Palestine, the UN, Israel, the Oslo Accords – & me, on Russian TV.

UPDATE: I’ve added a link with some basic background on the conflict in the comments.

When I introduced myself earlier in the week, I said that I write a lot about Israel/Palestine, but that I also write about a lot of other stuff as well. Given the nature of this blog, I led with some of that other stuff. On Tuesday, though, I had a chance to appear on Russia Today, the Russian English-language news channel (I know – I didn’t know either) to discuss the latest goings on in Israel/Palestine — so here we go, leaping into my somewhat more regular gig.

To anyone wondering what my background in this is, I’ll say briefly: I lived in Tel Aviv for 14 years, and have studied, reported on and written about the topic for 25 years. I’ve been an advocate for a two-state solution since the 1980s, and my area of academic and professional expertise is the contemporary Middle East. More details can be found at the top of this post and you can get a good feeling for the approach I take, my personal attachment and personal heartbreak, in this post, and this one. Beyond that, there’s a lot of material to be found poking around here.

As it is my contention that one of the biggest problems in this conflict is the failure on the parts of so many people to genuinely listen to and respect the humanity of those on the other side, I’m going to ask that if you respond here — even if with great disagreement and passion — that you try to succeed where the diplomats have failed, and show genuine respect for each other.

So the other day, something of a stink was made about the fact that Israel is talking about “canceling” the Oslo Accords if the Palestinians insist on going to the UN in September to ask for recognition as a state.

Only it doesn’t really seem that Israel is necessarily considering such a move with any seriousness — they’re just kicking around a few reeaally stupid, self-defeatist, panicky ideas. You know, like they do.

Anyhoo, after appearing on Russia Today in May to discuss the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama’s two speeches, I was asked back yesterday to talk about the new mess! And so, of course, I said yes. (Last time, I was worried I looked like a moron; this time, I’m more worried about looking like a cadaver. [LIGHTING! MAKEUP!] Whatevs. I manged to slip in the word “Jedi,” in a totally appropriate context, so I’m good).

After the jump you can see me on the teevee (and, I’m certain, you’ll notice that my focus and attention were really rather impressive, given all the stuff going on around me). After the clip (transcript at the bottom of the post), you’ll find a little compendium of links to the articles I scoured in a state of high tizz to make sure I sounded smart in the segment. Very little of it came into play in my 4+ minutes — for instance, I didn’t get a chance to mention that just this past Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, and I quote, “Our first, second and third choice is to return to negotiations [over going to the UN]” — but hey! It’s all good. Smarter is better.


1. Palestine’s White September: An Historic Opportunity – an excellent, brief starting point, by author, journalist and Tel Aviv University professor Carlo Strenger, spelling out the Palestinian bid, and its risks and possible benefits for Palestinians, Israelis, and the Obama Administration.
2. Who is “delegitimizing” whom? – also excellent, also brief. By director for the Council on Foreign Relations U.S./Middle East Project (and former executive director of the American Jewish Congress) Henry Siegman, explaining why, exactly, the Palestinian bid is, by and large, the exact opposite of everything Israel is trying to tell you it is.
3. Palestine, Israel, the UN and America’s attempted Quartet sophistry – rather more “thorough” than “brief,” but really good at dispelling a bunch of myths and giving more detail to all the possible outcomes, by Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation and a former member of the Israeli negotiating team.
4. September Song – by law professor and former legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team Omar Dajani, a much-needed Palestinian take on the Palestinian decision to turn to the UN, with some great legal and political analysis.
5. No choice but the UN for the Palestinians – Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now, briefly explains just why the Palestinians really are left with no other choice.
6. “Former [Israeli] diplomats: Recognize Palestine” – Ynet news. Three former diplomats (one of whom, Robbie Seibel, is the dad of my late friend Danny, and a really lovely man!) who think Israel’s approach is doing more harm than good.
7. Israel looking into revoking Oslo Accords in response to Palestinian UN bid – HaAretz. The wishy-washy “maybe they will, but they’re not really sold on it” report that got the world talking.
8. FM: Israel would not dare to cancel Oslo deal – Maan News Agency. The Palestinian Authority responds to the reports.
9. Peres: Oslo Accords still hold – JTA. Peres thinks the whole thing isn’t even real to begin with. (Also, please note that his description of the behavior of Syrian protestors for which he has such deep admiration could apply equally well to Palestinian protestors, and of course, he is entirely unaware. I’m sure he would say that the Israeli government is no Assad, and in that he would be right, but dude: Every single word he says here could be applied to the very people his government has been occupying for 44 years…! The willed and willful ignorance sometimes just makes me want to weep).

