Odeh on Annexation: A Palestinian Uprising Is “Only a Matter of Time”

Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) said on Thursday, May 21, that if Israel goes through with its plan to annex parts of West Bank, a massive Palestinian uprising would only be “a matter of time.” The far-right Israeli government has vowed to annex all its settlements in the occupied West Bank as well as nearly the entire Jordan Valley, unilateral and internationally illegal measures for which it last year received approval from the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Demonstrators hold a vigil against annexation opposite the US Consulate in West Jerusalem, May 16, 2020. The Hebrew and English slogans are the same; in Arabic the messages are "Apartheid will fall" and "No to the Judaizing of Jerusalem."

Demonstrators hold a vigil against annexation opposite the US Consulate in West Jerusalem, May 16, 2020. The Hebrew and English slogans are the same; in Arabic the messages are “Apartheid will fall” and “No to the Judaizing of Jerusalem.” (Photo: Activestills)

“Every person who wants peace and believes in the rights of all peoples – both Palestinians and Israelis – says that every nation has the right to self-determination,” Odeh told Ynet in an interview. “The Jews exercised this right in 1948, but there is nation fighting for its independence,” Odeh added. “The Palestinians deserve a place under the sun. However, the Israeli government is acting not only to deepen the occupation, but also the hatred. It’s keeping the prospect of peace far away from us.”

When asked about the implications of the possible annexation, Odeh warned that another violent uprising is only a matter of time. “There have been warnings for several years about taking further steps towards annexation; the question is when it will finally reach its tipping point. It’s only a matter of time.”

According to Odeh, every 10-15 years, Israel is beset by a massive Palestine uprising. “It will come; it’s a natural response to any occupation. These are the laws of colonialism.”

Odeh said that Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) are planning to stage a mass demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, June 6, to protest the annexation and occupation, and called on citizens of Israel of all walks of life, Jews and Arabs, to attend.

The leader of the Joint List’s remarks came two days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday night, May 19, that Ramallah would no longer be bound by agreements it has signed with Israel and the United States.

According to Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List), Netanyahu is very serious about annexation; he’s been preparing it for years: “Before last September’s elections, he talked about annexation very clearly. You don’t push through such a significant move like this in a rapid manner. You need to make a lot of preparations and lay the groundwork.” The communist MK said that one of the major steps towards annexation was the passage of the Nation State law in 2018, legislation which gives Jews exclusive rights of self-determination in all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Yet another expression of Netanyahu’s plans was all the continuous annexation discourse that went on in the Israeli Knesset: “more and more laws were brought in, talking about annexing settlements.”

Touma-Sliman said that, during Israel’s recent electoral campaigns, only Netanyahu has been setting the the political agenda. Other than the Joint List, no political force has presented an alternative to his vision of a “Greater Israel” and annexation. “Nobody told the people ‘we have an alternative’… That’s why Gantz wound up crawling into Netanyahu’s government. Only the Joint List has presented an alternative.”

Touma-Sliman said she expects and hopes that the demonstration against annexation being planned by Hadash and the CPI for June 6 will be massive.