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Ilan Pappe on one democratic state

On April 21 in the town of Shefamru we have begun the preparatory meeting for launching the one democratic state initiative.The idea is to bring together under one roof all the movements and individuals who believe in this solution in and outside Palestine and to try and create together a movement of change. The challenge is enormous. The representative bodies of the Palestinian national movement (in Israel and in the PLO) still adhere to the two states solution as do some genuine friends of the Palestinians such as Jeremy Corbyn. The early discussion revealed on the one hand significant questions that still have be discussed from secularism, the future of the West Bank settlements, and the right or the absence of it for collective rights. and more importantly how can such movement be representative and democratic in the present reality. Nothing resolved yet.

On the other hand there was a total agreement on the right of return, the abolition of Zionist institutions and equality (although i think we have to talk about the future economic system as well).

We hope to launch the initiative in September and would love to hear suggestions and responses. The two states solution is dead, even if we were not invited to the funeral, and who know the developments in the region are not all favourable to Israel and make it a great time to push forward this old new idea once more.

The meeting was in Arabic and mainly with Palestinians as we believe that this should be first and foremost a Palestinian project but we will have a separate meeting with anti-Zionist Jewish activists to get more feedback and listen to their suggestions and concerns. Meetings are planned for Gaza, the West Bank and the Naqab.

It is been a while that a meeting made feel optimistic, but i know the people who were there and i feel empowered and hopeful!

Ali Abunimah in Stuttgart on 27 November 2010

Click on image

This presentation took place at this conference

Ali Abunimah: Let the Sun Shine In: Israel lobby tries to censor my appearance at University of New Mexico

October 13, 2010
It has come to my attention that the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Hillel at the University of New Mexico are actively trying to censor
my lecture at the University of New Mexico next month by writing to departments and professors who may co-sponsor it as they co-sponsor countless other educational events on campus. Below is a copy of a letter that has been sent to departments, signed by Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Sara Koplik, Director of Hillel at the University of New Mexico.

Typically, they throw in everything to try to defame and tar me: Hamas, Hizbullah, anti-Semitism, making Jewish students feel uncomfortable — all the usual defamatory silencing tactics to try to suppress debate and discussion about Israel’s apartheid and the alternatives that respect everyone. As they surely know, I have been an unflagging advocate of full equality and human rights for all Palestinians and Israeli Jews and others living in historic Palestine, and am guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Why do they not want students at the University of New Mexico to hear this message?

Instead of trying to censor my speech and intimidate departments from co-sponsoring it with the most lurid, false and manipulative charges, I invite them to attend and to urge students to attend and listen and ask me any questions they want.

Dear XXXXXXXXXX

It has come to our attention that the XXXXXXXXXX Department at UNM is co-presenting an appearance by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada at the University of New Mexico campus on Sunday, November 7th. We are deeply troubled by the implications of the XXXXXXXXXX Department lending its support to this presentation.

As you are likely aware, Abunimah is a representative of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global movement intent on destroying Israel and her credibility in the world. It is an adjunct to what Hamas and Hezbollah are doing frontally, and according to the Anti-Defamation League, “BDS is about the three ‘D’s: “Demonization, Deligitimization, and applying a Double Standard.”

This movement is disinterested in peace, the exchange of ideas or legitimate dialogue. Its tactics deny Israel’s cultural products; deny Israel’s emissaries the right to be heard; delegitimize the Jewish historical ties to Israel; and portray Zionism not as an expression of peoplehood, but as an extension of European colonization.

This is all anti-Semitism in its clearest, most noxious form.

Whatever your personal views are on this matter, you should be aware of two things:

  • The XXXXXXXXXXX Department’s support of this speaker sends a tacit message of support for the anti-Semitic message of BDS;
  • The department’s endorsement sends a chilling message to the Jewish students and faculty of this public institution that the legitimacy of Israel within your department is questioned.

For those who care deeply about true peace, this is not an issue of “equal time” or “balance” on behalf of the pro-Israel perspective. Nor do we oppose Abunimah’s right to speak. Rather, we oppose the patina of respectability that your sponsorship provides to the message of demonizing The Other that is part and parcel of the BDS movement.

We ask in the strongest terms that you reconsider your department’s presentation of Ali Abunimah.

