No 2178 Posted by fw, March 9 / Updated March 10, 2018
***** MARCH 10 UPDATE *****
The Israel Lobby & American Policy has published a transcript of Gideon Levy’s address to the National Press Club. To access click on http://israellobbyandamericanpolicy.org/transcripts/Gideon_Levy.html
“The only place on earth that Donald Trump is beloved, admired, adored and appreciated is Israel. The only place that Benjamin Netanyahu is admired, adored, beloved is the United States. If this is not shared values, what is shared values? Some of my ex-best friends are on their way now to the real thing – to the AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] conference which will start on this weekend – politicians, journalists, to what I call as the annual drug dealers conference. They will discuss how many more drugs they will send to the Israel occupation-addicted state; how much more friendship will they express and how much more money and weapons will they supply. And I can tell you, in the United States, as an Israeli, we don’t have a bigger enemy than the Jewish Lobby. We don’t have a bigger enemy for justice, for peace, for equality than those who think that if you supply the drug-addicted with more drugs, you are his friend. That if you support him blindly and automatically no matter what he does, you are a friend. No, my friends, those are not friends, those are enemies, and I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to be here [at AIPAC] today and not there tomorrow.” —Gideon Levy, The Real News Network
Gideon Levy was the keynote speaker at the March 2, 2018, National Press Club’s all-day conference titled “The Israel Lobby and American Policy.” Gideon Levy, a columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz, speaking on the eve of the AIPAC summit in Washington, laments that across the mainstream Israeli political spectrum, there is no challenge to the occupation of Palestinian land.
Levy’s reference to “shared values” brought to mind my post of March 30, 2016, which I titled Trudeau’s claim that Israel’s values align with Canada’s values offends me. Trudeau declared:
“Israel is a friend, Israel is an ally, Israel is a country that has values and an approach on many, many issues that are very much aligned with Canadians’ values.”
Before the prime minister or, for that matter, any leader of a Canadian federal party, utters more platitudes about the alignment of Israel and Canada’s values, they would be well advised to watch Levy’s address.
Notes: 1) The introduction of Gideon Levy to the audience is not included in the transcript: the transcript begins 2:38-minutes from the beginning of the 52:29-minute video; and 2) English is not Levy’s native tongue. Occasionally his phrasing is awkward; his English language miscues are spelled phonetically and are not spelling errors.
Below is a repost of Gideon Levy’s keynote address to the National Press Club, including an embedded video and a full transcript. Thanks to my partner, Helga, for preparing the long transcript, which includes added subheadings, text highlighting and added hyperlinks. To access the transcript by the Israel Lobby & American Policy, go to http://israellobbyandamericanpolicy.org/transcripts/Gideon_Levy.html
Alternatively, watch the video, without a transcript, on the Real News website by clicking on the following linked title.
“… the hope for change within Israeli society is so limited, it’s non-existent”
Thank you, Grant. I was wondering about whom you were talking about. Can I stay here and not go back home? It’s my third time here with those wonderful people, and a third time, on the one hand I feel so much at home. I know so many faces. You all get younger, I get older. You all get energized and more devoted and I get more and more desperated, but it puts me also in a challenge, because in my second time here I started my speech, as far as I can recall, with the concern that I am going to repeat myself and bore you to death, because by the end of the day, I’m the singer of one song, and you’ve heard it already. But the organizer(s) were sophisticated enough this time and they gave a very strange title to my speech, which doesn’t enable me to sing my song. I have to fit to a new song. So I’ll do my best, but I’m really, really so grateful for all the wonderful people who brought me here and Katrine my partner, this day was so interesting for us, so enriching . In Hebrew we have this expression: we came to strengthen and we came out strengthened, and this is what I feel after a conference like this. This is maybe – maybe you are holding the key for any kind of change, for any kind of hope, because as I’ll try to claim later on, the hope for change within Israeli society is so limited, it’s non-existent. And when the United States is so still, so crucial people like you can really make the difference. People like you can really be a game changer and I mean it.
