From Bernie Sanders to Harel: Why is Acknowledging Israeli Apartheid a Shock?

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

On Monday, Bernie Sanders gave a historic speech at J Street, the liberal pro-Israel lobby that still believes in a two state solution. The lying roll of soiled toilet paper that is Breitbart (Trump’s party organ) reported with horror that Sanders had addressed an “anti-Israel” group. Now, in the circles of President Bannon and his mini-me Steve Miller unless you wholeheartedly support the Likud colonization project and the erasure of the Palestinian people, you are “anti-Israel.”

What did Sanders say to provoke such rage on the white supremacist Right?

He talked about his love for Israel, his admiration for its accomplishments against the backdrop of the Holocaust, and his experience at a kibbutz near Haifa in 1963. Then he let his audience have it, Bernie-style:

“. . . as you all know, there was another side to the story of Israel’s creation, a more painful side. Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 people were made refugees.

“To acknowledge this painful historical fact does not “delegitimize” Israel, any more than acknowledging the Trail of Tears delegitimizes the United States of America.”

That’s it. He simply recognized the historical reality that 720,000 or so Palestinians, out of 1.2 million inhabiting Palestine in 1947, were made homeless refugees by the rise of Israel. To believe anything else would be to believe fake history.

Many of those 720,000 were deliberately expelled by militant Zionist paramilitaries or by terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang and the Haganah. They have grown to millions now, many of them still living in squalid camps, in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. And no, that isn’t their own fault or that of their hosts. It is Israel’s fault. That so many of them are stateless, lacking citizenship and basic human rights, is also Israel’s fault, and is a result of deliberate Israeli policy.

Sanders dismissed Trump’s recent statements on a two-state versus a one-state solution as mere bloviating. He wanted to know what, in practice, a final settlement would look like:

“If Palestinians in the occupied territories are to be denied self-determination in a state of their own, will they receive full citizenship and equal rights in a single state, potentially meaning the end of a Jewish majority state? These are very serious questions with significant implications for America’s broader regional partnerships and goals.”

Sanders continued,

“Friends, the United States and the State of Israel have a strong bond, going back to the moment of Israel’s founding. There is no question that we should be, and will be Israel’s strong friend and ally in the years to come. At the same time, we must recognize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its daily restrictions on the political and civil liberties of the Palestinian people runs contrary to fundamental American values.”

What Sanders is doing here is demolishing typical Israeli propaganda points (hasbara) wherein Israel is simply a victim of the Palestinians and in which Palestinians are demonized as Khamas and terrorists and violent and irrationally angry. He is acknowledging that Palestinians are held under Israeli military rule in a state of occupation, decades after any war that might have justified such an occupation had ended.

Then he addressed the controversy over the Obama administration’s decision not to veto a UN resolution condemning the accelerating Israeli colonization drive in the Palestinian West Bank:

“As former Secretary of State John Kerry rightly said in his speech in December, ‘Friends need to tell each other the hard truths.’ And the hard truth is that the continued occupation and the growth of Israeli settlements that the occupation sustains, undermines the possibility of peace. It contributes to suffering and violence.

As the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed on December 23, the settlements also constitute a flagrant violation of international law. I applaud the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from vetoing UN Security Council Resolution 2334.”

So lets see. Sanders acknowledged the Nakba or Catastrophe of displacement imposed on the Palestinians by Jews in 1947-48. He acknowledged the injustices and humiliations of the ongoing Occupation. He applauded the working of the international community to condemn this violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of occupied peoples.

What he said is simple common sense and common decency, and yet Sanders was condemned. In Trump’s America, it is a criminal offense to be a Mensch.

The other sensation caused by truth-telling about the horrors of the Israeli occupation of the stateless Palestinians concerns comedian Asef Harel, who signed off his Israeli television show with an epic rant against Israeli Apartheid. His argument is clear, and I will just leave you with it. For anyone who knows anything serious about the Mideast, there is nothing at all controversial in what Harel said. But it is causing waves. That is because on the issue of Israel, large numbers of people prefer to inhabit a fantasy land of their own imaginations rather than confront cold truths:

“In Last Monologue, Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid. Asaf Harel’s scathing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral.

