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Can we imagine a just peace for Palestine?

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While waiting without even a glimmer of hope for the Trump ‘deal of the century’ the Palestinian ordeal unfolds day by day. Many Israelis would like us to believe that the Palestinian struggle to achieve self-determination has been defeated, and that it is time to admit that Israel is the victor and Palestine the loser. All that needs to be done is to force feed a bitter pill of defeat to the Palestinians, and all talk from Trump or otherwise about a deal will become irrelevant.

Recent events paint a different picture than this premature Israel triumphalism. Every Friday since the end of March 2018 the Great March of Return has confronted Israel at the Gaza fence. Israel has responded with lethal force killing more than 250 Palestinians and injuring over 18,000, repeatedly using grossly excessive force to deal with almost completely nonviolent demonstrations protesting the denial by Israel of fundamental human rights belonging to the Palestinian people. The world allows these weekly atrocities to go without any concerted adverse reaction. Even the UN is awkwardly silent.

It would seem that there is a feeling in international circles that nothing much can be done to bring about a peaceful and just solution at this stage. Such a conclusion might explain the various recent moves in the Arab world toward an acceptance of Israel as a legitimate state, which has included steps toward diplomatic normalization. Beyond these developments, Israel has joined with Saudi Arabia and the United States in a war mongering dangerous escalation of an already unwarranted and provocative confrontation with Iran. In addition, Israel and Egypt are collaborating on security issues at the border and in the Sinai, as well as in the joint development of off shore oil and gas projects. It should be noted that this warming of the Arab world to Israel has been occurring at the very time during which abuses of the Palestinian people has achieved their highest level of harshness ever.

This puzzling recent background make this an opportune moment for stocktaking with respect to this conflict that has gone on for more than a century, and assessing what would be the best way forward. The assumption here is that the only acceptable objective remains what it has long been—namely, a sustainable and just peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

The most daunting challenge given present realities, is how peace might be made in a manner that realizes the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to achieve self-determination in a territorial space that was for centuries their place of residence, their own homeland. The prevailing international consensus had been that a solution would be achieved by geopolitically framed negotiations between Israel and accepted governmental representatives of the Palestinian people. The authoritative framing of such an approach was entrusted to the United States, which itself unavoidably insinuated a fatal flaw into the diplomatic process if the goal was to achieve a peaceful compromise that was fair to both sides and juridically sensitive to Palestinian claims of right under international law. It is reasonable to ask, ‘How possibly could such a compromise emerge if the stronger party had the unconditional backing of the geopolitical intermediary and the weaker party was not even clearly the legitimate representative of large sectors of the Palestinian people?’ Another unacknowledged obstacles to this Oslo approach was the degree to which its presuppositions collided with the true agenda of the Zionist Project, which was to gain sovereign control of all of the biblically promised land, a goal that was glaringly inconsistent with maintaining political space for some reasonable expression of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

Additionally, this already flawed framework was further abused by subordinating the so-called peace process to Zionist expansionist goals, expressed by annexing Jerusalem, denying refugee rights of return, and expanding unlawful settlements in occupied Palestine. These anomalies were accentuated by the American insistence that Palestinian objections to such unlawful Israeli moves be deferred until the last stage of negotiations on the supposed grounds that such objections would disrupt the peace process. In retrospect, it is clear that these patterns of violation by Israel were, on the contrary, themselves intended to prevent the peace process from ever reaching ‘final status negotiations,’ much less actually achieving a negotiated peace. This disrupted diplomacy is exactly what transpired, perhaps disappointed some naïve Palestinians, but not at all surprising the Likud leadership, which always expected, and worked to achieve, such an outcome.

This geopolitical framework, as resulted from the faulty implementation of the Oslo Framework of Principles, as adopted in 1993, has by now been widely discredited by most objective observers as well as by the participating governments. This abandonment of Oslo did not occur, however, before Israel had used the past 25 years to pursue unimpeded their expansionist goals. In this process, Israel succeeded in making the establishment of an independent Palestinian state a political impossibility, with the secondary desired effect of putting the Palestinians in a far weaker position than before the Oslo approach was adopted.

