Declaring Ariel a university may meet academic criteria, but it does not meet the criteria of international law. Ariel is a settlement in occupied territory in every way; a settlement established in order to annex the West Bank to Israel, to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. Moshe Dayan put forward the idea, and Menachem Begin carried it out.
Since then, rivers of blood have been spilled and the conflict has become, according to PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Labor Party’s Shelly Yachimovitch, “insoluble”. Israel came up with the term “settlement bloc” to make the settlements kosher, but the world stubbornly refuses to recognize the settlements, especially the “settlement blocs,” precisely because their purpose is to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state with territorial continuity. Former PM Ehud Barak, who came up with the expression “there’s no partner,” led Israel towards disaster and left behind him a bleak reality which benefits Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett alone. They lead us on towards calamity and the opposition is silent.
But this is no time for silence. We need a clear voice in the Knesset, a voice willing to speak the unspoken: the settlement blocs are a disaster, and the logic of Ariel leads to Apartheid. Israel has no future as long as the occupation continues. On Ariel’s victory, it has been said: “Another such victory and we are undone.”
Translated by Yonatan Preminger