The trials and tribulations of a Palestinian Mandela

 
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By Khaled Diab

Although I wish there were a Palestinian  Mandela, I suspect that Israel-Palestine is not ready for someone like him… not yet, at least.

Partners in peace: Mandela and de Klerk shake hands. Photo: World Economic Forum

Partners in peace: Mandela and de Klerk shake hands. Photo: World Economic Forum

Thursday 12 December 2013

Since the passing away of Nelson Mandela, eulogies glorifying the great man have been circulating around the globe – some heartfelt, others opportunistic; some genuine, others hypocritical.

I will not bore the reader by adding my own longwinded homage to the cacophony of tributes already out there. Suffice it to say that, despite his imperfections, Nelson Mandela was one of the few leaders – perhaps the only – in the 20th century who succeeded both as a revolutionary and as a statesman.

My intention here is to examine Mandela’s legacy in the Israeli-Palestinian context and whether the South African model he helped pioneer could help lead Palestinians and Israelis to the Promised Land of peace.

We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world,” Mandela said on the 20th anniversary of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in 1997.

And from within my prison cell, I tell you our freedom seems possible because you reached yours,” Marwan Barghouthi, the imprisoned Palestinian leader who has often been described as the Palestinian Mandela”, wrote in a tribute, reflecting the deep sense of mourning many Palestinians feel.

The tiny cell and the hours of forced labour, the solitude and the darkness, did not prevent you from seeing the horizon and sharing your vision,” Barghouti wrote from his own cell in Israel’s Hadarim prison. “Your country has become a lighthouse and we, as Palestinians, are setting sails to reach its shores.”

But one reason the Palestinians have not reached this promised shore is because they have not had a leader of Madiba’s stature and vision, many argue. “The Palestinians needed a Mandela but they got Arafat,” reflected an Israeli I know, echoing a common sentiment in Israel.

While it is true that the Palestinian cause could have used someone of Nelson Mandela’s humanity and vision, what this view overlooks is that the Israelis have also been seriously short-changed by their leadership. Yes, the Palestinians have not had their Mandela but, likewise, an Israeli FW de Klerk has yet to emerge, with the nearest Israel has come to this being Yitzhak Rabin.

Although de Klerk is largely overlooked today, it is, in my view, no exaggeration to say that without his “verligte” (“enlightened”) contribution, Mandela, who nevertheless deserves the greater credit, may have failed in his mission to dismantle South African Apartheid.

After all, despite being a dyed-in-the-wool conservative for most of his political career, de Klerk called for a non-racist South Africa, lifted the ban on the African National Congress (ANC), released Mandela from prison and managed a surprisingly smooth transition to democracy. This would have been unthinkable had his predecessor PW Botha, who campaigned for a “No” vote in de Klerk’s 1992 referendum on ending Apartheid, not been forced into retirement following a stroke.

But what if Mandela had been a Palestinian and what if he had found his Israeli de Klerk, could he and would he have succeeded where Arafat and Rabin, not to mention the rest of the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, failed?

Although I would like to think so and it is tempting to believe that what Palestinians and Israelis lack is a saviour, there are certain structural problems in the Israeli-Palestinian context which could defeat any would-be Mandela, the foremost being the narrow ethno-religious character of the conflict.

Even though Palestinians generally regard Mandela as a kindred spirit and his largely non-violent tactics resonate deeply, if Mandela were actually a Palestinian leader, I fear that his philosophy would face a groundswell of opposition. Despite undoubted support amongst pragmatists, some would label him as a “traitor” for demanding no more than equal civil rights within the existing Israeli framework, while others would dismiss him as a “normaliser” for his inevitable collaboration with Israelis.

Interestingly, whites, usually leftists and communists, were involved with the ANC from its earliest days. For instance, the Freedom Charter was compiled, based on demands from across the country, by architect-turned-political-activist Lionel Bernstein. At the Rivonia trial, which led to Mandela’s long incarceration, there were five white co-defendants who, like Bernstein, were also Jewish.

On the Israeli side, Mandela’s vision and mission would also likely prove unpalatable. Although Jews make up a far larger percentage of the population of the Israeli-controlled territories (former mandate Palestine and the Golan Heights) than whites did in South Africa, there is a widespread obsession with the so-called demographic time bomb.

