15 thoughts on “Grossman at Rabin Memorial: ‘Think How Close We Are to Losing All We Have Created Here’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. ‘Then imitate the action of the tiger……’

    Mr. Grossman was indeed eloquent and passionate in his address and his comments resonate deeply in a deteriorating situation. But he does seem to despair of any lasting termination in the violence. There are more than enough reason for doing so. Stating the obvious it may be but, after so long a time at war, can any peace proposal now – from either side – have even the smallest chance of success? His observations, eminently valid though they be, might just as well have been addressed to the wind. They call attention to all the horrors of war, especially that slow grinding down of the human mind and spirit, but do they offer any real prospects for peace? It could be that the belligerents will just be a little more circumspect in their activities from now on – but even this I rather doubt.

    The problem is thus. As time passes, present troubles tend to be eclipsed by even more immediate ones, with deeper fears, fainter hopes. War has that quality, that abundant staying power to generate and sustain itself with little regard to external forces. Peace will always have a more difficult time of it. If only some of that same awesome power could be injected into the latter, what then might not be accomplished?

    Could the answer lie in peace emulating war, taking unto itself that peculiar talent for survival so long enjoyed by its counterpart? Only by waging war on war itself may we yet see this business brought to some credible – and creditable – finale.

    . Can it really be beyond the compass of the human mind to at least regulate this constant cycle of carnage in the Middle East? Maybe it is – but here’s a suggestion for closure where the expenditure involved would seem to comprise mainly that of a few brain cells, a commodity we all have in plentiful supply.

    This is a dry, almost antiseptic solution, perhaps a bit ‘clinical’ in its approach to the conflict. It’s a formula-driven method which, somewhat perversely, derives an unexpected synergy from the very problem it seeks to address. Worked out by a German I met many years ago in Nurnburg. Very Germanic therefore, very direct – and, in its own fashion, arguably much more effective than many peace proposals floated in the past – and which have now long since sunk without trace.

    Monitor events in the region, sample and evaluate any incidents involving violence and/or intolerance, even the quite minor ones. Place on record that which occurs and make a determination/estimation as to whether this side or that is deemed responsible. For instance, something happens; it was violent; it seemed deliberate; people were hurt; property was damaged – so on and so forth. This was judged at the time to be Israeli in origin – or it was Palestinian inspired. Can include a default option too – ‘perpetrated by person or persons unknown’ – if circumstances so dictate. Collate all this information and await the next sequence of bombs, bullets, whatever, that happens along. Do likewise with these and continue monitoring.

    At some stage – a time limit, a points cut-off – the sampling process terminates and one of the entries thus catalogued is then randomly selected. Penalise the offending party here by conferring full ownership and title of some nominal area of land on its opposite number. One square kilometre should more than suffice, the transfer of which is formally recognised by the rest of the world – also acting as guarantor – even if only in the moral and legal sense. One of the much maligned UN resolutions perhaps?

    The sampling process then re-engages and, assuming the violence continues unabated, a further parcel of land is thereby delineated and assigned to whoever. The area this covers would then be some 2 sq. km. Subsequent infractions might trigger another penalty; 4 sq. km. After that, it’s 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 sq. km. …….XXXX sq. km. A natural progression; soon ramps up to some very serious real estate indeed.

    The dynamic of the whole situation now changes markedly. Israelis, through violence and the like, would be seen to be promoting, even ratifying, the Palestinian cause while, similarly, Palestinians might well be perceived as carrying forward and cementing the dream of a permanent Jewish homeland. Prospects guaranteed to give even the most militant in either camp considerable pause for thought. ‘He brought home the other sides’ bacon for them’ – quite possibly the least coveted obituary of ‘martyr’, soldier and politician alike. Very salutary, though, if a permanent end to these hostilities is ever going to emerge from the present fog of contention.

    Now, back there in Nurnburg, I felt that, as a theory, the concept had some small merit but little practical value. And I said as much to my German companion, detailing what I felt to be major obstacles in its path.

    1. Too biased. The Israelis might go for it – the novelty alone makes it an idea worth exploring. Not so the Palestinians – and with some justification. Yes, this might lock down the violence – and appreciably so – but to what end? To preserve the status quo? To stifle any movement towards change or progress? Not entirely a welcome outcome where Palestinian interests are concerned.

    The answer, apparently, is to acknowledge the objection and offer to take the system ‘off-line’ for one or two months. In that time slot, the whole question might readily be referred back to the field of battle – if calmer counsels have not prevailed in the interval.

    2. Too easily sabotaged. Disaffected elements in both groups could easily overload the process, manufacturing spurious claims and stage-managing acts of violence. A futile endeavour therefore and not worth the effort.

    Any halfway decent sampling technique should be more than adequate to discourage such activities. Those seeking to choreograph events could find their efforts ineffective, or worse still, counterproductive.

    3. Wouldn’t it be imperative to obtain at least tacit approval from both principals in this matter? Given the long-standing enmity between them, acceptance of so radical a departure from familiar norms and customs of warfare seems doubtful in the extreme.

    Curiously enough, agreement on the issue need not be a mandatory requirement here. In fact both parties could initially ignore the whole procedure and continue on much as before. However, there comes a time when the areas of land so designated must reach something of a critical mass. At such a point, one side or the other might very well decide to go with what’s on offer. Holding such clear and universal title to any major tract of this much disputed territory might prove progressively more and more difficult to resist. Thereafter, further violence becomes increasingly untenable. Fighting against a conventional enemy is all very well – but when that enemy is also a mathematical construct, the numbers themselves soon begin to outweigh all other considerations.

    4. But who could – or should – debate, decide, pronounce on changes of such magnitude? Who would accept the awesome responsibility entailed in decisions of this significance?

    We are all, it seems, as ever, still our brothers keeper. It must fall to us, the world community – or representatives thereof – to perform the deed. And, with such godlike powers theirs to command, the expectation is that there would be no great shortage of volunteers.

    Now whether all this has any relevance as to our view of the Middle East today is, of course, debatable. But it would be well to note that, in our various dealings with the Angel of Death, any increase in our choices here must certainly be welcome. A template capable of ending once and for all, not just this business, but also others of an equally intractable nature, would go a long way towards making some sense out of all that’s happened – even if only as an intellectual exercise.

    And if, for some reason, it didn’t work out, some unforeseen flaw in the design perhaps, well then, we could at least comfort ourselves with the knowledge that, in the final analysis, – we can always blame the Germans!

    John Yorke,

  2. palestine is ours. The Jews need to exercise their right of return so we can exercise ours. Perhaps Gorge Soros can fund this exodus with the billions he has stolen in Malaysian currency speculations. The ideology behind israel is real estate, the ideology behind Palestine is justice. The longer we struggle, the more nations recognize the justice of our positions

  3. palestine is ours.

    Pure propagandistic nonsense. In your case, sloganeering substitutes for thought. Palestine is no more yours than it is Israel’s. You Neanderthal haters will never succeed in yr visions of ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. Just like with the rightist pro-Israel crowd, I will delight when there is peace and Palestinians & Israelis begin to live in peace & contradict by their co-existence the hate & venom that spews forth fr. the mouths of people like you.

    The ideology behind israel is real estate, the ideology behind Palestine is justice.

    It sounds nice. But unfortunately it’s utter bullshit. Each nationalist ideology has both justice & injustice integrally bound up within its actions. Palestine nationalism is no more, nor no less just than Zionism.

    The longer you struggle the longer the world tires of your death wish. And I say the same to Israelis and about Israel. The longer it oppresses the Palestinians the less sympathy Israel invokes in the world community. You don’t get it. People are tired of both our nations wanting to fight to the death. The world wants us to get over it & figure out a way to coexist. Clearly, the solution won’t come from the likes of you.

    You’re just as bad as the Israeli extremists. You mirror ea. other perfectly. A match made in heaven.

