The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict Views Of The Future
A future free of ethnocentrism
"The first challenge, then, is to extract acknowledgement from Israel for what it did to us...But then, I believe, we must also hold out the possibility of some form of coexistence in which a new and better life, free of ethnocentrism and religious intolerance, could be available...If we present our claims about the past as ushering in a form of mutuality and coexistence in the future, a long-term positive echo on the Israeli and Western side will reverberate. "Edward Said in "The Progressive", March 1998
The answer? A sovereign Palestinian state.
"The final destination of a Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement has begun to emerge from the political haze. Such a settlement must...give the Palestinian people a sovereign, uncontested, independent state of their own. This is a matter of justice and practicality. If a truly lasting and stable peace is the goal, there is no other option...The mere trappings of statehood will not suffice. The state has to be real and workable. The following are its essential conditions.
Territorial integrity and contiguity...Any further dissection of Palestinian territory would make it politically and economically impossible to maintain a state...There can be no civilian pockets under Israeli rule on Palestinian land...
A sovereign capital in Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is Palestine's historical, spiritual and commercial heart. To exclude it from a Palestinian state is unthinkable... ❑
"Justice and fairness for refugees...As a matter of principle, the Palestinians right to return or be compensated for their lost homes and land is nonnegotiable...Israel must acknowledge the suffering and hardship Palestinian refugees have faced as a result of their eviction from their homeland, and must assist in their rehabilitation and reabsorption." A.S. Khalidi, Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, February 11, 1997.
Palestinian refugees claim to repatriation is realistic, as well as just
Palestinian engineer and parliamentarian Salman Abu Sitta...(showed) that 'the return of the refugees is possible with no appreciable dislocation of Jewish residents.' This is because '78 percent of the Jewish population of Israel lives on only 15 percent of the land'...
"Ironically, the land in the upper Galilee from which a very large percentage of the refugees were driven is so lightly populated because most of the immigrants [that] settled there refused to remain so far from the centers of Israeli urban life in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem...Of those actually cultivating those former Palestinian fields, many are non-Jewish Thais, Rumanians and others slated to return to their countries at the end of their contracts." Richard Curtiss from June 2000 issue of "Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, On Middle East Affairs."
Israeli professor calls for a new Zionism
"It was our nationalism...which drew the country into an occupation and settlement of the West Bank...None of the leaders of the Labor movement believed that the Palestinians deserved the same right [as Jews] because none of them believed in universal rights. Pretending, like [Arthur] Hertzberg and others do, that the Occupation and the colonial situation created in the last thirty years was merely the product of the Arab refusal to recognize Israel, is no more than looking for an alibi and falsifying history...
"The time has come to say that if the settlements in Judea and Samaria or in the very heart of Hebron are the natural, logical and legitimate continuation of the original intention of Zionism, then we need another Zionism. If a 'Jewish State' that does not recognize the absolute equality of all human beings is considered to be closer to the spirit of the founding fathers than a new liberal Zionism, then it is time to say good-bye to the ghosts of the founders, and to start forging for ourselves an identity detached from the mystical ramifications of our religion and the irrational side of our history." Israeli professor of political science, Ze'ev Sternhell, in "Tikkun", May/June 1998.
Sources for further research on Palestine and Israel
These short quotes do not, of course, prove the assertions made here. The historical evidence, however, is overwhelming and is available in fully documented form in the books cited. Particularly useful sources are:
- "Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice" by John Quigley, professor of law at Ohio State University. Duke University Press, 1990.
- "The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel & The Palestinians" by Noam Chomsky, professor at MIT and "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (NY Times). South End Press, 1983.
- "Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel" by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. An honest history of Zionism by a noted Israeli scholar who teaches at Haifa University. Olive Branch Press, 1993.
- "Bitter Harvest" by Sami Hadawi. A very complete look at the documentary evidence of the creation of the state of Israel, by a Palestinian Christian who lived through that period. Caravan Books 1979.
A wealth of information on Palestine/Israel is to be found atwww.geocities.com:0080/CapitolHill/Senate/7891.
Another very useful resource is the Jewish Voice for Peace. To join their mailing list, e-mail[email protected].
Also, the American Educational Trust, publisher of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (a great magazine) has a large selection of books available. Write for their free catalog to:
AET, PO Box 53062
Washington, DC 20009.
Our booklet can also be found on the web at www.cactus48.com
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- Conclusion II
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