17 November 2017   Uri Avnery: A History of Idiocy - By: Uri Avnery

16 November 2017   Jordanian and Palestinian Evangelicals unite in Amman - By: Daoud Kuttab

16 November 2017   Losing The Last Vestiges Of Our Moral Fabric - By: Alon Ben-Meir

15 November 2017   Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy - By: Romana Rubeo and Ramzy Baroud


13 November 2017   Israel lobby is slowly being dragged into the light - By: Jonathan Cook

10 November 2017   Uri Avnery: Two Meetings - By: Uri Avnery

9 November 2017   Important to implement joint Orthodox council - By: Daoud Kuttab


3 November 2017   Uri Avnery: Who is Afraid of the Iranian Bomb? - By: Uri Avnery


27 October 2017   Uri Avnery: Pickled Cucumbers - By: Uri Avnery

26 October 2017   Refugees and bread subsidy - By: Daoud Kuttab












5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)



3 February 2017

Uri Avnery: Respect the Green Line!

By: Uri Avnery
print     send by email

THE MOST incisive analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I have ever read was written by the Jewish-Polish-British historian Isaac Deutscher. It consists of a single image.
 
A man lives on the upper floor of a building, which catches fire. To save his life, he jumps out of a window and lands on a passerby in the street below. The victim is grievously injured, and between the two starts an intractable conflict.
 
Of course, no metaphor is completely perfect. The Zionists did not choose Palestine by chance, the choice was based on our religion. The founder of the movement, Theodor Herzl, initially preferred Argentina.
 
Still, the picture is basically valid, at least until 1967. From then on, the settlers continued to jump across the Green Line, with no fire in sight.
 
THERE IS nothing holy about the Green Line. It is no different from any other border line around the world, whatever its color.
 
Most borders were drawn by geography and the accidents of war. Two peoples fight for the territory between them, at some point the fighting comes to an end, and a border is born.
 
The land borders of Israel – known for some reason as the "Green Line" – were also established by the accidents of war. A part of that line was the result of a deal between the new Israeli government and the king of Jordan, Abdallah I, who gave us the so-called Triangle as a baksheesh, in return for Israel's agreement to his annexation of most of the rest of Palestine.

So what's so holy about this border? Nothing, except that it's there. And that is true for many borders throughout the world.
 
A border is established by accident and confirmed by agreement. True, the United Nations drew borders between the Jewish and the Arab states in its 1947 resolution, but after the Arab side started a war in order to thwart this decision, Israel greatly enlarged its territory.
 
The 1948 war ended without a peace treaty. But the armistice lines established at the end of the war were accepted by the entire world as the borders of Israel. This has not changed during the 68 years that have passed since then.
 
This situation prevails both de facto and de jure. Israeli law applies only within the Green Line. Everything else is occupied territory under military law. Two small territories – East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights - were unilaterally declared to be annexed by Israel, but nobody in the world recognizes this status.
 
I ELABORATE on these well-known facts because the settlers in the occupied territories have lately started to taunt their critics in Israel by bringing up a new argument: "Hey, what's the big difference between us?"
 
You too sit on Arab lands, they tell us. True, before 1948 the Zionists settled on land they bought with good money – but only a small part of it was bought from the fellahin who tilled it. Most of it was acquired from rich absentee landowners, who had bought it cheaply from the Turkish sultan when the Ottoman Empire was in dire financial straits . The tillers of the land were driven out by the Turkish, and later the British, police.
 
Large stretches of land were "liberated" during the fighting of 1948, when masses of Arab villagers and city-dwellers fled before the advancing Israeli forces, as civilians do in every war. If they didn't, a few salvos of machine-gun fire were enough to drive them out.
 
The inhabitants who were left in Jaffa after the town was conquered, were simply packed on trucks and sent to Gaza. The inhabitants of Lod (Lydda) were driven away on foot. In the end, about 750 thousand Arabs were expelled, more than half the Palestinian people at the time. The Jewish population in Palestine amounted then to 650 thousand.
 
Some inner voice compels me at this point to mention a Canadian-Jewish officer named Ben Dunkelmann, then 36 years old, who commanded a brigade in the new Israeli army. He had served with distinction in the Canadian army in World War II. He was ordered to attack Nazareth, the home-town of Jesus, but succeeded in inducing the local leaders to surrender without a fight. The condition was that the local population would not be harmed.
 
After his troops had occupied the town, Dunkelmann received an oral order to drive the population out. Outraged, Dunkelmann refused to break his word of honor as an officer and a gentleman, and demanded the order in writing. Such a written order never arrived, of course (no such orders were ever put in writing), but Dunkelmann was removed from his post.
 
Nowadays, when I pass Nazareth, a thriving Arab town, I remember this brave man. After that war, he returned to his native Canada. I don’t think he ever came back here again. He died 20 years ago.
 
HONEST DISCLOSURE: I took part in all this. As a simple soldier, and later as a squad leader, I was a part of the events. But immediately after the war I wrote a book that disclosed the truth ("The Other Side of the Coin"), and a few years later I published a detailed plan for the return of some of the refugees and the payment of compensation to all the others. That, of course, never happened.
 
Most of the land and the houses of the refugees were filled with new Jewish immigrants.
 
Now the settlers say, not without some justice: "Who are you to despise us? You did the same as we are doing! Only you did it before 1967, and we do it now. What's the difference?"
 