  4. The problem is such. Palestine was stolen by people with no claim to it. Your right wing is at least more honest. It says that we stole Palestine because we are stronger, and we are going to hold it, because we are stronger. Your left wing, which Im afraid includes you says, yes, we stole it, but we want to cloak our theft with a gloss of morality. Therefore we try to legitimize our theft by enlisting the United Nations and the world community.
    You say that the world is tired of our death wish. On what basis do you think so? Nobel Prize winners including Jimmy Carter, Shirin Abadi, Desmond Tutu, adn Jose Saramego all consider Israel the main threat to world peace. 20 years ago, you claimed there are no Palestinian people. 10 years ago, you were clamoring for two states. Now, your own intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Meron Benveniste, and Tony Judt all believe that Israel must be dismantled because it is a threat to justice and peace. We are winning and our strategy of resistance is highly effective

  5. Palestine was stolen by people with no claim to it.

    You are a liar & a fraud. Certainly the Palestinians have a perfectly valid claim to the land. But Jews have no less a claim. To deny this means you are so befogged & besotted w. yr cause that you refuse to recognize reality. The Jews had their own kingdoms ruling this land for centuries. They have maintained a constant presence in this land for millenia. They never renounced their bond to the land. If I can grant the same valid claim to Palestinians why can’t you do the same for Jews/Israelis?

    Your left wing, which Im afraid includes you says, yes, we stole it, but we want to cloak our theft with a gloss of morality.

    Utter bullshit. The reality is much more complicated than you make it out to be. I believe there was a theft in 1948 & subsequently in the same way that I maintain that the U.S. stole the Native American patrimony fr. them in the 19th century. So because a great crime was committed does that mean it invalidates a nation’s claim to existence. Of course not. Only blind propagandists like you try to say otherwise.

    And how am I cloaking the theft in a gloss of morality? This is more bullshit. I guess what angers you so is that I maintain that this theft was a perversion of true Zionism, which would not countenance such crimes. You prefer a Zionism with horns, totally diabolic because it makes such a nice caricature for you to stick your pins in. Well, I know Zionism warts and all. What you call Zionism is an evil figment of yr imagination.

    Nobel Prize winners including Jimmy Carter, Shirin Abadi, Desmond Tutu, adn Jose Saramego all consider Israel the main threat to world peace.

    “Main threat?” Prove it. You can’t. I’m certain that they think Israel is A threat to world peace & I would agree with them. But the only reason they don’t include Palestinians or Hezbollah as a threat to world peace is that they don’t (yet) have the arsenal to bring about mass destruction. As of now, they can only kill discreetly in the tens or hundreds at a time.

    20 years ago, you claimed there are no Palestinian people.

    You’re a blithering idiot. I never ever made this claim. I have always fought against this claim since 1967 when I first became involved with progressive Zionism.

    your own intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Meron Benveniste, and Tony Judt all believe that Israel must be dismantled

    More blithering idiocy. I have been reading Meron Benvenisti for 30 years & not once have I ever read a statement saying he believed in the “dismantling” of Israel. Again, prove it. If you can’t then shut up. As for the other three, they’re entitled to their opinions. They’re in a minority. A pitifully small minority. I sympathize with many of their arguments but not with their overall judgment of what should be done. Would you like me to match yr 3 intellectuals with 50 or 100 equally distinguished who believe in a 2 state solution? Would that make a diff.? Of course not. Your 3 own the truth and my 50 are all charlatans.

    What a nice convenient system you’ve got going for you. Never troubled by any thoughts that run counter to yr prejudices. It’s a good thing you’ve got going for you. You stew in yr own juices & hatred nursing a grudge for all eternity. Meanwhile, the only ones who suffer are your Palestinians (& Israelis of course). But you’re happy to let them spill their blood & not yours as you sit at home nursing a drink by the fire. Very cozy life you’ve got. Unfortunately, the lives of yr compatriots are not cozy. They die. They bleed. And largely because of Know Nothings like you. Israel’s brutality doesn’t help the situation of course. But you are a perfect match for Israeli leaders. You both proffer a vision of neverending death, violence, & human sacrifice.

