Why no once again? 50 reasons to say yes
The Israeli Peace NGO Forum is launching a campaign in support of Palestinian statehood leading up to the Palestinian Authority’s request for recognition in the UN General Assembly, planned for September 20th 2011.
The fifty reasons
1. To assure the identity of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state in the spirit of its Declaration of Independence.
2. The establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel will fulfill the historic resolution from 1947 of two states for two people.
3. We will be available to nurture social solidarity and rehabilitate Israeli society.
4. Otherwise Israel’s relations with Egypt, Turkey, USA and in fact all the world will continue to deteriorate.
5. The establishment of a Palestinian state will open the door for all of Arab world to recognize Israel and implement the decision of 22 Arab League member states to normalize relations with Israel.
6. Because Social justice does not stop at the Green Line.
7. It will allow serious and equal negotiations between two states, rather than a state and an authority.
8. Jerusalem will be recognized internationally as the capital of Israel and the foreign embassies will return to it.
9. The establishment of a Palestinian state will end the occupation that corrupts us and harms Israel’s strength.
10. We should realize that we no longer live in a world that can tolerate injustice, and that all people have a right freedom and self determination.
11. The Palestinian state will allow a dramatic improvement in relations between Jews and Arabs inside Israel, allowing us to engage in processes that will bring equality between Jews and Arabs in Israel.
12. There is interdependency between Israel’s security and that of the State of Palestine.
13. It will create clear principles for the border’s physical features which will allow for effective negotiations.
14. Establishing an agreed upon Palestinian state will silence those who are using the Palestinians as a reason for war and boycotts against us.
15. So Israel can determine its borders like any normal state.
16. If we don’t agree to a Palestinian state we will be left with a bi-national state and lose the Zionist dream.
17. A Palestinian nation state will resolve the refugee problem within itself.
18. It will bring an end to the fantasy of one country for two nations between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River.
19. In Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Cairo and Damascus a young, secular, technological generation is growing, that believes in its own power to affect change and despises governments’ falsely injected fears.
20. So Israel will not have to re-occupy Area A and consequently be responsible and finance four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
21. Only a Palestinian state can prevent us from becoming the next apartheid state.
22. This is the only practical option for Israelis to live in peace in the Middle East.
23. Otherwise we will have to deal with security without cooperation with Palestinian security forces which assist us today in preventing terrorism.
24. Otherwise Israel will have to grant Israeli civil rights to Palestinians in the territories and, ultimately, also the right to vote for the Knesset.
25. The cost for not resolving the conflict is much higher than the price of an agreement today.
26. Establishing a Palestinian state is an act of justice. Palestinians are a people and deserve a state.
27. So that Israel will not be the last country to recognize Palestine.
28. This is the way to prevent Jewish and Palestinian extremists from worsening the situation.
29. A Palestinian state alongside Israel will serve its citizens and allowing Palestinians self determination and national pride.
30. He who cares about our children’s quality of life, has an interest to stop our neighbors suffering and allow them to take responsibility for their fate
31. The two state solution is supported by both Israelis and Palestinians in all surveys in recent years.
32. It will create great economic opportunities for Israelis and the entire Middle East that do not exist today because of the conflict.
33. The groundwater pollution in the West Bank harms the health of Israelis and Palestinians. An independent Palestinian state will tackle this issue thoroughly because it will be in their interest.
34. Only a Palestinian state will allow for a historic reconciliation process between the peoples.
35. This will remove the threat of war and bereavement from our families, who pay the price for the ongoing war.
36. A two state solution will denounce the Palestinian vision of one state
37. The establishment of a Palestinians state will bring an end to the conflict and to all claims against Israel.
38. A Palestinian independent state will cooperate with Israel on proper management of the Mountain Aquifer, the joint source of water for the two countries.
39. Israel is the only thing standing between the Palestinians and independence.
40. If South Sudan can have a state, why not Palestine?
41. It will return our Palestinian neighbors their dignity
42. Because you can not demand rights for Israelis and not recognize Palestinians’ right to a state.
43. This is the way to prove that there is no truth to the saying that there is no partner for peace on the other side.
44. The alternative – a type of Jewish-Palestinian Yugoslavia – is scarier and means the destruction of a Zionist Israel, economically and morally.
