SUMMARY: The way from today's situation to a single state for the two
people can be drawn by working it backwards.
The way can be found working backwards
Many Palestinians, and HAMAS members, aim at a single Palestinian state
over all of Historical Palestine, and from which all post-1948 immigrant
Jews would be expelled. Others would be satisfied with a return to the
In an Open Letter to Hamas, I showed, hopefully in a compelling way, that
such aims were unrealizable. Here, in summary, is how the argument goes.
Such aims could conceivably be achieved in any of the following ways:
1) a steady increase in Suicide-Bombings would spread panic among
Israelis. A lot of them would rather emigrate. This would bring the
collapse of the state of Israel.
2) An economic blockade, together with the suicide-bombing would impose
such hardship on the Israeli morale and economy that the state would stop
3) the pressure of the Arab and Muslim populations over their leaders,
will force them to exert a powerful pressure on the US. If necessary
the threat of an oil blockade can be used. The US would then stop to
All this is wishful thinking. It does not take into consideration that
if the Israeli leaders, quite improbably, are forced to give their state
away, they would rather use the atomic bombs and, like Samson, say: "On
me and on my enemies."
Whoever is interested in more detailed study of the hopelessness of such
aims can contact me at my personal e-mail.
One could say that I agree that the thieves get away with their loot.
I will only say that what I suggest is the maximum possible instead
of the impossible maximum. Present me a credible strategy that can bring
more, and I will support it. The concern is that one can get much less if
one goes after a mirage, along unrealistic roads.
Even the maximum possible needs a lot of efforts and is not a given.
This having been said, what is the best one can realistically dream of?
Since it is a matter of dreaming, a matter of vision, and since it
involves the somewhat distant future, we should not be restrained by
today's feeling of bitterness in the two camps.
I dream of a single secular democratic state, from which no Israeli would
be expelled and which would open its doors to the return of all
To figure out the road from here to there is difqficult. However, to
follow the road backwards is almost straightforward.
Each step backwards will be dealt in a separate message.
The way can be found working backwards (part 2)
The existence of a single state for all its citizens, in which all
minorities would feel at home, whatever be the majority, is a concept
harder on Israelis to accept than on Palestinians. The Palestinians know
that, with the return of the refugees, they will outnumber the Israelis,
They will then feel comfortable when the rule will either be in the hands
of Palestinians or be shared with Israelis who will not have a dominant
For the Israelis, this notion is today totally repulsive and abherrent.
THis means that such a solution could be obtained today only by force,
by beating Israel on the military field. And we know that, in the present
circumstances, it is an impossibility. Were it possible it owuld lead to a
local nuclear war. Israel has built a military nuclear force, just to face
such improbable situation.
Therefore, in order that the single state be possible, some changes must
occur in Israel. Those changes are slow in coming. The question is
therefore: what changes must occur in the Israeli society, and what can
bring those changes about.
Still working backwards, the first needed change in the Israekli society,
must be a change in leadership. This change has to be radical. It is not
enough to replace Sharon by Perez or even by someone less compromised in
expansionist policies. The leadership capable of wanting Israel to coalesce
into a single state with all Palestinians, must be a leadership of a
different nature. For instance, we should have Uri Abneri as prime
minister or, still better, Jeff Halper.
There is no other way. The road is unique and forceful. Without such
an Israeli leadership, the one-state aim is not achievable. Now, let us
see what should be the next baxkwards step.
Such a dramatic change of leadership calls (backwardly) for an as strong
dramatic change in the Israeli people. From hating the Palestinians,
from fearing the Palestinians, they must start to trust them and to like
Still backwards, what can have brought such a change?
To pursue the argument, we need a non-demonised understanding of what an
average Israeli is.
I have already presented a description of a non-demonised suicide-bomber.
Now it is time to do the same about the zionist. This is crucial, because
a correct strategy is to be based on a factual knowledge, undistorted by
hate, rage and bitterness.
The Way Can Be Found Working Backwards (part 3)
Part 1 was just an introduction. Part 2 starts backwards from the end,
which is a single secular and democratic state for all its citizens and
from which no Israeli owuld be expelled and which will be open to the
return of all Palestinian refugees. It underlines that the existence of
a single state implies a radical change in the nature of the Israeli
leadership, which in turn implies a radical change in the psyche of
the Israeli people concerning the Palestinians. I asked the question:
"What can bring about such a change. I indicated the necessity of
understanding the mentality of the average Israeli. In other words, we
have to un-demonize the the average Israeli. Israelis may not have liked
my un-demonizing the suicide-bombers. I guess many Palestinians will
dislike my undemonising of the average Israeli. But since correct
strategy must be based on true knowledge, this un-demonising is
necessary. I have to be prepared to the hurricane it might cause.