Full Story @Haaretz.com: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

And here as an Appendix is the full text of Sanders’ speech, courtesy courtesy of Haaretz :

[Bernie Sanders at J Street, Feb 27 2017:]

Thank you for inviting me to address you here today. It’s a pleasure to be here with J Street, which has been such a strong voice for saner, more progressive foreign policy ideas. And I am delighted to be in the company of friends from the Middle East and all over the world who I know will continue the struggle for a world of peace, justice and environmental sanity.

Let me begin by noting that in the last several months, since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, there has been a significant outbreak of anti-Semitism here in our country. I am very alarmed by the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, with Jewish Community Centers being threatened around the country, and with the headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League receiving a bomb threat last week.

When we see violent and verbal racist attacks against minorities – whether they are African-Americans, Jews, Muslims in this country, immigrants in this country, or the LGBT community, these attacks must be condemned at the highest levels of our government.

Sharing is caring. Spread the word

It was rather extraordinary that in the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, the murder of 6 million Jews was not mentioned by the Trump administration. I hope very much that Pres. Trump and his political advisor Mr. Bannon understand that the world is watching: it is imperative that their voices be loud and clear in condemning anti-Semitism, violent attacks against immigrants in this country, including the murder of two young men from India, and all forms of bigotry here and around the world. This country has struggled too long against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia. We will not go back. We are going to go forward and fight discrimination of all forms.

I must say that I also found it very troubling that, at a recent press conference, when President Trump was given an opportunity to condemn the bigotry and anti-Semitism that has arisen in the wake of his election, he chose to respond by bragging – incorrectly, by the way – about the size of his Electoral College victory. Our society is still riven by tensions from the campaign, and Americans need a president who will try to bring us together, rather than boast about his political victory.

Let me take this opportunity to thank J Street for the bold voice that they’ve provided in support of American leadership in the Middle East and efforts towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I understand that, given the political climate in this capital, that has not always been easy. I also applaud them for being part of a broad coalition of groups that successfully fought for the historic nuclear agreement between the U.S. and its partners and Iran.

That agreement demonstrated that real American leadership, real American power, is not shown by our ability to blow things up, but by our ability to bring parties together, to forge international consensus around shared problems, and then to mobilize that consensus to address those problems.

For many years, leaders across the world, especially Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had sounded the alarm about the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. What the Obama administration was able to do, with the support of groups like J Street and others, was to get an agreement that froze and dismantled large parts of that nuclear program, put it under the most intensive inspections regime in history, and removed the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon from the list of global threats.

As a member of the United States Senate, I hear a whole lot of speechifying. I hear from many of my colleagues how “tough” the United States has got to be, and how, at the end of the day, military force is what matters.

Well, I say to those colleagues, ‘It’s easy to give speeches in the safety of the floor of the Senate or the House. It’s a little bit harder to experience war and live through the devastation of war. I recall vividly all of the rhetoric that came from the Bush administration, that came from my Republican colleagues, and some Democrats, about why going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do. Well, it wasn’t. In fact, it is one of the great tragedies of modern world history.

Today it is now broadly acknowledged that the war in Iraq, which I opposed, was a foreign policy blunder of enormous magnitude. The war in Iraq led to the deaths of some 4,400 U.S. troops and the wounding, physical and emotional, of tens of thousands of others—not to mention the pain inflicted on wives and children and parents. The war in Iraq led to, conservatively speaking, the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and the wounding and displacement of many more. It created a cascade of instability around the region that we are still dealing with today in Syria and elsewhere, and will be for many years to come. And, by the way, that war in Iraq cost trillions of dollars—money that should have been spent on health care, education, infrastructure, and environmental protection.

The Iraq war, like many other military conflicts, had unintended consequences. It ended up making us less safe, not more safe.

In contrast, the Iran nuclear deal helped the security of the U.S. and its partners – yes, it helped the security of Israel, as many Israeli security experts have acknowledged – and it did this at a tiny fraction of the cost in blood and treasure of the Iraq war. This is the power of diplomacy. This is real leadership.

