No 1424 Posted by fw, August 14, 2015
“The trouble is that behind their words is an assumption that comes out later, that the second state – and it is a second state – isn’t really a state. It has no army, no control of its borders and essentially can’t defend its people. Mulcair didn’t say that, but he didn’t deny it either. I think the way they [Israeli’s] see it is that one state would be a Jewish state and the other state is kind of a quasi-state without a number of the important powers that a state would have. When the Palestinians talk about a two state solution they don’t talk about a quasi-state. And that’s why, although they’re using the same phrase, they’re really very far apart.” —David Parnas
In a six-minute video interview, embedded below, Dr. David Lorge Parnas, Jewish engineer, Ottawa resident, has presented technical papers at conferences around the world, including in Israel/Palestine where he has seen for himself the situation of the Palestinians. In speaking of himself, he says –
“As a child, my parents, both of whom were Holocaust escapees and lost relatives in the Holocaust, sent me to what was called Hebrew School where I learned what I consider to be the essentials of the Jewish religion. The treatment of the indigenous people of Palestine by “The Jewish State” is decidedly a violation of the principles that I was taught. For example, there is a Jewish version of what Christians call “the golden rule”. But I have never met an Israeli who would want to be treated the way that they treat Palestinians. My position on the rights of Palestinians has led some to call me a “self-hating Jew”. I believe that I am being true to what my Rabbi and the teachers in the Hebrew School taught me and is not, in any sense, self-hate.”
My transcript of Dr. Parnas’ response to questions posed by the interviewer, Peter Larsen, appear below the video. Peter Larsen’s comments and questions have been omitted. The sound quality is not the best.
In the first leaders’ debate, carried out last week, some small differences emerged between Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair on the Israel/Palestine issue. In this video interview, David Lorge Parnas explains why he thinks the differences are smaller than they might appear.
Palestine and the Canadian federal election: video interview with David Lorge Parnas
David Parnas – Well, I think Mulcair’s position, if you analyze it, is the same as the words that I hear from representatives of Israel. They use the phrase “two states for two peoples” and Mulcair used a very similar position. He wanted “two states safe for two peoples”. What I find is that, first of all that really isn’t different from Harper’s position because he backs up the Israeli position and it isn’t different from the Israeli position because they say the same words.
The trouble is that behind their words is an assumption that comes out later, that the second state – and it is a second state – isn’t really a state. It has no army, no control of its borders and essentially can’t defend its people. Mulcair didn’t say that, but he didn’t deny it either.
I think the way they [Israelis] see it is that one state would be a Jewish state and the other state is kind of a quasi-state without a number of the important powers that a state would have. When the Palestinians talk about a two state solution they don’t talk about a quasi-state. And that’s why, although they’re using the same phrase, they’re really very far apart.
More than that, the Palestinians do not want to give up their right to return to the ancestral homeland. They talk about a right to return just as the Jews do, but they mean a shorter term right to return. And the Israeli idea among some of the Israelis is that they will actually send some of their Arab citizens and the residents of East Jerusalem in that Palestinian state.
There are Israeli officials like former foreign minister Lieberman, for example, who explicitly talked about ethnic cleansing. And just recently the man who’s going to be the Israeli ambassador to the UN made a statement that he thought that Israel should claim more of that land and that land that remained would have as few Palestinians as possible. Strange phrase. They essentially [unintelligible] would use the word ‘Arab’, the more extreme ones, rather than ‘Palestinian’, to imply that they have other places to go.
I don’t know that Mulcair has the same position as Harper. His words did not distinguish him from Harper as you were suggesting [in a previous article, The Leaders Debate: Differences Emerge on Israel/Palestine]. He [Mulcair] didn’t elaborate what he meant by a two-state solution. Maybe he means that Israel should have no arms either. I don’t know what he means. He doesn’t say that. So, I don’t know what Mulcair’s position is. All I was really saying is that I didn’t see any evidence in that debate that Mulcair’s position, or Trudeau’s position, was any different from the current position.
On the other hand I think that Harper is about as bad on this issue as anybody can get. Especially when he goes to Tel Aviv he just [unintelligible] the Israelis what they’re saying. He doesn’t ever say anything…everything he said in his speech to the parliament in Tel Aviv was Israeli policy already. And he made fun of the same things that they try to make fun of. I can’t think of anything worse than Harper with the other two there’s hope for some change, but I don’t see any sign of it in what they said in the debate, or what they say anywhere else.
I don’t know who I’m going to vote for, but I know who I’m going to vote against.
Dr. David Lorge Parnas of Ottawa is a Jewish engineer who is best known for his contributions in the area of Software Design, Documentation, and Analysis. In the 80s he voiced his doubts about U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s highly touted Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI). His papers on that topic were widely discussed. Currently, he is very concerned about the unjust treatment of the indigenous people in the Middle East.
Peter Larsen, the author of the blog Canada Talks Israel-Palestine, Chair of the National Education Committee on Israel Palestine (NECIP). He is also a board member of the National Committee on Canada Arab Relations (NCCAR).
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