Tag Archives: israel – palestine peace process

So what does One State solution for #Israel and #Palestine look like?

2 Nov

I don’t believe for a moment that Benjamin Netanyahu really believes in the two-state solution. He says he does, but I don’t believe him.

The reason? As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Netanyahu has shown himself to be the antithesis of the two-state solution. Before the current round of violence began, Mahmoud Abbas was cooperating with Israel in the all-important field of security. Co-operation from his forces was unprecedented. And what did he get for it? a slap in the face, in the form of settlement expansions. In fact settlement expansion between 2009 and 2014 surged under Netanyahu. So while Abbas tried to work with us, the Netanyahu government worked against him.

Meanwhile some people are proposing a “one state” solution as an alternative: Palestinians and Israelis living together in a single state, under one government.

Now let me repeat that again: Palestinians and Israelis living together in a single state, under one government.

Do you have any idea what that would be like? Let me tell you: infinitely more bloodshed and violence than anything we have seen before. And in case you don’t believe me, just watch this video below. Its very accurate.

Netanayahu and his chum Naftali Bennet, the man who has advocated annexing the largest parts of the West Bank (area C-60% of the West Bank) are inadvertently taking us towards the one state solution. No one is saying trying to reach peace will mean you will get peace. But whats more dangerous is doing nothing, or worst, strengthening extremists by expanding settlements and giving Palestinians in the West Bank no incentive whatsoever to work with us, because lets face it, when they did, instead of helping them we hurt them.

I, as a Jew and as an Israeli deserve to have my own state where all of its citiziens live in equality, no matter which race, religion or sex they belong to, as per our declaration of independence.

The Palestinians also deserve to have their own state, next to mine. Two states, for two peoples.

And unless we try, and I emphasize try, to reach some kind of an agreement, two things will be sure: the Palestinians will not have a state, and more importantly (to me), I will no longer have a state either.  Or if I have one it will be the reincarnation of Apartheid South Africa. And we all know what happened to that.


مصاحبه: حمله دیروز به کنیسا در اورشلیم

19 Nov
در مصاحبه امروزم با رادیو بی بی سی فارسی در مرد حمله دیروز به کنیسا در قسمت غربی اورشلیم که 5 نفر کشته به جا گذاشت گفتگو کردم.
به نظر من, حمله دیروز برای همه اسرائیلی ها چه از چپ و چه از راست, عبور از خط قرمز بود.

In Netanyahu vs Obama: the winner is likely to be #Palestine

29 Oct

Make no mistake, after the US midterm elections, Netanyahu is going to take the gloves off. He is going to try to make life hell for Obama in any way he can in order to settle scores with him.

One area where Netanyahu is likely to try to make life difficult for Obama is Iran. If there is a deal between Iran and the P5+1, Netanyahu is likely to try to encourage the Congress to vote against the lifting of the sanctions. Or to slow down the implementation of America’s commitment, in any way possible, so that Obama looks like a lame duck.

And this is where the Palestinians enter the picture and are likely to be the biggest winner.

First scenario: Obama tries to settle scores with Netanyahu by not vetoing a very harsh resolution against Israeli settlements at the UNSC. Likely winner = Palestine as such a resolution is going to make it easier to isolate Israel and impose sanctions against the settlements in the international community.

Second scenario: AIPAC finds itself being pushed by both sides (Obama and Netanyahu), so it decides not to get involved or to reduce its involvement in such a scenario. Likely winner = Palestine. As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the less AIPAC is involved in anything to do with Israel, the better.

Whatever you think of AIPAC, it is an American organization. Despite its excellent relations with Israeli governments, its unlikely that it would want to be seen as standing against the President of the US in a long drawn out battle with the Prime Minister of Israel.  Such fights are the stuff of nightmares for AIPAC as its main goal is to strengthen relations between Israel and US governments. Publicly taking sides in a fight between the leaders of the two countries would be the last thing it wants.

Third scenario (and the less likely one): Obama does not VETO UNSC resolution which recognizes Palestine. Winner = Palestine.

Whatever happens, one of the aforementioned scenarios is likely to be realized and no matter which one is realized, Palestine is likely to be the winner.

Top ten reasons why an independent Palestinian state would be good for #Israel

13 Oct

It takes two sides to make peace. Both Israel and Palestinians have to sacrifice, have to compromise.

However there are some in Israel who are opposed to the creation of an independent state. I am not. I am for it, once negotiations have been completed by both sides. I think it would be good for Israelis too. I have explained the reasons why below.