Some who opposed this nuclear deal have attacked its supporters, including J Street, for being part of a so-called “echo chamber.” The truth is that Washington has for many years had a very loud and powerful echo chamber for war. It’s about time we had an echo chamber for peace. So thank you J Street.

Now, as many of you know, I have a connection to the State of Israel going back many years. In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa. It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which the State of Israel was founded. I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution, and particularly after the horror of the Holocaust.

But as you all know, there was another side to the story of Israel’s creation, a more painful side. Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 people were made refugees.

To acknowledge this painful historical fact does not “delegitimize” Israel, any more than acknowledging the Trail of Tears delegitimizes the United States of America.

But I didn’t come here today simply to revisit history, or to say one historical narrative is wrong and one is right. My question here today is: OK, what now? Where do Israelis and Palestinians go from here? What should be U.S. policy to end this conflict, to end this fifty-year long occupation, and enable a better, more secure and prosperous future for Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians alike?

This decades-long conflict has taken so much from so many. Nobody gains when Israel spends an enormous part of its budget on the military. Nobody gains when Gaza is obliterated and thousands are killed, wounded, or made homeless. Nobody gains when children are trained to be suicide bombers. Nobody gains when year after year, decade after decade, the talk is about war and hatred rather than peace and development. Think of the incredible potential that is being lost when Israelis and Palestinians are not coming together effectively to address the environmental and economic challenges of the region. Our vision, a vision we must never lose sight of, is creating a Middle East where people come together in peace and democracy to create a region in which all people have a decent life. I understand that, given the realities of today, that vision appears distant and maybe even far-fetched. But it is a vision and a dream that we cannot afford to give up on.

So what should we as progressives – American progressives, Israeli progressives and progressives globally — demand of our governments in bringing this future about?

Let’s take a moment to talk about values.

It’s often said that the U.S.-Israel relationship is based on “shared values.” I think this is correct, but then we also have to ask: What do we mean by this? What values are we talking about?

As progressives, here are the values we share: We believe in democracy. We believe in equality. We believe in pluralism. We are strongly opposed to xenophobia. We respect and we will protect the rights of minorities.

These are values that are shared by progressives in this country and across the globe. These values are based upon the very simple notion that we share a common humanity. Whether we are Israelis or Palestinians or Americans, whether we are Jews, Christians, Muslims, or of another religion, we all want our children to grow up healthy, to have a good education, have decent jobs, drink clean water and breathe clean air, and to live in peace.

That’s what being human is about. And our job is to do everything that we can to oppose all of the political forces, no matter what side they may be on, who try to tear us apart.

Earlier this month, at a White House press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump was asked whether he supported a two-state solution. His answer was, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.” As if someone asked him whether he preferred Coke to Pepsi.

We should be clear: The two-state solution, which involves the establishment of a Palestinian state in the territories occupied in 1967, has been bipartisan U.S. policy for many years. It is also supported by an overwhelming international consensus, which was reaffirmed in December by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. While I understand that they’ve walked that statement back, the casual manner in which President Trump appeared to abandon that policy was extremely concerning, but also unfortunately typical of the carelessness with which he has managed American foreign policy thus far.

The president said that he supports a peace deal, but this doesn’t mean much. The real question is: Peace on what terms, and under what arrangement? Does “peace” mean that Palestinians will be forced to live under perpetual Israeli rule, in a series of disconnected communities in the West Bank and Gaza? That’s not tolerable, and that’s not peace.

If Palestinians in the occupied territories are to be denied self-determination in a state of their own, will they receive full citizenship and equal rights in a single state, potentially meaning the end of a Jewish majority state? These are very serious questions with significant implications for America’s broader regional partnerships and goals.

Friends, the United States and the State of Israel have a strong bond, going back to the moment of Israel’s founding. There is no question that we should be, and will be Israel’s strong friend and ally in the years to come. At the same time, we must recognize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its daily restrictions on the political and civil liberties of the Palestinian people runs contrary to fundamental American values.