This would most probably lead many Israelis to condemn a Palestinian Mandela as plotting to “destroy Israel by other means”, to rob Jews of their right to self-determination and even to lead to civil war and massacres the “day after”. Even though they shared a similar angst, white South Africans managed to overcome this existential fear and survived – even thrived – to tell the tale.

Although secular Palestinian nationalism and secular Zionism have both traditionally striven for democratic societies which involved the other side as equals of sorts, this was always in a shell where the other would be a minority and willing to live under a clear, dominant nationalist framework.

One reason why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not pursued a South African solution – and is instead stuck in the unworkable doldrums of a two-state solution in a land that is under 27,000 km2 compared to South Africa’s massive 1.2 million km2 – is simply a question of time.

The European colonisation of South Africa started much earlier, and had already reached fever pitch by the early 19th century. In contrast, large-scale Jewish immigration and settlement did not take off until after the British mandate began in Palestine following World War I.

As the situation increasingly grows to resemble the segregation of Apartheid South Africa, many, especially among the Palestinians but also a growing number of Israeli Jews, are convinced that the only way forward is a single, binational state.

However, huge confusion and differences remain over what form this should take and how to get there. I urge people to take inspiration from Nelson Mandela and the ANC and launch a civil rights struggle for equality for all, while also protecting the rights of every ethnic, national and religious group. 

Follow Khaled Diab on Twitter.

This article first appeared in Haaretz on 10 December 2013.

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  • Yasmine

    I am not saying that what happened in SA was exclusively the work of the international community but it was a strong force nevertheless that led the white SA’s to enter negotiations. On the other hand, there is no pressure on Israel and hence it is unlikely that it will compromise since really why should she? peace negotiations involve compromises and in this respect I do not see any reason for Israel to compromise.. they are the stronger side at the negotiating table and on the ground! …I do not think that territory for the case of Palestinians is obscure. There are many legal texts and UN resolutions, binding and non-binding, that clearly define the Palestinian territory. In my view Palestinians by the day are becoming more powerless with many of them in jail or living under dire economic conditions and most importantly divided. Meanwhile, appropriation of land and resources continue and settlements expand. I agree that a strong civil rights movement is necessary but I find it difficult to be optimistic about its realisation in view of the violations taking place there. The military is quick to silence opposing views and jail. torture and other types of mistreatment are the solutions it adopts citing security concerns.

    maybe im more of a cynic and lost hope in a world that respects human rights and fundemental freedoms despite claiming to be modern and universal…I think that one way to go is for countries to boycott economic relations with Israel (like what happened in SA) and to apply the law, without manipulation or narrow interpretation, in resolving this conflict instead of turning their back because of the holocaust…… . I did like your article.. it was insightful and an interesting read ..

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  • Yasmine, I agree, and have always done, that geopolitics has played a significant role in perpetuating the conflict. However, to suggest that it was international pressure which ended apartheid is to severely underestimate the role of black South Africans. It is my view that the greater credit should and must go to the ANC, and its 80 years of struggle. Also, geopolitics and the huge disparity in power makes the Palestinians the weaker party but they are by no means powerless. Struggling for a state is an obscure and abstract notion which puts soil above people. Civil rights are more definable and more concrete and more humane. Moreover, they are easier to get the outside world to rally around, as well as to win supporters and sympathy on the other side. That is probably one of the reasons why the ANC used that as its platform, as well as the fact that turning back the clock had become impossible.

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  • Yasmine

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/10/unconditional-release-marwan-barghouti-positive-step-forward-2013103044350485456.html

    Khaled, my point about the role of geopolitics… it was not only the struggle, but also international pressure that led to a South Africa free of apartheid and ended a vicious cycle of violence.. something the Palestinians clearly dont have despite all the array of violations committed.. sadly the international community and the UN are far from proactive or vocal about this conflict.. …while a peaceful struggle and civil movement is important Im skeptical about what it can actually achieve .. i am not advocating violence.. am just being a cynical realist.. and I do believe for as long as there is injustice there will continue to be violence … it is also very hard to ask subjugated and persecuted people to act and think rationally when they are living in a completely chaotic and irrational situation…

