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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/7/16

Optimism of the Will

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Message Uri Avnery
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Reprinted from Gush Shalom

Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Gobierno de Chile, Author: Gobierno de Chile)
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SO NOW we have another anti-Semite. Mazal Tov ("good luck") as we say in Hebrew.

His name is Ban Ki-moon, and he is the Secretary General of the UN. In practice, the highest international official, a kind of World Prime Minister.

He has dared to criticize the Israeli government, as well as the Palestinian Authority, for sabotaging the peace process, and thereby making Israeli-Palestinian peace almost impossible. He emphasized that there is a world-wide consensus about the "Two-state Solution" being the only possible one.

The formulation sounded neutral, but Ban made it quite clear that almost the entire fault lies with the Israeli side. Since the Palestinians are living under a hostile occupation, there is not much they can do one way or the other.

Anyone blaming Israel for anything is, of course, a blatant anti-Semite, the latest addition to a long line, starting with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, a few thousand years ago.

I AM not criticizing Ban, except for being too soft-spoken. Perhaps that is the Korean style. If I had been -- God forbid -- in his place, my formulation would have been a lot sharper.

Contrary to appearances, there is no great difference between Ban and Bibi, as far as the prognosis is concerned. A few weeks ago, Binyamin Netanyahu announced that we shall "forever live by the sword" -- a Biblical phrase going back to the admonition of Avner, King Saul's general, who cried out to King David's general Yoav "Shall the sword devour for ever?" (I always liked Avner and adopted his name.)

But what is good for a patriot like Netanyahu is not good for a Jew-hater like Ban. So to hell with him.

NETANYAHU MAY have disliked Ban's statement that the "Two State Solution" is now the consensus of the entire world. The world except Netanyahu and his cohorts.

That was not always so. Quite the contrary.

The Partition Plan was first adopted by the British Royal Commission appointed after the 1936 Arab Revolt (called "the Events" by the Jews) in which many Arabs, Jews and British soldiers died. In this plan the Jews were allotted only a small part of Palestine, a narrow strip along the sea, but it was the first time in modern history that a Jewish state was envisioned. The idea caused a deep split in the Jewish community in Palestine (called the "Yishuv"), but the outbreak of World War II put an end to the plan.

After the war and the Holocaust, there was a world-wide search for a permanent solution. The General Assembly of the new United Nations decided on the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish leadership formally accepted this, but with the secret intention of enlarging the territory of their state at the first opportunity.

This opportunity came soon enough. The Arabs rejected partition and started a war, in which we conquered much more territory and annexed it to our fledgling state.

With the end of the war, by early 1949, the situation was thus: the enlarged Jewish state, now called Israel, occupied 78% of the country, including West Jerusalem; the Emir of Transjordan retained the West Bank of the Jordan with East Jerusalem and changed his title to King of Jordan; the King of Egypt retained the Gaza Strip.

Palestine had disappeared from the map.

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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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