As former Secretary of State John Kerry rightly said in his speech in December, ‘Friends need to tell each other the hard truths.’ And the hard truth is that the continued occupation and the growth of Israeli settlements that the occupation sustains, undermines the possibility of peace. It contributes to suffering and violence.

As the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed on December 23, the settlements also constitute a flagrant violation of international law. I applaud the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from vetoing UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Those of us who really support Israel have got to tell the truth about policies are hurting chances of reaching a peaceful resolution.

>> Explained: How Big an Obstacle Are Israeli Settlements to Peace? >>

I recognize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most emotionally fraught issues in U.S. politics, involving as it does the legitimate historical claims, identities and security of two peoples in the same region.

So let me be very clear: to oppose the policies of a right-wing government in Israel does not make one anti-Israel or an anti-Semite. We can oppose the policies of President Trump without being anti-American. We can oppose the policies of Netanyahu without being anti-Israel. We can oppose the policies of Islamic extremism without being anti-Muslim.

As I said during my presidential campaign, peace means security not only for every Israeli, but also for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for both peoples.

These ideas are based in the very same shared values that impel us to condemn anti-Semitic bigotry, condemn anti-Muslim bigotry, and to make our own society better. These are the ideas that should guide us. The values of inclusiveness, security, democracy, and justice should inform not only America’s engagement with Israel and Palestine, but with the region and the world.

The United States will continue its unwavering commitment to the safety of the State of Israel, but we must also be clear that peacefully resolving this conflict is the best way to ensure the long-term safety of both peoples, and for making America more secure.

To my Israeli friends here with us today: we share many of the same challenges. In both our countries we see the rise of a politics of bigotry and intolerance and resentment. We must meet these challenges together. As you struggle to make your society better, more just, more egalitarian, I want to say to you: Your fight is our fight.

Shares 0

18 Responses

  1. “Friends, the United States and the State of Israel have a strong bond, going back to the moment of Israel’s founding. There is no question that we should be, and will be Israel’s strong friend and ally in the years to come.”

    Why?

  2. “The United States will continue its unwavering commitment to the safety of the State of Israel.”

    Israel is a nuclear power with missiles ready to deliver those warheads to any country within the middle east. Israel has an air force far superior to any nation in the region. Israel has a well equipped army, thanks to the US.

    My point being….Israel is perfectly capable of defending its own borders. If Trump is right about anything it is the US should not commit to being the Rambo of the world .

  3. “To acknowledge this painful historical fact does not “delegitimize” Israel, any more than acknowledging the Trail of Tears delegitimizes the United States of America.”
    What’s the big deal about delegitimizing. We do it all the time. Iraq was legitimate when it attacked Iran, but delegitimized when it attacked Kuwait. We legitimized Gaddafi Libya in 2006, and delegitimized his regime in 2011, using the most physical method. In 1969 Nixon legitimized Rumania, a communist state with strongman leadership.

    The context being the Holocaust, Israeli actions against the indigenous Palestinians in the late 40’s were blurred into acceptance by the West. The context has since changed but the Israelis treatment of the Palestinians has not. Delegitimization of Israel would be massively extreme in a political sense, but not uncalled for in a humanitarian sense.

    • Israel won’t permit viable Palestinian self-determination. Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls too much land. It steals more daily.

      Conflict resolution depends on ending Israel’s occupation.

      It means one state for all its people at peace with equal rights. It requires everyone be treated equitably, justly and fairly.

      Nothing else works. Current conditions aren’t sustainable. Israel wants permanent occupation. Palestinians deserve sovereign freedom.

      Democratic legitimacy requires one nation for all its people. It does so irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or other differentiating factors.

      It requires mandating equal rights, observing international law principles, and ending decades of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

      It requires treating Arabs and Jews equally. It means establishing binding statutes. It requires enforcing them.

      It’s about commitment for the right thing.

      • “Israel controls too much land. It steals more……”

        The historical precedent of the Sudeten Germans within Czechoslovakia can be compared to the situation in the West Bank.

        The theory had been that the German minority in Czechoslovakia was being oppressed and that a political solution was needed to prevent this apparent problem. The Sudenten Germans were in fact, highly nationalistic, much like the West Bank Jewish settlers.