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  • Yasmine, very complicated questions. Of course, resistance is a must, but the peaceful variety is the most effective in the Palestinian context, while the indiscriminate variety that targets civilians is completely unethical. Moreover, Mandela himself, even at his most militant was anti-violence, or at least against violence that would cost any human life. It was the Apartheid regime that branded him a terrorist. The ANC had always had a creed of non-violence and it was only when this seemed to be failing and with people threatening to leave the ANC and set up more violent groups that Mandela decided to contain this by setting up Umkhonto we Sizwe. The trouble with current peaceful resistance efforts is that they do not have a clear end game. Many Palestinians have lost faith in the two-state solution and express great admiration for South Africa, yet when you suggest to activists that they turn their struggle into one for civil rights and demand full and equal Israeli citizenship, just like black South Africans did, many shy away and say our cause is different. Yet I’m convinced this is the most promising way forward.

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  • Udi

    Yasmine, sadly Barghouti’s in prison because he’s been convicted of ordering the murder of civilians. Much though many on the Israeli left (including myself) place much hope with him (who else is there?), it’s doubtful that he’d be released before an advanced stage in negotiations in reached.

    it’s hard to over-state the place of Rabin in the narrative of the Zionist Israeli left. You ask me why I lionize him. There are two parts to the answer.

    The first is that it is good to have heroes. I recently watched Russell Brand new show (strongly recommend it!). His main point is that it’s good to have heroes, that they’re all very flawed, but that it’s good to revere them – he pin-points, Che Guevara, Gandhi and Jesus. In my last job I had the following on my notice board, from memory: Nina Simone, Walter Benjamin, Joe Strummer, Nietzsche, Martin Buber, Wittgenstein… All of these were flawed, but they’re great nonetheless.

    Second, and more importantly, Rabin himself. As I say, we have our narrative and he has a very special place in it. He was there, central, at the major points. At independence; in ’67 when mass-graved had been dug, in the role of saviour and returning us to Jerusalem (my grandmother, BTW, had been there the night before the Jewish Quarter fell in the 1948-49 war). And he was there at the hour of tragedy in 1973. Unlike Dayan, he was not brash, nor arrogant like Sharon. He was shy, like mix between General Montgomery and Nick Drake. Unlike Dayan he didn’t jump ship to Begin, and though Dayan was instrumental to the peace with Egypt, he did so as a statesman, whereas for Rabin peace and the end of the conflict became central to his identity at the end. He was and is the leader of the Israeli left to have won a parliamentary majority since 1973. He did so focusing on two interconnected things: investment in education at the expense of the settlements, and the creed (which a lecturer of mine claimed to have invented) that we must make peace like there is no terror and fight terror as if there is nor peace process. I was 13 when he was gunned down. For my generation he, his modesty and his guts, his ability to change his mind and his leadership in moving the whole country towards peace are unparalleled. When compared to every other leader of the past 30 years, he stands apart. When compared to the current crop, we disperse. He was not perfect. No-one is. He was gunned down and, like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison or Kurt Cobain, (or like JFK and MLK) that has crystallized him at that point where he stood aloft. For us, he symbolizes all that could have been and that, some of us believe, still could be. For us, though he had his (I’d say very understandable) doubts, he held in his hands the ability and the desire to achieve real peace (including freedom and sovereignty) for both sides. For us, especially looking back, when he was killed, that dream took a bullet in the heart. When we cry for him, we cry too for that dream.

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  • Yasmine

    Hi Khaled, I read your article quickly I wanted to ask genuinely what is expected of the Palestinians to do? I think Marwan Barghouti is in prison because he is the only person who can unite the Palestinians.. What do you think? Also the role of civil society is very important but violations are committed by the Israeli government around the clock in the occupied territories and in the Israeli occupied territories despite the presence of civil society… What is the role of geopolitics which to date has been in favour of the state of Israel? Maybe like you said, the issue of time could be an answer and so by time a solution will inevitably surface given a change in geopolitics.. maybe in decades from now or even longer.. finally, as a person who strongly believes in the Palestinians right to resist an illegal occupation of their land (I could and am sure that international law supports the right of people to resist an illegal occupation that is committing atrocities and violations on a daily basis.. in fact international law is on the side of Palestinians but is never applied because of the role of geopolitics ..am actually basing my research my paper on this), how do you think a two-state or even a one state solution could be viable without Palestinian resistance and a change in geopolitics? Mandela and the ANC were branded terrorists – they too were fighting and resisting the state of apartheid in South Africa and they have committed serious crimes in their fight to be free from apartheid – only recently, Mandela gained worldwide recognition and overnight he became a hero….

