Left.ru ________________________________________________________________________________

July 18, 2002                                   Dave Silver

Yesterday’s full page ad in the N.Y. Times by mainly Jewish academics
contained two seemingly progressive proposals, it called for two sovereign
states to be partitioned according to the pre-1967 borders which can be
modified by “minor mutually agreed territorial swaps.”  The Statement also
calls for the removal of settlements in the Occupied Territories, excepting
“those within the agreed swapped areas.”   Given the uneven playing field
that the colonized victims find themselves on, it becomes apparent that
“mutual agreement” will generally be to the advantage for the colonizer.
But even if it were possible to reach a just solution involving “swaps,” I
justify my decision opposing the Ad since the potentially progressive
proposals are seriously undermined by the fact that in several instances it
equates the victim and victimizer, the oppressor and the oppressed. For

1.      “Israel and Palestinian peoples have equal rights to national self
determination and to live in peace and security.”  The oppressor has
achieved its self determination, just as Apartheid South Africa did as they
controlled, oppressed and murdered people in the Occupied Bantustans.

2.      “Israel and Palestinians have equal rights to a fair share of the land
and resources of historic Palestine.”  This is sheer rhetoric since the
establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 gave a majority of the land to
a minority of Jewish settlers.

3.      Your demand for “Palestinian acceptance of negotiated limitations on the
‘right of return’ in exchange for financial compensation for refugees” is
both reactionary and racist.  Well over a million Palestinian and Arabs were
forced or decided to flee the new settler state so that the right of return
should be unequivocal for those who choose to do so.  Underlying your
position is the essentially racist Israeli view (by both Labor and Likud
governments) that to do so would eventually result in a majority population
of the “Other” rather than the Chosen.”

4.      A final example of your equating oppressor and oppressed becomes evident
when you say that “majorities on both sides support provocative military
actions that they view as purely defensive.”   You thus equate the far more
limited violence and terror of the suicide bombers that act out of
desperation and the conviction that there is no alternative for them, and
the state sponsored and U.S. imperialist supported massive terrorism of the
Israeli Defense Forces.

Your proposals I believe continue to feed illusions particularly of many who
regard themselves as liberal and progressive.  These illusions become an
obstacle to the struggle for Palestinian liberation and a real sovereign
independent and secure State.                       (dm.silver@verizon.net)

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