When did it start for me…? Probably the day I heard Israelis in a rather wealthy neighbourhood uniting so that a palestinian family couldn’t buy a house in their street….and it was definitely reinforced the day my uncle Isaac Didi was killed by a sniper in the occupied territories. Or when I tried to help my cousin Régine Azria contribute to awareness about the beautiful Birthing Together project…
Anyhow, it really and deeply started the day I received a petition from Diaspora European Jews to Diaspora European Jews…I thought I was the only one thinking like that and resenting in silence the brutal and often racist way Palestinians were treated in Israel. I don’t want to sound neither naive nor utopian (though deeply I’m probably both…) and for years I’ve been angry at the absurd killings and intolerance of the Palestinians. But I was raised on Jewish values of preserving life, of respecting the other more than the other had respected my ancestors for centuries…what happened then???? How could the beautiful Israel I was raised to love become a place of hatred, discrimination and disrespect for other human beings? I have already posted a number of papers about J Call which I invite you to visit by clicking on this link.
To make a long story short, I signed in May 2010 a call, met David Chemla who was the initiator of the petition on a number of occasions, agreed to help forming a Swiss J Call , attended the Paris Conference of June 19th and now participated to the fourth J Street conference which took place in Washington, D.C. on March 24-27, 2012 .
This page is my bibliographical notes taking regarding the two-state solution and any conference I attend or document I read. I hope this will help you as much as it’s helping me find some sense in a lot of nonsense!
Pre-J Street notes.
Chemla, D., Ed. (2011). JCall: les raisons d’un appel. Paris, Liana Levi
Peillon, V. (2011). Discours à la conférence de JCall à Paris. JCall. Paris.
La signature de JCall pas évidente pour une homme politique français très attaché aux principes de la république car reconnaissance dans l’espace public français d’une appartenance. Moment de préoccupation forte, initiative utile à la paix, à la compréhension de la réflexion des juifs d’Israel qui ont besoin de soutien et de la diaspora. Il exprime très nettement ses réserves quant aux principes (travaille à la Commission des Affaires Etrangères) de s’attacher seulement à un camp.
Il ne faut pas que cette initiative de progressistes puisse, à un moment donné où on a évoqué l’Iran, le Liban, que nous ne recherchons pas une position équilibrée et que nous ne recherchons pas dans la négociation la position qui doit être celle d’Israel si Israel veut la paix.
Il rappelle l’actualité chargée du point de vue européen. Au mois de septembre (2011) a décision possible de reconnaitre la palestine dans le cadre de l’ONU, occupe esprits et commentaires. “Je veux soutenir devant vous ce matin que cette question n’est pas la question essentielle du moment du point de vue politique et diplomatique.
Ce que nous souhaitons, c’est que la Communauté internationale (avec l’Europe, bien sûr), a un rôle à jouer, les Etats-Unis c’est l’évidence…
L’Europe et les Etats-Unis unis, c’est l’objectif que nous devons fixer si nous voulons la paix. Or nous sommes divisés parce que lorsque nous souhaitons la paix, nous savons qu’elle suppose la reconnaissance par les deux parties, la construction par les deux parties d’un compromis et d’une position.
