Ex-Peace Now Leader: 'It's Not the Occupation; It's Us'
Moriah Shlomot, the Director-General of Peace Now between 2000 and 2002, says she now realizes that she and her ilk spend too much time on how Israel treats the Palestinians, and not enough on societal problems at home.
..."Perhaps all the evil in the world does not stem from the occupation of the territories in 1967, but it stems from something: From oppression, neglect, inequality and injustice. What caused the basketball fan to throw a small explosive [earlier this week, taking off a guard's three fingers - ed.] at a basketball game? What caused the Beitar fans to express their hatred of the consensus [when they booed during a moment of silence for Yitzchak Rabin]? Could all this be connected, inter alia, to the removal of controls from bread prices, or to the low representation of Sephardim among the Supreme Court judges?"
"With Shame and Pain, I Admit..."
Then came Shlomot's main confession: "With shame and pain, I admit that my political attention and awareness are directly most of the time to the Israeli-Palestinian arena."
"The peace camp," she wrote, "is currently focused solely on Annapolis; before that, we concentrated on Camp David, Oslo, Madrid; we formed delegations, we dialogued with the other side, and we held rallies and marches. We never thought to protest against the rise in bread prices, because the division was clear: Eli Yishai [of the Shas Party] worries about the lower classes, and we worry about the Palestinians... No more is there that magical 'mutual responsibility' within the nation...The racism of the elites against the weaker classes and Sephardim is at least as severe as that of the right-wing against the Palestinians..."
"It's true," the former Peace Now director concluded, "the occupation itself is not at fault for everything. We are at fault."