Israeli MKs Storm from Knesset During EU Parliamentary President’s Speech
I’ve been reading with some bemusement the reaction by Israel’s far-right MKs to the address given by EU parliamentary speaker, Martin Schulz. In a speech that was largely supportive of Israeli interests and which opposed the BDS movement, the EU leader did make mention of his conversations with Palestinians who told him about their destitution.
Among the issues they raised was the immense disparity in water use between Israelis and Palestinians. In his speech, he said they told him Israelis use an average of 70 liters of water while Palestinians use an average of 17. The howls of outrage were immediate. The entire Bayit Yehudi faction walked out during the speech. They’d have nothing to do with a German Nazi perpetrating more anti-Semitic outrages on the Jewish people in their own people’s legislature:
MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) called to Schulz: “Shame on you, you support someone who is inciting against Jews.” Shortly after, the Habayit Hayehudi MKs stormed out of the room.
Party chairman Naftali Bennett responded heatedly to Schulz’s remarks, saying: “The comments made in the Knesset are very serious. Habayit Hayehudi demands an apology from the president of the European Parliament, who said two lies in his speech, which Palestinians fed him. Silence in the face of lying propaganda grants legitimacy to activities against Israeli citizens.”
Indeed: calumny, protocols of the Nazi elders, dirty lies. Except for one problem…it’s all true.
B’Tselem, Israel’s foremost human rights NGO devotes an entire page of its website to comparative water consumption rates between the two peoples:
The discrimination in utilization of the resources shared by Israel and the Palestinian Authority is clearly reflected in the figures on water consumption by each population. Daily per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial use is some 73 liters. In areas in the northern West Bank, consumption is much lower. In 2008, per capita daily consumption was 44 liters in the Jenin area and 37 liters in the Tubas area.
There is a huge disparity between Israeli and Palestinian consumption. Per capita water consumption in Israeli towns is 242 liters and in local councils, 211 liters. In other words, per capita use in Israel is three and a half times higher than in the West Bank.
The World Health Organization and the United States Agency for International Development recommend 100 liters of water per capita per day as the minimum quantity for basic consumption.
The discrepancy between the figures quoted by Schulz and B’Tselem may be related to the latter’s figures including all uses (including industrial). It’s possible the Schulz figure only includes residential water usage (in the home). At any rate, the ratios agree in both cases. Both find Israelis use three and a half times more water than Palestinians. In other words: no lies, no anti-Semitism. Just truth. And the truth hurts.
Part of my bemusement at the Israeli reaction to the speech was that I pictured the MKs storming out of the Knesset hall with their fingers plugged firmly in their ears and loudly humming HaTikvah so they wouldn’t have to listen to this anti-Israel drivel from the Nazi Schulz.
Even in the unruly Knesset, it’s considered a violation of protocol to walk out of an address by a foreign leader. I chalk it up to the increasing dysfunction of current Israeli political life. As the world turns increasingly against Israeli Occupation and other injustices, there is nowhere left to turn for succor or support. Even friends are hated and shunned. The fact that as mainstream a European politician as Schulz dared even to address this issue in the Knesset means that Israel’s friends are rousing out of their torpor. They are being emboldened by BDS to raise criticisms they wouldn’t have dared voiced before this. Israel is entering rough waters internationally.
This brouhaha makes clear how absolutely isolated and ignorant Israeli MKs are from reality. They only know how they and their fellow Israeli Jews live. As for anyone else, that’s their problem.
What’s disturbing about the coverage of this story is that the mainstream media which reported it has done no research to determine which side was correct (as I have with a cursory Google search). Why? Don’t they have Google at Haaretz? Or are they afraid to expose the abject ignorance of Israeli rightist MKs?
42 thoughts on “Israeli MKs Storm from Knesset During EU Parliamentary President’s Speech – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
I mean, let’s be honest here: Schulz started saying things that Yogev absolutely, positively did not want to hear.
So his only choice was to sit there with his hands clapped to his ears like a truculent child, or stand up and storm out like a truculent child.