That is the difference. We live in a state that has been recognized by most of the world within established borders. You live in territory that the world considers occupied Palestinian territory. The state of Texas was acquired by the USA in a war with Mexico. If President Trump were now to invade Mexico and annex a chunk of land (why not?), its status would be quite different.
 
Binyamin Netanyahu – some now call him Trumpyahu – is all for enlarging the settlements. This week, under pressure from our Supreme Court, he staged the removal of one tiny little settlement, Amona, with a lot of heartbreak and tears, but immediately promised to put up many thousands of new "housing units" in the occupied territories.
 
OPPOSITE POLITICAL extremes often touch each other. So it is now.
 
The settlers who want to wipe out the difference between us and them, do it not just to justify themselves. Their main aim is to erase the Green Line and include all the occupied territories in Greater Israel, which would extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
 
A lot of Israel-haters want the same borders – but as an Arab state.
 
Indeed, I would love to chair a peace conference of Israel-haters and Palestine-haters. I would propose to decide first on the points they all agree on – namely the creation of a state from sea to river. I would leave to the end the decision whether to call it Israel or Palestine.
 
A world-wide movement called BDS now proposes to boycott all of Israel, in order to achieve this end. I have a problem with that.
 
GUSH SHALOM, the Israeli peace organization to which I belong, takes great pride in being the first to declare a boycott on the products of the settlements many years ago. We still uphold this boycott, though it is now illegal under Israeli law.
 
We did not declare a boycott on Israel. And not only because it is rather awkward to boycott oneself. The main object of our boycott was to teach Israelis to differentiate between themselves and the settlements. We published and distributed many thousand copies of the list of companies located and products produced outside the Green Line. Many people are upholding the boycott.
 
The BDS boycott of all Israel achieves the exact opposite: by saying that there is no difference between Israel within the Green Line and the settlers outside, it pushes ordinary Israelis into the arms of the settlers.
 
The settlers, of course, are only too happy to get the assistance of BDS in erasing the Green Line.
 
I HAVE no emotional quarrel with the BDS people. True, a few of them seem to be old-school anti-Semites in a new garb, but I have the impression that most BDS supporters act out of sincere sympathy for the suffering of the Palestinians. I respect that.
 
However, I would urge the well-meaning idealists who support BDS to think again about the paramount importance of the Green Line – the only border that makes peace between Israel and Palestine possible, with some minor mutually agreed adjustments.
 
ISRAEL IS there. It cannot be wished away. So is Palestine.
 
If we all agree on that, we can also agree on the continued boycott of the settlements – and of the settlements only.

* An Israeli columnist,a former member of the Israeli Knesset, and the head of the Israeli leftist peace bloc, “Gush Shalom”. - avnery@actcom.co.il



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

21 تشرين ثاني 2017   مكتب منظمة التحرير.. "عقوبات وقائية"..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم

21 تشرين ثاني 2017   الواقعية السياسية وإسقاط الأمنيات على الواقع - بقلم: هاني المصري

21 تشرين ثاني 2017   السعودية ودم الحسين وكنعان..! - بقلم: بكر أبوبكر

20 تشرين ثاني 2017   الجامعة العربية.. لا هي جامعة ولا هي عربية..! - بقلم: راسم عبيدات

20 تشرين ثاني 2017   لا من ألفها الى يائها ولا من يائها الى ألفها..! - بقلم: حمدي فراج

20 تشرين ثاني 2017   نحن من يرسم معالم صفقة القرن..! - بقلم: د. عبير عبد الرحمن ثابت

20 تشرين ثاني 2017   ترامب يزيل القناع عن وجهه..! - بقلم: د. مازن صافي

20 تشرين ثاني 2017   ابتزاز أمريكي رخيص..! - بقلم: خالد معالي

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   محددات نجاح الحوار..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   دولة بدون دولة.. وسلطة بدون سلطة - بقلم: راسم عبيدات

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   إحتمالات الحرب في المنطقة..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   صفقة القرن تصفية نهائية..! - بقلم: خالد معالي

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   الإبتزاز السياسي لا يؤدي إلى السلام..! - بقلم: د. عبد الرحيم جاموس

19 تشرين ثاني 2017   لغزة لعنة وسحر وقهر المنع من السفر..! - بقلم: مصطفى إبراهيم

18 تشرين ثاني 2017   الإبتزاز الأميركي الرخيص..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول




31 اّذار 2017   41 سنة على يوم الأرض: تماسك الفقراء - بقلم: بسام الكعبي


6 كانون أول 2016   نيلسون مانديلا: حضورٌ يقهرُ الغياب..! - بقلم: بسام الكعبي


3 كانون أول 2016   عادل الأسطة: ناقد لامع ومحاضر بارع..! - بقلم: بسام الكعبي

13 تشرين ثاني 2016   الجريحة داليا نصار تقرأ مسيرة أم وديع بشغف لتنتصر - بقلم: بسام الكعبي




27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


10 تشرين ثاني 2017   فيلم "ميلاد مر"؛ أو "يلعن أبو إسرائيل"..! - بقلم: ناجح شاهين


24 تشرين أول 2017   الطّلقة الأخيرة على رأسي الغبيّ* - بقلم: فراس حج محمد




8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2017- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية