…The Israeli Foreign Ministry maintains that the very fact that Anwar Sadat recognized Israel’s right to exist was a major breakthrough. But aside from the question of whether he was sincere or not, that very concept is worthy of question. Is it proper to sacrifice major military and economic resources in exchange for such a proclamation?
The fault in the Israeli approach goes much deeper. Sadat became a hero in Israel. He was lauded all over the country, and celebrations were held for his arrival. Israelis were overjoyed that an Arab leader had actually acknowledged their existence. So great was the adulation that there were Knesset members who proposed making Arabic a required language in schools. Crazy euphoria that fed on some sort of Jewish insecurity, the kind of innate fears that go back to the Sinai desert when Moses sent scouts to the Promised Land and all but two came back feeling inferior to the giant locals they found. “We were like grasshoppers in their eyes” as the Bible says.
(see link at end)… At the same time, 45 years after the occupation began and 20 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, the existing strategy of separating Israel from Palestine appears unattainable. The time has come, mainly for the Zionist left, to admit that a plan that includes a Palestinian national homeland void of Jews and a Jewish homeland in Israel isn’t just or fair. A deal between them, looking east, and us, a Western fortified enclave in the “heart of the desert,” won’t work. A deal that precludes Jewish access to areas that are central to the connection between the Jewish people and its homeland (including Hebron, Shiloh and Beit El) and similarly prevents Palestinian access to large swathes of their native land (from which they were expelled during the Nakba, or Israel’s independence) cannot solve the conflict.
Yet, it’s impossible to continue with the status quo. The Israeli occupation, its racial separation and revocation of millions of Palestinians’ civil and human rights, does not allow for the continued moral, safe and healthy Jewish existence in the Middle East. It would imperil the entire national Jewish project and Israel as a Jewish democratic state. To ensure Zionism’s continued existence, we must shift the paradigm – from separation to cooperation, to Jews and Arabs sharing the space between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. …( continued after break)…
Now did such things ever happen in Egypt? Or, for that matter, did American praise ever wax so eloquent when a Russian leader came to visit. Was Jimmy Carter dribbling spittle over the yids? It seemed that Israel was saying “Well, since Sadat thinks we’re important, I guess we are.” Completely other-directed. Self-esteem came not from an inner sense of their own mission and purpose, but from the recognition granted from a foe who couldn’t give a camel’s hoof for them. Sadat heard that message, and for that reason he made no concession.
Israel spoke to him as if he was the leader of all the Arab countries. In particular, she made commitments to him with regard to the “West Bank.” It was at Camp David that the term “autonomy” was coined.
The Palestinians had stated publicly that they did not see Sadat as their representative. He had no commitment to them, nor they to him. For sure, to try to upgrade his image in the Arab countries he felt it necessary to raise the Palestinian issue. But once it was raised, Israel could and should have answered the truth: “This is no concern of yours. Peace with the Palestinians has to be made with the Palestinians.” And he would have left it at that, for his interests really lay only in strengthening his own country.
(continuation)… The solution proposed above, which requires further development, opens the door to additional solutions in terms of sharing Jerusalem as a capital, dividing resources betwe
srael and Palestine, and most important in terms of the shared fate of Israelis and Palestinians. Both nations have proved their dedication, their strong emotional bond and their willingness to make sacrifices for land in Israel/Palestine. They are also aware that it is their destiny either to rely on one another or be left hanging next to one another….
We Israelis will be asked to pay a heavy price – and that price is our privileges, or the mechanisms by which we “Judaize” the country and get first priority over the Palestinians when it comes to dividing resources within and beyond the Green Line. It is undoubtedly a steep price. But when you pay such a price and get something equally valuable in return, it’s a good deal. In fact, what we will get in return – acceptance within the Middle East – is priceless.
Dan Goldenblatt is co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center of Research. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-and-palestine-play-nice-and-learn-to-share.premium-1.492155