THE AVERAGE ISRAELI
The average Israeli is about 30 years old. He was born around 1972. He
has not participated in, or witnessed the period called NEKBA by the
Palestinians. He has no knowledge of the ethnic cleansing. It would be
very difficult to convince him that the ethbnic cleansing did occur.
He is certain that Jews, be they Zionists or not, do not do "that".
He is idealistic and believes in the fiction of "purity of arms" which
is supposed to mean that Israeli's arms are used only defensively, and
with all due precautions to avoid injuring innocent victims. It is why
over 400 Israeli soldiers and officers, faced with the "inopure" use of
Israeli arms, refused to serve in the occupation army.
Is there anyhting objectionable with the average Israeli?
Certainly not with his genes. Genetically speaking, few populations are
as close as are the Jews and the Palestinians. One could say that two
palestinians could often differ genetically between themselves no less
than between any of them and a Jew taken at random.
What is wrong with the average Israeli, is what is in his head, his
indoctrination, the lies the Israeli leadership perpetuates in his mind
with the help of Palestinian leaders lacking vision and creativity.
Is he racist?
This question is quite different than the question of racism in Israeli
society, racism in Zionist concepts. The Israeli society IS racist. The
Zionist ideology IS racist. But the average Israeli is not racist. He
does not think that Palestinians belong to an inferior race. He just
think that it is the Palestinians who are indoctrinated and who hate the
Is he Zionist?
Yes he is. But Zionism means to him to live in Israel. It also means that
it is good that a country like Israel exists which could give refuge to
Jews coming from elsewhere in the world whenever they would be subject
to anti-Semitism. He does not mind if the Jews in Europe or in the US
prefer to remain there, provided they feel good where they are. He is not
aware of the zionist originl crime of implanting a foreign Jewish
population over a native Palestinian population.
Does he support the occupation?
No. Still he is ambiguous about evacuating the post-1967 occupied
territories because he does not trust that the Palestinians would be
satisfied. If only he would be certain that Palestinians do want peace,
he would then, without any hesitation, renounce the occupation.
Does he believe in the peaceful intentions of his leaders?
Not too much. But he believes that since the Arabs do not want peace,
there is no point in opposing the Isareli leadership just because it does
not do enough for peace. He wants a leadership that could put an end
to acts of terrorism within the Israeli pre-1967 boundaries. He does not
think that, with the end of ocuupation, such terrorism will end
Is he scared of the acts of terrorism?
Yes, he is scared. He is scared for himself, for his relatives and his
Does suicide-bombing reduces his resolve to support military repressive
No, on the contrary. He is prepared to volunteer for executing such action
as the military leadership deems to be necessary.
What does he think of the Palestinians intentions?
He knows that in 1948, the Arabs rejected the partition ordered by the UN.
he knows that the Arab invaded Israel to destroy the nascent Israeli state.
He is not well aware that the Israeli Arab citizen is treated as a second
rate citizen. He knows that the PLO was a terrorist organisation that
killed many Israeli athletes in Munich. He knows that the PLO had a charter
stipulting the destruction of the state of Israel. He knows that HAMAS wants
to expell all post-1948 Jewish immigrants. He suspects that such are the
feelings with all the Palestinians. He considers the suicide-bombings
as messages which are not that of resisting occupation, but that of opposing
the existence of Israel. If it was just against the occupation, the
suicide-bombers would have been active only against the military and the
Jewish settlements in the territories.
The Israeli leadership endeavours to maintain the population in such a
state of mind. Hamas is here of great help to the Israeli leadership.
Every time Sharon wants to expand his repressive policy, he must make sure
that he convinces the Israeli population of its necessity. This is not so
sifficult. It is enough for Sharon to provoke Hamas which is always willing
to fall in the trap. ANd after a new-suicide bonmbing, SHaron receives a
mandate from the Israeli people to go ahead.
Now, the question of "what can produce a radical change in the Psyche of
the Israeli people, can be answered. Notice that the question came about
as a necessary stage in the backward tracking from a one state, to the
actual situation. Part 4 is to follow.
The way can be found working backwards (part 4)
In part 3, we had a look at what an average Israeli is. He is a nice
guy with a poisened mind. However, there are antidotes, to that poison.