        The Munich Pact was signed in 1938 by British PM Neville Chamberlain to promote “Peace in our time”. It gave Nazi Germany the Sudetenland in compromise. Later that year, Nazi Germany marched into all of Czechoslovakia and occupied it – and the rest is history.

        Likud Party theorists have called for settlement of the West Bank until its Jewish population reaches 750,000 – at which point there will be – as they contend – a reasonable foundation for annexation of that region into “Greater Israel.”

        The Likud theorists further believe that West Bank Palestinians who choose to remain can be relegated to non-contiguous “cantons” who will have limited autonomy but as a practical matter will be subordinate to the Israel Defense Forces – as they are today – as roads outside Arab-controlled areas would be patrolled and guarded by IDF units.

        The ultimate goal of PM Netanyahu and his Likud Party is to create a situation akin to the former Bantustans of apartheid South Africa – and Americans with their creation of self-governing reservations of native Americans administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs cannot object too strongly if a similar situation is imposed upon West Bank Palestinians.

        The true tragedy of West Bank Palestinians goes well above mere apartheid – it encompasses the reality that these Arab residents have effectively no enforceable human rights that are consistent with the basic principles of democracy – and have been denied such basic rights since 1967.

  4. “If Palestinians in the occupied territories are to be denied self-determination in a state of their own, will they receive full citizenship and equal rights in a single state, potentially meaning the end of a Jewish majority state?

    The answer to that question is “NO.”

  5. Friends, the United States and the State of Israel have a strong bond, going back to the moment of Israel’s founding.

    And, as Senator Sanders indicated, a mutual history of ethnic cleansing applied to the indigenous peoples.

  6. I think one of the hallmarks of the time we are now living in is how readily people will latch onto delusionary thinking and live in a comfortable bubble rather than have to face a hard truth. The situation with Israel and the Palestinians is one of the most notable examples. As has been noted by others before, without a meaningful two state solution, Israel can be Jewish or it can be a democracy, but eventually it will have to choose because it will not be possible to be both.

    • Most God fearing people have faith in the potential goodness of human nature, a potential that has to be liberated by the truth of history,

      The Jews are the intellectual elite of the Western world and the Palestinians are by far the intellectual elite of the Arab world.

      Together in peace and partnership in One State for all (yes, that does mean the end of Zionism), they could change the region for the better and by doing so give new hope and inspiration to the whole world.

      To put it another way, in peace and a partnership of equals, the Jews minus Zionism could become, with the Palestinians, a light unto nations. Surely that’s a better option than allowing Zionism to put the light out?

      Quotes from Alan Hart’s article on Israel Palestine Conflict

      If Harkabi was alive today (he died in 1994) I would suggest to him that in 2014 there is no chance of Israel opening itself to self-criticism because the vast majority of its Jews have been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda to the point where they are beyond reason on the matter of justice for the Palestinians.

  7. When I traveled to Israel/Palestine several years ago, I saw three very different ways of Israelis treating Palestinians. I could not get into Gaza, but it was obviously a very large , open air ghetto or prison with no rights at all for the occupants. In Israel proper, there was Jim Crow. On paper , Palestinian citizens of Israel have equal rights, just as blacks in the US theoretically had equal rights 75 years ago, but the reality in each case was Jim Crow. In the occupied West Bank it is and was apartheid. Every aspect of apartheid from pass laws to physical separation to daily humiliations to midnight raids and regular police mayhem and killings was present.

    I met many wonderful Israelis. They were generous, friendly, and, in many respects, open minded. But universally they simply denied the reason for the existence of a Palestinian problem. Even those who had served as military enforcers in the occupied territories during their mandatory service , simply refused to acknowledge the reality. They wiped their own activity there from their mind as if it never happened to them. And so it will continue as long as craven US politicians enable this behavior. If the US actually stood up for true American values in Israel and backed it up with withdrawal of financial, military and diplomatic support, the oppressive right wing government there could not survive a year.