Méfions-nous en politique des positions et des postures. un certains nombre de responsables Palestiniens s’inquiètent de cette initiative si elle suscite un espoir qui le lendemain s’éteint en étant incapable d’accoucher des fruits du rogres de la reconnaissance et de la paix. Par contre un événement fondamental s’est produit. Sous les auspices de l’Egypte, nous avons assisté, peut-être pas une réconciliation, mais des retrouvailles du Fatah et du Hamas. Une chance pour la paix. La situation aujourd’hui, si le Hamas, étant donné l’évolution en Syrie et ses propres difficultés à Gaza est entré dans la logique des discussions que nous attendions et qu’Israel attendait depuis si longtemps, c’est parce qu’il est affaibli. Cela donne un interlocuteur en face d’Israel. Or c’est la division des palestiniens qui a constitué pendant des années le principal obstacle à la paix au Moyen-Orient. Cette réunion est une chance pour la paix. L’Europe, unie dans sa reconnaissance de ce pas en avant, doit faire tout ce qu’elle peut pour faire bouger la position des Américains et du Gouvenrment de Netanyaou. En Israel également opportunité. Personne, y compris le Fatah, ne propose de négocier avec le Hamas. Derrière ce genre d’attittude, il pourrait n’y avoir qu’une tactique, Mais nous nous souvenons de la formule Begin, la paix ne se fait pas avec ses amis mais avec ses ennemis. Il y a une opportunité pour une avancée forte avant septembre pour un retour à la négociation et pour la paix. L’Europe, pour une fois, en dehors des aides matérielles innombrables, se mobilise diplomatiquement, c’est une bonne chose. Nous pouvons espérer que la rencontre de septembre amènera les Palestiniens inquiets et les autres partenaires.
Nous sommes sans naiveté mais c’est le moment que nous avons choisi. Il y a un an, c’était la position des préalables et Israel n’en voulait pas. Maintenant, c’est Israel qui demande comme préalable l’union des deux parties. Conférence de Paris, bonne initiative, reprise ar l’Union Européenne. La reconciliation des Palestiniens est pour nous, Juifs, et pour Israel, une véritable chance pour la paix.
Leibner, I. (2012). “Olmert Honors J Street.” Retrieved march 18th, 2012 :32 a.m. , 2012, from http:///wordfromjerusalem.com.
« (…)Let me state at the outset that I am acquainted with Olmert and once admired him, (…)Something snapped with Olmert when he effectively spurned his longstanding political roots and developed an penchant for crass political opportunism. His climaxed when he joined the Kadima bandwagon, and became one of the most enthusiastic promoters of Ariel Sharon’s devastating unilateral disengagement, paving the way for his appointement as deputy prime minister and succeeding Sharon.
It was eveident that he had lost the plot when on June 9, 2009, in the course of the disengagement debate, he gave the keynote address to the feft-leaning US-Based Israel Policy Forum and (…) proclaimed : « we are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies ».
Beinart, P. (2012). To save Israel, boycott the settlements (OpEd). New York Times JStreet. Washington.
(…) the Israeli government is erasing the « green line » (…), In 1980, roughly 12,000 jews lived in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem). Today, governement subsidies have helped swell that number to more than 300,000. Indeed, many Israeli maps and textbooks no longer show the green line at all.
In 2010 (…)Netanyahu called the settlement of Ariel which stretches deep into the West Bank, « the heart of our country ». (…)
It’s time for a counteroffensive – a campaign to fortify the boundary that keep alive the hope of a Jewish Democratic state alongside a Palestinian one. And that counteroffensive must begin with language. (…)biblical names of Judea and Samaria (thereby suggest) that it was, and always will be Jewish land. Almost everyone else including this paper, calls it the West Bank.
But both names mislead. « Judea and Samaria » implies that the most important thing about the land is its biblical lineage ; « West Bank » (was coined after Jordan conquered the territory in 1948) to distinguish it from the rest of the kindom of Jordan which falls on the Jordan River’s east bank. Since Jordan no longer controls the land, « West bank » is an anachronism. It says nothing meaningful about the territory today.
Instead, we should call the West Bank « nondemocratic Israel ». The phrase suggests that there are today two Israels : a flawed but genuine democracy withing the green line and an ethnically-based nondemocracy beyond it. It counters efforts by Israel’s leaders to use the legitimacy of democratic Israel to legigimize the occupation and by Israel’s adversaries to use the illegitimacy of the occupation to delegitimize democratic Israel. (« rhetorical distinction »)
We should lobby to exclude settler produced goods from America’s fre-trade deal with Israel. We should push to end International Revenue Service policies that allow Americans to make tax-deductible gifts to settler charities. Everytime an American newspaper calls Israel a democracy, we should urge it to include the caveat : only within the green line.