    We are winning and our strategy of resistance is highly effective

    Dream on Macduff. What are you “winning?” More death, more bullets, more starvation, more privation, more needless deaths from lack of medicine?? Oh yes, you fight because in some imaginary future there will a sovereign Palestinian state in all of “Palestine” with the Jews displaced & sent God knows where. BTW, you’d love Benny Elon’s proposal to transfer Israeli Arabs to Bulgaria. With a few minor changes you could adapt the plan for yr own purposes. I do think however that you should out of courtesy give a credit to Elon for coming up with it before you.

  6. .

    Making the world a better place?

    How does killing innocent women and children achieve this objective? And can martydom/suicide attacks ever herald even the smallest advance in that direction? Does being validated by historical or divine authority justify the taking or imperilling of even one single human life? No, these are but the tragic by-products of an inability to resolve the situation. They serve only to exacerbate the symptoms, symptoms of a disease as old as Man himself. The territorial imperative is just as dominant in us as when the first cavemen disputed the first waterhole, when the first tribes fought over possession of the best arable land. Justice and legitimacy then, as now, were concepts rarely in attendance. But backtracking over the rights and wrongs in the Palestinian/Israeli dispute serves merely to catalogue the repeated failures of rational human beings caught between diametrically opposed positions. Best leave all that for another time. If justice and legitimacy are to have any dominion over the contested lands of Israel/Palestine then that justice and legitimacy must be massively enhanced, brought up-to-date and to a point where peace becomes the exclusive consideration of all concerned. A cessation in the violence – or at least a significant moratorium on its use – must be the primary requirement. Without this, all the rest is an object lesson in futility.

    To that end, all it may require of us ‘rational human beings to contemplate a peace process focused solely on that one single purpose.

    As an example, you might care to return to my first comment above.

  7. While Amin is wrong about everything else, he is spot on when he described Meron Benveniste as an opponent of Israel (see below). A binational state would result in the biggest pogrom since the Holocaust. Benveniste knows this, and wants this to happen

    The Injustice of the New Formula-by Meron Benvenisti

    In recent weeks, the discussion of the chances of the struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state as a way to resolve the conflict has become sharper and more profound, and alternatives to the formula “two states for two peoples” have been raised; despair over implementing this solution is reinforcing the idea of “one binational state.”

    As long as there were only “a few more or less naïve Israelis, who were caught up in the foolish idea of a binational state” (Avraham Tal, Haaretz, October 14), the issue could be treated with condescending dismissiveness.

    But when the matter is starting to be discussed by groups and people who belong to the heart of the political and military establishment in both the Israeli and the Palestinian camps, and the attention being devoted to it by pundits and journalists the world over is reaching new heights, the sense heightens that a process of a paradigm change has begun, and that it won’t be long before a contest erupts as to who owns the patent for the new formula.

    After all, the slogan “two states” is less than 20 years old, and many of those who are rejecting the binational formula scornfully and aggressively had the same hostile attitude toward the two-state formula, until it gained legitimacy – after being emptied of meaning.

    The formula of two states for two peoples is being attacked from different angles and for contradictory reasons. It is also characterized from the outset by willful obstruction, whose implementation leads to the inevitable conclusions.

    The Israelis who did their utmost to destroy any chance of the two-state solution are now looking for a way out of the disaster they have brought upon themselves with their own hands.

    First of all, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gets Israel involved in a bitter debate about “the disengagement,” which threatens a national rift, just to bring about a situation in which “this entire package that is called the Palestinian state will disappear from our agenda for an unlimited period of time.”

    And afterward, when it turns out that Israel has in fact succeeded in teaching the world that there is “no one to talk to” (on the Palestinian side), the top military echelons leak to Aluf Benn (Haaretz, October 19) that it may be worthwhile to examine the possibility of returning to the pre-1967 situation and to hand over the occupied territories to Syria, Jordan and Egypt – and thus to abandon “the failed attempt to share the country with Arafat and his cronies.”