“As an Israeli, I can tell you in the US, we don’t have a bigger enemy that the Jewish Lobby [AIPAC]. We don’t have a bigger enemy for justice, for peace, for equality than those who think that if you support him blindly and automatically no matter what he does, you are a friend. No, my friends, those are not friends, those are enemies”
It was never before that Israel and the United States shared the same values like in those days. The only place on earth that Donald Trump is beloved, admired, adored and appreciated is Israel. The only place that Benjamin Netanyahu is admired, adored, beloved is the United States. If this is not shared values, what is shared values? Some of my ex-best friends are on their way now to the real thing – to the AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] conference which will start on this weekend – politicians, journalists, to what I call as the annual drug dealers conference. They will discuss how many more drugs they will send to the Israel occupation-addicted state; how much more friendship will they express and how much more money and weapons will they supply. And I can tell you, in the United States, as an Israeli, we don’t have a bigger enemy than the Jewish Lobby. We don’t have a bigger enemy for justice, for peace, for equality than those who think that if you supply the drug-addicted with more drugs, you are his friend. That if you support him blindly and automatically no matter what he does, you are a friend. No, my friends, those are not friends, those are enemies, and I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to be here [at AIPAC] today and not there tomorrow. (Applause) Thank you.
Israel’s two religions are Zionism and security – if you question either, you are a traitor
The title of my lecture speaks about Zionism, and Zionism is one of the two religions of Israel and as religion, as any religion, you can’t question it. The second religion is obviously the religion of security. So between Zionism and security, anyone in Israel who dares to raise any kind of question mark is immediately perceived as a traitor. It’s impossible to describe (for) you what does it mean to say that you have some questions about Zionism. Imagine yourself today if you question the other religion, if you claim that the Israeli IDF – the Israeli Defense Forces – are not the most moral army in the world; let’s say they are the second moral army in the world; how dare you? We are getting it with the milk of our mothers, even though my mother was not such a Zionist, I think, but you – it’s very hard to understand from the outside how an ideology became part of the DNA; how an ideology became something that must be taken for granted and there is no room for any question marks. I know it about myself. I know how I grew up. I know what I thought about those very, very, very few who claimed that they are not Zionists or, God forbid, anti-Zionists. They were the Satans, even though they were Jews and Israelis. I don’t recall one example on earth in which an ideology is so totalitarian, is so Saint, is so holy that you have no right to put any kind of doubt, question marks, nothing: not about the past, not about the future, not about the present, nothing. It’s unbelievable when you live in a state in which you declare that you don’t accept this ideology, you are not part of the place, you’re not part of society. You have no place there: go to Gaza, go to Damascus, don’t stay here.
“One of my sins was working for Shimon Peres for four years. He didn’t stop talking about putting an end to the occupation; he didn’t stop talking about it’s not democratic, and not justice, that one people governs another people – beautiful, beautiful ideas. … but by the end of the day, Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres is the founding father of the settlements project. So what do we get out of this nice rhetorics, except of showing a nice face of Israel and doing the very, very, very same crimes?”
And this leads me to the title, because when it comes to Zionism and friends, we have to face reality. When it comes to Zionism, there is no difference in Israel between left and right. When it comes to the occupation, which is part and parcel of Zionism, there is no meaningful difference between left and right in Israel. And when I mean left and right, I mean the so-called Zionistic left, labour and others, and the right wingers. The difference is only by rhetorics. So those of you – and I know some of my Israeli friends who bought already some champagne bottles, ready to open them the moment that Benjamin Netanyahu will be impeached or even go to jail, and they will celebrate how Israel is coming from darkness to light, how freedom and peace is around the corner because we got rid of the tyrant, the right wing of the fascists and after this, the light is around the corner – as usually, I have bad news for you. Because, by the end of the day, when you judge the real policy , not the rhetorics, yes, labour and left are having much more sympathetic rhetorics. Between other sins that I committed, one of my sins was working for Shimon Peres for four years. He didn’t stop talking about putting an end to the occupation; he didn’t stop talking about it’s not democratic, and not justice, that one people governs another people – beautiful, beautiful ideas that Benjamin Netanyahu and those right-wingers would have never say – but by the end of the day, Nobel Prize speech, Nobel Prize winner Shimon Peres is the founding father of the settlements project. So what do we get out of this nice rhetorics, except of showing a nice face of Israel and doing the very, very, very same crimes?