(this boycott) must be paired with an equally vigorous embrace of democratic Israel. (…)Boycotting anything inside the green line invites ambiguity about the boycott’s ultimate goal –whether it seeks to end Israel’s occupation or Israel’s existence.
(…)Settlements need not constitute the world’s worst human rights abuse in order to be worth boycotting.
The relevant question is not « Are there worse offenders ?» but rather « Is there systematic oppression that a boycott might help relieve ? ». That Israel systematically oppresses West Bank Palestinians has been acknowledged even by the former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who have warned that Israel’s continued rule there could eventually lead to a South-African-syle apartheid system.
(…)Already, prominent Israeli writers like David Grossman, Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua have refused to visit the settlement of Ariel. We should support their efforts because persuading companies and people to begin leaving nondemocratic Israel, instead of continuing to flok there, is crucial to keeping the possibility of a two state solution alive.
(…)Boycott should not apply to East Jerusalem which Isarael also occupied in 1967, since Palestinians there at least have th ability to gain citizenship(…)
If moderate settlers(…)resent being lumped in with their more ideologically driven counterparts deep in occupied territory, they should agitate for a two-state solution (…)or they should move.
As I write this, I cringe. Most settlers aren’t bad people ; many poor Sephardic, Russian and ultra-Orthodox Jews simply moved to settlements because governement subsidies made housing there cheap. More fundamentally, I’m a committed (orthodox) Jew(…)Boycotting other Jews is a painful, unnatural act. But the alternative is worse.
When Israel’s founders wrote the country’s declaration of independence, which calls for a Jewish state that « ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants, irrespenctive of religion, race or sex », they understood tht Zionism and democracy were not only compatible. The two were inseparable. More than six decades later, they look prophetic. If Israel makes the occupation permanent and Zionism ceases to be a democratic project, Israel’s foes will eventually overthrow Zionism itself.
Ben-Ami, J. (2012). Welcome remarks,. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Saturday March 24th, 2012
Welcomes thousands of students and local activists.
J Street is in it’s fourth year of existence
Dynamic movement along democratic principles that led to Israel’s creation and corresponds to our Jewish Ethics.
Making History in the decision we make, it’s up to us to change the course if we are disatisfied with the status quo.
Choice : what it means to be pro-Israel. What it means to oppose the denial about the existence of palestinians in the wave of Israel’s extreme right.
Being pro-Israel means advocating for a secure Israel faithful to our Jewish values.
We are all amazed by Israel’s advances in R&D. For example a major step against climate change has recently been taken.
A choice has to be made : keep up or give up the land. Our history is what each of us is going to do in the face of what’s happening to Israel right now. Our leaders urged us to remain silent, but the present we are living in isn’t the future that we want. We are the ones we were waiting for. It’s up to us to arouse our neighbours from indifference. We have the power to make history.
Shaffir, S. (2012). The Israeli Social Protest Movement. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
10% of israelis followed the initial 10 tent demonstrators this summer. Inspiration isn’t enough to form a movement. We have to reach past resignation. Homeless people, bedouins, arab israelis were together. Violence is the tool of old politics. Ladies and gentlemen, meet us, the new criminals of Israel. We committed the worst crime, we united. Young people leave Israel due to their lack of hope. According to OECD, we are second only to the USA in social inequality. For the first time, we didn’t look at the past with horror but at the future with hope. Calling for justice « the people demands social justice ». Our demonstration was equivalent to 19 million Americans demonstrated for one night at one place. The zionist dream of a safe shelter (home) disolves into disunity. We don’t want to be the incarnation of our grandparents’ ghettos. We must build a vision to take back Israel and fight for our future. Our generation has learned to assimilate politics to a dirty word. We are fighting for our society’s values.
Biton, M. (2012). keynote speech as the Mayor of Yerucham. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
In 1970, Israel was poorer in resources but richer in solidarity. We need borders within which we can build Isreael. Conversation has been taken by extremists. It’s not popular to be a supporter of Peace in Israel today. Those who oppose peace lack answers. In Yerusham, our closest neighbourhoods are bedouin settlements. We are tirelessly aiming at bridging the gap. We need to acknowledge the change of pace of Israeli society. We need to stop pouring resources into Judea and Samaria! While settlements are an obstacle to peace, settlers are not our enemies. How can we insure a democratic Israel? I spent 5 of my best years serving in the territories. I don’t want my kids to waste their best years for territories!