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  • Udi, why this lionisation of Rabin? He was far better than what followed but he lacked essential elements of vision and conviction, hence all his procrastinating. He could easily have sealed a deal with Arafat before he died but he didn’t, partly out of paranoia and partly out of fear of the reaction in Israel. Arafat was definitely no Mandela but Rabin fell far short of de Klerk, who went against everything he once stood for, his own party, his predecessor and many, many white South Africans to push thru his vision. He even put it to a referndum, which could’ve left him with egg on his face.

    Zvi, I’m very sceptical that Bibi will surprise us – he’s had nearly 20 years and three or four terms as PM to do that!

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  • Zvi

    In my opinion, Arafat could *not* have been considered a Palestinian ‘Mandela’, and he was the one negotiating with Rabin. On the other hand, Marwan Barghouti could perhaps fill that role. And I really want to believe that Bibi may yet surprise us all. From my perspective, Bibi is a pure politician – his only interests are his own personal grandeur. If he thinks that making peace with the Palestinians will get him crowned ‘King of Israel’ he will change directions. Unfortunately ‘fear’ is a far more potent motivator than ‘hope’….

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  • Udi

    Well, in that case Seth, perhaps I should be more careful. You read far more into my words than I meant to imply, and certainly more than I actually wrote. What i meant so say is that Israel is not segregated in the sense of the old South in the US, nor apartheid South Africa, nor Northern Ireland (and, I suspect, Glasgow). When I taught once in Lod, the cleverest kid in the (yaani “Jewish”) class was an Arab kid. Yes there are wide divides between different communities here, which is a large and very regrettable problem, but no more so than anywhere else in the Middle East, and in many places in Europe too (not to mention parts of Africa, Asia and the US).

    I did my BA in the UK (passing every day through the Muslim area of Rusholme in Manchester), my MA in Tel-Aviv. My thesis supervisor was a Druze senior lecturer. He commuted every day from his village in the north. He could have bought a very nice place in North Tel-Aviv, Ramat Aviv or Ramat Hasharon. But he’d never have dreamt to do so. The Palestinian-Israelis I come across every day in Tel-Aviv and Ramat Gan, working as chemists, builders, or in the office with me, do likewise. The question is, what kind of communitarianism do you ascribe to? Yes we should know each other better, yes there are many divides and many inequalities which need addressing. But there’s no reason that that must come at the expense of out community identities, to which schooling is central. The same is true of many Jews, Muslims and Catholics in the UK, so why not in Israel? I like the British way of doing double-barreled identity. You can be Anglo-Irish, Anglo-Palestinian or Anglo-Israeli. Neither side must come at the expense of the other. Israel struggles with it for obvious reasons. It is my belief (though one I’ve questioned) that the national conflict between Jews and Palestinians must be settled, with sovereign self-determination for both (what’s wrong with a bit of Wilsonian self-determination, Khaled?) before the question of full equalization between the different communities within Israel can be fully and successfully addressed.

    One thing I forgot to say, even though I said so much. Many, if not all, of these problems are far more complicated that people mostly appreciate yet far easier to solve. You can apply that the broad I-P “situation”, the secular vs ultra-orthodox, etc, etc…

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  • Udi

    OK. Last one first. Khaled, you use the word “devastating”, but the way you phrase it seems to undermine that sentiment. Devastating is accurate. At the time it felt like the entire world had caved in. Looking back, it somehow feels even worse: time has neutered the immensity of the loss, blurred the colours, while events have shown quite how great that loss may well have been. I watched, recently, a documentary on the killing of JFK. Only then did I fully realize how great that event had been for Americans on the left. I felt for the first time that others knew too how it had felt for us in ’95. But, looking back, the Americans had LBJ; we had Peres, the serial loser, faced with a fresh charismatic Netayahu, the newly-minted best-politician-of-his-generation (comparabile to Clinton or Blair at their best) and a wave of bombings. How would LBJ have fared with massive Nation Of Islam blasts in LA, Chicago, Washington DC and NYC on the eve of his election?

