At last Friday's weekly protests of Palestinian evictions in East Jerusalem I talked with Marcey Gayer, who emigrated to Israel from New York in 1971.
Q. Some people here are for two states and some are for one state. What does that mean in terms of the movement's direction?
A. The main thing is to end the occupation and let the chips fall where they may. We’re not strong enough to desire a schism between the two branches that want to end the occupation.
Q. Do you go to the West Bank demos?
A. No. There you confront the army with its teargas and maybe rubber bullets and it requires more of a commitment to risking your well being.
Q. What do you think of the tent protests in Tel Aviv?
A. I think they're good because it’s a social justice movement, and though it tries to ignore the Palestinian question and keep it under the rug, ultimately it will have to be confronted. They are just starting at the easier edge.
Q. Are you a Zionist?
A. Huh. Well. I would say in a way that I think Israel has a right to exist. But Israel has never defined its boundaries. So I am willing to accept a one state solution out of practicality because I don’t think the settlements can be uprooted. And the biggest implication of all the settlement activity is that Israel would cease to be a Jewish state.
Q. Would that be a personal tragedy to you?
A. No. Have you been to Tel Aviv? It’s a monoculture. It’s as boring as can be. I’m from New York. I love diversity. And look at her. [Gayer points at a Palestinian woman in the demonstration] That woman was evicted from her house with her five children. She had to live on the street. In the cold. Where are her human rights?
Q. At times the Jewish state will be in conflict with human rights.
A. Then I am for human rights. Human rights trumps everything. We are for human beings.