by Joachim Gruber
Politik - Politics
Amos Oz, Ben Gurion University of the Negev: "Israel: Peace and War", Nov. 10, 2003 - Public Lecture Series (VideoNet Real 56K | 300K, asx 56K | 300K)
The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a tragedy, a conflict between two parties handcuffed to each other for more than 30 years now, two victims of the same oppressor: Europe. Each side is right. Both people -as people- have nowhere to go. Both are wanted nowhere else.
The Geneva Accord (GA), a model accord, has in secrecy been worked on for 2 years under generous funding by the Swiss government (thus its name). There emerged a Two-State-Solution, something like two embittered parts of a family living in a two-family-unit, a "semidetached house". In contradistinction to e.g. the Oslo Accord the GA deals with every detail, offers painful compromises and by this it has opened a window to Israeli and Palestinians, the certainty that there are many moderates on the other side that want to agree on the bleeding issues. The GA injects hope that a movement can be started. GA is presently being distributed to every last family mailbox, Israeli and Palestinian.
Once the painful partition (Two-State Solution) has been achieved, it will take us people of the Middle East many fewer centuries to establish a shared economy, common currency, Middle Eastern common market, Middle Eastern citizenship than it had taken Europe.
The vast majority of the Israeli Jews and the vast majority of the Palestinian Arabs are unhappily ready for a Two-State-Solution. The worst batch of the conflict is already behind us.
More urgent than the question of the holy places, ... or the settlements is the problem of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees of 1948. Their plight is our national security problem. I would make the solution of the refugee problem the prime Israeli requirement for peace. The Palestinian refugees -as the issue is addressed in the GA- are not going to return to Israel. The right of return is never once mentioned in the GA, which is the greatest Palestinian concession in this deal (the Israeli greatest concession is the recognition of partial Palestinian sovereignty over the Mount of Temple. These are the key trade-offs of this model agreement). Palestinian refugees
January 20, 2005.
Kontakt: Joachim Gruber.