Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gavron Gabs

Daniel Gavron is a tour guide and an author, resident in Arad. He's 73 or so, English-born and his youth movement was Habonim, that bastion of socialism.

Here's from a NYTimes review of a previous book of his,

Unfortunately, he tries to do too much in ''Israel After Begin,'' and in the end his sturdy account of Israeli reactions to the war in Lebanon veers disappointingly into amateurish policy prescriptions and philosophizing about religion in the modern world...he spares nothing in his criticism of the Begin Government and its continuation of the war, and he takes hope from the protest...But even this hope hardly seems to justify his predictions about the future - his vision of consensus government and territorial compromise. His proposal for a transition to an independent Palestinian state is the most intriguing and least well argued. Mr. Gavron may be right that something constructive will grow from the turmoil and feelings of failure left in the aftermath of the Lebanese invasion, but his breezy optimism seems sadly misplaced.

So, with these mighty intellectual credentials and "breezy optimism", he was invited by the New York Times to publish an op-ed which appeared yesterday.

Here's one cogent selection which caught my eye:-

Wake up, fellow Israelis, it’s over, we’ve won! What is more we’ve won a lot: more than 8,000 square miles out of the 10,400 square miles of the British Mandate for Palestine [come again?]. And most Palestinians have accepted this territorially lopsided resolution of the 100-year-old dispute [not supported by facts or polls].

Problems remain, of course. We Israelis have made a shambles of our Zionist enterprise by establishing settlements in the Palestinian territories we have occupied since 1967 [but what happened to the commubnities that existed there before 1948? We were there once upon a time and not in the Biblical period, either]. Either we must disentangle ourselves from the Palestinians, or else create a structure for sharing the land with them [why can't they disentangle from us?]. Many of the flagship Jewish settlements are so deep in Palestinian territory that no matter how the borders were to be redrawn, the settlements would be left inside Palestine [oh, so automatically the Arabs but of course remain in Israel, everywhere?].

And the current talk of swapping “settlement blocs” in the West Bank for equivalent amounts of land in Israel near the border is unrealistic. For any “two-state solution” to work, we would need to conduct a complete withdrawal from the West Bank. Even so, the success of the Zionist enterprise would be astounding.

So I went fishing and at the site I noted above (here) I discovered that he published a book, "The Other Side of Despair: Jews and Arabs in the Promised Land" (Rowman & Littlefield) in 2003. It seems that he reached a heretical conclusion - after years of Jewish sovereignty, the time has come to dissolve the Jewish state and establish, in its place, a single Israeli-Palestinian state.

"Having reached the conclusion that the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River must be shared, but cannot be sensibly partitioned," he wrote, "we are left with only one alternative: Israeli-Palestinian coexistence in one nation." If Israeli Jews now wish to secure their long-term future in the region, he explains, they must agree to abdicate Jewish sovereignty and move swiftly, while the balance of power still tilts in their favor, to a multiethnic democracy.

And to prove how smart he is, he is quoted there as saying:-

"I do not see any government emerging that would withdraw more than a very minimal number of settlements. We haven't even managed to get rid of Netzarim, for God's sake. I just don't see any elected Israeli government having sufficient determination and sufficient clarity of vision to carry out the redivision of Palestine, Israel, the Land of Israel, whatever you want to call it. Friends of mine sometimes say the Americans will force us into it. They won't. They're not forcing us into anything ... In a way, I'm saying the settlers have won. That is profoundly sad. But they have."

Well, Daniel, Israel did find the stupid leader who surrendered Netzarim and more and you ignore that but go off the write a similar foolish piece of political analysis in the NYTimes. Without even apologizing for your warped thinking.

And this statement, Friends of mine sometimes say the Americans will force us into it - does it point to David ("Rape Israel") Landau?

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