    The very idea that the Arab countries would agree to function as Israel’s storm troopers for the occupation is a mad notion, bordering on chutzpah. But anyone who bases the occupation regime (and the disengagement plan) on the generosity of the donor countries and the UN agencies – and is not ashamed to humiliate them and to insult their emissaries – will not hesitate to blame the “Arabs” for the situation that has been created, and to proclaim his own innocence.

    It is the very processes of unilateral disengagement – the separation fence and the evacuation of the Gaza Strip, that ostensibly are implementing the territorial division of Eretz Israel and distancing the nightmare of a binational state, which in fact are laying the foundations for the binational reality and destroying the option of two states for two peoples.

    The Israelis believe that the fence turns the conflict into a border dispute, and that disengagement from Gaza alleviates the “demographic problem.”

    However, in effect, the fence and the evacuation create total dependence by defenseless Palestinian cantons. Thus a de facto binational state is being established, which contains many deceptive indicators that enable us to nurture the illusion that it is not such a state, and even to make us feel that the worst of all evils – a binational state has been prevented. The Palestinians, who correctly under- stand the significance of the processes – and who are unable to enjoy the luxury of fooling themselves – sense that Israeli activity has in fact made the two-state option impossible, and therefore there must be a return to a one state strategy.

    It must be mentioned repeatedly that a binational regime is not a prescription, but a description of the existing situation. The trouble is that the binational danger is being treated only as a possible future problem. The danger of a binational state is illustrated by its opponents not by exposing the racist and discriminatory components that are becoming rooted in everyday existence – and that are clear to everyone, except for the Israelis themselves – but by raising the empty threat called a demographic danger.

    The Israelis consider “womb-to-womb combat” more dangerous than their slide down the slope of racism and delegitimization.

    Just as a “Palestinian state” is the vessel into which the Israelis throw all the injustices of the past, so a “binational state” is a refuge for all those who fear the future, an empty threat whose purpose is to present undefined dilemmas and theoretical constitutional constructs. In the conditions prevailing today, what difference does it make whether a person supports two states or one?

    This preoccupation is only an escape from genuine and immediate problems that stem from the injustices of oppression, from the damage to basic human rights and from racism. How easy it is to fall into the trap of slogans.

  8. Herbert Kaine: Thanks for that fascinating article. Glad you also agree w. me about Amin.

    But I totally disagree with you that Benvenisti is an “opponent of Israel.” And I’m afraid we’ll have to “dismantle” Amin’s notion that Benvenisti wishes to “dismantle Israel.” He is an ardent opponent of Israeli policy, but that is far different than saying you want to see Israel destroyed or subsumed within an Arab majority single state. And he certainly does not share the Chomsky-Finkelstein ‘utopian’ one-state vision in which both peoples live together supposedly in peace & tranquility.

    I think something more subtle is going on in Benvenisti’s article. I would argue that Benvenisti does prefer the two-state solution. However, he realizes that given the self-destructiveness of Israeli policy, that it is Israel that is rapidly destroying the possibility for a real 2 state solution. He would argue that Israel is headed not for a Chomskyan one-state solution; but rather for a South African apartheid solution in which two peoples live in the same land, but in utterly dominant-dominated mode. Benvenisti argues that Israel is headed down the road of becoming a racist, subjugating state. This too is a one-state solution (he calls it a ‘bi-national state’), but far diff. than what the anti-Zionist utopians posit. And this is certainly not a situation that he anticipates with relish.