The perverse failure of the top down approach to reach a sustainable outcome has led to a public attitude of defeatism when it comes to achieving a peaceful compromise. The residual post-Oslo top down option is the coercive imposition of ‘peace’ by declaring an Israeli victory and a Palestinian defeat. In other words, if diplomacy fails, the winner/loser calculus of war is all that is left over other than an indefinite continuation of a simmering status quo.

Peace from Above versus Peace from Below

Such thinking, although prevalent in elite circles, overlooks the historical agency of people, both those resisting injustice and those mobilized throughout the world in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. It is these bottom up kinds of political dynamics that were responsible for the most momentous changes in the history of the last century. It was national mass movements that challenged successfully, although at heavy human costs, the unjust structures of colonialism and South African apartheid, and eventually prevailed despite their military inferiority and the fierce geopolitical resistance they encountered. In other words, people manifested and exercised superior historical agency despite inferior capabilities on the battlefield and diplomatically. This potency of popular movements is a reality with a potential to subvert the established order and for this very reason is treated as irrelevant by mainstream thinking and policy planners.

It is precisely on the basis of this deconstruction of power and change that hope for a brighter Palestinian future lies. The strength of the Palestinian national movement is, and always has been, on the level of people as fortified by the growing international moral consensus that Israeli apartheid colonialism is wrong, indeed a crime against humanity according to international criminal law [see Article 7 of the Rome Statute governing the International Criminal Court and the International Apartheid Convention of 1973 on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid] It is this bottom up process of struggle, spearheaded by Palestinian resistance and given leverage by global solidarity initiatives such as the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] Campaign as it gains momentum and heightens pressure. Historical outcomes are never certain, but the flow of history has been against this Israeli/Zionist combination of colonial appropriation of Palestine and the apartheid structures relied upon to ensure the subjugation of the Palestinian people.

On this basis, some general observations follow.

The Two State Solution should be pronounced ‘Dead’

For several years, at least since the de facto abandonment of the Oslo diplomacy in 2014, the two-state solution cannot reasonably be continued to be put forward internationally and in liberal Zionist circles as a viable political option. Yet it continues to be affirmed by many governments and at the UN. This is not because there is any informed belief that it might finally happen, but rather because every other outcome seemed impossible, too horrible to contemplate, or calls upon Israel to give up its claim to be an exclusivist Jewish state. In other words, many leading political figures and opinion leaders hold onto the two-state approach as an alternative to what they viewed to be zero. This reflects an impoverishment of the political and moral imagination, only capable of conceiving a solution to prolonged struggle of this type as deriving from top down approaches; bottom up approaches are not even considered, and if mentioned, are derided as irrelevant.

It seems far more realistic, and hence honest, to admit the defeat of two-state diplomacy and take account of the existing situation confronting Palestinians and Israelis so as to consider alternatives. To come to this point, it might be helpful to explain why the two-state solution has become so irrelevant. Above all, it seems evident that the Likud, which has been long in political control of Israeli never wanted an independent Palestinian state to be established, yet recognized the public relations advantages of not acknowledging this in public or even in private diplomatic communication. Netanyahu let the cat out of the bag when he pledged during his 2015 presidential campaign in Israel that a Palestinian state would never come into existence as long as he was Israel’s leader. This pledge ratified for those Israelis in doubt what was in any event Israeli policy, hoping that making if official only in Hebrew internal discourse would minimize any international backlash. This enabled Israel after the 2015 election to reiterate cynically its receptivity to negotiations within the two-state mantra while continuing to engage in behavior that confirmed for Israelis that such an outcome would never occur.

Perhaps, more fundamental, the settler movement has long passed a point of no return. There are currently in excess of 600,000 Israeli settlers living in more than 130 settlements spread all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settler leaders believe that the settlements have so changed the map of Israel to exclude any possibility of an independent Palestine. Their leaders are now so confident that they openly envisage the settler population becoming 2,000,000. This should finally drive the point home to Palestinian two-staters as well as to world that Israel no longer pretends to be willing to allow a Palestinian state to be established.