Let us remember that we are moving backwards from a one state solution
to a two state solution. Forwards it would be from two states to one
Obviously, there are Israelis who deviate from the average. SOme are
better and some are worse. To point at the Israeli that defecated on
a copying machine and present him as a true sample of Israeli behaviour
is distorting reality. The 400 soldiers who have put their life on the
line by refusing to serve in the occupation territories, would easily
counter balance as many hundreds of Israeli defecating on copying
machines, and there was only one!
If Israel was a nation of "defecating people on copying machine" there
would be little hope for the future. There would be little possibility to
introduce a wedge between the Israeli population and its leadership.
Palestinians should be happy to conclude that the average Israeli, is as
much a nice guy as the average Palestinian. On this we can buid the
In our move backwards we have reached the stage from a one state to a two
state situation. Let us revert to the normal order and consider the
transition from two states developing side by side to their fusion into
a single state.
Obviously, the move to one state would be impossible if the suicide bombings
continues during the 2 states period. In such a case Israel may launch
incursions into the Palestinian State. She does have the means to do that.
There is therefore a need to unify the Palestinian command and to eliminate
"parallel centers of action".
In a situation in which as a result of the formation of an indepent
Palestinian state, hope and dignity would have returned to the Palestinian
population, the recruits to suicide-bombers constituency of Hamas, will
evaporate. Hamas could restricts its activities to charity and social
welfare, or become a political party, otherwise, it will disapear.
The constant reduction in acts of terrotism would be a first step to
counter the mind poisoning of the Israeli populaiton. The adoption of a
model secular, democratic constitution, mentioning as a fundamental
principle the necessity of friendship between the people in the Middle
East, and particularly between the Palestinian and the Israeli people,
would be a second important step. A creative Palestinian leadership could
come out with a list of actions that would influence the psyche of the
Israeli people. This has to go hand in hand with activities in Israel
from the people most dedicated to an "entente" between the two people.
The more the Israeli push on one side, the more will the Palestiniain
pull from the other side. This pushpull operation will grow by the
positive feedback that each side may have on the other. There is one
more important factor.
The Israeli who oppose the right of return of the Palestinian refugees
expressed their fear that the Jewish character would be lost,
That Jewish character, whatever it means, is fully enjoyed in all
democratic states in which there are Jewish communities. A jew in New
York is not afraid of losing his Jewish character. He can go to
synagogues, send his children to Jewish schools etc.. The US bill of
rights ensures that he can have no difficulty practicing his jewishness.
However, the Jewish character is not uniquely defined. It is not the same
with orthodox Jews, with reform Jews or with secular Jews.
In Israel, the danger exists that extremist religious Jews could be one day
in power. That day, the secular Jews, and the moderate religious Jews,
will feel they are living in a country that has lost its Jewish character.
If the friendship between Israelis and Palestinians would have enough
developped, all the people who favour a secular regime might then wish
the fusion of the two countries in a way that guarantees its secular
character. The voluntary fusion of the two states would become more
feasable. The secular character of each state is necessary. In Palestine
it will ensure the unity of Christians and Muslims. In Israel it would
ensure the peacefukl coexistence between the different streams of
Jewishness, betweeb themselves and between them and the strong secular
and humanist tradition. In this, there is a common interets between the
two prospective states, to coalesce into a single one, provided friendhsip
would have developped to a sufficient degree.
Now, in our trip backwards, we are at the point at which there exists
two states but with an Israeli determination never to coalesce with the
Palestinians into a single unified state.
Let us still go backward to the step that will take us, backwards,
from the two states situation to the present Israeli occupaiton of the
West bank and the Ghaza strip, or forwards from now to the twostates.
Since we now know the primordial importance for the Israeli leadership
to maintain the Israeli population in a state of total ignorance of
its true expansionist and aggressive intention., it becomes reasonable
to try to introduce a wedge between the Israeli leadership and the
Israeli population. Here I may mention a relevant personal experience.
It will be done in Part 5
The way can be found working backwards (part 5)
We already went backwards from the final aim of a single state "housing"
all Palestinians including the refugges who chose to return, and all
Israelis, without a single one of them being expelled, up to the
moment of the cration of the Palestinian state over the West Bank,
the Ghaza strip and East Jerusalem.
