Attached a text published by Haaretz.
On the anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, Haaretz asked nine Israelis to comment on the state of the Israeli left. Their contributions were published on November 14, 2008. Uri Avnery’s contribution follows:
In the crucial battle over the national consciousness, we are experiencing great
Let us pause to recall: In the aftermath of the 1948 war, when we said there
is a Palestinian people and that peace should be made with it, there were not 100
When we said a
Palestinian state should be established alongside
When we insisted that
dialogue with the PLO was vital, we were called traitors. Four cabinet ministers
demanded that I be prosecuted for treason after I met Yasser
We were subjected to endless denunciation when we made it clear that
East Jerusalem had to be
the capital of
When we said that the settlements are a cancer in the nation's body and that we need to talk to Hamas, we received death threats.
Yet these positions have by now come to be accepted by most of the Israeli public. The "two-state solution" is a matter of worldwide consensus, and even politicians who oppose it must pretend to endorse it.
So if things are so good, why are they so bad?
The victory in the battle
for national awareness does not come hand in hand with a political victory. On
the contrary: The settlements are growing at an alarming rate, even though
their residents are isolated within the Israeli public. The occupation is
becoming entrenched. The settlers are infiltrating the military's high command.
The large political parties pay lip service to making peace and do the
opposite. The upcoming elections will include three large, outdated, tired
parties, which have already been in charge of the country and demonstrated
their inability or unwillingness to bring about change. There is no chance that
Many factors can be
blamed for this. The recent presidents of the
supported the proponents of settlement and annexation. Ehud Barak pulled the rug out from under the Israeli peace camp when he returned from Camp David to spread the mendacious mantra that "I have left no stone unturned on the road to peace / I have offered them unprecedented generous terms / They have turned everything down / We have is no partner for peace."
Politics is about power. The Labor Movement, in the days before the establishment of the State of Israel, knew this well and created its power structures in all areas of life. That is why it dominated the Jewish community here for two generations. Its power had negative side effects, but it also enabled it to
direct the establishment of the state.
Since then, the Israeli left has moved from one extreme to the other, reaching the point of utter political collapse. It seemed to believe that if the right message were only voiced, everything would then happen on its own.
The left has divested itself of all its political assets and of almost all its media
assets. It has lost touch with
Israelis that peace is possible, that there is a partner for peace.
Without access to the media, the voice of the active, dedicated and resolute part of the peace camp rings weak.
The appearance of Barack Obama, the man who came from nowhere and led a historic revolution, proves that anything is possible. People with an exciting vision, creative thinking, courage, determination and a clear message can work miracles. Two years ago no one believed it was possible. Now it has happened. Obama has mobilized an entire new generation, which understands that change must be political and that political mobilization is the duty of anyone who wants to fix the world.
On Saturday, two weeks
ago, the proponents of peace gathered at
I believe that the Israeli Obama will find fertile ground for peace. I would like to be
present at his victory rally at
@ Haaretz info: The author is a writer, journalist and former MK. He edited the Ha'olam Hazeh newsmagazine, was among the first Israelis to meet with Yasser Arafat and founded the Gush Shalom movement.