True, the Palestinian Authority has long seemed ready to accept even a territorially abridged state, ceding sovereignty over the settlement blocs near the border, although continuing to insist that a the capital of a Palestinian state must be located within Jerusalem. A broad spectrum of Israeli political leaders agree that the future of Jerusalem is non-negotiable, and that the city will remain forever unified under sole Israeli sovereignty and administration. Under these conditions it can be safely concluded that it is no longer plausible for even the PA to continue to support the position that the two-state path to peace between the two peoples can somehow still be revived as the basis of a negotiated resolution of the conflict.

The Arab Accommodation is Tenuous

Israel feels little pressure to seek a political compromise given present conditions. With Trump in the White House and Arab governments scrambling toward normalization and accommodation, Israeli leaders and public opinion seem ill-disposed to make concessions for the sake of peace. As such keeping the two-state non-solution alive as a Zombie scenario is a way to proceed with Israel’s continuing efforts to expand further the settlements while in actuality implementing its coercive version of a one-state solution.

There are strong reasons to feel that this Israeli confidence that the Palestinian demand for rights can be indefinitely ignored is premature and likely to be undermined by events in the near future. For one thing, the Arab moves toward normalization are unstable as is the entire region. If there is a renewal of Arab uprisings, in the spirit of 2011, it is quite possible that support for Palestinian self-determination would abruptly surge to the top of the regional political agenda, likely in a more militant form than ever before. The Arab people, as distinct from the governments, continue to feel deep bonds of solidarity with their Palestinian brothers and sisters, and at some point are almost certain to make their weight felt. As argued earlier, it is people and soft power, not governments, elites, and hard power, that have eventually prevailed since 1945, especially in struggles against colonialism. The Palestinian struggle is the one remaining unfinished colonial war, and there is no reason to believe that it will contradict the pattern of victory for the anti-colonial movement of national empowerment.

Beyond this, should the Trump presidency be defeated in 2020, there is likely to be an Israeli reevaluation of their interests. Such a prospect is heightened by signs that Jewish unconditional support for Israel is dramatically weakening, including in the United States. Furthermore, the global solidarity movement supportive of the Palestinian national movement is spreading, deepening, and growing. It is becoming more militant, engaging moderate global public opinion, and has the symbolic benefit of strong backing in South Africa, which sees the fight for Palestinian rights as analogous to, and even in some ways a continuation of their own anti-apartheid campaign.

What Next?

Two conclusions emerge from this analysis: first, a continued reliance on the two-state diplomacy within a framework that relies on the United States as an intermediary or peace broker is long overdue to being regarded as irrelevant and discredited. Its continued endorsement serves only as a distraction from what might be both possible and desirable. Secondly, despite Israel’s recent gains in acceptance within the Middle East and its absurdly one-sided support in Trump’s Washington, the Palestinian national movement persists, and under certain conditions, could mount a serious challenge to Israel’s colonialism and apartheid structures of governance.

In light of these conclusions, what Is the best course of action? It would seem that only a democratic and secular single state could uphold self-determination for both peoples, holding out a promise of sustainable peace. It would need to be carefully envisioned and promoted with international safeguards along the path toward realization. It does not seem a practical possibility at present, but putting it forward as a reasonable and responsible outcome that can be regarded as just avoids despair and holds out hopes for a humane peace when the time is right. It is helpful to recall that opinion was united in South Africa that the governing elites would never voluntarily abandon their reliance on apartheid, until they did. For such an outcome to happen presupposes a major modification of Israeli identity, above all the acceptance of a secular state implying the abandonment of the statist dimension of the Zionist project.

In such a binational (one state, two nations) situation, the newly created single state could offer national homelands to Jews and Palestinians, while finding a name for the new state that is congenial to both peoples. Maybe this will never happen, but it is the most just and sustainable vision of a peaceful future that responds to decades of diplomatic failure, massive Palestinian suffering and abuse. Above all, such a solution recognizes that is people that possess the moral authority and fulfill political promise of national resistance and global solidarity. Such an understanding would be tantamount to a legislative victory by that still unacknowledged, yet powerful, Parliament of Humanity.

Richard Falk
About Richard Falk

Richard Falk is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967."

