What is Justice for the Palestinians?

Let us suppose that a package has been defined that would represent "full justice for the
Palestinians". Let us also assume, just for the sake of the argument, that it would take thirty
more years to obtain "full justice".

Let us now suppose that another package has been defined that would represent "partial
justice" for the Palestinians, and that it would take two years to obtain this "partial justice"

If we have to chose between the two, the choice is not an easy one. Is not justice delayed, in
itself, an absence of justice? Therefore, is it not an indication that full justice is impossible
if we must way too long for it?

In a delay of thirty years, how great is the number of those who will remain persecuted for
thirty more years? How many will be the children who will be malnourished? How many would
be the children who will be killed by Israeli bullets? How many will be those who will die
for an absence of proper medical attention or supplies? How many will be those innocents
who will remain in jail for years? How many will be those who will not be able to complete their
education, will not be able to get the good job they deserve? How many will be those who will
be impaired in their travel for important family matters? How many will be those who will not
be able to marry their sweethearts in another country? How many will be those who will
suffer from starvation? How many will be those who will suffer from humiliation? How many
will be those who will grieve for a the loss of a member of the family, or for a dear friend?
How many will be those who will become physically handicapped for life?
All this is part of the package of delayed justice.

When considering non-delayed partial justice, we must remember that a women who would
otherwise die at a checkpoint together with the child she is bearing, could be alive with her
child, if we accept partial justice.

It is therefore not easy to insist on full justice at any price, even if obviously it has to be
delayed. for years.

The person insisting on full justice, be it delayed ot not, can feel self-righteous and have
no pang of consciousness. All the horrors implied by the delay are the fault of the Israeli
expansionist leadership. We, the defenders of the full justice, are beyond reproach. We just
ask what is our right to ask!!!

That is not true. Every position has consequences, and you are responsible for the
consequences  of your positions. You cannot prevent to have on your conscience,
the miseries which will result from your choice. Your only good reason could be that
between the miseries inflicted by the delay resulting from your choice, and the miseries
of the refugees that would result from a different choice, you have chosen to spare the
miseries of the refugees at the expense of the miseries of the Palestinian population
in the occupied territories.

But, have you ever considered the problem under that angle, or have you just
dogmatically stuck to full justice without considering its consequences? Have you
considered whether your insistence on full justice will not facilitate Sharon's plans for
annexation of a good part of the occupied territories? What if your insistence for
full justice will result in a serious deterioration of the situation in the occupied

As a consistent antizionist for all my long life, my first reaction was to oppose the GA.
I knew that its implementation would mean an immediate improvement of the
situation of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. It would save lives, it would
improve the health of the population, their education etc.. But how could I abandon
the ROR? I was torn between supporting and opposing GA.

But then I became wiser. I realized that the two-states solution cannot last too long.
There is a Jewish demographic problem in Israel. The most religious families have
over ten children each. In a generation, the number of the ultra-religious people
will become the majority in Israel and Israel will lose whatever secular aspect it
still has. I know some Israelis who, afraid of that perspective, are already
trying to emigrate from Israel, not for fear of the Palestinian, but for fear
of the extreme Israeli theocracy which is lurking on the horizon. The Israeli
one-state will not be able to stabilize secularly, without the help of the secular
Palestinian movement. Apart from that, the support of the GA already causes a
breach in the Israeli society, allowing the introduction of a wedge between
people and leadership, a wedge that we must widen, with a proper
strategy. Accords are not necessarily static. They evolve.
I am a staunch antizionist, and a staunch supporter of ROR. But I am torn
between the consequences of supporting and opposing the ROR. Nobody should
suppress from the discourse, those staunch antizionist, staunch supporters of
ROR who chose an immediate relief to the Palestinians in the occupied territories,
while preparing the changes that will make it possible for the ROR to become a
reality in the future. Opposing the GA, does not immediately realize the ROR,
does not bring any relief to the Palestinian population.

Once more, you should support or oppose the GA in full consciousness of the
consequences of your choice, but do not expel from your midst, those who hope
to realize both ROR and an immediate relief of the Palestinians in the occupied
territories, by considering a dynamic approach to the GA.


Clement Leibovitz
e-mail: info@cleibovitz.org

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