“… occupation is off the table in Israel. Nobody talks about it. Nobody’s discussed it. Nobody is concerned about the occupation”
So I’m here, not to spread optimism, as you might know me by now, but when it comes to the basic, Israel is really united. I still remember (grunts?) in those days in which the joke was that three Israelis shared – sorry, I spoiled it – that two Israelis shared three views. Today, three Israelis share hardly one view and it will be not only Zionist but pro-occupation as you might know, occupation is off the table in Israel. Nobody talks about it. Nobody’s discussed it. Nobody is concerned about the occupation. It is, you know, like one of those things, like the rain, like the sun, force majeure, some like it, some like it less, but nobody thinks that anything can be done about it. It doesn’t bother us so much, that’s the truth. It’s only half an hour away from our homes but who hears about it and who cares about it. And the crimes are on a daily basis, but really daily basis.
The media is complicit: hardly covering Israeli crimes against Palestinians – shooting children – and if they do, putting a terrorist spin on the story. No other society lives in denial to the extent that the state of Israel does.
The media hardly covers them and if they cover them, it will be always according to the Zionistic narrative: a terrorist of 12; a girl of 15 with scissors in her hands is an existential threat to the State of Israel; a girl who is slapping a soldier is someone who deserves life sentence, not less than this- a girl that one hour before, her cousin was shot in his head 50 meters away from her home – so now the Israeli army claims that this was fabricated. I mean, even the Israeli propaganda lost its shame. But Israel dares, dares to claim that this child, Mohammed Tamimi whom I met a few days after he was injured – he lost half of his brain – that he fabricated his injury — then you see that Israel is really desperated. If Israel needs this level of propaganda; if Israel is getting so low in denying shooting in the head of a child of 15 and claiming that he fall from the bicycles, then do you know that things are getting worse: maybe it’s a hope for a new beginning but right now, look how low does it get there. And all those are passing Israeli society as if nothing is happening, no question marks, very little moral doubts if at all, a cover up, living in denial like never before. I cannot think about one society which lives in such denial like the Israeli society. And again it includes left and right, except of the very devoted, extreme left activists – let’s remember them. But they are really small in figures and totally, totally delegitimized.
Israel’s pseudo left, its rightwing, and its centre-left all agree on one thing – the occupation must go on, the crimes must continue
So when I speak about left, I mean labour; Yeshuati the new promise of Israeli politics and maybe the next Prime Minister, Yair Lapid and all the rest – in many ways, they are worse than the right-wingers because they feel so good about themselves, because they are so sure that they are so human and universal and moral, while the right-wingers at least don’t cover up. They say: yes, we are fascists, so what’s wrong about it? We are Jews and we have the right to be fascists because we are the chosen people: we have the right, and nobody is going to tell us what to do. When it comes to the central left as it’s called – I can hardly pronounce it: central left – what do those people have to do with left? — but when it comes to the central left, it’s a rare combination, which you feel so good about yourself, you are not one of those fascists; you are not one of those nationalist, racist; you are a liberal. But the occupation must go on and the child Ahed Tamimi must stay in jail forever and the crimes must continue because we have no other choice.
The values at the core of Israeli society: we are the chosen people and international law doesn’t apply to them; we are the only victims which gives us the right to do whatever we want; and the Palestinians are not equal human beings to us, they are not like us
Which brings me to the set of values which I see as the core of Israeli society nowadays. Three or four sets of values which explain everything in my view.
