of Israel.
In areas A and B, where the Palestinian Authority either has nominal administration or shared administration with Israel, Shaked suggested that millions of Palestinians be pushed under Jordanian jurisdiction. She states:
There should be an autonomy maybe one day that would be with consideration with Jordan. We don’t know what will happen in the area. And this is the solution in my mind.
The day before her Columbia appearance, Shaked spoke at a conference for the Jewish National Fund, an Israeli government-backed agency that works to displace Palestinians from their land. There, Shaked claimed that the BDS movement is “the new face of terrorism.” She also denounced Jewish activists who organize for Palestinians’ rights. Last year, Shaked sponsored a bill that targets Israel-based human rights groups working to challenge Israeli policies, while shielding right-wing and settlement groups.