    We don’t know what would have happened if Rabin had lived. It’s a what if up there with “what if Trotsky had beaten Stalin”. But his situation was not that of de Klerk. Simon Jenkins has a good piece in today’s Guardian bemoaning the beatification or even deification of Mandela, putting him in the same breath as Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Jesus (Christopher Hitchens, of course, had a few things to say about the “Albanian dwarf” but that’s another argument). Mandela was far from perfect, but he was the right man for what de Klerk needed. Rabin was not faced, like LBJ, with MLK, nor with Mandela. He had to contend with Arafat. There were few reasons to think that Arafat could be a Mandela, and hindsight, sadly, has proved that case. So the comparison with de Klerk is unjust. (Marwan Barghouti would be another matter, I hope and believe; the picture atop your article suggests you may share my view – but we’ll have to waits a long time to find out).

    Again I am verbose. Again, sorry.

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  • Yes, Udi, Rabin’s assassination was a devastating blow, especially as, towards the end of his life, he was showing signs of being more than a reluctant peacemaker. That said, his commitment and conviction pale in comparison with de Klerk. This becomes immediately apparent when you compare the obscure, meandering and non-commital Oslo Accords, which deferred everything to the future, and de Klerk’s comprehensive reforms.

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  • Seth

    I didn’t build a straw man. You responded to my claim that most Israelis attend a segregated school system with “you should say that to the Arab kids from Jaffa who take to the bus to school in North Tel-Aviv.” I pointed out that those students represent an outlier, and are not representative of the 99% of students in Israel. It isn’t a straw man to state a demographic fact. I suggest a trip to an area in the Galilee, say around Carmiel. All the Arabs attend Arab schools; all the people from kibbutzim around Carmiel attend a special “kibbutz school” and people in Carmiel attend several different Jewish schools. This is the Israeli system. Even if two kibbutzim are 10 km away from eachother and a development town with Mizrahim, Russians and Ethiopians is between them, the Ashkenazi kibbutzniks will all be bussed to a special school, because there is fear that they might “mix” with the people in the development town. In Meveseret Tzion Ethiopians are bussed all the way to Modi’in lest they “mix” with the locals; and the excuse is of course that “Ethiopians must attend religious schools and the closest religious school is in Modi’in.” My point was that it is impossible to imagine reconciliation in a society where people are almost forbidden from mixing from a young age.

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  • Udi

    Seth, there’s much to reply to there. You’ve built me into a straw man by responding to things I didn’t actually say. So I’ll have to fight against my bad nature in order not to be rude. I’m on the move now and though (because) I have much to reply to here, it’ll have to wait.

    Khaled, (as you probably know) where are a number of strains of Zionism which, in different ways, envision something very similar to what you describe. There was Ehad Haam and Martin Buber too; Herzl, in ‘Old New Land’ stressed that core to his ideology was the score was equal rights and treatment for minorities. On the Jabotinskyite right, still represented by Rubi Rivlin, Benny Begin and a handful of others, their desire is for precisely what you describe. Yalla. TBC…
    (ps. Rabin was taken from us. God alone knows whether he would of been able to bring us closer to the Promised Land)

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  • Seth, interesting observations, thank you. I’d only point out that, based on my personal observations, a growing, if still small, minority is trying to challenge this segregation on all sides. Udi, it would require a lot of space to respond to your comments properly. But, in brief, I believe that a single, binational state does not reduce Jewish (or Arab) self-determination or would diminish Israel’s Jewish character – in fact, it could enhance and strengthen it by combining it with justice. Across Europe and the world, countries built on narrow ethnocentric ideas of nationalism have generally hobbled from one disaster to the next. Yes, Yasmine, I largely agree but both sides also need to redefine their objective and expectations, otherwise all the workable solutions will be seen as “defeat” and “treason” by hardliners.

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  • Seth

    Udi you live in an Israeli dream world if you think Israel’s education system, and most of its housing, isn’t segregated. 99% of Israeli students attend homogenous schools, either Haredi, Jewish-secular, Arab, etc…A few Arab children from Jaffa in north Tel Aviv isn’t an example of integration…in fact it is an example of segregation…they shouldn’t need to go all the way to North Tel Aviv to go to school with Jews, there are Jews all around them. It is amazing how Israelis deceive themselves. If 99% is one thing people point to the 1 percent that is different. 95% of Israelis live in homogenous neighbourhoods (Jewish, Arab, Haredi, etc…), many of the smaller ones “protected” by acceptance committees that discriminate against anyone who is different.

