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Thou Shalt Not Kill (Thyself)

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The Crusaders felt a stronger sense of belonging to Christendom than to the local Kingdom of Jerusalem. Today, many Israelis feel themselves first of all as Jews, belonging to a world-wide people, and only in second place Israelis.

That makes emigration easier.

A state without democracy, without equality, condemned by itself to an endless war, dominated by religious fanatics, with the gap between the abject poor and a handful of immensely rich growing from year to year -- such a state will look less and less attractive to bright young people, who can easily find a better life elsewhere, while retaining their Jewish identity.

That, too, is a kind of national suicide.

I AM not, by nature, a prophet of doom. Quite the contrary.

We can easily avert all these dangers. But first of all we must recognize them and see where they are leading us.

I believe that the people of Israel -- the Israeli nation -- have the will to survive. But in order to survive, they must wake up from their apathetic stupor and change course -- turning towards peace based on the two-state solution, separating the state from religion and building a new social order.

In the Jewish religion, suicide is a sin. It would be ironic if future historians were to conclude that the "Jewish State" committed suicide.

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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