At least the latter looks dramatic, while the former just looks stupid.
So I can’t really see what choice he had…. no politician wants his constituents to see how dumb he is.
And, obviously, Yogev is as Thick As A Brick.
@ He Had to Walk Out: Speaking of bricks & sticks & stones. I read a great insult that was part of a GOP food fight. Bruce Fein’s ex-wife, who is also his spokesperson (figure that one out), called Ken Cuccinelli, who’d stolen Fein’s legal brief, “as dumb as a box of rocks.” I like it.
Yeah but mine rhymed, so it has to be the better putdown.
The above comment is an excellent example of why it is risky to comment on something being better than another.
Oh, pardon me, I thought we were talking about the English language, not one of your own creation.
“The discrimination in utilization of the resources shared by Israel and the Palestinian Authority is clearly reflected in the figures on water consumption by each population. Daily per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial use is some 73 liters. In areas in the northern West Bank, consumption is much lower. In 2008, per capita daily consumption was 44 liters in the Jenin area and 37 liters in the Tubas area.”
that was 6 years ago. what are the figures today? are the worse are they better? will the new water pipeline from aqaba not help?
one could argue the water is based on demand. Settler population is lower yes but there are many industrial zones and agricultural area which would have high water demands. This can be shown with the declared exports of the settlements highly outweigh the exports of Palestine. surely if there was a peace treaty and an influx of refugees the water division would become much more equitable… well one would hope yes?
@ ben: Here is a more recent and equally damning indictment of Israeli water policy.
I’m not sure you realize the banality of your answer. “Demand?” You think Palestinians simply have to demand water and it comes from the tap? What if you have the capital to start a factory or business and need water. Where are you going to get it? Simply ‘demand’ it?
Now, if you’re a settler and you start a business that needs water, you’re made in the shade. Just tell ’em how much and you’ve got what you need.
So please don’t talk about “demand” as if this is an option open to both sides. It isn’t.
By Demand I was referring to supply and demand… not “I demand this from you so give it to me”… What I was attempting to infer was that if/when the Palestinian economy picks up that the demand for water too would increase and could be more equitable to what the Settler receives.
Though I did read that Israel states that the settlers get 1.7 times more then the average Palestinian… which is much lower then the amount claimed by the EU rep but still is really high. Though the article linked said that it could be as high as 6 times greater. Which makes me think every settler must have a hot tub, swimming pool and enjoys long showers.
It seems that before the Corrupt PA took over areas A and B that the water situation was better? Perhaps chronic mismanagement and the Water authority are the main reasons for the decline? Or is it more of a systemic discrimination against the Palestinian with Yes men in the water authority?
I know that water is a scarce commodity in Israel proper I could only imagine how hard it must be to survive with even less water.
Though I am unsure if there will ever be total equity due to the restrictive nature of the occupied vs. occupier but I would hope that the new water pipeline and desalinization plants will at the least help the situation for the average inhabitant of the West bank. One can only hope that the Kerry plan will have some solutions for this.
@ ben: I know what you were trying to say and you were WRONG. There is demand from the Palestinian side. There simply is no supply. To believe that Palestinians willingly use only 75% of the minimum WHO requirement of water per capita is ridiculous. Even you with your obvious biases should be able to see that.
The water situation was better before the PA took over? And the fault of the water shortage is the PA? Please. Ridiculous, & don’t even go there. Besides, even if true (which it isn’t) the reason the PA can’t administer its territory or maintain its infrastructure is entirely do to Israeli control. And stop with the “perhaps.” Every time you do that people can see through the ploy. It’s a vain attempt to throw spahghetti on the wall in the hopes that some may stick.
Water is NOT a scarce commodity in Israel proper. There is plenty of access to it inside Israel.