  1. It will save Israel from the real possibility of becoming a binational apartheid state. This is because demographically speaking, if Israel continues to occupy Palestinian lands in the next 20 years there will be more Palestinians than Israelis living under Israeli rule. Unless there is a state of Palestine, we either have to: – give the Palestinians living under our rule the vote = end of Israel as a Jewish state, or we deprive the majority Palestinians of the right to vote = making Israel an apartheid state.
  2. It will enable Israel to establish diplomatic relations with 57 Arab and Muslim countries, as per the Arab Peace Initiative (API).
  3. Peace with Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian state will mean more trade with Arab countries =  more jobs and revenue for the Israeli economy.
  4. A Palestinian state, with set borders will enable the economy of Palestine to grow. Less poverty and more jobs + an end to the occupation of their land = less reason for the people of Palestine to support Palestinian extremists who only want war against Israel.
  5. The end of occupation will mean more legitimacy for Israel to strike back at terrorists inside Palestinian territory, if they decide to launch attacks from internationally recognized Palestinian borders. The end of occupation of Lebanon in 2000 and return to Israel’s borders has made it infinitely more difficult for Hezbollah to justify new attacks against Israel and more justifiable for Israel to strike back when under attack. Just compare how many attacks there were by Hezbollah against Israeli army and civilian targets during the occupation of Lebanon and how many were after the end of occupation.  The difference is not just big, its huge
  6. The occupation is corrupting Israeli society. Trauma of aggression taught to soldiers to use against Palestinians is brought home by soldiers and at times used against their own family / other members of society
  7. It would be a huge setback for those in the Iranian regime who abuse the Palestinian issue to divert attention from corruption and problems at home.
  8. A major setback for extremist groups such as Al Qaida and ISIS. Not to mention Hezbollah.
  9. The occupation is allowing extremists in the Israeli society to grow and prosper. Inside the West Bank, when a Palestinian commits a crime, any crime, he is arrested and investigated by the army and the SHABAK intelligence services. When an Israeli in the West Bank commits a crime, its the job of the poorer and the less organized police to investigate. This makes it much more difficult to arrest extremists in the West Bank. Case in point: look at how many attacks there have been by extremists against Mosques and Palestinians farmers and citizens in the West Bank.
  10. Many of the illegal settlements (according to Israeli law) are a major economic and military burden for Israel, while interrupting the lives of ordinary Palestinians.

On Gaza: The words of a former Netanyahu adviser

15 Sep

General Amidror

General Yaacov Amidror was the chief of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) under Netanyahu. He resigned last year from the post, due to conflict of interest.

According to Haaretz, ” he has been considered among the prime minister’s closest confidants”. This is why I always read his articles.

The fact that his latest article was published at the Bar Ilan University’s Begin Sadat Centre site gave it even more importance. In my opinion, the writings of this centre also reflect current thinking in the Netanyahu government .

I highly recommend his article “We have to be prepared“.

And the ticking sound you hear is that of the countdown timer until the next war. The reason? in the article you do not find any diplomatic or political recommendations. The same applies to Netanyahu and his way of dealing with the Israel – Palestine conflict.

This Saturday, I will be demonstrating against the current #Israel government

4 Sep

“The right-wing has failed, change the government”.

This is the title of the demonstration which I will be attending this coming Saturday night at 8pm in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv.

The previous demonstration which I attended in Tel Aviv, 3 weeks ago.

The previous demonstration which I attended in Tel Aviv, 3 weeks ago.

“The right-wing has failed to bring the Israeli public peace or security…. It has failed in the negotiations with the PLO.” These are just some of the stated reasons why the organizers of this demonstration are calling for the current Israeli government to step down.

And I agree.

Yes, Hamas did lose the recent war. But what hope do we have for the future when our current government seems to have put its pro-settlement ideology above so many other issues in this country?

We have poverty, we have lack of housing, our classrooms are crowded, the world is about to boycott us. And Netanyahu’s answer: infuriating the world by expanding settlements in the West Bank!

The current government in Israel is champion in making enemies. Its punishing the West Bank Palestinians when they have done nothing wrong. The 3 Israeli teenagers were killed by less than five extremists. By punishing all West Bank Palestinian with settlement expansions, our government will be turning so many people into our enemies.

By expanding the settlements in the West Bank, the Netanyahu government is telling the Palestinians, “we don’t care whether you take part in a war against us like in Gaza, or you maintain peace with us (West Bank). We will collectively punish you regardless.

I love my country. I care for its future. So why should I stay silent?

Would you stay silent if your government was creating more enemies than jobs?

If you are in Tel Aviv and you want to speak up, join us this Saturday evening. Here are the details.

Just attended the rally against racism in Jerusalem

2 Jul

Head of Israel Labour party and opposition leader Isaac Herzog

Just returned from the rally against racism and violence in Jerusalem.

It was wonderful to be there. With so many people who in less than 24 hours after the news regarding a suspected racist attack against a young Palestinian broke out got together to say no to racism.

We are not even sure yet that this was a racist attack. Never mind, our message had to be heard. This is our country and we won’t let the racists win.

I was especially pleased to see the crowd at the anti racism rally after having passed a small gathering by racists chanting “Death to Arabs”.

In total they were about 15 people. Majority of them teenagers. I thought of getting into an argument with them, but please believe me when I tell you that it was not worth it. They looked like such a bunch of boneheads that it would have been a waste of time. Would you argue with someone who was shouting to another woman “do you know what they would do to you in Europe if they find out you are Jewish? They would kill you in Europe.”

The most moving moment at the rally for me was when the head of the Israeli opposition Isaac Herzog came and took pictures among the crowd. He also spoke.

Don’t ask me exactly what he said. By that time I was in a deep conversation in Persian with my Iranian friend Ashkan Safaei who had also attended the rally. He lives in Jerusalem. The conversation lasted 1.5 hours and extended over coffee.

Then I got on the Jerusalem light rail to go to the Central Bus station, and before the doors closed, in walked an elderly gentleman with his daughter.

He started speaking to her in a loud voice, not only in Persian, but in a thick Esfahani accent. He had left Iran only a couple of years ago. Suddenly I found myself listening to him talking about the beauties of Esfahan, and of course, how he knows my entire family, right up to my late grandfather Meir, and my relatives in Israel.

My past and present, in full circle, completed over a single trip to Jerusalem.