TRANSCRIPT:
Russia Today: The latest threat to Middle East peace is a promise by Israel to punish the Palestinians if they go ahead with plans to declare statehood at the UN in September. It’s considering canceling the landmark 1993 Oslo Accord which is the main road map in resolving the Middle East conflict. Well, the US is among the countries refusing to support the Palestinians’ moves towards recognition. Let’s get the view of political writer and blogger Emily Hauser.

Ms. Hauser, thanks very much for joining us. Now what would Israel achieve if it cancels the Oslo Accord?

Emily Hauser: Thanks so much for having me.

Well, it’s, you know that’s an interesting question because it starts with – I actually have to back up a little bit to the vocabulary that’s being used: To “cancel” the Oslo Accord. This is an internationally recognized bilateral agreement — it’s not Israel breaking up with her boyfriend. You can’t just cancel something, this is – there’s not some Jedi might trick that can be done, “Oh, this this accord was never there.”

However having said that, what it will achieve is very little. It will only make [Israel’s] own position more isolated, more difficult to negotiate out of.

Having said that, it’s also, for all the noise that this suggestion has gotten in the press there’s also the very real possibility that – it doesn’t seem to be being considered all that seriously. Israeli President Peres said today that it’s just a “journalistic rumor,” was the way he put it, which seems a bit inaccurate because HaAretz has Israeli officials confirming that it’s on the table but the report put it as: “Not the leading alternative,” is the way that it was put.

So to me it reads as Israeli officials spitballing in kind of a state of desperation. There’s a real whiff a panic to all of this.

RT: Now many Israelis, though, see the Palestinians as already having violated Oslo by resorting to armed revolt in 2000 and in 2006, as well as voting for Hamas. Now would such a move by Israel really inflict damage?

EH: Well [sigh] it’s kind of odd to me that Israelis and the Israeli government refuse to acknowledge the ways in which we — and I say we because I’m Israeli-American — the ways in which we have violated the agreement from, from – I mean, the ink had hardly gone dry. We have not once stopped building in the territories we have not once stopped adding Israelis there and building bypass roads.

So is violence breaking the agreement? Yes but so are building settlements, so are running bombing raids and running raids into the centers of town. You know we, Israel has continued with military incursions into areas that were supposed to be entirely under Palestinian security control from the very beginning.

So yes, both sides broken the Accords time again but for Israel to pretend that they have not is, is just – gross dishonesty.

RT: Right, right. Israel also used strong words saying they will punish the Palestinians, but also they say that the Palestinians’ unilateral move for statehood in September will not bring peace. What do you think the impact will be on the ground?

EH: Well on the ground it will not immediately bring peace, it won’t even immediately bring statehood. There are two possibilities here, the Palestinians –

RT: Will it make things worse, though?

EH: In the short run it might, but in the long run – [in the short run] because it’s likely to inflame passions on the Israeli side and lead to Israeli violence against Palestinians. I think it’s interesting that the Israeli government is using the word “punish,” because that says a lot about the Israeli attitude towards the people with whom it’s supposedly negotiating, right?

However, what the Palestinians are proposing, and Israel and America seem to have not noticed this or are refusing to see it, is they’re proposing going to the international community and saying: Yes, we’re part of you, we have this state according to limited boundaries, the 1967 borders with negotiated adjustments, and we want to live side-by-side with Israel, we want to forswear force violence permanently and become a member of the international community – and Israel is acting like a bomb has been set off in the Knesset.

RT: Okay well thank you very much for that analysis, we do have to see how this will play out. Emily Hauser, political writer and blogger, thank you very much.

29 comments for “Palestine, the UN, Israel, the Oslo Accords – & me, on Russian TV.

  1. Gretchen
    July 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for the article, although i don’t agree with your political stance (i support a one state ‘solution’), i do appreciate some of your responses in the interview quoted. I live in the oPt, and have to say that opinions here are very divided. Firstly, the reaction to the Israeli threat to revoke Oslo is received as a joke, for the majority of palestinians, the oslo accords and the subsequent actions of israel – the building of the apartheid wall, steep increase in settlement construction, further limitations on access to water, increase in the number of checkpoints, creation of areas A, B and C and the worsening situation in Hebron…- mean that everyone here can’t wait to see the back end of the accords.

