Civil rights, not separatism – or convenience in daily life?

In the wake of the Israeli elections last week, here are some excerpts from well-positioned commentators…

“…the solution to this issue [Israeli-Palestinian conflict] has not been considered one of civil rights and civil liberties, as was the case in South Africa, as was the case here in the United States over the course of multi-decade, multi-century struggle for equality here. Rather the solution is interpreted to be one of separatism. The idea that the Palestinians will have their own state.

In reality that solution has only been a solution to the Zionist problem. The problem that the Zionists face is that they want the Palestinian geography without Palestinian demography. And so they find themselves in a position now where they occupy the West Bank, and they do not want to let go of the territory, but at the same time they do not want to give the Palestinians there the right to vote, and the right to citizenship, and so on.

And so separatism is seen as a solution to that Zionist problem but it’s no solution to the Palestinian’s problem that include rights to return to their homes, as well as self-determination, and the right to vote, the right to equality and dignity in their homeland, and so on. And so, that issue of separatism has acted really as a fig leaf to distract from an apartheid reality that is only becoming further, and further entrenched.” (Yusef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Palestine Center, responding to an interview question from Dennis J. Bernstein, host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network)

The above exchange is the concluding excerpt from a longer article at Consortiumnews. Click here.

“Whatever this election was about, it wasn’t about making peace with the Palestinians, nor about Israel’s relations with Arab states in the region. It was about what Israelis wanted in their daily lives.” (Patrick Martin, The Globe & Mail, click here)

“WHAT IS the lesson of this election?

The right-religious bloc lost the election, but the “center-left” did not win it, because they could not put forward a credible candidate for prime minister, nor a credible alternative governing party with a solid, comprehensive blueprint for the solution of Israel’s basic problems.

To create such a new force, it is absolutely vital to integrate the Arab citizens in the political process as full-fledged partners. By keeping the Arabs out, the Left is castrating itself. A new Jewish-Arab left, a community of outlook, political language and interests, must be created – and this act of creation must start right now.

The battle for Israel is not lost. Israel’s “move to the right” has been blocked and is far from inevitable. We Israelis are not as crazy as we look.

This battle has ended in a draw. The next round can be won. It depends on us [the Israeli Left].” (Uri Avnery, founder of Gush Shalom, ‘peace bloc’) For the full article, click here. (For a bio about Uri Avnery, click here.)




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