@richard According to the word resource Institute yes Israel is a water Stressed country: (sorry I should have said stressed instead of scarce)
According to your linked article it states that there has been a 20% decline. “While the Oslo Accords intended for greater access to the water resources in the OPT, Palestinians have less and less access to their natural resources today. Indeed, Palestinians have seen their access to water reduced from 118 million cubic meter (mcm) per year as promised by Oslo II to 98 mcm per year in 2010 – a decrease of almost 20 per cent”
you are absolutely correct about the supply problem it seems that Israel restricts 80% of the water for itself.
moreover in this link http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/wb-water it shows 70 litres per day for the average Palestinian and 300 a day for a settler.
Typically I do my best to defend Israel and find a reason for its actions. My reasoning is Israel cant be as bad as they claim. Though in regards to water rights there is no defence for Israel’s actions. This really bugs me… I hate being wrong. (though I am sure you will say something witty like get used to being wrong bub because you are wrong on most things lol)
I will say it again I really hope that the new water pipeline will help alleviate the discrepancy and at the very least bring the west bank up to WHO standards.
@ ben: Thanks. I think showed integrity to admit Israel’s water policy is unjust. I appreciate that.
Ben what would you call Israeli destruction of native Palestinian cisterns and wells? These were water resources for Palestinian villages. They were unauthorized (by the occupying settler state) and were therefore destroyed. No more water that they had traditionally been using. Destroy supply, eliminate demand problem. Econ 101.
You seem to very naive about Israeli politics in the Occupied Territories.
There’s a very clear goal behind the water restrictions (apart from preventing the Palestinians from ensuring their livelihood and making life difficult for them in general in order to encourage them to leave) : according to a law going back to the Ottoman rule, land which has been uncultivated for more than three years becomes State land, and the owners lose their property rights. The land is then given to settlers….. Preventing people from access to their land (the Wall, settlers attacks etc), lack of water etc are all part of a greater plan to make the Palestinians leave.
PS. According to a programe on French TV about the water issue in the Middle East, each Palestinian have a yearly consumption of 60m3, Israelis within the Green Line 300m3, the settlers in the West Bank 600m3 and the settlers in Gaza prior to their ‘departure’ 1000m3.
The programme is here: the numbers are shown at min 8:00 (you don’t have to know French to understand: Cisjordanie=the West Bank): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4KZwCGXBRk
talking about naive… anyone who buys this nonsense is surely involved in Hachpasha. 600? 1000? wow, someone should tell those settlers to close their pools and jacuzzies and not leave all their taps open 24/7.
So you’r basically saying that Israel which only recently managed its way out of a water crisis by desalinating water up to 50% of annual consumption, allowed itself to use 300 PPC while the average in the EU where water is literally running in the streets, is around 150 PPC. Don’t let facts confuse you.
Again, if it’s Hachapasha – the more the merrier, even if it’s baseless and ridicules. Anything that is outside this black and white one dimension thinking, is Hasbara and should be modified\banned\ridiculed.
@ Dov Koala: I have no idea what you’re claiming and on what basis you’re claiming it. Try linking to a source & making clear what you claim the sources says, or even better quoting it.
Just because Israel desalinates its water doesn’t mean it’s not profligate in its usage or that it doesn’t heavily restrict Palestinian use. Oh & btw you bet those settlers have pools, jacuzzis & the like. I’m sure we can find some nice photos in Google Images if you like. But you sure won’t find any pictures of Palestinians in those pools given strict apartheid.
@ Dove or Koala ? Sorry, Richard.
The program “Le dessous des cartes” is a well-documented collection of short documentaries on geopolitical topics made by Jean-Christophe Victor, an expert in geopolitcs. But I guees him being Jewish and the program made by ARTE, a joint French-German channel, makes it both antisemitic and self-hating….
A French parlementarian report published on the water issue in the Middle East in January 2012 (le rapport Glavany) used the word “Apartheid” about the water distribution in the West Bank. Guess you can imagine the reaction from the local Hasbaristas….. What do you think of Mekorot controlling practically all the water, selling it to the Israelis at a lower price than to the Palestinians: you steal ressources and then you sell it back to the rightful owners…..
“Who Profits” has articles on the water issue in the West Bank if you want to instruct yourself but something tells me you don’t.