    Another huge worry for Palestinians is that the recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN will completely devoid the already delegitimized right of return.

    I am curious, however not particularly hopeful, as to the outcome of this move. I literally see settlement expansion everyday, so would like to see a big event that would force a change in the situation rather than the ongoing levelling of excuses and downright duplicity of Netanyahu, which left unchecked without groundbreaking actions will lead only to the further bantustan-ization of what is left of Palestinian land.

  2. Tom
    July 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I was about to make an argument about Hamas wanting to destroy Israel, but then I found this.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/12/israel

    Apparently they now want a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem. This is impossible, of course, but is not grounds for denying Palestinian statehood.

    So…nevermind.

  3. saurus
    July 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I wonder wonder whether an “Israel – Palestine 101” may have generated more discussion. I haven’t seen much coverage on most feminist sites.

    The part that resonates with me most is:

    However, what the Palestinians are proposing, and Israel and America seem to have not noticed this or are refusing to see it, is they’re proposing going to the international community and saying: Yes, we’re part of you, we have this state according to limited boundaries, the 1967 borders with negotiated adjustments, and we want to live side-by-side with Israel, we want to forswear force violence permanently and become a member of the international community – and Israel is acting like a bomb has been set off in the Knesset.

    That says it. That said, even if the UN thing works out (and by works out, I mean…in the very, very long-term) I worry about how much Palestine will have to concede along the way (i.e., unjust concessions that would never be expected or demanded of nations like the US or Israel) in order to secure a better situation for themselves. And if they don’t concede, whether their whole battle will be dismissed. It seems like there are a lot of parallels between the Palestinians and indigenous peoples in US/Canada, and if it’s anything like it is here, Israel will want to take a leadership role in chipping away at what the Palestinians get and adding all kinds of strings and indignities and injustices to every teaspoon of freedom that gets doled out.

  4. July 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I’m disappointed this post hasn’t received more comments. The struggle for self-determination is very much a feminist issue.

  5. Shaun
    July 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    That was an awesome interview. Thanks for putting your voice out there.

  6. Safiya Outlines
    July 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Maybe because I/P debate goes ugly so quickly. It always seems to degenerate into name calling.

  7. July 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Safiya- Truth. I feel like this is so important: “it is my contention that one of the biggest problems in this conflict is the failure on the parts of so many people to genuinely listen to and respect the humanity of those on the other side.”

  8. July 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I gotta admit, I’m not informed enough on this issue to really properly comprehend this article, much less comment on it. My background on Israel is limited to what came up at the end of my last high school history class, which was basically just the highlights of world politics 1945-65.

    I’m curious, but also still trying to figure out the basics.

  9. July 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    This used to be a huge issue for me. I attended demonstrations, and wrote e-mails and papers for school spelling out exactly what ‘should’ be done. No more. I didn’t comment for a couple of reasons. Most of all, the whole I/P issue is just — depressing. As much as I hate to admit it, my interest in political issues has a peak around the point where things are not going the way I like, yet at the same time there is hope for a solution that I find satisfactory. I don’t see such a possibility in the I/P conflict. After 18 years of the iconic 1993 TIME Magazine cover with Arafat and Rabin on the Person of the Year cover, there is no hope. Additionally, Israel is on a demographic hurtle towards theocracy, as the total fertility rate among the ultra orthodox is 9 and rising. Unless mass numbers of Haredi Jews convert to secularism in the coming decades, the long term trends are very foreboding.

    I also have the privilege of being able to disengage from the debate– something that people who live in that region or who have ties to that region don’t have the ability to do. Hence, I/P has been filed alongside North Korea, the ERA, and Iran as issues that I should probably care more about, but that wouldn’t have much impact of helping anyone except to depress myself.

    But to leave on a positive note there is a very good investment opportunity for those with ties to the Gaza strip. This is a small patch of the poorest, most densely populated land in the world, which sits right next to a developed, vibrant economy. Its development has been artificially held back solely due to political reason and an economic blockade, but there are signs that the leadership on the Gaza strip will moderate. In the next 10 or 20 years I predict that the value of land on the Gaza strip will skyrocket, and the area will develop extremely rapidly. This will obviously benefit the inhabitants. But anyone owning land there or otherwise in a position to profit should also take heed of the opportunity.

  10. Emily Hauser
    July 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    A couple of people have said they lack background, or that a basic post would been helpful – there’s an app for that!