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23 Responses

  1. Boomer
    Boomer
    March 1, 2019, 12:56 pm

    re: “Can we imagine a just peace for Palestine”

    As for me, the answer is no, that’s more than I can imagine. But I do have a fantasy about a more just U.S. policy toward Palestinians. It starts with not giving more aid to Israel, which does not need it. Such aid just encourages and enables more bad behavior. Instead, in my fantasy, we direct a comparable amount of money to helping Palestinians, both those who stay in the region and those who want to leave.

    For those in the region, I assume that the Jewish citizens of Israel will decide whether Palestinians live as citizens of Israel, or (more likely) as citizens of some Bantustan. If the first situation applies, we could send our aid to the Palestinians neighborhoods of Greater Israel. If the second situation applies, we could send our aid to the Palestinian Bantustan. Either way, the best my fantasy can muster is something similar to what Rand suggested years ago: http://friendsofthearc.org

    We also could use our money that isn’t going to Israel to finance resettling Palestinian refugees displaced by Israel to other parts of the world that will accept them, including the United States. Having done so much to help Israel displace and oppress them, we owe them that much. We took in about a million Vietnamese after the war there, while a similar number went to other countries. We could and should do as much now for the Palestinians.

    We have given Israel well over $100 billion (quite a bit more, actually). In my fantasy, a few billion a year directed to these ends would not achieve “justice,” but it would be the right thing to do. We could stop helping the oppressor and start helping the oppressed. That much, at least, is in our power.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    March 1, 2019, 6:02 pm

    Thanks for this ray of hope, Mr. Falk!

  3. RoHa
    RoHa
    March 2, 2019, 1:06 am

    Justice can’t be done now. It is possible to make the situation more just than it is now, but that will require a change of heart from the Israeli Jews. They will need to develop a little ordinary human decency.

    “Recent events paint a different picture than this premature Israel triumphalism.”

    Ahem!

    “Recent events paint a picture different from this premature Israel triumphalism.”

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    March 2, 2019, 11:46 am

    I can imagine a just peace for Palestine. I cannot imagine it happening prior to a third world war.

  5. mondonut
    mondonut
    March 2, 2019, 3:56 pm

    A remarkably well written (for this site) essay that unfortunately concludes with a solution identical to the long sought military defeat of Israel. The fantasy of a bi-national state notwithstanding, this is nothing more than the same dream of a unitary Palestinian state from the river to the sea.

    An impoverishment of imagination indeed.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 2, 2019, 5:58 pm

      || mondonut: … An impoverishment of imagination indeed. ||

      Sounds a lot like the Zionist imagination which conceives always and only of Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 2, 2019, 11:45 pm

      ” the same dream of a unitary Palestinian state from the river to the sea.”

      And what could be worse than a unified state in Palestine?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 3, 2019, 12:06 pm

        @RoHa And what could be worse than a unified state in Palestine?

        From Israel’s point of view – not much.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 3, 2019, 11:55 pm

        “From Israel’s point of view – not much.”

        Treating Palestinians with justice and common decency is clearly a terrible prospect.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 4, 2019, 9:30 am

        @RoHa Treating Palestinians with justice and common decency is clearly a terrible prospect.

        As if the only solution for justice and common decency is to eliminate the state of Israel.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 4, 2019, 9:59 am

        || mondonut: … As if the only solution for justice and common decency is to eliminate the state of Israel. ||

        It isn’t the only solution but IMO a better solution is to eliminate religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and implement a 2SS* consisting of two secular and democratic states:
        – established within their respective Partition borders;
        – that exist as the states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally;
        – that advocate and strive to uphold justice, equality and respect for human rights and international laws;
        – that are held responsible and accountable for their respective (war) crimes (past and on-going).
        ________________
        (*Plus a Free City of Jerusalem)

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 4, 2019, 11:12 am

        @eljay but IMO a better solution is to

        Lofty ideals. But neither party wants a secular state and there is no such thing as partition borders.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 4, 2019, 12:29 pm

        || mondonut: @eljay but IMO a better solution is to

        Lofty ideals. ||

        Better my lofty ideals than your supremacist ones.

        || … But neither party wants a secular state … ||

        I don’t know what the Palestinians officially want but Israel has spent the past ~70 years being exceedingly clear that it wants only a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” (in as much as possible of Palestine).

        || … and there is no such thing as partition borders. ||

        Sure there is: Partition borders are the borders that were proposed, that Israel accepted and within which it was officially recognized as a state.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 4, 2019, 6:57 pm

        “… there is no such thing as partition borders.”