Oz, A. (2012). Keynote address. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Shalom J Street, God bless you for being here. J Street, there’s more than one way to be a good jew and for a zionist to stand for Israel. Zionism has always been a surname, not a first name. Israel-Palestine is a clash between right and right. A real tragedy. Sometimes, it becomes a clash between wrong and wrong. The western concept that conflicts are a misunderstanding doesn’t apply in this instance. We need a livable compromise. Not a popular concept with young idealists! The opposite of compromise is death and fanaticism. We need a fair if painful divorce: a two state solution. Divorce in the same house. 2 small apartments. One day, the Palestinian Embassy in Israel will be in walking distance from Palestine. Let’s wave no flags over the holy places and let the Messiah come and decide. The cognitive block is gone. The two state solution is within reach. The patient (Israel and Palestine) is ready for surgery, the doctors are cowards. The problem is leadership on both sides. People are open-ended (nobody expected Gorby of dismantling USSR more than they expected Sadate to make peace with Israel…). It will not be the first nations to make peace with clenched teeth then de-escalate. Make peace, not love!
It would be a mistake for Israel to launch an attack on Iran. It would be a mistake to compare Israel as Jews from Holocaust. Iran is the problem of the whole world, not Israel alone.
In Shakespeare’s tragedy, the stage is covered with dead bodies but justice prevails. In Tchekhov tragedies, everyone is disillusioned but alive. We want a Tchekhov ending!
We are living the gold age of Israel in arts and science. We need to renew social solidarity which Israel had in early years and lost in the course of years. J Street, I’ve been waiting for you my entire adult life!
Barghouti, M., G. Gorenberg, et al. (2012). One State, Two-State, Green State, Blue State. J Street Conference Making History, Washington D.C.
Moderated by Yael Patir: tIKUN SUPPORTS TWO STATE SOLUTION AND jstreet supports BDS (Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions)
Chaired by Ashley Bates
CF. Moshe Arenz paper “if Israel doesn’t want the two State solution, fine, we’ll wait and have ONE state”
Fist to mention two states was Beinski(?) in the 80s. State between the River and the Sea.
arguments for colonisation: we’ve gone too far to go back, settlers’ reaction.
Two state solution has become mainstream.
Lack of will to push for a two state solution.
Potential for two states: two strong nationalities. Jewish and Palestinian identities.
solution 1: borders taken off the negotiating tales. Solution, one single parliament and police…yet all other issues on agenda: settlers would become internal issue, right of return, education curriculum, religious holy sites). In the best case it’s utopian outcome such as Belgium but no history of cooperation
All these questions could be negotiated but the whole one state solution as a sway of solving the problem is dead.
Solution 2 (mainstream): two states lifeboat. Difficult to implement. Status quo isn’t static, settlement is still increasing. Need for policy on 3 fronts: Palestian, American front higher level of political pressure needed and finally on Israeli front, forms of dispair prevent people of working for peace.
Bad news: today we are not in the limbo. Neutral state, still in open space.
De facto, one regime from Jourdan to Mediterranean, one discriminatory ruling system.
The problem is how to move from a discriminatory regime to one or two state. How we abolish this regime and get something different from one or two states.
One state egalitarian option, federation, Cantons or any structure bring towgether different ethnic groups under one umbrella. Will affect the two national identities.
In my own self I have to include the other’s identity. Other as other, not as part of me.
One state means to change the whole discourse of international law.
two states solution enjoys Wordwide legitimacy and support. I’m afraid that the well known price of concessions (settlements, right of return for palestinians) will lead Israel to lose two weapons.
Rabin lost his life on the thining of taking a first step in that direction.
Work hard to move to minimize the bloody cost.
No no return point.