    Well, no. It’s not an app. It’s an old post I wrote at my place: http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/israelpalestine-the-basics/

    It’s a little dated, in that I wrote it in September 2009 when it was still possible to hope that the President would be good on his word (his very powerful words, which have always expressed all the right things on this issue), and I have to say that while I still cling to some hope (second term? Maybe?), I’m mostly just grossly disappointed in Mr. Obama on this front. Other fronts, less so — on this front, pretty damn grossly disappointed.

    However, with that said, I think the post is a good place to start if folks are looking for some background (with the understanding that I write from a particular perspective, and other writers would emphasize different things, or view certain events in a different light). (Obvs, I guess).

    I hope it helps!

  11. Raja
    July 29, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Israel is the 21st century Liberia, though the latter hasn’t nearly recieved nearly as much critisim. For those of you who don’t know about the history of Liberia I suggest you look it up; I can’t think of a country that bears more similarities to Israel than this small country in Africa.

  12. Raja
    July 29, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Oh yeah South Africa and Liberia also share something in common too; apartheids.

  13. Len
    July 29, 2011 at 4:39 am

    @Tom just…aaaaaaaargghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  14. Gretchen
    July 29, 2011 at 6:43 am

    @Sarah.J i share your disappointment, as feminism and the right to self determination of the Palestinian people are the two social justice causes close to my heart….although i am a tad relieved not to have to deal with the – often uniformed – Hamas frenzy that usually ensues.

    @ Raja A lot of similarities can be seen between Palestine and any situation where indigenous populations are invaded en masse by europeans who come not as neighbours to share the land equally, but to take it as conquerers.

    One discussion i have been having a lot recently is about new discussions praising the non violent resistance movement in Palestine, which i find infuriating, but here is an article that outlines issues of violence, resistance, self determination and legitimacy very well, and i’d recommend it to the relative newbies of the Palestinian issue:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/06/201162895553754742.html

  15. WestEndGirl
    July 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Gretchen, re: this
    “@ Raja A lot of similarities can be seen between Palestine and any situation where indigenous populations are invaded en masse by europeans who come not as neighbours to share the land equally, but to take it as conquerers.”

    Frankly, Gretchen, I managed took Middle East studies partially with Avi Shlaim (not exactly pro-Israeli) and still managed to get some more nuance that the I/P conflict is due to this bald, ahistoric claim. If you seriously think that this is the concept and resulting issue at hand, then it’s hardly surprising that the conflict is intractable.

    I have Yemeni Israeli friends whose family went to the Holy Land to escape persecution in the late 19th Century. How do you factor that into your black/white, european/indigenous binary exactly?

  16. July 29, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Emily Hauser: However, with that said, I think the post is a good place to start if folks are looking for some background (with the understanding that I write from a particular perspective, and other writers would emphasize different things, or view certain events in a different light). (Obvs, I guess).

    Thanks, Emily. I think part of the problem for me is that my basic education was kind of a bland, “Israel – it’s complicated, but it was necessary”, which might be why I’ve had trouble figuring out the more nuanced critical stuff I’ve seen since high school.

  17. Lena
    July 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    @Gretchen
    Yeah, the framing of the I/P conflict as between brown people and white people is just soooo terribly wrong. The Jewish Israelis are made up of such a diverse group of people, with so many of them descendants of Asian, Arab and African Jewish immigrants that it it is really silly to put them in the ‘white European’ box. Can we please stop doing that? It’s bad enough that Jews of colour almost always get erased from discussions on Jewish culture and history.

  18. matlun
    July 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    The main problem in the I/P situation is that Israel does not want a peace process. Since they are in control of the situation (by vastly superior fire power) nothing will happen unless Israel wills it or some other strong party steps in (international interference?)

    To the Israeli government the cost of a peace would be bigger than the ongoing cost of the current situation by a wide margin.

    I do not see this changing anytime soon. The status quo with settlement expansion (which is de facto slow ethnic cleansing of the conquered territory) and some low level military skirmishes will continue for the foreseeable future.

    I hope I am wrong but I do not believe so…

    @Gretchen: Seeing this in the framework of colonization seems incorrect to me. While mainly European the Jews that immigrated to/conquered the territory were ethnically (as self identified) Jewish. Even from the beginning they did not really have any other home country. The remaining part of the I/P conflict is best seen as a story of conquest between neighboring territories.

  19. Evan Carden
    July 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    @Raja

    Point of information: Al-Jazeerah is not related in any way to Al-Jazeera.