  8. The larger question, and the specter that haunts America and binds it ever closer to Israel as its test lab for 21st Century Apartheid, can be found by changing a couple of Sen. Sanders’ words:

    “If Americans of Color are to be denied self-determination in a state of their own, will they receive full citizenship and equal rights in a single state, potentially meaning the end of a White majority state? These are very serious questions with significant implications for America…”

    What Israel gets away with on Sunday, Republicans begin advocating domestically on Monday, and America votes for on Tuesday. The line of decay of Israeli leadership is paralleled with a time delay in America. So is the work of endless legal drones in writing a state religion into a secular Constitution. The merging of external threats and internal oppression through color-coding leads to the same soldier cult in which fascists always wrap themselves.

  9. “common sense and common decency” are hardly hallmarks or some in the current administration. Thanks for sharing Senator Sander’s reasoned approach.

  10. Last year this time, Secretary of State John Kerry was trying to put together a huge peace deal between Israel and the Arab world, according to Aron Heller and Matthew Lee of the Associated Press.

    The proposal built on the 2002 Arab peace plan, which offered Israel full recognition by its Arab neighbors, with trade and other ties, on condition that it give up the Palestinian territories it occupied in 1967 and which it is illegally colonizing.

    That 2002 Arab League initiative had been roundly rejected by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, who was from the same hard line far-right party, the Likud, that current PM Binyamin Netanyahu hails from.

    The plan allegedly offered Israel full recognition as a Jewish state and Jerusalem as joint capital of Israel and Palestine, with peace treaties with a much wider array of Arab countries, and an end to Palestinian demands for the right of return to the homes in Israel from which the Zionists expelled them in 1948.

    In return Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, where it has hundreds of thousands of illegal squatters.

    Apologists for the Israeli right wing are always going on about the alleged willingness of Israel to make peace if only it could find a partner to negotiate with.

    Kerry was delivering to them large numbers of such partners.

    Netanyahu turned the offer of wide-ranging negotiations down flat.

    From an earlier article by Juan Cole

  11. Peace Plans that Israel rejected and Israel will continue to reject peace plans as it has totally a different hidden agenda :

    1 -1967-1971: The UN Jarring Mission peace plan.

    2 -1969: The Rogers plan.

    3 -1971: As soon as he assumed power, Sadat offered Israel full peace in 1971.

    4 -1976: January, the PLO offered Israel full peace.

    5 -1977: The Carter Comprehensive Peace Plan (later modified to meet Israeli conditions).

    6 -1981: The Prince Fahd Peace Plan.

    7 -1982: The Reagan Peace Plan.

    8 -1982: The Arab Fez Peace Plan.

    9 -1988: The PLO Peace Plan.

    10 -1989: The Bush Peace Plan.

    11 – The Arab Peace initiative of Beirut, 2002.

    12 – 2004: The Roadmap (effectively).

    13 – 2007: The Arab Peace Plan (readopted by Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 28, 2007.

    • One needs to mention the failure of Israel to implement the Wye River Accords reached in 1998 over the pressure PM Netanyahu had been receiving from hardliners within the Likud Party.

      The Wye River Memorandum had broad-based support among the Israeli public at that time and its performance was necessary for the continuation of the Oslo Accords. Netanyahu’s government collapsed due to a no-confidence vote over this non-performance and Ehud Barak of the Labor Party would replace him as the prime minister.

      Today the “political center” of the Israeli Jewish public has made a 180-degree turn and opposes any final status agreement with the Palestinians.

  12. I fear few ingrained attitudes will be changed by Asef Harel or Sanders, both will simply provoke outrage or nodded approval. There will never be an Israeli inspired solution since buried deep in all Jews there is conviction that their monotheist deity not only gave them the land but instructed them to drive the indigenous people out: consider the Israeli Education Minister and verbal prestidigitator Naftali Bennett quoting the bible at an interviewer on Al Jazeera the other day. link to aljazeera.com The Israel/Palestine issue won’t just go away until such attitudes are curbed either by reason or under duress. It isn’t that there abounds an overwhelming wealth of affection for Palestinians but the defiance of international law damages and degrades those institutions designed to preserve the values civilisation has earned and come to recognise and support and to most people, regardless of their level of informed understanding, what is going on over there is plain wrong.

Comments are closed.