The following document answers several questions I have been asked as a part of the discussion about my Open Letter to my Palestinian Brothers, from January 2009 (Gaza War).
1. Why did you write the line: “I can only wish for you that Israel will do the job we all know needs to be done, and finally RID YOU of this cancer, this virus, this monster called fanaticism, today, called Hamas. “ ?
The last Gaza operation came after 8 years of consecutive bombing by Hamas on Israel’s borders. 8 years! Israel has been dragged into war by those who dream of dying for Allah. This is not something I have invented:
Hamas Covenant, 18 August 1988
“The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement: Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”
The declared purpose of these rocket attacks and mortar shelling was to continue the Islamic Palestinian armed struggle against Israel. Here's another quote :
Hamas covenant: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it"
During those 8 years, Hamas threatened to kill anyone who worked for peace with Israel. One of my Palestinian friends, whose name I will not disclose, escaped with barely his life after his friends had their legs shot off by Hamas. This is not fantasy, this is fact!! My friend managed to escape thanks to the help of his Israeli friends, and continues his important work for peace from Ramallah.
War is ugly. Whoever chooses the path of war should not be surprised at its tragic consequences.
Hamas have chosen this path OPENLY. Israel is fighting a war of survival….that is exactly what Hamas says : “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it"
And yes, I want to live and not die!! As opposed to Hamas, it is NOT my loftiest aspiration to die for ANY god! I want to live and let live. Live!! And I'm firm in my belief that so do the majority of the Palestinian people.
2. Are you blind to the fact that supporting war is supporting the killing of innocent people?
I am not SUPPORTING war. This allegation is a warped statement meant to serve the propaganda machine.
In my opinion, war is a primitive substitute for dialogue.
In our region, there have been many attempts at dialogue. Unfortunately, until today, they have failed. Responsibility for that, I believe, lies on the shoulders of both sides by definition.
There is no such thing as a ‘clean war’.
The question one should ask is: what are your intentions?? What is your plan?
The answer from the Israeli declaration of independence,Issued at Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948
“WE APPEAL - in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.”
The answer from the Hamas covenant:
“There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game”
“Egypt has already been cast out of the conflict, to a very great extent through the treacherous Camp David Accords, and she has been trying to drag other countries into similar agreements in order to push them out of the circle of conflict”.“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him"
3. Don’t you think that in view of the fact that the internal affairs of the Palestinian people should be respected, it is very politically incorrect to criticize the democratically elected Hamas?
Many terrible dictators were democratically elected and caused their own people and others endless suffering.
There are moments when a citizen must break the silence, and the code of ‘politically correctness’ and expose evil where it lies.
There are 2 types of struggle: The struggle for compromise and the struggle for “all or nothing”. The first one's goal is life on both sides and a chance to heal and prosper. The other type is death and destruction to at least one side with a good chance of death to all.
The Zionist struggle has historically been one of compromise, whereas the Arab armed struggle has been of the ‘all or nothing’ sort. (Please read Israel's declaration of independence and compare to Hamas covenant). Since the beginning of Zionism it won the support of many nations worldwide as it was viewed as a struggle for fair compromise. It is this support that facilitated the establishment of the state of Israel, especially following the Holocaust.
In their struggle to gain ‘everything’, the Palestinian people lost everything!
This tragedy brought them to a place of weakness which in turn led to the emergence of a new trend: the Palestinian struggle for compromise, Hence Oslo negotiations and accord.
To those who wish to compromise, I say: here I am, willing to share everything I have with you!
But there is another faction of the Palestinian people that not only sustains the ‘all or nothing” attitude, but draws it resources from places far from Israel and Palestine.
I am referring to Hamas and other fundamentalist groups, worldwide.
This is exactly why I separate the Palestinians into different factions.
I fully support Abu-Mazen and the current FATAH leadership, and all Palestinians who strive for peace. I am their staunchest ally. But those who wish to eternalize violence and war? I will never support them, even if they were democratically elected.
In conclusion, I would like to restate my well know views:
1. I advocate the two state solution based on mutual compromise.
2. My own ‘peace plan’, “recognize, apologize, share”, can be found in a previous blog entry called "politics, first step".