The call for equal rights
The call for equal rights has been made at a number of levels. Within green-line Israel it is a call for genuine equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, expressed most clearly in The Democratic Constitution issued by Adalah in March 2007. It is now a call taken up with increasing energy by the Joint List.
But it also a call that attempts to shift the focus of the struggle in Israel-Palestine from a simple call for peace negotiations in a situation where they seem to have become a substitute for actual peace, or a debate about one or two states. Indeed in March 2015 Independent Jewish Voices organised a conference under this very title (see below)
1. Ayman Odeh wants to be Israel’s Martin Luther King
Haviv Rettig Gur, Interview with Ayma Odeh, Times of Israel, 3 May 2015
An interesting interview ith the had of the new Joint List in the Knesset as Odeh struggles with the implications of recognising Israel as the state in which Jewish self-determination is embodied, while conceding nothing on Israeli Palestinian demands for full citizenship.
2. Change the story: let’s have equal rights to live and move freely in Israel and the oPt
Dimi Reider, Jewish Chronicle, JfJfP 10 sep 2012
Tel Aviv sociologist Yehouda Shenhav – in a surprising move for an academic long identified in the public eye as far to the left – forcefully argues the case for expanding the conversation to include Jewish rights in his book, Beyond the two state solution: A Jewish Political Essay. At present, the Jews in Israel have privileges, as opposed to rights. The problem is that privileges are secured, at the end of the day, by little more than the bearer’s overwhelming brutal force…
Reider, who translated the book, provides an introduction to its ideas here.
3. Equal rights for all: a new path for Israel-Palestine?
Independent Jewish Voices, conference, Mar 2015
The failure of the Kerry peace plan, the devastating bombardment of Gaza in July and August 2014, and the annexation by Israel of more land in the West Bank have delivered another setback to both the prospect of Palestinian statehood and an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. More broadly, 47 years of military occupation have denied the Palestinians inhabiting these territories almost every basic civil and human right. It is time therefore for an objective appraisal of the reality of life for Palestinians, a thorough understanding of the nature of the Israeli-controlled military and civil regime that prevails in the entire Israel-Palestine area, and a recognition that there will be no solution that can secure the viability of a peaceful life for Israelis and Palestinians unless it is grounded in the principles of universal human rights and international law. Shifting attention from discussions focused solely on a one-or-two-state agreement, the fundamental question this Conference seeks to address is how to achieve equal rights for all who live in Palestine-Israel.
In pursuit of these objectives, the conference will also aim to highlight the real impact of occupation and ask how it may be brought to an end; seek to facilitate co-operation between Palestinians and like-minded Israeli Jews; and issue a rallying call for the international community.
The aims of the conference are:
- To help shift the debate from externally imposed or brokered state-centric solutions to the building of a new campaign in Palestine-Israel and internationally to achieve full civil and political rights.
- To provide a forum for like-minded Israeli Jews and Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, as well as their diasporic supporters, to engage in discussion of this new approach, with the participation of sympathetic politicians, policy-makers, think tank experts, activists and media.
- To provide a new focus of activity for activists outside of Palestine-Israel, which would lead to building new and more powerful and united coalitions within the activist communities and especially among concerned groups and individuals in the Jewish and Palestinian diasporas.
See the report on the conference by Anthony Isaacs: Equal rights is the paramount demand