  9. If you read Benveniste’s other articles in Haaretz, you will find explicit support of a binational state. As deputy mayor of Jerusalem in 1967, he opposed Jews trying to reclaim properties in the Old City, prefering to keep the ethnically cleansed status of the Old City. He seems to agree with Israeli artist Igal Tumarkin, who is famous for his pictures of pigs wearing tefillin, and for his slogan “After 1967, Jerusalem became ugly”. Benveniste is routinely quoted on neo-Nazi websites, and may have served as inspiration for Arab claims, including Amin’s, that there is no Jewish claim to the land of Israel. I think it is important to listen to the repulsive claims of Amin, because in my experience, he represents the majority of Palestinian opinion, and they do believe that they are winning. Together with the Iranian drive for the nuclear bomb, and the Hezbollah war, they believe they are on a roll

  10. If you read Benveniste’s other articles in Haaretz, you will find explicit support of a binational state.

    I read him there pretty religiously & haven’t read such sentiments. If you find anything more specific feel free to bring it to my attention.

    he opposed Jews trying to reclaim properties in the Old City, prefering to keep the ethnically cleansed status of the Old City.

    In this blog, I don’t go in much for propaganda slogans full of rhetoric & empty of meaning. “Ethnic cleansing” in the context of the I-P conflict is definitely one of those phrases I detest. Instead of using that term, I could just as easily (& much more truthfully) describe Jewish rightist efforts to reclaim the Jewish Quarter as a land grab at the expense of Palestinians who’d lived there for generations. The question is do you want to right some wrong done 60 years ago when Jews were displaced fr. the Quarter by the Jordanians; or do you want to create a solution that will ensure peace for our children & generations to come? Wisely, Benvenisti foresaw that such expropriations in the Jewish Quarter would create hatred & conflict bet. the 2 communities. And guess what, it did precisely that.

    He seems to agree with Israeli artist Igal Tumarkin, who is famous for his pictures of pigs wearing tefillin

    “He seems to agree?” Do you think you can pass this off as legitimate argument in this blog? That’s rich. If you want to cast calumnies like that around you’ll have to be a lot more definitive than “he seems.” You have no evidence that he believes this because he doesn’t.

    Benveniste is routinely quoted on neo-Nazi websites

    Again, a completely illegitimate argument. Even the devil quotes Scripture. I’ve been linked & quoted in Holocaust Revisionist websites (in addition to being linked, quoted & reviled in countless rightist pro-Israel sites). You can’t judge the truth, credibility or quality of anyone’s thought based on who quotes them. That’s simply ridiculous.

    [He] may have served as inspiration for Arab claims, including Amin’s, that there is no Jewish claim to the land of Israel.

    “May have?” What does “may have” mean? Either he served as inspiration or he didn’t. If you believe he did, then show it. If you can’t, then you have no case. And Benvenisti does NOT believe that there is no Jewish claim to the land. What he does believe is that are equally valid & worthy claims put forward by both sides. This is what really gets yr goat. For a Jew & Israeli to accept that the Palestinians have an equal claim to the land. That sticks in yr craw. Well let it. Get used to it. Whether you like it or not, the final resolution of this conflict will involve 2 peoples living together side by side (though not necessarily in a single state). Neither will have a superior claim to anything. And that’s as it should be.

    I think it is important to listen to the repulsive claims of Amin, because in my experience, he represents the majority of Palestinian opinion

    While I agree w. the first part of yr assertion, you are dead wrong about the 2nd part. I have covered here many surveys produced by diverse sources, including one conducted jointly by Palestinian pollsters & Hebrew University researchers, of Palestinian political opinion in this blog. Such opinion is uniformly moderate on the major political issues. Palestinians are in favor of negotiation with Israel. They are willing to accept a solution involving ending hostilities & terror attacks & recognizing Israel in return for Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. They are willing to accept the 2002 Saudi initiative. Amin in no way represents the majority of those who live in the Territories.

    they believe they are on a roll

    Do you have a heart, a brain & eyes in yr head? “On a roll?” How can they believe they’re on a roll when hundreds are killed, their babies die of malnutrition, their sick cannot get medicines or hospital treatment, they have no salaries? These people are not stupid nor are they the raving ideologues you make them out to be. They know they are in Israel’s death grip. They know that compromise is the only way out of this. But as long as Olmert refuses to engage in negotiations what are they supposed to do? Just lay themselves in their coffins & prepare for death? No, they’re not going to make it that easy. I read both the Israeli & Palestinian press plus blogs on both sides & I’ve never read a Palestinian resident in the Territories who believes they are “on a roll.”