The state of Palestine has just been created. ALl that remains is going
backwards from that moment to the actual situation. This means going
forwards towards the creation of Palestine over the still ocuupied
territories. It must be remembered that the return of the refugees,
in this scenario worked up back wards is to occur after a period in which
a radical change would have occured in the Israeli population, change
which will ensure a radical change in the nature of the leadershi[p.
Therefore, the step we are considering now, must be made in a way that
makes the next steps forward possible.
Let us consider the three different strategies on the strategies-market.
1) We wait till The US changes its mind and recognises the rightfullnes
of the Palestinians aspiration, and stop to support Israel. This
strategy has failed for fifty years. The US media being what it is,
one cannot expect a change in the US population that would be so
drastic, and so intense as to force the US leadership to impose on
Israel the evacuation of the [post-1967 territories, and the dismantling
of all Jewish settelments on these territories. This startegy has been
proven, over and over again, dead wrong.
2) AN escalation of the suicide-bombings to an unprecedent degree.
It is a double gamble. On the one hand, there is no guarantee it would
succeed. It is not impossible it would allow Sharon to proceed with
a 'fina' ethnic cleansing.
Now, if it succeeds, it will jeopardise the next steps in our backwards
studies. THose steps relied on the possibility of developing brotherly
relation between the two people. To asucceed by an escalated campaign
of suicide-bombers, will accumulate so much bitterness on both sides
that the Israeli people will not be able to consider any further step
In short, suicide-bombers has little chances of succeeding, it may lead
to a final ethnic cleansing, and were ot to succeed to bring about this
step, it will jeopardise all next important steps, including the return
of the refugees.
3) Having now better uderstood what the average Israeli is, we can now
attempt yo make peace with the Israeli people instead of making peace
with Sharon, through the US.
This strategy has not been seriously tried. The Palestinian people
was not blessed with leaders of visuion and creativity. The one
exceptional leader is Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, kept aside because she is a
woman and because she is a Christian. She would know how to applty
a creative and visionary policy that by-passed SHaron.
To create and implement such a strategy many obstacles must be overcome.
This part will therefore be followed by an article titles
Making peace with the people of Israel and by-passing Sharon
Peace with Sharon,
or Peace with the Israeli people?
PEACE WITH SHARON
The Palestinian authority hopes that, under pressure of the US and the
European Union, Israel will withdraw from the cities in the West bank,
and will be prepared to sit at the negotiating table.
For a moment, let us assume that the PA's expectation is realistic. We
will thus witness some serious withdrawal and negotiations will start.
Then will also start a "peace process" between the Sharon government and
the PA authority.
Does any one seriously consider that such negotiations with Sharon, can
lead to the withdrawal of Israeli troops behind the green line, the
dismantling of the settlements and the acceptance that East Jerusalem be
part and Capital of the Palestinian state?
HAMAS, will it not oblige and commit the terrorists acts expected
by Sharon, giving him the pretexts he needs to harden his stand during
I think that Peace with Sharon, peace with the Israeli leadership, is a
lost battle. It will be some more-of-the-same we had in the past, except
I do not suggest that the PA refuse to re-enter the negotiating path. I
do suggest that the PA starts to realise that THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO
SUCCESS. It has to be supplemented by ....
PEACE WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE.
The premise is that IN THE LONG TERM, the interests of the two people are
identical. Both the Palestinian and the Israeli people want peace and
security. They should therefore be allies.
There are two main obstacle to peace between Palestine and Israel. One
of the obstacle is Sharon, or his likes, the other is HAMAS, and its
It is essential to realise that while the Israeli people wants peace, and
would readily agree to the Saoudi peace proposal, IF ONLY THEY COULD BE
BROUGHT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE PA HAS NO SECRET AGENDA, and will not try
to conquer, by terrorism or otherwise, the state of Israel proper, while
this is true for the Israeli people, it is not so for the Israeli
leadership. They have their own agenda which consists in a will to
expansion and, ultimately, to dislodge all the Palestinian population
from the West Bank and Ghaza.
It is therefore impossible to conclude a peaceful agreement with the
Israeli leadership along the proposal of Saoudi Arabia. Peace will be
possible only if Israel will be ruled by another kind of leadership a kind
which really reflects the will for peace of the Israeli people.
I here affirm that IT IS IN THE POWER OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO
BRING ABOUT SUCH A CHANGE IN THE ISRAELI LEADERSHIP. This requires a
strategy different than the one followed actually by the PA. More
precisely, there is a need to center the peace activity of the PA towards
the Israeli people, instead of towards the US or the Israeli leadership.
The Israeli population cannot dissociate the Palestinian people from HAMAS.
