June 14, 2007
Why ‘peace camps’ do not make peace
(Page 2 - Previous Page)The Makdisi's of the academic world and other Palestinian spokesmen have long ceased to disguise their designs under the cloak of objection to the occupation; they have been calling openly and increasingly more boldly for the dismantling of the "irredeemably criminal" State of Israel.
More direct proof came last week in the small Palestinian town of Anata, where about 1,000 people gathered in a peace demonstration. Gershon Baskin, one of the organizers, described the rally thus:
"This is the first peace demonstration that Palestinians have held, called for and organized since 1993. Israelis have always asked, 'Where's the Palestinians' peace now?' Well, this is peace now in Palestine; these are people who are calling not only for the end of the occupation, but they're calling for two states for two people, which is a recognition of Israel's right to exist alongside the Palestinian state, and it's very significant."
Unfortunately, according to an ABC report on June 6, "it all started to go awry. It turned out that nearly all the busloads who'd turned up were only there to support [Jibril] Rajoub, and when he finished, they left. Hundreds of plastic chairs were left vacant. Even the prospect of a video message from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter couldn't hold them."
And Mr. Rajoub, former Palestinian national security adviser, instead of urging his audience to aspire to the fruits of peace spent most of his speech threatening Israel with terror. "There are a million ways to get to Tel Aviv" he told the rally.
It is hard, I admit, to expect conciliatory gestures from people living under the siege of occupation.
At the same time, it is irresponsible to delude those people with false premises and hide from them the one path that would bring them independence and dignity: to publically unveil their acceptance of the independence and dignity of their neighbors.
Judea Pearl is a UCLA professor and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation www.danielpearl.org. He is a co-editor of "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl" (Jewish Lights, 2004).
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