Sam Sokolove
Executive Director
Jewish Federation of New Mexico

Sara Koplik, PhD.
Director
Hillel at the University of New Mexico

 

 

On The Israeli Right’s New ‘Peace’

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As the Israelis are becoming conscious of their inevitable tragic circumstances, a final desperate attempt to rescue the Zionist project has come to life. Astonishingly enough it is the Israeli right that is now pushing for ‘one binational State.’ It is pretty staggering to find out that while the Israeli so-called ‘left’ is locked within the 1967 territorial paradigm that is fueled by Judeo centric racial ideology, it is actually the hawkish Zionist thinkers who are willing to move the discourse forward.

In a mind provoking piece Noam Sheizaf outlines in Haaretz the new revolutionary Israeli idea. However, I will maintain at this stage that the new Zionist call for ‘one binational state’ suggests that Zionist ideology is on its last leg. Israel has come to realise its inevitable end. And amidst its terminal conditions Israel tries to buy time.

Israel should apply its law to “Judea and Samaria and grant citizenship to 1.5 million Palestinians,” says Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense minister, a top leader in the Likud party and a political patron of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Arens is not put off by those who slander him for promoting the idea of a binational Jewish-Palestinian state. “We are already a binational state,” he says.

This approach is now being advocated by leading figures in the Likud and amongst the settlers. A year ago, Uri Elitzur, former chairman of the Yesha Council of Settlements and Netanyahu’s bureau chief in his first term as prime minister, published an article in the settlers’ journal Nekuda calling for the onset of a process, at the conclusion of which the (West Bank) Palestinians will have “a blue ID card (like Israelis), yellow license plates (like Israelis), National Insurance and the right to vote for the Knesset.” Emily Amrousi, a former spokesperson for the Yesha Council, also takes part in meetings between settlers and Palestinians and speaks explicitly of “one land in which the children of settlers and the children of Palestinians will be bused to school together.”

This Zionist political novelty doesn’t take me by complete surprise. Unlike the Jewish left that is tribally orientated both in Israel and in the West, the right wing Zionist philosophy was grounded on a dream of an eternal bond between the Jew and the alleged ‘promised land’. In Zion the Jew was supposed to transcend oneself beyond the race and the tribe. Israel was there to demolish the ghetto wall. As it happened, in practice, Israel had become the biggest ghetto in Jewish history.

However, there is a clear trap here. As much as the peace loving Zionist hawks seem to champion Palestinian civil rights, the vision of a ‘one binational state’ is still totally Judeo centric. The Israeli advocates of the one binational state are not talking about a neutral “state of all its citizens”, nor about “Israstine” with a flag showing a crescent and a Shield of David. One state still means a sovereign Jewish state, but in a more complex reality, and inspired by the vision of a “democratic Jewish state” without an occupation and without apartheid, without fences and separations.

One may wonder at this stage what the notion of “Jewish democratic state” stands for. It is obviously an empty signifier, there is no such a thing as Jewish democracy. As far as I remember Democracy was born in Athens rather than Jerusalem. And yet, the dream is compelling. In such a state, “Jews will be able to live in Hebron and pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and a Palestinian from Ramallah will be able to serve as an ambassador and live in Tel Aviv or simply enjoy ice cream on the city’s seashore.”

It is clear beyond doubt that a coin has dropped. Some Israeli hawks have come to realise that the occupation cannot be maintained forever. They were also quick to grasp that, in the long run, the separation wall put an end to the Zionist expansionist program. They also gather that the negative exposure of Jewish lobbies in the West will eventually lead to the down scaling of Israeli political maneuvering.

However, the Zionist tribal orientation is never too difficult to trace. When Elitzur was asked “What do you say to the allegations that you have joined the radical left?” he was quick to reveal his political mantra.

“There’s a clear separation between us. I am talking about a Jewish state, the state of the Jewish people, which will contain a large Arab minority. The left is talking about an Arab state containing a Jewish minority, even if they do not explicitly think that. The leftist demonstrators in (the West Bank village of) Bil’in have totally joined the Palestinian cause.”