“There is a huge disparity between Israeli and Palestinian consumption.”
And how does the PA fit into this? Isn’t there a joint water commission in operation between with the PA and Israel?
Does the PA maintain and build infrastructure? Sink wells? Is the
PA using water as a weapon?
[link deleted–citing hasbara sites violates comment rules]
@ Shoshana: I have a very strict rule that prohibits hasbara sites from being offered as evidence here. They are not credible & I simply don’t like the grandstanding & point-scoring that goes on at these sites. Do NOT use hasbara sites like the one you offered.
The rest of your comment was a non sequitur. The plain simple truth, whether you like it or not is that the overwhelming amount of water resources goes to Jews/settlers. This is something no amount of hasbara can disprove.
Is a Masters Dissertation ‘hasbara’?
‘It is not the Israeli occupation policy but the Palestinian political resistance against joint management and cooperation that is responsible for the relatively slow development of the Palestinian water sector and the deteriorating human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories’ and ‘There is convincing evidence of mismanagement within the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).’– Lauro Burkhart. GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES THE POLITICIZATION OF THE OSLO WATER AGREEMENT DISSERTATION. Submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the Master in International History and Politics by Lauro Burkart (Switzerland) Geneva, 2012.
BTW. Is the Jerusalem Post also taboo?
An MA dissertation doesn’t guarantee credibility, no. As for the Jerusalem Post, it is one of the worst right-wing shmattehs in the Israeli media scene. You’re trying to bring Missing Peace in by the back door, which is manipulative.
“Even in the unruly Knesset, it’s considered a violation of protocol to walk out of an address by a foreign leader. I chalk it up to the increasing dysfunction of current Israeli political life. As the world turns increasingly against Israeli Occupation and other injustices, there is nowhere left to turn for succor or support. Even friends are hated and shunned.”
a few weeks ago Mk Tibi set the tone by walking out on the Canadian PM address to the Knesset.
Tibi is one MK. Bayit Yehudi is an entire faction. Not to mention the screaming and yelling. Not a pretty picture for the Israeli far-right.
Richard how do you allow those commenters you agree with like Oui post comment after comment filled with links and cut and pasted articles? And in your own comment you provided a link?
Read the comment rules: links are fine. It’s the quality of the links that matters. Links to hasbara sites aren’t permitted. Just as links to anti-Semitic sites aren’t permitted.
As for posting entire articles, I ask NO ONE to do it regardless of your political orientation. That’s in the comment rules as well. Quoting a paragraph or a few sentences is fine along with a link.
From one venue to the next, from king of the hill to the lion’s den of Israel’s Knesset. Video of his presentation when MKs shout angrily he was a liar and left the chamber. Notice how few seats where filled during his presentation in German, Moshe Feiglin refused to attend.
Even being a “Friend of Israel” isn’t enough for Bennett and Netanyahu. Living under a dome …
Criticism enough for Schulz to issue an apology and backtracks on his earlier “misconceptions” of the I-P issue.
Speech to the Knesset, 12 February 2014 by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Schultz speech was truly excellent, makes wonderfully inspirational reading, for anyone. The Times of Israel also published it in full, an optimistic note, that shows some grown-up-ness.
He offered much of value to Israel, there was a lot more carrot than stick in this speech. But the Netanyahu government seems determined for Israel to cut off its nose to spite its face
You are being funny, right? You know the Germans calculated what it would take to slowly starve the Warsaw Ghetto and provided that diet. No amount of economic “demand” would increase supply (as pure theory suggests.) No amount. So, “demand for water” is not going to create supply at all in the WB.
Israel has the Palestinians in a death grip, have done bare sustenance calcs regarding Gaza (but I would guess the WB as well) and control the resources. These resources are used for political purposes. What purposes? Let’s back into this: Is it in the interests of the current Israeli regime to keep Pals well fed, hydrated, and happy, to keep their crops well watered? Hardly- it is in its interest to make life unpleasant to unbearable.
What makes Schulz’s comments a “lie” is that he spoke the truth in this matter.