        According tot Israel it was proclaimed “within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”. And it was that within these borders it sought recognition from the US:
        http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 5, 2019, 1:05 am

        @Talkback According tot Israel it was proclaimed “within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”

        Israel was proclaimed within its Declaration of Independence, not in a letter to Truman. And the Declaration, while agreeing to cooperate with the UN, did not declare its borders.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 5, 2019, 1:11 am

        @eljay, I don’t know what the Palestinians officially want… borders that were proposed, that Israel accepted…

        You do not know what the Palestinians want? That’s hard to believe given that Hamas makes it pretty damn clear it will be an Islamic State. And no, Israel did not accept borders, they agreed to a UN Resolution that the Arabs refused and the Security Council ignored, making it a dead letter.

        The partition was a proposal that went nowhere and died soon after, your borders are imaginary.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 5, 2019, 1:25 am

        “As if the only solution for justice and common decency is to eliminate the state of Israel.”

        If establishing a unified state in Palestine counts as elimination of the state of Israel, why not eliminate the state of Israel?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 5, 2019, 1:27 am

        “But neither party wants a secular state…”

        I’m sure the Palestinians would prefer a secular state to the current position. The Israeli Jews might not, but why should they get everything they want?

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 5, 2019, 8:12 am

        || mondonut: You do not know what the Palestinians want? … ||

        That’s right: I do not know what the Palestinians want (aside from an end to the evil that you Zionists and your colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” project continue to do to them).

        || … That’s hard to believe given that Hamas makes it pretty damn clear it will be an Islamic State. … ||

        That’s nice, but Hamas is not the Palestinians.

        || … And no, Israel did not accept borders, they agreed to a UN Resolution … ||

        Israel accepted Partition borders and was recognized as a state within them.

        I stand by my assertion that eliminating Israel is not “the only solution for justice and common decency” and that a better solution is to eliminate religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and implement a 2SS* consisting of two secular and democratic states:
        – established within their respective Partition borders;
        – that exist as the states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally;
        – that advocate and strive to uphold justice, equality and respect for human rights and international laws;
        – that are held responsible and accountable for their respective (war) crimes (past and on-going).
        ________________
        (*Plus a Free City of Jerusalem)

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 5, 2019, 10:25 am

        mondonut: “Israel was proclaimed within its Declaration of Independence, not in a letter to Truman. And the Declaration, while agreeing to cooperate with the UN, did not declare its borders.”

        It’s one thing how Israel was declared (Declaration of “Independence”). And it is another thing within which borders statehood was proclamied. And according to Israel’s letter to the US it clearly says that the “state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”.
        https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

        In another letter from the GoI after the first week of proclamation it told the Security Council of the UN what territories it occupied beyond its borders. It wrote:

        “In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, OUTSIDE THE TERRITORY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.” … ” the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel”
        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/b4085a930e0529c98025649d00410973?OpenDocument

        In August 1948 Israel declares “the area of Jerusalem, including most of the city, part of its environment and western approaches” an “Israel-Occupied City”:
        https://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/mfadocuments/yearbook1/pages/2%20jerusalem%20declared%20israel-occupied%20city-%20governm.aspx

  6. just
    just
    March 3, 2019, 7:53 pm

    Thank you for this and all that you have done for justice and for Palestinians in and out of Palestine, Richard Falk. I dream of a just peace for Palestine and agree with Gideon Levy that it nothing will change within Israel and pressure must be exerted from the outside.