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  • Yasmine

    I think reconciliation is possible however Israel will have to take genuine actions for once.. It can start by releasing Marwan Barghouti… I also think that if both sides show a real commitment to peace, particularly Israel since its history doesnt really show that it was ever ready to compromise anything to coexist with the Palestinians, then for sure there is hope for peace… ,.. Oslo, Road Map and what followed are all about the one-sidedenes of the talks which are always in favour of the powerful… and the law is either pushed aside and/or manipulated to serve the powerful while the international community watches and claims how complex this issue is and how they got ‘bored’ of the struggle which is never resolved…how ironic… .

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  • Udi

    Seth, you should say that to the Arab kids from Jaffa who take to the bus to school in North Tel-Aviv every day. And what of the segregation of religious pupils, and segregation along class lines? I could also write that last sentence of London, Manchester, Paris or Berlin.

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  • Seth

    There can’t be an Israeli F.W De Klerk because even the Israeli left doesn’t call into question central issues in Israeli society. For instance you will find almost no Israelis who object to the segregated school system of different schools for different groups. When Israel talks about “Mandela” people talk about the West Bank. There isn’t any discussion about major changes within the Green Line. So there isn’t much to compare. There isn’t even a tiny step in the direction of “reconciliation”; there are no well known people who are well liked in both communities.

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  • Udi

    Khaled, you write, ‘…likewise, an Israeli F.W. de Klerk has yet to emerge, with the nearest Israel has come to this being Yitzhak Rabin.’ You forget, or rather you forget to note, that Rabin was assassinated. He was our chance in that generation and he was gunned down by the steps of T-A City Hall. We don’t know what would have happened if he’d have lived, Some who knew him, like Shlomo Avneri and Shimon Peres think that, like de Klerk, he’d have gotten there. But we do not know. Personally, I thin he would have. He was the man who famously gave the order to “break their bones” during the first intifada, yet a few years later she shook that man’s hand on the White House lawn. I think he’d have made it. But even if he had, that man, Arafat, never did. He didn’t have it in him. Perhaps Barghouti has it in him. Much evidence suggests he does. Maybe we’ll never know.

    As for what a Mandela and a de Klerk could/would achieve here, one state or two. I understand you view and we shan’t settle the matter here, and I doubt I’ll anything that’s knew to you, but it needs to be said. On the tip of the fork (“al ktzeh hamazleg”, as we say in Hebrew) – ie., very much in brief – when the whole reason for Zionism, for the whole history and pain and suffering and endeavour and building and fighting of both Israelis and Palestinians over the past 130-odd years has been due to the fact that the “Jewish Question” led many to believe that Jews needed self-determination again. My family history backs that up: most who hadn’t made it to Palestine were murdered. But the history of Jews in the Middle East is part of the reason why Mizrahi Jews are more likely to be right-wing here. There were, a century or so ago, something like 100,000 Jews in Baghdad and 30,000 in Damascus. Both communities had been there for over 2000 years. Neither are there now. The reasons for that go deeper than the work of Zionism in Palestine. Looking at the those two cities more recently and at Sarajevo too (and Frankfurt and Budapest) and I’m not filled with a desire to try the one state solution.
    (And I’m someone who’s been with Palestinians many times in the West Bank and worked with Israeli-Palestians too, and always felt comfartable).

    “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlocl Holmes

    “Democracy is the worst possible system, except for all others.” – Churchill (though I’m sure Voltaire said something similar)

    I think the two-state sol is the one which remains when you’ve eliminated the others. I’m still thinking about it though, as I have been for a few years.

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  • Seth

    Many Israelis talk about Mandela…”oh we admire him”…but ask them if they will abolish their acceptance committees that bar people from different races/groups living in any rural community…and then all that talk about Mandela evaporates. What people mean is “we admire Mandela over there…” Even many Israelis who talk about Mandela, they mean “Mandela in Palestine”; they don’t think the message applies actually to Israel’s internal relations between groups.

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