Schultz isn’t backing down today – calls these Knesset hecklers ‘extremists’
EU President Martin Schulz on Thursday denounced the Israeli lawmakers who criticized his speech in the Knesset a day earlier as “extremists.”
“I presented to the Knesset the position of the European parliament”
– yeah, that as well as the Palestinian boy, all UN Resolutions Israel is currently violating, International Law and the Geneva Conventions.
“Naturally, I cannot only say things that would be pleasant to everyone’s ears. I must also present the controversial side of the things.”
“In an interview with Die Welt following the incident, Schulz defended his speech and lambasted his detractors.
“The ones who disrupted my address belong to an extremist party who respond that way to any criticism that bothers them. [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry was similarly attacked.”
Glad EVERYBODY is now on the SAME PAGE …
The silly Knesset faux outrage of being outed as the Apartheid regime it is, and expecting Germany to be bullied into SUPPORTING the Israeli Apartheid regime over guilt from holocaust, is beyond scorn and ridicule
So Germany and the EU should SUPPORT the Israeli fascist state and ethnic cleansing? – this incident perfectly illuminates what used to be (until Schultz) the Israel Contradiction for Germany.;
How do you support Israel when Israel is a fascist Apartheid state committing warcrimes? – by actively helping Israel to CONTINUE to commit war-crimes?
Just how stupid are these guys?
I think we just saw the denouement of that Grand Farce with EU President Schultz – and I think Schultz saw it all happen in strobe lit clarity in real time and fully conscious of what was happening – and further – he was very conscious of ‘MAKING IT HAPPEN’
When will Germany be required to pay restitution to Palestinians for aiding and abetting the Nakba of Palestine? – as some Israeli leader will someday no doubt demand as ‘a legacy cost’?
Apartheid Israel has reached it’s expiration date
reports from today’s front page Haaretz
“What’s disturbing about the coverage of this story is that the mainstream media which reported it has done no research to determine which side was correct… ”
Richard, what makes me uncomfortable with an otherwise important story — I agree with you, it is another sign of extreme stress and breakdown in the government — is that it is not widely carried by mainstream media, not as of early this morning anyway. BBC News and the Guardian covered it, one German media, lots of Israeli press coverage and no US press at all.
Sorry Richard but I don’t believe that you would be so liberal with a commenter that you were at odds with.
Also regarding the topic: you (and Schultz and others) forget that the water situation in the WB was terrible before 1967, and since Israel captured it and inherited that dilapidated system from Jordan, you have had tremendous strides even if it’s not fully up to par re: Israeli standards, which is due to plenty of factors including Palestinian refusal to work together with Israel and good old corruption. You can’t freeze the situation now, without that overall context that it has actually been IMPROVING drastically since 1967, because of Israel!
it’s his blog, Sara. Try to get used to the idea that the world is not a fair and rational place and does not yield to your arguments. Any people perceived as being underdogs, such as the Palestinians, are always going to come in for the benefit of the doubt.
Did you read Schultz’s speech? If not I urge you to give it a look. I think you’ll be surprised at the opportunities for Israel which were passed up by the Netanyahu government. It’s a crying shame for Israel that this government chose to flame out over criticism — justified or not justified — instead of taking a careful look at what was on offer by the EU.
Sara let’s us know “water situation in the WB was terrible before 1967, “. Actually it was quite primitive as was the water situation in all of Palestine before 1948. However, it had one virtue and that is it was system where withdrawals from the aquifers were in balance with consumption. Israel brought in modern European pumping technology that allowed the removal of more water then was being replenished. This new water pumping technology resulted in Israeli miracles that we have been hearing about since 1960 — ‘Draining the swamps’ (i.e lowering the aquifers), ‘made the desert bloom’ (planting water hungry crops on land that can’t support them for lack of water) and one of dumbest ideas of all’ planting trees for Israel (Northern European, drought-sensitive, pines in the mountains of North Israel, that went up in flames in the Carmel fires).
