POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
A truly uninformative and self-serving article, as it was intended to be - that is, after all the nature of propaganda. It deals with none of the genuine issues, only with Israel's demands.
You can never make progress with any problem by pretending its reality is only what exists in your mind, and that is precisely what this ridiculous article does. The reality includes the perceptions and feelings of all the parties affected.
Negotiations are about different views compromising, but Israel compromises on nothing. It just makes demands and preconditions, endlessly while it continues to take what it wants to take.
The article begs a gigantic question: how does one - anyone - recognize a "Jewish state"?
Apart from the fact that such an entity is no different in concept to a Muslim state or a Hindu state or a Christian state - all of which are formulations Western minds reject as backward and unhelpful to progress.
Israel – in addition to the more than four million who live under seemingly endless occupation and abuse in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank - has about a million non-Jews who technically are citizens, Israeli passport holders.
It wasn't that Israel wanted them, far from it: they were the Palestinians who refused to run from the waves of terror in 1948 when Irgun, the Stern Gang, the Lehi, and the rag-tag Israeli army of that day worked to terrorize and kill Arabs, chasing them off the land their families owned for centuries.
What happens to that million - who already under Israeli law are treated in many ways as second-class citizens - if Israel is formally recognized as "the Jewish state"?
I think we can all guess, something pretty unpleasant. Just listen to the words of Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a nasty piece of work who indeed is rather moderate compared to the extremists who burn down homes, destroy orchards, and deface mosques.
And what are the borders of "the Jewish state"? Israel has changed its borders continuously since 1948. How do you recognize a state with no borders? Isn’t that one of the main points of negotiation, to settle borders?
Indeed, while Israel’s leaders never openly talk to the Western press about the matter, Israel has pursued a constant policy of expansion and ethnic-cleansing, its only mercy being that it is done in slow motion so that there is never too much trouble at any one time.
Israel's aims come hidden under the obscure references to Eretz Israel and Judea and Samaria - terms not ten percent of Western readers understand. They are the words which cover Israel's expectation of eventually seizing all the land of the Palestinians and even other bits like Southern Lebanon, and they are the words which ipso facto mean endless hostilities.
The entire 1967 war was engineered by Israel to achieve the occupation - and gradual theft of property and expulsion of people - we see now.
Since 1948 and especially since 1967, Israel has broken every international law and convention we have, including those of the UN and Geneva Conventions.
If you have no respect for the laws and rights of others, how can you ever expect others to respect your laws and rights? It’s simply insane to believe otherwise. We have here a lawless state, lawless in all its external relations, demanding that others respect not just its laws, but its every wish.
Israel steals whatever it desires and it pretty much kills any opponent it doesn't like.
Israel has utter contempt for all of its neighbors, as it has shown on countless occasions.
Israel attacks everyone who does not accept its self-proclaimed truths.
Yet it is somehow Palestinians who prevent their own statehood by denying “the Jewish state”? If ever there was a case of an illogical vicious circle this is it.
The poor Palestinians are told they must achieve statehood only by dealing with their oppressors - not by negotiating, although that word is used as a euphemism, because Israel in fact never negotiates, it only makes preconditions and demands.
Imagine blacks in apartheid South African being told they must deal only with their the apartheid government? Imagine Ukrainians or Byelorussians being told they must only deal with the Soviet Union?
It is itself a laughable demand, laughable because it is so completely irrational and arbitrary.