It is very common these days to hear supporters of Israel seek to justify ethnic cleansing by saying that You did it– you Americans. Amira Hass has a fabulous piece up at Haaretz that takes on this model head on. She exposes the Israeli desire to defeat the Palestinian people, as the U.S. defeated the Native Americans, and then only have to deal with the “remnant” (a reference to Eastern European Jewry after the Holocaust). And she explains why this is not possible, and why we are now in the endgame of “the Jewish regime” because Israel did not want a two-state solution.
Read this amazing true line: “The question was, and is, how much more bloodshed, suffering and disasters will be needed until the Jewish regime of discrimination and separation, which we have created here over the past 64 years, crumbles.” This is a frankly anti-Zionist piece, written by a child of Holocaust survivors. Amira Hass is thirsting for the DeKlerk to lead her society out of its racist dead-end. I cannot imagine it being published in the New York Times. A sad reflection on our discourse.
But happily, and to our relief, the Palestinians are one people (unlike the hundreds that were in America ) and the process of Jewish settlement did not wipe them out. We are in a different age and a different region. Thinking big makes us forget that, unlike the model we admire and seek to emulate, we are a minority in the region. And the region is evolving and demanding a change in the rules of the game that have been so convenient for the United States and Israel.
The real question is not whether the solution is “two states” or “one state.” History in any case does not recognize end points – every stage leads to another. Visions are also not lacking. The visions must develop and change during the struggle for equality and justice, otherwise they will become gulags. The question was, and is, how much more bloodshed, suffering and disasters will be needed until the Jewish regime of discrimination and separation, which we have created here over the past 64 years, crumbles.
The Palestinians provided us, the Israelis, a ladder that would have saved us the kind of suffering and loss that we have caused them. A ladder that we could have climbed to a historic rung where we could have been accepted in the region as neighbors who also have roots in this place and rights – not only as aggressive invaders. But successive Israeli governments, with the backing of their voters, have knocked the ladder over. They knew only too well why they must thwart the two-state solution (in its original, pre-1967 borders format ). It would have led to different ways of living together and sharing the land. But the basic logic of these ways of life requires giving up Jewish hegemony and superiority.