If I were a Palestinian (the two state solution reconsidered)

Posted: July 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Left, The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »
Jewish settlements in WB, 2002 (click to enlarge). source: Betzelem

Jewish settlements in WB, 2002 (click to enlarge). source: Betzelem

I’m going on reserve service, so I probably won’t be posting for two weeks or so. Meanwhile, here is what I’ve been thinking about lately.

On March 1998, just before his first campaign for the position of Prime Minister, Ehud Barak was interviewed on a one of the cable channels by Haaretz’s Gidon Levi. At one point, Levi asked Barak where his life would have leaded him, if he was born a Palestinian. “If I was at the right age,” the response had come, “I would have joined one of the terror organizations.”

Thus started a big controversy: some people thought Barak was taking a brave and candid approach, others argued that he was legitimatizing suicide attacks (most people didn’t notice at the time or don’t remember now, but Barak condemned the Palestinian attacks on civilians in the second part of his answer to Gidon Levi). Altogether, the answer might have been a slip of a tongue, but it certainly didn’t prevent Barak from beating Netanyahu in the 1999 elections. Levi himself tried the same trick on Ariel Sharon a few years later, but Sharon ducked the question. Maybe it’s better that way; I believe it is not for Israelis to pass judgment or to give advice on the way the Palestinians fight the occupation.

Still, I would like to use this approach to make a point about an abnormality in the current debate that never ceases to amaze me.

Let me put it this way: if I were a Palestinian “of the right age,” like Barak puts it, I wouldn’t have joined any terror organization, and in fact, I wouldn’t even support the Palestinian fight for an independent state. Instead, I would embrace Netanyahu’s “economical peace“.

I’d like to explain:

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