    Personal opinion: I’d be very careful about citing anything to Al-Jazeerah.Info. They’re, to my mind, a borderline hate site, reprinting Gilad Atzmon. For instance:
    Was the Massacre in Norway a Reaction to Israel Boycott Campaign, BDS?
    http://aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2011/July/25%20o/Was%20the%20Massacre%20in%20Norway%20a%20Reaction%20to%20Israel%20Boycott%20Campaign,%20BDS%20By%20Gilad%20Atzmon.htm

  20. Emily Hauser
    July 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Gretchen: A lot of similarities can be seen between Palestine and any situation where indigenous populations are invaded en masse by europeans who come not as neighbours to share the land equally, but to take it as conquerers.

    I know that this feeling is shared by many on my side of the political map, and my response to this is essentially another post, one I wrote here: http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/why-i-still-call-myself-a-zionist/

    Bottom line, the response is this:

    The Jews did not leave their home by choice — they were escaping what amounted to a rolling genocide. They spent centuries praying three times a day, every day, to return to that home, and they shared a common language and many elements of a common culture for all those years. They were not invading Europeans (particularly the ones who came from places other than Europe, a group that makes up the majority of Israeli Jews today) — they were people returning after many centuries to the home out of which they had been chased.

    This does not change the fact that the Palestinians have an equal claim to the land. But that claim is equal, not greater than.

  21. Emily Hauser
    July 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    matlun:
    The main problem in the I/P situation is that Israel does not want a peace process. Since they are in control of the situation (by vastly superior fire power) nothing will happen unless Israel wills it or some other strong party steps in (international interference?)

    To the Israeli government the cost of a peace would be bigger than the ongoing cost of the current situation by a wide margin.

    I do not see this changing anytime soon. The status quo with settlement expansion (which is de facto slow ethnic cleansing of the conquered territory) and some low level military skirmishes will continue for the foreseeable future.

    I hope I am wrong but I do not believe so…

    @Gretchen: Seeing this in the framework of colonization seems incorrect to me. While mainly European the Jews that immigrated to/conquered the territory were ethnically (as self identified) Jewish. Even from the beginning they did not really have any other home country. The remaining part of the I/P conflict is best seen as a story of conquest between neighboring territories.

    Um. Are you me? Cause: Yes. I agree with every single word you’ve said here.

  22. Raja
    July 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I apologize for citing the source wrong, but I still think the article makes some very good comparisons between Liberia and Israel.

  23. Evan Carden
    July 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    @Raja

    You cited it right, there’s just two groups with basically (at least in English) the same name and I’ve made the mistake of thinking that Al-Jazeera had published something written in Al-Jazeerah before myself.

    As for the specific article, I don’t know enough about Liberia to make a cogent comment on that comparison. Though I will say (in response to its conclusion), the notion that Israel (as a nation, rather than Israelis as individuals) is in great danger of anything other than continuing its slow, worrisome rightward slide seems like either wishful thinking or paranoia.

    Though I’m hardly in a position to talk on that front as I’m a citizen of the great United States of America. The US: Where we’ve decided that our goal is an own goal.

  24. Gretchen
    July 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    @ WestEndGirl there are plenty of nuanced approaches that i can take to further add weight to my comment, however that would be a long essay and not appropriate as a comment here.

    In short the reason it appears as a colonial project is because of rather than the incoming population deciding to integrate into what could have become a secular and diverse society, they instead decided to chase out the inhabiting population and demand that only a single ethnicity would be granted rights under their new rule. The expansion of settlements and the route of the wall also suggests this as all the bends, curves, and u-turns do not follow a path of “demographic” security for israeli’s but maximises the confiscation of resources, such as water and fertile lands. Couple this appropriation of land with the strategic placement of settlements upon hills and then the gradual connection making between them and it does look very much like a colonising project of resource theft and subjugation.

    In regards to brown/white people framing of the argument, are you truly aware of the situation for Israeli POC in the region? Before labelling me as totally wrong i would suggest research into the socio-economic situation and racism faced by for example Ethiopian Jews within Israel. Just look at the Knesset, how many Israeli POC do you see in positions of power? Also, have you done any research into the treatment of Arab jews? I have listened to much testimony from people that completely defy this narrative. Also if you understand any hebrew, going through a checkpoint you will hear numerous racially motivated slurs that can make your blood curdle.

