On July 23, 2010 Haaretz published an article by former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg, in which he called for the establishment of a new Israeli political party that would advance the cause of equal citizenship for all citizens of the state of Israel. Such a candle of hope for a better future for all ought to be protected, nurtured, and strengthened to become the new norm in a country that is otherwise thrusting itself with the speed of light – through fear and mistrust – onto the seemingly irreversible course towards apartheid and fascism.
Virtually all Israeli political leaders, who have anything to do with determining the direction in which the state of Israel goes, are – or act as if they were – oblivious to the fact that the term “Jewish and Democratic state” is an oxymoron. Even though, they practice it on a daily basis, they sometimes avoid talking about the ethnic cleansing that a state with such “character” would have to perpetrate against non-Jews in order to maintain its Jewish “solid majority,” which they are not shy to publicly declare that they would do anything to maintain.
The signs of the miserable failure of the Zionist experiment in Palestine are clear to any one who cares to look close enough. Avraham Burg’s initiative aims at starting the honourable process of true reconciliation between Jewish Israelis and Muslim and Christian Palestinians. He deserves to be taken seriously, and his political party in the making deserves to include more Jews and more Palestinians than any other political party on either side of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That is what Burg’s initiative deserves; but will it happen? Will there be enough Israeli-Jews and Palestinians to join this movement and make it a recognizable political force? Only time will tell.
In that regard, Israeli-Palestinian political leaders must take a supportive role in ensuring that such a political movement becomes a strong tide that could honourably change the face of the entire region; not just the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Additionally, Palestinian political parties everywhere should take note of this initiative and do everything possible to support it, enhance it, cooperate with it, and indeed mirror it within the Palestinian political street; in order to help bring it from just a good idea to a full-fledged reality capable of competing for strong political presence within both Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian societies.
Avraham Burg has put his finger on the key word “equality” and with that, he becomes qualified to start a new era in the history of the region. Only with such a respectful approach to all can we bring an honourable conclusion to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Purging differences of the past permanently is only possible through the promise of one future for all where equal humanity is the supreme value. That is the formula where there will be no victors and no losers, but there will only be winners on all sides, as they merge together in the creation of a state that will truly become “a light onto all nations.”
Avraham Burg wrote:
“The greatest internal threat to Israel’s existence is the erosion of Israeli democracy, which has already lost its internal substance – the values of freedom and total commitment to all its citizens.”
Then he continued:
“The time has come for a new proposal, one that is exciting and challenging. The time has come for an Israeli party, a Jewish-Arab party, that will carry the banner of total commitment to equality, without a trace of discrimination and racism.”
You can read the full article on Haaretz; here is the link:
Hope is the stuff from which life is made!