45. The future as we see it is only in our hands.
46. We will finally live in a democratic moral country which respects its minorities with equal rights.
47. If the media would tell you the truth about the conflict in a full and balanced way, you would say yes.
48. Because a situation of military occupation and the ‘settlers’ state can not continue forever, it endangers us, and does not correlate with universal humanistic Jewish values.
49. It is now or never, and all other alternatives are far worse.
50. Because it is the only viable solution, and you know it.
Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period.
On Wednesday, a coalition of Israeli peace organizations published a list of 50 reasons for Israel to support a Palestinian state. Assuming that you only accept five of them, isn’t that enough? What exactly is the alternative, now that the heavens are closing in around us?
By Gideon Levy, Haaretz
What will we tell the world next week, at the UN? What could we say? Whether in the General Assembly or the Security Council, we will be exposed in all our nakedness: Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period. And it doesn’t have a single persuasive argument against the establishment and the international recognition of such a state.
So what will we say, that we’re opposed? Four prime ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu among them, have said that they’re in favor, that it must be accomplished through negotiations, so why haven’t we done it yet? Is our argument that we object to it’s being a unilateral measure? What’s more unilateral than the settlements that we insist on continuing to build? Or perhaps we will say that the route to a Palestinian state runs through Ramallah and Jerusalem, not New York, a la the U.S. secretary of state. The State of Israel itself was created, in part, in the United Nations.
Next week will be Israel’s moment of truth, or more precisely the moment in which its deception will be revealed. Be it the president, the prime minister or the ambassador to the UN, even the greatest of public speakers will be incapable of standing before the representatives of the nations of the world and explaining Israeli logic; none of the three will be able to convince them that there is any merit to Israel’s position.
Thirty-two years ago, Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt in which it undertook “to recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” and to establish an autonomous authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip within five years. Nothing happened.
Eighteen years ago the prime minister of Israel signed the Oslo Accords, in which Israel undertook to conduct talks in order to achieve a final-status agreement with the Palestinians, including the core issues, within five years. That, too, did not occur. Most of the provisions of the agreement have foundered since then – in the majority of cases because of Israel. What will Israel’s advocate at the UN say about this?
For years, Israel claimed that Yasser Arafat was the sole obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. Arafat died – and once again nothing happened. Israel claimed that if only the terror were to stop, a solution would appear. The terror stopped – and nothing. Israel’s excuses became increasingly empty and the naked truth was increasingly exposed. Israel does not want to reach a peace arrangement that would involve the establishment of a Palestinian state. This can no longer be covered up in the UN. And what did Netanyahu’s Israel expect the Palestinians to do in this case – another round of photo ops, like the ones with Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni that led nowhere?
The truth is that the Palestinians have just three options, not four: to surrender unconditionally and go on living under Israeli occupation for another 42 years at least; to launch a third intifada; or to mobilize the world on their behalf. They picked the third option, the lesser of all evils even from Israel’s perspective. What could Israel say about this – that it’s a unilateral step, as it and the United States have said? But it didn’t agree to stop construction in the settlements, the mother of all unilateral steps. What did the Palestinians have left? The international arena. And if that won’t save them, then another popular uprising in the territories.
The Palestinians in the West Bank, 3.5 million today, will not live without civil rights for another 42 years. We might as well get used to the fact that the world won’t stand for it. Can Netanyahu or Shimon Peres explain why the Palestinians do not deserve their own state? Do they have even the slightest of arguments? Nothing. And why not now? We have already seen, especially of late, that time only reduces the possible alternatives in the region. So even that weak excuse is dead.
Yesterday, a coalition of Israeli peace organizations published a list of 50 reasons for Israel to support a Palestinian state. Assuming that you only accept five of them, isn’t that enough? What exactly is the alternative, now that the heavens are closing in around us? Can anyone, can Peres or Netanyahu, seriously contend that the regional hostility toward us would not have lessened had the occupation already ended and a Palestinian state been established?
The truths are so basic, so banal, that it hurts even to repeat them. But, unfortunately, they’re the only ones we have. And so, a simple question to whoever will be representing us at the UN next week: Why not, for heaven’s sake? Why “no” once again? And to what will we say “yes”?