The first very deep-rooted value, and let’s face it, is the value that we are the chosen people. Seculars and religious will claim so, and even if they don’t admit it, they feel so. And the implementation is very simple. If we are the chosen people, who are you to tell us what to do? Who are you? Who is the international community, to tell Israel what to do? International law – oh, wonderful thing, it doesn’t apply on us. It apply on any other place on earth, not on Israel, because we are the chosen people, don’t you understand it? Asylum seekers – 88% of the Eritreans are recognized as refugees in Europe. You know how many of them in Israel? Less than 1%. Less than 1%. Why so? Because we are a special case. You don’t expect us to absorb 40,000 asylum-seekers. How can you expect us? We can’t. We can’t. And we are the chosen people, and we don’t need to prove it.
The second, very deep-rooted value is obviously the value of “we the victims”, not only the biggest victims but the only victims around. I know many occupations which were longer than Israeli occupation, than the Israeli occupation Some were even more brutal even though it’s getting harder and harder to be more brutal than the Israeli occupation. I don’t recall one occupation in which the occupier present himself as the victim – not only the victim, the only victim. If to phrase here, if to quote here the late Golda Meir whom I quoted also last time, I know, but it is so unforgettable I have to use it again, she once said that “We will never forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children.” We are the victims. We are forced to kill their children. Poor us. And as the victim, and the only victim in history, again it enable us the rights to do whatever we want and nobody is going to tell us what to do because we are the only victims.
To this there is a third, very deep-rooted value and this is the very deep belief – again, everyone will deny it, but if you scratch under the skin of almost every Israeli you’ll find it there. The Palestinians are not equal human beings like us. They are not like us. They don’t love their children like us. They don’t love life like us. They were born to kill. They are cruel. They are sadists. They have no values, no manners. Look how they kill us. This is very, very deep-rooted in Israeli society and maybe that’s the key issue, because as long as this continues, nothing will move. As long as most of the Israelis don’t perceive the Palestinians as equal human beings, we are so much better than them, we are so much developed than them, and we are so much human than them. As long as this is the case, all of our dreams – and we have some dreams and I’ll get to them – all our dreams will never come true as long as this core issue will not change.
“Israeli society, especially in the last years, has a very clear intention to crush any kind of criticism, from within and from outside. And this is going through legislation, through campaigns, through the media, and it’s just in its beginning.”
So you have a society with a deep conviction in its justice, in its right way, with very, very few question marks. Anyone who dares to raise a question mark is immediately, in a very systematic way, is immediately erased, demolished. It’s unbelievable how this machinery works in Israel. We are talking here about how efficient is the Jewish Lobby here. Look at the Jewish Lobby, so-called, in Israel. “Breaking the silence”. For years we were dreaming about the day that soldiers will stand up and say the truth. Not Gideon Levy, the liar, the traitor, who tells us all kinds of stories about the Israeli crimes – no! Soldiers who have committed those crimes will just come and testify about what they have been doing. And here it came. Over 1,000 testimonies of soldiers who in a very brave way gave their testimonies about what they have been doing in the occupied territories throughout the years. This should have been an earthquake in any healthy society. It’s our sons. But what happened? Nothing. “Breaking the Silence “was immediately delegitimized by the establishment, with the typical collaboration with the Israeli media, and I’m afraid to say that “Breaking the Silence” is crushed today. And this is just one example. Israeli society, especially in the last years, has a very clear intention to crush any kind of criticism, from within and from outside. And this is going through legislation, through campaigns, through the media, and it’s just in its beginning.
Israel has three regimes; one for Israeli Jews, who enjoy freedom of speech; the second is for Palestinian citizens, who enjoy civil rights but are otherwise discriminated against and the third is for the occupied territories, which is one of the most brutal, cruel tyrannies on earth.
In this way, I must say, there might be a slight difference between so-called left and right in Israel, because the Israeli left has some kind of commitment, at least for the democracy for the Jews, because as you might know, Israel may be the only place on earth with three regimes.
We are having three regimes: one is a so-called liberal democracy for Jewish citizens, which have many cracks now, but it is still functioning. I have total freedom in Israel. This must be mentioned here. I write whatever I want. I appear on TV. I can’t claim that someone is shutting my mouth, except of people in the street, who wouldn’t like to see me, or spitting at me, or threatening me, but by the end of the day, this freedom, which I don’t take for granted and might not last for long – but this freedom is there. So that’s the first regime in the front.
Then comes the second regime, a very discriminative regime towards the Israeli Palestinians, the Palestinians of ’48, the Israeli citizens who are Palestinians; 20% of the population. They are discriminated in any possible aspect of life, but they gain formal, equal civil rights. They vote, they elect, they can be voted, they can be elected, and that’s the second regime.
And obviously the third regime, which Israel is hiding, is the military occupation, is the military regime in the occupied territories. And here I allow myself to say, with no doubts, that this is today one of the most brutal, cruel tyrannies on earth. Not less than this. I repeat it: the military occupation in the occupied territories is today one of the brutal, cruel tyrannies on earth.
“How dare can someone call Israel the only democracy in the Middle East when in its backyard, there is one of the most cruel, brutal tyrannies in the world? How can you do it? … I know only one thing: Israel had never stopped building settlements. And anyone who builds one house in the occupied territories has no intention whatsoever to put an end to the occupation. And those bluffs should be called.”
How dare can someone call Israel the only democracy in the Middle East when in its backyard, there is one of the most cruel, brutal tyrannies in the world? How can you do it? Can you be half-pregnant? Can you be half-democratic? Can you be a democracy in the front and a tyranny in your backyard? And here comes the next lie that we should fight: the claim that it is all temporary. No, my friends, it was never meant to be temporary. It is not temporary and it will not be temporary if it depends on Israel. There was never an Israeli statesman in an important position, an influential position – prime minister or so – who really meant to put an end to the occupation -none of them. Some of them wanted to gain time in order to strengthen the occupation, some others wanted to gain time by getting all kind of interim agreements just for gaining time, some others wanted to be perceived by the world, to be hugged by the world as people of peace, but none of them had the intention to put an end to the occupation. How do I know it? I don’t know what is in their hearts. I know only one thing: Israel had never stopped building settlements. And anyone who builds one house in the occupied territories have no intention whatsoever to put an end to the occupation. And those bluffs should be called.
Can’t expect change from within Israeli society. Why? Because life is too good, and the brainwashing system is too effective. Because Israelis are ignorant of what is happening in the occupied territories; and the violence doesn’t touch them: largely confined to the occupied territories. As long as Israel is either gaining from the occupation, or not paying anything for it, there is no incentive to change. Those that are protesting are a small group, and are delegitimized. So the best hope for change is pressure from without.
And here I come to you all. As I’m very, very skeptical about change from within the Israeli society, because life in Israel is far too good and brainwash system is far too efficient, to have a dialogue today with most of the Israelis is even for me, almost an impossible job. Really, it’s in many times I find myself, together with Katrine, when we meet ordinary Israelis, good people, they would volunteer anywhere, but when you start to talk with them about the occupation, after 2 minutes you want just to tear your hairs. I mean, you don’t know what to do; you don’t know where to start. Brainwash is so deep and the denial is so deep and the ignorance, the ignorance – they know nothing. Anyone in this hall knows so much more about the occupation than any average Israeli, including those who serve there in the army. They know nothing. And what they know is wrong. So to expect a change from within this society, when restaurants are packed, when life is beautiful, when there is hardly terror in Israel, it was hardly – I mean, even what they call terror, those exploding buses and all those things -the only violent attacks are mainly now in the occupied territories , not in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is living a very, very peaceful, secure life so to expect this society to stand up and to say no more – out of what, what incentive? So as long as this balance is that Israel is either gaining out of the occupation or not paying anything for it, as long as any kind of any Israeli doesn’t feel that he – that the occupation is something he should think about, why should he be bothered? He doesn’t pay, he’s not punished, and even if he’s paid, he does not make the linkage because even if there were those years of the Second Intifada which were really, really bloody, with exploding buses and suicide bombers, nobody made the linkage to the occupation. If you dare to make the linkage, you will be immediately accused as a traitor, because how dare you, because you justify terror. So they explode buses because they were born to kill, it has nothing to do with the occupation. So there was no progress or change, even not after the violence. So if life is so good, there is really no reason to go for a change, and therefore the hopes for change from within the Israeli society are really, really very minimal and again with all due respect to those groups who are fighting, who are not giving up, who are struggling, who are going to demonstrate every Friday in another village against the fence, against the occupation, against all those things – wonderful people, including many, many young people – but finally, it is a small group and delegitimized.
“My only hope is from people like you”
And therefore, people like me, my only hope is from people like you. That’s right now the only hope. And we are hearing here, today, all day, including from Grant’s very, very knowledgeable lecture, figures that are depressing even me. The Jewish Lobby is so strong yet.
Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem is actually a good thing – it signals the death of the two-state solution, and the end of the masquerade.
But by the end of the day, let’s see it in a more realistic way. They are moving now the American Embassy to Jerusalem. Big victory for Israel. Big victory for the occupation. By the end of the day, what does it mean? It means that the United States has declared officially the death of the two-state solution. It means that the United States had declared officially what we knew for many, many years, that the United States is not and cannot be a fair mediator. It declared that the United States is officially the friend of the occupation and only of the occupation. It declared officially that the funeral of the two-state solution and the funeral of America as a mediator in the Middle East went to its way already. For the long run, I see it as an achievement – end of the masquerade, end of the masquerade, end of the lip services and I’m very grateful, you’ll be surprised, to Donald Trump who brought us there.
David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel is really the US Ambassador of the Settlements
Now, I just feel sorry for one person, but you know, this is not so much. I really feel so much sympathy, empathy and sorrow for [United States] Ambassador David Friedman. He will have to move from Herzliya by the Sea, from this lovely villa to Jerusalem and believe me, he deserves it. The Ambassador of the Settlements was the costume of the American Ambassador – he is even not the Ambassador of Israel, he is Ambassador of the settlements project, and not of all settlements, just the extreme ones, if there is a difference – will have to move to Jerusalem. What is a bigger gift to all of us, than to see him among the Orthodox, among the tensions, among the border police every corner, with all the violence and the tension and the occupation every step you step in Jerusalem, what will be more of a gift for us than to see him there rather than to see him in front of the Sea of Herzliya. So we shouldn’t give up.
What should you, the people attending this gathering, do? 1) Fight the criminalization of criticism of Israel; also, BDS is the right way to go – the proof is that it makes Israel nervous; 2) Fight the lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East; and 3) Fight the lie that the occupation is temporary.
And if I may, with all my modesty, my, my ideas for what you should do — who am I to tell you, I hardly know what to tell myself what to do – but still, I saw it in three, three main issues right now.
One must be to fight this unbelievable process of criminalization of criticizing Israel. This must stop, and we shouldn’t give up. It’s – we heard today that it’s not only about BDS anymore, now it’s about any critic about Israel. The fact that someone who raises his voice for justice is criminalized is first of all, a domestic problem. What kind of society is this? What kind of society is this, that criminalizes those who support justice and praises those who supports the violations of an international law, the crimes. So this should be one of our goals, not to give up. And when they call you anti-Semites — here, it’s easier; in Europe they get paralysed – -if you call someone an anti-Semite in Europe, he’s paralyzed. And they take advantage of it in a very manipulative way. Don’t let them. You should be proud in raising your voice. BDS right now is the only game in town. BDS is a legitimate tool; Israel is using it by calling the world to boycott Hamas, to boycott Iran. You have the full right not to buy products from sweatshops in South America, South Asia; you have the full right not to buy products from a shop which sells meat; and you have the full right not to buy products from a country or from an area that you feel that something is wrong there. What does it mean, that you should apologize for boycotting something that is, that deserves boycott. And BDS, one can claim that had not yet reported about real success, economical successes maybe, but we have one proof why BDS is the right thing to do. Look how Israel gets nervous about BDS. And if they get so nervous about it, you can know that’s the right way. Grant, if you’ll invite me next year again or in two years, I’m not sure I will be able to say those sentences, because those sentences very soon will become a violation of the Israeli law. You are not allowed to call people to boycott Israel. But let’s challenge them.