It is a fact that HAMAS enjoys some measure of popularity within the
Palestinian people. It is a fact that HAMAS does not hide that it aims
at the creation of a single Palestinian state from which all post-1948
Jews and their descendants would be expelled.
It is understandable that the Israeli population can easily be brainwashed
by its leadership into believing that the occupation is a necessary
measure to protect Israel from HAMAS and their likes. More recently, they
have been brainwashed into believing that the Palestinian authority
is not seriously against HAMAS' terrorism.
In these Israeli wrong beliefs, resides the strength of Sharon and that of
the past Israeli leaderships. Addressing the false but justifiable fears
of the Israeli people, is the way to shake the power of the Israeli
Now, did HAMAS learn anything from the last events? Did they find out that
their acts of indiscriminate killings were the best gift anyone could give
to Sharon? The reality is that such is not at all the case. HAMAS seems
intoxicated with the belief that Sharon is indeed motivated by
countering their terrorism. HAMAS does not realise that Sharon is USING
HAMAS' terrorism to implement his criminal agenda against the Palestinian
people. HAMAS think that the scope of the Israeli recent military
operations, reflects the greatness of the fear HAMAS has instilled in
the Israeli population. They think that, with suicide-bombing, they have
discovered the ultimate weapon which will allow them not only to
achieve the evacuation of the Wsst Bank and Ghaza, but also to destroy
the state of Israel.
We have therefore HAMAS AND Sharon, as if hand in hand, working towards
the defeat of the Palestinian aspirations. The Israeli repression and the
suspicion it causes in the peace process, reinforce the constituency
of HAMAS. This results in an increase in the feeling of insecurity of the
Israeli population, and in its suspicion of the Palestinians and the PA.
This in turn reinforces the Israeli people's support to Sharon. And thus
it goes on, Sharon strengthening HAMAS, and HAMAS strengthening Sharon.
What is the way out?
The way out is for the PA and other authoritative Palestinian leaders
to speak to the Israeli people, with words and deeds, over the back
of the Israeli leadership. This is a policy that should have started
decades ago. Still it is not too late, and it can be launched now.
First, it is time for the Palestinians who believe in the need for a
Palestinian state living side by side in friendly neighbourhood with the
Israeli state, to unite. It is absolutely unacceptable that intellectuals
such as Edward Said be shunned by the PA.
In view of the lack of security in the occupied territories, it would be
perfectly appropriate for Arafat, to delegate to a group of intellectuals
headed by Edward Said, for instance, to produce a first draft of a
Palestinian constitution, to be submitted to the Palestinian people
AFTER THE EVACUATION by Israel of all occupied territories beyond the 1967
Publicity given to a constitution that would be a model of democracy,
tolerance and secular spirit, and which would contain as a constitutional
principle the need for cooperation and friendship between all people of
the middle east, but more particularly between Palestine and Israel,
would do marvels in starting to introduce a wedge between the Israeli
leadership and the Israeli people.
Then there could be a manifesto giving details of how the PA intends to
deal with HAMAS' terrorism. The manifesto could contain the following
1) It is useless to implement policies of repression against Hamas, as long
as Hamas does enjoy popular support
2) however, following the evacuation of the territories and the dismantling
of the settlements, the despair of the Palestinian population would be
replaced by hope. Seeing that economic prosperity and dignity can be
restores by peaceful means, would give a fatal blow to the popularity of
3) It would then be possible for the PA to offer to HAMAS the possibility
to become a political party and a charitable organisation which will have to
strictly abide by the laws.
4) It is then that the PA could declare that any act of violence against
Israeli people would be considered as an act of treason against the
Palestinian state and its people, and would have to be met with harsh
punishment. Would HAMAS persists in such acts of violence, HAMAS would be
declared an outlawed organisation, and its member would be outlaws.
5) This manifesto and the expose of the intended PA policy towards HAMAS
must be announced NOW, before any loss of time.
6) Other initiatives, cultural or social can be devised by a creative
Palestinian leadership to serve the purpose of SPEAKING TO THE ISRAELI
PEOPLE INSTEAD OF TO THE ISRAELI LEADERSHIP.
Of course, such a policy has to be explained to the Palestinian people.
In this regard, the Israeli peace movement, the action of the refuseniks
will present to the Palestinian people a promising facet of Israel. This
facet can become the dominant one with the help of a proper Palestinian
So, let us all go forward in letting the two people talk to each other
by words and deeds.