In short Israel has used high technology to create unsustainable water consumption. That is why Israel is so eager to control the high land aquifers on the West Bank, given that their low aquifers are facing serious salinization from over pumping.
@ Sara: What nonsense! What does Jordan or 1967 have to do with anything? A condition 50 years old justifies Israel’s depriving Palestinians today of sufficient water? And where are the “tremendous strides” you’re claiming? That Palestinians only have access to 20% of the available water instead of what, 0%. That’s progress?
“Not fully up to par.” I’d like to see you live under conditions Palestinians face every day. I’d like to see you forced to use the bilge Gazans have to use to cook, drink & bathe in. Could you do it?
I really hate blaming the victims as well. The Palestinians ARE NOT TO BLAME for not having sufficient water, as you claim they are. So what corruption caused the West Bank & Gaza to have inadequate access to water? When Israel controls all the major infrastructure include water sources, how does corruption impact anything?
This comment is a perfect example of someone wishing something to be true and making it true. That’s not the way this blog works. If you want to make claims do so based on facts & evidence, & not on what you wish or hope to be true, as you have here.
On one hand, you link to this Betselem article http://www.btselem.org/water/consumption_gap?utm_content=bufferec0a5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer with the number of daily 242 liters per capita for Israelis. That’s unproved nonsense. On the other hand, we have this “…the average household water consumption in Israel is between 100 and 230 liters per person per day…” That is not Hasbara, that’s……Betselem! here: http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140212_discrimination_in_water_allocation and the source a Mekorot document from 2006. So, avg of 100-230 is not exactly 242.
Now let’s talk facts: This is a formal paper of the Israeli water authority for 2012 – http://www.water.gov.il/Hebrew/ProfessionalInfoAndData/Allocation-Consumption-and-production/DocLib1/taagidim-report-2012.pdf (Hebrew). In short, at the beginning is says that the consumption is 48.8 CBM per capita/year. Do the math…that’s 133 per day. 242 you said? In the betselem article is says “There are significant gaps between the various cities (169 liters per person per day in Jericho compared to 38 in Jenin)”. How come? Also note that the consumption of a palestinian from Jericho is higher than the avg Israeli. Nice.
Let’s talk more facts. What is the consumption of the neighbors of Israel? Jordan – 80 lit, Syria – 82, south Lebanon – 70. Is that also Israel’s fault?
BTW, according to the Oslo agreement, Israel has committed to deliver 28 mil CBM/year to the PA. Today the number is about twice.
So Hasbara is forbidden here but Hachpasha is more than welcomed.
We have a professional hasbarists with us, I can see. Actually, saying anything B’Tselem publishes is nonsense only shows that you aren’t serious. If you had read the first B’Tselem document carefully you’d notice that 242 liters includes ALL uses (industrial, agricultural) while the lower Mekorot figure is for “household use.” Now does it begin to be clearer?
As for using Mekorot, an official government entity, to prove that Israel doesn’t discriminate against Palestinians doesn’t even pass the smell test. Again, you’ve got to indicate what uses their figures cover. Residential/household, industrial, agricultural? Restricting measurements to households only is misleading because Israel has a far more developed industrial/agricultural base than Palestine because Occupation has severely restricted Palestinian development.
As for discrepancies in use among Palestinian cities, there are discrepancies among Israeli cities as well. The point is not to wonder why there are discrepancies but to measure overall use and it is simply undeniable that Israel severely restricts Palestinian water access, and that Israel allocates to itself far more water than to Palestinians.
As for water use in other countries, again irrelevant and a red herring (very common tactic among the hasbara crowd).
You might want to go to work picking apart the Al Haq report to which I linked in an earlier comment. That’ll keep you busy.
It is interesting that Bennett castigates Schulz for attacking “Jews” not the State of Israel even though he is in the Knesset! This is the standard take that attacking the state is attacking Jews in general, the confusion borne of Zionism of ethnicity and nationalism. Were some to castigate the French Government for its handling of an issues, would the outrage in France focus on how the charges are being leveled against the French people? Hardly. Bennett does not speak for many Jews I know, yet there it is again, this deliberate obfuscation, the poison of Zionism.