    When talking about a colonising project, i am not talking desires for a Jewish homeland, i am questioning firstly, why Israel has to be Jewish only and cannot be truly secular, and wishing to highlight that the current Zionist project, as executed by the Knesset over the years is not about peace, but appropriation.

    Also i might add, that nuance can sometimes be difficult for me when living 15 minutes away from 3 refugee camps, with thousands of people still holding the keys of the houses they fled in 1948 and 1967. My parents in law are both refugees, one from 48 and the other from 67. My husbands family home is surrounded on three sides by the wall and the village lost most of its land. In just 10 years the village went from agriculturally productive to suffering massive unemployment, and the total loss of a way of life. All of my husbands brothers have been taken as political prisoners and tortured, as have the majority of my young male friends.

    @Emily Hauser, I have not said that the Palestinian claim is greater, but a just peace would involve something resembling a 1 state solution in which all people, both Jews and Palestinians had their right of return fulfilled. Palestinians pray for the same thing, a return home and have been ignored whilst aliyah continues unhindered.

  25. Gretchen
    July 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    One story that i would like to briefly tell (last post i promise) that for me highlights the intrinsic racism of the system:

    A friend of mine, a young Palestinian named Qaher was giving a French journalists a tour around the West Bank. One day they were driving close to a settlement on their way to Palestinian village when a truck collided with their vehicle. Nearby settlement security saw the accident and sent an ambulance. Attending paramedics pulled both from the wreck, the woman was given triage and taken to a hospital in Jerusalem. Upon seeing that Qaher was Palestinian they refused him triage and left him to die on the road. Nearby Palestinians called for a local ambulance to take him to a Palestinian hospital, the ambulance was stopped at nearby checkpoints for over 40 minutes. My friend was announced dead-on-arrival.

    So, please. When calling my comments ridiculous and my views simplistic, realise that i did not pull them out of thin air, they are a result of the things i have seen and my palestinian family and friends experience on a daily basis, and i am calling it as i see it and hear it.

  26. Emily Hauser
    July 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Gretchen:

    @Emily Hauser, I have not said that the Palestinian claim is greater, but a just peace would involve something resembling a 1 state solution in which all people, both Jews and Palestinians had their right of return fulfilled. Palestinians pray for the same thing, a return home and have been ignored whilst aliyah continues unhindered.

    As long as the world is ordered along nationalist lines, and as long as the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians alike continue to cherish nationalist dreams, I’m going to work for two states. I personally think that humanity will eventually reach the point (if we don’t destroy ourselves first) where we come up with something better than nationalism, but we haven’t reached that point yet. I can’t organize people where I want them to be — I can only organize them where they are. And the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians do not want a one-state solution. http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/israel-palestine-why-two-states/

    Also: I have never met or heard of a single Sephardi/Mizrahi Jew who refers to him or herself as an Arab Jew. And the “Israeli POC” to whom you refer do not call themselves “people of color,” they call themselves Jews, and/or use the name of the ethnic sub-group to which they belong. If we’re working to respect people for who they really are and what their lives actually look like, we might want to start with the names those people use for themselves.

  27. July 31, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Excellent post. Great to see feminists talking about this issue and recognizing how israeli apartheid and violence against the palestinian people are deeply feminist issues.

    love from lebanon

  28. Gretchen
    August 2, 2011 at 4:09 am

    @Emily Hauser
    don’t worry this is my last comment i know you have other posts to tend to!

    Firstly I’d like to say that I do agree with your point about nationalism and concepts of statism, I still am a firm believer in the one state solution as are the majority of Palestinians I know (I am not trying to generalise the popular view, but this is the solution most sought by those in my social and work circles), and i also respect your right to believe in 2 states.

    Secondly I would like to apologise if my POC term offended, I fully respect and support everyones right to self identify as they choose and it is my fault for not being aware of the various applicable identities, so again, I apologise, it was not meant in disrespect.

    The point I was making however was to a previous comment about my ‘brown/white’ dichotomy view, and I wanted to highlight that a) Israel itself- like every other nation in the world- has its own issues with racism and b) lines between oppressed and oppressors aren’t necessarily drawn simply on the line brown/white skin colour but on other factors of self perceived entitlement such as ethnicity and religious identity – regardless of race; and in the case of I/P a dichotomy between the rights, freedoms, access to resources etc do exist in pretty black and white terms of Jew and Palestinian Arab, which I did feel i needed to explain as an informed opinion through personal experience.

Comments are closed.