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Another Pipe Dream

By       Message Uri Avnery       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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Source: Gush Shalom


(Image by Illustration Latuff 2009)   Permission   Details   DMCA

WHAT'S WRONG about the demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the "Nation State of the Jewish People"?

Well, practically everything.

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States recognize each other. They don't have to recognize each other's ideological character.

A state is a reality. Ideologies belong to the abstract realm.

When the United States recognized the Soviet Union in 1933, it recognized the state. It did not recognize its communist nature.

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When the PLO recognized the State of Israel in the Oslo agreement, and in the exchange of letters preceding it, it was not asked to recognize its Zionist ideology. When Israel in return recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, it did not recognize any particular Palestinian ideology, secular or religious.

Some Israelis (including myself) would like to change the self-definition of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state," omitting the word "Jewish." Some other Israelis would like to omit or demote the word "democratic." Neither of us believe that we need the confirmation of the Palestinians for this.

It's just none of their business.

I DON'T know what the real intention of Netanyahu is when he presents this demand as an ultimatum.

The most flattering explanation for his ego is that it is just another trick to sabotage the "peace process" before it reaches the demand to evacuate the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. The less flattering explanation is that he really believes in it, that he is driven by some deeply rooted national inferiority complex that needs outside assurance of "legitimacy." Recognizing the "National State of the Jewish People" means accepting the entire Zionist narrative, lock, stock and barrel, starting from the divine promise to Abraham to this very day.

When John Kerry considers whether to include this demand in his Framework Agreement, he should think about this twice.

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Where would this leave his special emissary, Martin Indyk?

Mr. Indyk is a Jew, bearing a Yiddish Name (Indyk means turkey). If Israel is the state of the entire Jewish nation and/or people, he is included willy-nilly. The state of Israel represents him, too. So how can he function as an honest broker between the two warring sides?

And where does this leave the millions of American Jews, now that the conflict between the governments of the US and Israel is deepening? On what side are they? Are they all Jonathan Pollards?

THE NEWLY found independent American voice vis-a-vis Israel drives Israeli rightists to devise more and more weird solutions.

The latest example is Binyamin Netanyahu's brilliant idea: why not leave the Israeli settlers where they are as Palestinian citizens?

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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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