I guess that this what it is all about. The Israeli hawks want to counter the inevitable ‘demographic disaster’. They would offer West Bank Palestinians Israeli ID cards, and offer them to “enjoy ice cream in Tel Aviv” as long as they are kept as a minority. The Israeli hawks ignore Gaza and the right of return. In practice they dismiss the Palestinian cause for they are certain that the Jewish one is superior. In short, this is not a solution or a resolution. It is just another Zionist spin that is planted in our discourse in order to disseminate confusion.

source

The Israel/Palestine one-state solution sounds like a good idea, but…

Solving the problem of Israel/Palestine isn’t rocket science: the solution is obvious. We just have to get serious about it

By Roger Tucker

18 June 2010

Roger Tucker outlines the case for a one-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, arguing that this is the only formula that would provide peace, justice and security for Jews and Palestinians and avoid a possible catastrophe for the rest of the world.

read

Shocker: Speaker of Knesset calls for making one state with Palestinian citizens

bandannie : applied fairly it is the only solution

by Philip Weiss on April 29, 2010 · 41 comments

Amazing. My heart is leaping. Once again, the Israeli press and the Israeli discourse is way ahead of the American one, where the belief in a thriving “Jewish democracy” stops all free thinking. Here is the speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, saying that Palestinians are a part of Israel, we ate the West Bank a long time ago, so let’s forget about this two-state crap and make them citizens. He meets Ali Abunimah on Abunimah’s fair and democratic ground. He dismisses the New Republic’s hysteria about the delegitimization of the Jewish state. He answers the great challenge to the Israeli psyche– At the end of every sentence in Hebrew is an Arab smoking a hookah– with ringing affirmation.

Note that Rivlin is a Likudnik, about the same age as Judge Goldstone. Note that you will never see such creative thinking in Washington, where the Diaspora Jews are about 50 lightyears behind the realities of the Middle East, locked in fearful, reactive Holocaust consciousness and dumb to the murderous occupation and the cycle of violence. Will anyone in the US pick up the ball? Put another way, How many times have friends murmured to me, I’d be for a binational state [translation, I’d be for democracy] if only there wouldn’t be a ton of bloodshed getting there. I’ve murmured that myself. Well isn’t that just a matter of imagining? The most disputed territory is the space between American Jews’ ears. Enough drumroll, Haaretz:

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Thursday that he would rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution.

Speaking during a meeting with Greece’s ambassador to Israel Kyriakos Loukakis, Rivlin said that he did not see any point of Israel signing a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority as he did not believe PA President Mahmoud Abbas “could deliver the goods.”

Referring to the possibility that such an agreement could be reached, Rivlin said: “I would rather Palestinians as citizens of this country over dividing the land up.”

source

Israel: The Alternative

By Tony Judt
2003
The Middle East peace process is finished. It did not die: it was killed. Mahmoud Abbas was undermined by the President of the Palestinian Authority and humiliated by the Prime Minister of Israel. His successor awaits a similar fate. Israel continues to mock its American patron, building illegal settlements in cynical disregard of the “road map.” The President of the United States of America has been reduced to a ventriloquist’s dummy, pitifully reciting the Israeli cabinet line: “It’s all Arafat’s fault.” Israelis themselves grimly await the next bomber. Palestinian Arabs, corralled into shrinking Bantustans, subsist on EU handouts. On the corpse-strewn landscape of the Fertile Crescent, Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat, and a handful of terrorists can all claim victory, and they do. Have we reached the end of the road? What is to be done?

read here

The Inevitable Bi-national Regime

BenvenistiJanuary 2010

The article below, an extract from a longer book, was published today in the Hebrew edition of Ha’aretz. It did not appear in the English edition but has been translated by Profs Zalman Amit and Daphna Levitt and circualted by email.

Introduction to an interview with Benvenisti in Challenge magazine, # 99, September – October 2006

Meron Benvenisti’s unflinching analyses often cause squirming both on the Right and the Left. He served as Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in the 1970’s, administering the city’s annexed Arab sections. In the 1980’s, before the first Intifada, he founded and directed the West Bank Data Project, an eye-opener with regard to the effects of Israel’s policies. His most controversial conclusion was that these policies amounted to de facto annexation. He claimed that because of the settlements (then a mere smattering compared to today), the situation had become irreversible. As a corollary, Benvenisti has long maintained that, given the realities of population and resources, the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean cannot accommodate two states.

read on

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