Shimon Peres once said that Israel will not sit accused, rather, that it would sit in the accuser’s seat.
That era is over
Schultz stuck a fork in Apartheid
I seem to recall an article in the satirical magazine The Onion some years ago reporting that researchers had concluded that truth itself was antisemitic. One can say that the facts in this article are proof that truth itself is antisemitic. 🙂
NOTE: Richard Silverstien/Tikun Olam, for your perhaps keen interest or use – from Haaretz right now:
Avraham Burg has what is essentially a ‘pre-constitutional document’ up on Haaretz, and is essentially calling for ‘equal rights/votes between the River and the Sea’, if you can believe it.
It’s calling for all the BDS demands – ie, equal rights
‘Say a big ‘thank you’ to Martin Schulz’
‘In an effort to pave a new path toward historic reconciliation and true political commitment between both nations, we must give up the view of the current solution that is based on many layers of separation, isolation and acts of built-in discrimination. We need to replace that solution with a completely different method and set of principles. Many of our members, Israelis and Palestinians, both here and in the diaspora, have reached this conclusion and, as a result, share a commitment and an understanding that it is both possible and vitally important. The purpose of these principles is not to propose practical, detailed solutions, but rather to lay out a completely different groundwork for a just and sustainable Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian partnership. Our starting point is founded in the belief that the fate of both nations is bound up in an unbreakable link; that the Jewish Israelis and Palestinians are part of the Middle East, and neither of them has a surplus of rights or exclusive sovereignty over any part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
* Every person who lives (or has the status of a resident) between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea shall be assured equal personal, political, economic and social rights. These rights include: the right to protection and security; equal treatment without regard to sex, race, ethnic origin or religion; freedom of movement; ownership and possession of property; the right to bring a lawsuit to court; and the right to vote and hold elected office.
* The collective rights of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians – linguistic, cultural, religious and political – shall be ensured in every political setting. It is understood that neither side shall have exclusive sovereignty over any part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (including exclusive ownership of land, exclusive access to natural resources, and so on).
* All remaining exclusive rights possessed solely by Jewish Israelis, including ownership of land and access to natural resources, shall be abolished. All resources – material and political – shall be redistributed on the basis of principles of affirmative justice.
* The right of return of the Palestinians is an integral part of UN Resolution 194. The implementation of this resolution shall take into account the existing reality. The moral and political injustice of dispossessing the Palestinians in the past shall not be remedied by creating new injustices.
* The new political institutions shall make democratic immigration and citizenship laws. However, Jews and Palestinians who live in the diaspora will be able to receive immunity in situations of danger (according to UN resolutions) and will have special status in the process of obtaining citizenship in comparison with any other ethnic or national group.
Like many people, both among my colleagues and others, I believe with all my heart that mutual recognition based on these principles could advance a different political reality, in which memories of exile and being refugees would give way to a comprehensive realization of rights, citizenship and belonging. They would turn bereavement into life, and despair into hope. And so, I want to say a big “thank you” to Martin Schulz, one of Israel’s last and best real friends in the world.’
Yes, Happy Valentine’s Day 2014 for Palestine
Really interesting interview of arafat in 2004 where he states he accepts that israel must remain jewish under a peace agreement. 10 years later and almost all the Palestinians demands have not really changed. The most interesting part was about disengagement… one has to wonder if arafat had not died would Gaza be under fatah rule today? http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/a-jewish-state-definitely-1.125580
This is how David Landau characterized Arafat’s remarks. I wouldn’t trust David Landau as far as I could throw him. Unless someone provides me an exact quotation of Arafat saying that, I don’t believe it. But regardless, I think what Arafat meant here was that he was not demanding that Israel stop being a majority Jewish state. He expected the majority of Israelis would be Jewish even after his limited version of ROR was implemented. He didn’t see the Right of Return as guaranteeing a majority Palestinian population in Israel.
Not to mention that Arafat doesn’t make decisions on these matters these days.