    Amin does not live in the Territories I am sure. As I wrote above, he has the luxury of sitting in his easy chair & directing the coming Palestinian “victory” while others will actually shed the blood on his behalf. But till you live there or really put yourself in their shoes, you just don’t know what it’s like.

  11. Sorry-I live in close proximity to Palestinians and even those who help build construction in settlements east of the Green line are confident that they are winning. They liken their situation of childhood leukemia. The initial chemotherapy is rough, they lose weight and vomit, but they feel the prognosis for a cure in the long term is good. The Palestinians do not measure their success in how many trips abroad they make, or how many restaurants they eat in. I dont know where Amin lives, but the majority of Palestinians that I have met would at least agree with him. Im certain you dont live in the territories. If you believe I am wrong, spend a few days in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, etc

  12. One other comment. You believe that Meron Benveniste supports your point of view. Amin believes that Benveniste supports his point of view. You could settle this argument by providing sources within the last 2 years that show Benveniste’s support for a Jewish state. Unless you provide evidence to the contrary, I believe the preponderance of the evidence supports Amin in the case of Benveniste

  13. I live in close proximity to Palestinians and even those who help build construction in settlements east of the Green line are confident that they are winning.

    I’m sorry but I have no confidence that you have yr pulse on the true heartbeat of Palestinian society. Look through this site for the many Israeli & Palestinian political opininon surveys I’ve provided. All Palestinian survey uniformly find that the majority wants peace along the lines I’ve outlined here & is willing to renounce violence & recognize Israel to get it. Hamas may not fully share those views but even in the last election Hamas did not get a majority of the vote and now it would receive much less because Palestinians do not share Hamas’ rigidity regarding the conflict.

    the majority of Palestinians that I have met would at least agree with him.

    The operative phrase is “that I have met.” I can’t account for how many or which Palestinians you have met. But surveys don’t lie. And they cover a lot more territory than a single individual like yourself can.

    spend a few days in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah

    I have good Jewish friends who’ve done precisely that & reported to me their findings which jibe w. my own. BTW, how many days have YOU spent among Palestinians in any of those places?

    As for Benvenisti, pls. go back through any of his columns in Haaretz & show me anything that supports yr view that he wishes the demise of Israel. I don’t have to prove Benvenisti supports Israel because I don’t have any doubt of the truth of this statement. For God’s sake, he was Jerusalem’s long-serving deputy mayor under Teddy Kollek. How could you accuse such an individual of harboring such views, esp. w/o providing any real proof that he does? If you believe this of him, then I’m afraid it’s yr responsibility to prove otherwise.

    Asking me to prove that Benvenisti supports Israel’s right to exist is a lot like Joe McCarthy asking people to prove they aren’t Communists. I don’t want to play that game.

  14. As much as I enjoy reading the arguments, the discourse and the passion and conviction of the writers, I mostly feel very much like Mr. Grossman.
    Perhaps living abroad and looking at the events from a distance we are able to see the big picture. What pains me the most is the moral and political corruption of the Israeli society and its “leaders”. “hollow” doesn’t begin to describe the inadequacy of these people .
    Former “bouncer” in governement ?
    Where are the leaders ?
    If we as a nation don’t wake up soon and follow in Rabin’s path, Israel as a state is doomed.
    We don’t need to debate details of who was first. who started, who is at fault, who’se God is more just. We must , on the other hand, unilaterally, just like the withdrawal from Gaza, initiate dialog towards formation of a Palestinian state. Instead of killing citizens of Gaza, we must help them to stand on their feet again and behave like one neighbour to another.
    Maybe we forgot with time that their lives are worth almost as much as Israeli lives ( at least to their mothers ). Don’t talk about the right to exist just have a righteous existence.

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