A Palestinian family reacts after Israeli bulldozers demolished their home in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Feb. 5, 2013. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Newly elected Israeli Knesset member Yair Lapid (l), leader of the Yesh Atid party, speaks to Naftali Bennett, head of the hard-line national religious party the Jewish Home, during a Feb. 5 reception in Jerusalem marking the opening of the 19th Knesset. (URIEL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)
Richard Curtiss at work in his Washington Report office. (STAFF PHOTO D. HANLEY)
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney (l) and Likud chairman Benyamin Netanyahu, out of office at the time and serving as the official Israeli opposition leader, at a March 23, 2008 breakfast meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (r) shares candies with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim during a Feb. 11 visit to the rebels’ stronghold in Sultan Kudarat on the island of Mindanao. (KARLOS MANLUPIG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Emad Burnat views his five broken cameras in his documentary of the same name. (PHOTO COURTESY KINO LORBER)
July/August 1995, pg. 20
What They Said
Israeli Communications Minister Shulamit Aloni Criticizes AIPAC and Pandering U.S. Senators
(Following is an excerpt from an interview with Israeli Communications Minister Shulamit Aloni of the dovish Meretz party by correspondent Yarm London carried on Jerusalem Channel 2 Television Network in Hebrew on May 26, 1995):
London: This time, it was very unlike you, that you did not draw conclusions about the education the Israeli right wing gives its supporters. You did not link Jacques Avital [who Ms. Aloni said punched her in the stomach at a New York gathering May 21] with the Israeli right wing or orthodoxy. You said it was an isolated incident.
Aloni: I believe AIPAC is a disaster. I think it is a nuisance. It serves the domestic interests of the United States and the Jewish community and not us. The Jerusalem issue is a classic example. For 47 years we wanted the U.S. Embassy to move to Jerusalem. They want it to move now because it is good politics for U.S. senators.
L: Is it important for you for the U.S. Embassy to be located in Jerusalem?
A: It is not important to me now. Today, I think it is a nuisance. We are in the midst of a struggle to build peace here, and Jerusalem is the last issue for discussion. It will be a very difficult problem. America's entry into the issue via the debate taking place there in fact disrupts processes that should be taking place between the two peoples here.
L: Meretz' position on Jerusalem is not clear. The official alignment position is that the discussion on the issue will be put off, and Rabin and others say all of Jerusalem will remain under Israeli rule forever. What do you say?
A: We say that Jerusalem will remain the capital of the State of Israel and that it is our duty to take into account the religious and national needs of its inhabitants.
L: Capital of two independent states?
A: That is one possibility, but it is not a must.
L: But it is not impossible? It does not make you shudder to think that the capital of Arab Palestine will be located in al-Shaykh Jarrah?
A: No, in peace nothing frightens me.
L: Some sort of condominium?
A: I am always shocked when war is a possibility; under peace it does not scare me. I am scared that 170,000 Palestinians live in Jerusalem and do not have rights. I am shocked that it is the religious, cultural and economic center of 1.5 million Palestinians on the West Bank and that access to it is cut off, and that they live in distress, because distress leads to hatred and hatred leads to war or intifada. Therefore, I want us to overcome those things.
L: The political conclusion could be the division of Jerusalem, not in the sense of fences and barriers, but political powers?
A: It could mean that the Palestinian entity, which to me is a nation, and which to others is perhaps not a nation, will have political powers in East Jerusalem. There are those who still hope it will form a confederation with Jordan.
L: I think this is the first time you say that in such an outright way.
A: The time has come to say it because we always put things off. We think that for God we can do things that are forbidden to a democratic and cultured society. A democratic state must not do what has recently been done.
L: But as a cabinet minister you supported the actions.
A: Like what?
L: Land expropriations.
A: No, I did not support land seizures. I regret very much that the decision-making system was such that I did not know about it.
L: Should it not be considered a major political failure when important things take place under the noses of the major partner in the Rabin government and it does not know about it?
A: You can expand that by saying that the largest party did not know either.