The second challenge that I see for you is to try to tear, especially in this country, the lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We need it desperately. It’s all about the truth. It’s all about telling the people the truth. And as I said before, a state which possesses one of the most brutal tyrannies on earth cannot be called a democracy, period.
And the last lie that you have to fight, or, I allow myself to suggest you to fight, is the lie that all this is temporary. After 50 years of occupation, why would we say, after 50 years, after 100 years of occupation, or after 70 years of occupation – because ’48 never stopped: let’s remember it. It’s the same policy; those are the same methods; same lies; same brainwash; same explanations, and – and – ex… and excuses, and as long as these continue, nobody can claim that this is temporary. The occupation is there to stay, and we should call the bluff and say, this colonialistic project has no intention to come to its end, even though, here and there, there are some statesmen or politicians who claim so. No! You never had an intention to put an end to it and you don’t have it.
As to what should be the solution: Since the population of Palestinians and Israelis are roughly equal – 6 million each – it’s time to grant equal rights, or accuse Israel of what it is: an apartheid state. The vision is that these two peoples can live together harmoniously, but it will take a long time to achieve that vision. And meanwhile, there is work to do.
And as it says zero, zero, zero in my timer, is it an appreciation for my talk, Grant – three zeros? In any case, my last sentence would be, what should be the solution? And it was mentioned here, and therefore I’m not getting into elaborating on it, but I just feel committed to say so. For many years, I was a great supporter of the two-state solution; I saw that the two-state solution is a reasonable and achievable solution. Total justice will never be achieved in this part of the world, but I saw that this will be a relatively fair, just solution, even though a lot of injustice is about it. Above all, we are dealing about 22% [of land] to the Palestinians and 78% to the Jews, while we are facing today – I don’t know how many of you are familiar to the very dramatic fact that today, already today, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, there are exactly 50-50: 6 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews. If you count two and a half million in the West Bank, two in Gaza and two in Israel, you get over six million Palestinians and there are six million Jews, roughly speaking, maybe I’m wrong in some figures, but it is roughly half enough; two peoples equal right now. So if someone thinks that one people can dominate another people – and let’s get back to Zionism and to the title of this talk – the basic of Zionism is that there is one people which is privileged over the other. That’s the core. And this cannot go on. And if it goes on, it has only one name. In Hebrew we call it apartheid. So, I totally join your analysis today, which I learned a lot off, and others, even if it sounds now like a utopia, even if it sounds now like something unthinkable, it’s time for us to change the discourse; it’s time for us to talk about equal rights; about one person, one vote; and let’s challenge Israel. Israel will say no. Then we can officially declare Israel is an apartheid state. Because there is no other way. If you deny equal rights, you are not a democracy officially. It’s not a question of point of view, of opinion. It’s a matter of fact. And Israel obviously will say no. But we shouldn’t give up, because by the end of the day, I truly believe that Palestinians and Israelis, Palestinian Jews can live together. We tried it in the past. It is being tried today in all kinds of small frameworks. We can really live together. Believe me, I’d rather have a Palestinian prime minister than a Yair Lapid or a Benjamin Netanyahu.
“… no one is going to evacuate 700,000 settlers”
So by the end of the day we should be clear about the hope, about the vision. We should understand that the road is still very, very long to go – we are just in the beginning. But unlikely, at least for me, and likely there are last years in which I continued to say almost out of my sleep – two-state, two-state solution, two-state solution, knowing that it will never happen. Knowing that no one is going to evacuate 700,000 settlers; knowing that nobody meant to do it, and knowing that it will not solve the basic problem. So we have a vision. We have meanwhile some goals. There is so much work to do, for you and for us, so let’s not waste more time on talkings.
Thank you very much.
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