In the fourties, the Palestinians wanted one state solution. In 1988, they accepted the two state solution compromise. We accepted 22 instead of 44% of our territory initially planned in 1948.
The Israeli governement has been compromising the compromise. Act of deceit producing a system of segregation and partheid. Olso mistake of not having conditioned the freezing of settlemnts.
Cheese image: behind the bars while the others keep eating the cheese.
Two different laws for people living in one area. We pay the double price of water and electricity than the Israeli. Segregated in roads (some are reserved to Settlers…First country in the world in doing so). Reality: with the passing of time, either apartheid or democracy.
We are opting for non violent resistance.
When do we decide the two state solution is over? Maybe we have already crossed that channel.
no way to have a jewish democratic state and keep apartheid.
Inconsistant, because of your history and our will to resist.
You can’t have half peace as you can’t have half pregnant woman.
We are struggling for Human rights, dignity, not only for freedom of Israel and Palestine. We need an alliance. One deocratic free state.
Right wing Israelis and Neocons alliances. PLEASE STOP THAT.
How to get forward?
Absence of inevitability of the two states solution. Reality on the ground : 1/10 israeli jews, 1/5 resident settlers, Palestinians.
A two state solution that doesn’t address the 20% palestinian Israeli issue.
Debate is about values. Failure of collective zionist ideals. Deep democratic two state vision.
New alliances. Don’t make excuse, don’t make a laufh.
No Palestinan vision of one tate that speaks to me.
There’s more thna one way to skin this cat.
Moral and spiritual values controversy
New right in the US was to redefine the issues as a combat against islam.
Beinart, P. (2012). The Crisis of Zionism: Premiere Book Event with Author Peter Beinart. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Sunday March 25th, 2012
Hello Self-Haters, we are naive, then Herzel was also naive, so was Ben Gurion. I’m tired of us being called sheltered. Until proven guilty, the US cannot be said to be jewhaters. We are not naive, we know that arabs don’t like us. Our critics are naive if they believe Israel can bafouer its constitutional very terms.
I- Apartheid State of Israel will deligitimize itself, iether it shows that is founders were right or Israel will die.
1948 wasnt’ just the creation of a jewish state but a democratic liberal state. We remember we were strangers and we care for strangers in our midst. Standardards of equal citizenship.
How we, as US Jews have failed to convice our US Government so far. We shouldn’t make it easy to give donation to non-democratic Israel.
In Israel, you are negotiating the terms of a divorce.
We are liberals but we aren’t utopians.
Settlement boycott is coupled with reinvestment in Israel.
My grandparaents and parents bequeathed me a democratic Israel. Who would I be if I didn’t conform their ideal. Failure to found good jewish education school in the US
Israel is considered too toxic an issue for young american jews.
If Israel collapses as a democratic entity, efforts to disqualify arab Israeli parties.
Netanyaou isn’t a desperate case.
Ideology and politics constituency issue but won’t come to this conclusion in his own terms but rather under pressure from us.
What makes Israel a jewish state
Right to return
Protection of jews
Endangered jewish symbolism (flag, tikva, hagim)
Question of language.
Tikva could be revised to be sungable by the Arabs in Israel
Cf. Beinart, P. (2012). To save Israel, boycott the settlements (OpEd). New York Times JStreet. Washington.
Baskin, Gershon. (2012). Negotiating for Gilad Shalit’s Freedom: A discussion with Gershon Baskin. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C. A minute by minute account of the negotiations towards the liberation of Soldier Shalit.
Rabbi Hartman, D. (2012). Plenary Session: The Future of Pro-Israel.
a Jew at core is about trying to aspire.Mediocrity and Jewish denomination are contradictory.
Essence of aspiration of zionism: what do I have to do tomorrow. Any great value comes with a price of hardship.
In Israel we all paid the price, yet I can’t think of a better place to raise my family.
Catch in a song Dayenu. If we were serious about it it should stop at the first line! My deepest love is about what Israel can be.
How to define a jewish homeland and define our reality.
We are the first jews of choice. We are the first jews who have a choice not to be a jew. They don’t hate us enough.