    Phil posted an article with video of Gideon Levy in DC @ The National Press Club from March 2018. The entire article/series is well worth the time to revisit. Here’s a bit:

    “Gideon Levy on Israeli denial: ‘Anyone who raises a question is demolished’ …

    … I am very very skeptical about change from within Israel because life in Israel is far too good, and brainwash system is far too efficient. To have a dialogue today with most Israelis citizens is even for me an impossible job…. Brainwash is so deep and the denial is so deep and the ignorance. They know nothing. Anyone in this hall knows so much more about the occupation than any average Israeli, including those who served there in the army… So to expect a change from within this society, when restaurants are packed, when life is beautiful, when there is hardly terror in Israel… The only violent attacks are mainly now in the occupied territories… Tel Aviv is living a very, very peaceful secure life. To expect this society to stand up and say, No more– out of what? What incentive? The hopes for change from within Israeli society are really very, very minimal…. People like me, my only hope is from people like you.

    Trump’s move of the embassy to Jerusalem is good news in the end, for it removes any illusions about the U.S. role.

    It means that the United States has declared officially the death of the two state solution… The United States has declared officially what we have known for many years, the United States is not and cannot be a fair mediator…. United States is officially a friend of the occupation and only of the occupation… For the long run I see it as an achievement, end of the masquerade, end of the lip services. And I’m very grateful, you’ll be surprised, to Donald Trump, who brought us there.

    Activists should fight the Zionist project on three fronts. First, stand up for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against efforts to criminalize it.

    One must be is to fight this unbelievable process of criminalization of criticizing Israel. This must stop and we shouldn’t give up… When they call you anti-Semites– they get paralyzed. If you call someone an anti-Semite in Europe he is paralyzed, and they take advantage of it in a very manipulative way. Don’t let them! You should be proud in raising your voice. BDS right now is the only game in town. BDS is a legitimate tool. Israel is using it, by calling the world to boycott Hamas, to boycott Iran. You have the full right not to buy products from sweat shops in South Asia…. What does it mean that you should apologize for boycotting something that deserves boycott?

    We have one proof why BDS is the right thing to do. Look how Israel gets nervous about BDS, and if they get so nervous about it you can know that is the right way… Those sentences very soon will become a violation of Israeli law. You are not allowed to call people to boycott Israel, but let’s challenge them.

    Two and three– counter Israeli propaganda.

    The second challenge is to try and tear especially in this country the lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We need it desperately… It’s all about telling people the truth. A state that possesses one of the most brutal tyrannies on earth cannot be called a democracy, period.

    The last lie I suggest to you to fight is the lie that all this is temporary…. ’48 never stopped. Let’s remember it. It’s the same policy, those are the same methods. Same brainwash, some explanations and excuses. As long as this continues, no one can claim that this is temporary. The occupation is there to stay.

    The two state solution is over, and we must struggle for equal rights, between river and sea.

    For many years I was a great supporter of the two state solution…. I thought the two state solution is a reasonable and achievable solution. Total justice will never be achieved in this part of the world, and I thought that this would be a relatively fair, just solution…

    The very dramatic fact, today between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, there are exactly 50/50: Six million Palestinians and six million Jews… It is roughly half and half, two peoples equal right now. If someone thinks that one people can dominate another people, and let’s get back to Zionism… the basic of Zionism is that there is one people which is privileged over the other. That is the core. This cannot go on. And if it goes on, it has only one name… apartheid.

    Even if it sounds now like a utopia, even if it sounds now like something unthinkable, it’s time for us now to change the discourse, it’s time for us to talk about equal rights, about one person one vote. Let’s challenge Israel. Israel will say no, then we can officially declare Israel as an apartheid state.

    We shouldn’t give up… I truly believe that Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinian Jews, can live together. We tried it in the past. It is being tried today in all kinds of small frameworks. We can really live together, believe me, I’d rather have a Palestinian prime minister than Yair Lapid or Benjamin Netanyahu.

    In the question period, Levy said that the occupation would not last even for a few months without American support. And that Israel would change if it is truly isolated by Europe, so that Israelis face travel restrictions. Yes, outside pressure will at first unite Israel, but that will soon change.

    I can assure you after the first rhetorics of, we are all united against the world, they hate us, then rationality will come into the picture.

    When Israelis will be prevented from going to Macy’s for their shopping, or to Galeries Lafayette in Paris for their shopping, this is the day that the occupation will be over.”

    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/03/gideon-question-crushed/

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