Charlton Heston has been on my mind recently.
That famous call during the NRA conference in 2000 after Columbine, “From my cold dead hands,” has been swirling around my head lately.
Why? Because it reminds me of Benjamin Netanyahu. But in my head Bibi isn’t holding a rifle. He’s holding a hammer. A builder’s hammer. To keep on building. At any price.
Heston and the NRA couldn’t care less about the lost lives of innocent people. The right to bear arms is above all. Protecting it as will continue at any cost.
When Bibi promised his coalition partners from the right wing to continue building in the settlements so they wouldn’t go ballistic after releasing over 100 Palestinian prisoners, he proved his addiction to the colonial project. The colonial project is above all. Colonizing will continue at any cost.
I have my issues with this release. I can sympathize with relatives of the victims of these attackers. But I also agree with Avi Issacharof’s analysis in the Times of Israel, who says that “… keeping these people in jail while Israel is negotiating with those who sent them to carry out terrorist attacks perpetuates a distortion of justice. These terrorists, despite the terrible acts in which they played a central part, should have been released to their homes many years ago — from the moment that Israel’s governments decided to forgive their handlers.”
Releasing prisoners with “blood on their hands” is a difficult decision to make for any Israeli leader. And the fact is, that this time it was done for simply returning to the negotiating table.
I could think of a more simple confidence building measure – freezing the settlements. But apparently, that wasn’t even on the agenda [Hebrew]. Both the Americans and the Palestinians are expecting the building to go on in the West Bank during the “peace talks.” It’s just a given.
Because for this government and its leader, nothing is more sacred than the right to build.
Not keeping roadblocks. Not removing checkpoints. Not keeping prisoners with “blood on their hands” behind bars.
Trust me, that building hammer isn’t leaving anyone’s hands soon.