They don’t remind me who I am if I don’t want to be who I am. Judaism of mediocrity is a catastrophy.
Earn that love, Israel. We need to learn to conduct a new conversation about jewish values: not what’s wrong with them but how I take responsibility? How do we built a home land for jewish people in a crappy neighbourhood. What do we stand for? You can’t be a sovereign people without power. Power is an essential feature of human being. In our tradition, protecting oneself is one of the highest responsibilities that one has. It’s much nicer being the heroic one who dies for others
In Massada we say never again because it’s not our path, we choose to live. We long for the day we won’t need to use Power and at what moment should I choose death rather than using power?
Conversation to unite jews worldwide to build a new jewish country.Our problem isn’t a poverty of resources but a poverty of vision. It’s difficult to be aspirational in our neighbourhood.We don’t agree on what these aspirations are.
We disagree with people with whom we fundamentally agree. If you disagree you build your own synagogue.
But with Israel, we are stuck together, what can we say, build your own country? I can’t walk away from you!
Rosove, J. (2012). Plenary Session on the Future of Pro-Israel: Address. Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel of Hollywood
Serious engagement in Jewish life. Passion for Israel started in the 6 days war. My heart lives in the East. As a progressive reformed zionist, I feel that jews should be a light to the goyim. Minority rights. We should support these progressive forces in Israel.
Rabbis for HR, khidouch for separation between state and religion in Israel. We should devote more to Israel even more when we are frustrated. We need Israel and Israel needs us. ‘
We are in fact a majority. Our solution is the future because any other solution is what endangers Israel’s integrity and future as a Jewish state
Hogue, I. (2012). Plenary Session on the Future of Pro-Israel: Address. J Street: Making History, Washington, D.C.
Contributor, The Nation, Former Political and Communications Director, MoveOn.org
Conservative family. I never told them about my feelings about Israel because I don’t want to hurt them.
I can’t be silent anymore.
Winograd, C. (2012). Moving Women to the Fore and Advancing Peace. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Session sur les femmes leaders et donatrices ayant emmené des députés femmes (afro-américaines en grande majorité) en Israel.
Jarrett, V. (2012). Keynote address from the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Obama is steadfastly determined to commit to a just and lasting peace. Many of you are frustrated. True peace cannot be imposed from the outside but is in the long term interest of the world. Pursuing peace Israel security is iron clad
FREEDOM AND PEACE, COMMON SECURITY, we must keep fighting for our shared values. Let’s make history.
Pas dans le programme mais seulement en addendum…
Kohut, M., John Neffinger et Seth Pendleton (2012). Making the Case: Public Speaking for Pro-Israel. Pro-Peace Advocates. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Sunday March 25th, 2012
Advocacy, overview of challenges. Practical Seminar. WHAT TO SAY, HOW TO SAY IT WITH CONFIDENCE.
WHO AM I, WHY SHOULD I LISTEN
Decode the emotional aspects of a speaker (character judgement) through 3 channels : VISUAL (facial expression & gesture): 55%, tone, pitch 38% words 7%
smile, don’t grin
use gating in speach
uptalk no good
if you have to sit, do it on the edge
POWER POSING: Placement of your body in space
Get in the right mood, stretching before a talk, in order to have the right energy
PODIUM No good
Show up shared common sense by validating the feelings your audience has (we all care about Israel, WE WANT 1) TO SURVIVE 2) PEACE WITH THE PALESTINIANS
Establish set of shared values
If you get into the circle effectively, you’ll have all latitude to persuade your audience on agreeing that the status quo isn’t acceptable.
Try to keep it conversation vs argument
I- Use the inclusive WE
Find something to agree with: you’re exactly right that…We all know/agree that….
i.e. we don’t validate everything but act in reciprocity (but behold the unwanted truth)
What we see here….in this case….the thing to remember….the issue is…let’s look at the facts….look let’s talk about
AND THAT’S WHY…Actually, the good news is…
Part of our culture is disagreeing yet loving each other. So in the left right debate, expand the dialogue within the jewish community. We should first target the B&Cs rather than the D’s as they request less efforts and we admit the scarcity of our resources.
Effective public speaking, on any issue, is more than simply knowing the facts. In this session, join expert communications trainers and learn the foundation of how to communicate and deliver the proéIsrael, pro-peace message with confidence, passion and authenticiy. Note: this is a skills-based training and will not include policy analysis or discussion.
Peres, S. (2012). Welcome remarks by video. J Street: Making History, Washington D.C.
Peace you have to build, not to negotiate,
There is no other solution than the two state solution.
Click also on the following pages:
JCALL perspectives on the nuclear agreement with Iran (texte en français à propos de l’accord nucléaire avec l’Iran)
I recently attended a fabulous Antigone representation at the Geneva theater La Comédie de Genève by the Palestinian national theater. Not only were Sophocles words absolutely brilliantly rendered in Arabic but the cast managed to totally convey the notion of moral debate which underpins this doubly millenary drama which is still so contemporary. As a Jew, it always breaks my heart that my fellow Jews can’t realize what a moral failure we are presently facing. While it is absolutely true that anti-Semitism is on the rise, I don’t see how they can at the same time totally identify with an Israeli government they haven’t elected and claim to be independent thinkers in their support of Israel. I know the debate because I used to be among those who blindly supported whatever their fellow jews in Israel decided, but I cannot anymore be associated with the absolutely suicidal colonisation of the West Bank. I love Israel, I am opposed to the BDS although I am in favor of labeling products coming from the West Bank, and I share The combat of those, sadly often not my fellow Sephardic Jews, who are fighting for the restoration of a moral order in Israel. In this I feel that I am as well an Antigone, having to defy the laws of my people in order to comply with my own ethical laws, those given by my Jewish education.
PPS. On the eve of Passover 5777 (2017), I received this message from a very dear friend of mine, a farmer in Australia:
Hi Daphne a person I know, Dr Robert Kaldawi, who has written a book called the ripple in the pond. I’d like your opinion, he is from Lebanon originally. I attach a picture of a page he posted. I didn’t want to publicly tag you. I think he is trying to objectively explain the Jewish/Palestinian position?
Hope you are well
And here goes my reply :
Well that’s not so objective actually…you may know my position on the Israeli government, the West Bank occupation and the Naqba…if not, just check my blog page on the issue (https://cosmopolitique.org/j-street-j-call-israel-and-the-two-state-solution/)
1) jewish presence has always been a fact on the land of Palestine. My own family does come from Jerusalem and this is amply proven even by DNA (https://cosmopolitique.org/2016/11/28/my-cosmopolitan-genome/)
2) the issue of a Zionist state in Palestine predates Hitler from almost 30 years with the Basel Jewish Congress of 1897 (https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premier_congrès_sioniste) and this was the end of a process of “Return” which dates back from much longer (for 2000 years, Jews have prayed “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning” and every Passover “Next Year in Jerusalem”
3) if anything, it’s the Dreyfuss affair which prompted all Jewish nationalist movements to unite under Theodore Herzel’s leadership;
4) there have been atrocious exactions on BOTH sides but Palestine wasn’t then and had never been a free State. It was under various groups including Egyptian Saladin, the Ottomans then British rule (1920-1947).
5) the National State of Israel was initially bought back from the British Occupation by private funds. In February 1947, probably and most certainly in the aftermaths of the Holocaust, the British Government handed back its mandate on Palestine to the UN.
On Novembre 29, 1947 the UN Assembly adopted the resolution 181 dividing Palestine between a Jewish and an Arab State. This was welcomed by the Jewish zionists but totally rejected by the Arab (I.e. Christians and Muslim) population and all Arab States….
I could go on forever and, trust me, I really investigated the issue as I believe BOTH parts have a just and fair claim…yet after 70 years, no truth can be excepted by both sides and a lot of disinformation makes the extremists of both sides credible too gullible people…
I’m sorry this is a long message yet I hope it is clear enough.