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Ha'aretz: Yossi Sarid / If you (or I) were Palestinian
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Posted on January 2, 2009
This week I spoke with my students about the Gaza war, in the context of a class on national security. One student, who had expressed rather conservative, accepted opinions - that is opinions tending slightly to the right - succeeded in surprising me. Without any provocation on my part, he opened his heart and confessed: "If I were a young Palestinian," he said, "I'd fight the Jews fiercely, even by means of terror. Anyone who says anything different is telling you lies."

His remarks sounded familiar - I had already heard them before. Suddenly I remembered: About 10 years ago they were uttered by our defense minister, Ehud Barak. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy had asked him then, as a candidate for prime minister, what he would do had he been born Palestinian and Barak replied frankly: "I would join a terror organization."

This is not my own answer; terrorism by individuals or organizations or states is always aimed at exacting casualties in a civilian population that has not drawn any blood. Not only is terror blind - consuming both the saint and the sinner - it also expands the circle of the hot-headed, whose blood rises to their brains: Our blood is on their heads, their blood is on our heads. And when an account of the blood of the innocent is opened, who can pay it in full, and when?

I hate all the terrorists in the world, whatever the purpose of their struggle. However, I support every active civil revolt against any occupation, and Israel too is among the despicable occupiers. Such revolt is both more just and more effective, and it does not extinguish one's spark of humanity. And perhaps I'm just too much of an old codger to be a terrorist.

But, and pay attention to this but, if a normative young person has a spontaneous answer that is different from mine, and that answer also escaped the mouth of an Israeli lieutenant general, then every individual must see himself as though his son is running with the wrong crowd. If things were the other way around, our son-whom-we-loved would be a damned terrorist, almost certainly, because he is of the third and fourth generation of refugeehood and oppression, and whence cometh salvation? He has nothing to lose but his chains.

Whereas we, his mother and father, would be weeping for the departing son because he will never return to see the land of his birth and us, except in his photograph on the wall as a shahid, a martyr. Would we detain him before he carries out his plan? Would we be able to hold him back if we wanted to? Would we not understand what he is feeling? What Ehud Barak understood in his day - would that be impossible for us to understand?

Young people who have no future will easily give up their future, which they can't see on the horizon. Their past as guttersnipes and their present as cursed unemployed idlers lock the opening to their hope: Their death is better than their life, and their death is even better than our life, as their oppressors - that is how they feel. From the day they are born to the day they leave this earth, they see their land ahead, to which they will not come as free people.

There are no good and bad peoples; there are only leaderships that behave responsibly or insanely. And now we are fighting those whom a goodly number of us would be like, had we been in their place for 41 and a half years.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=1052057
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Posted by Saadi Ramadan on February 1, 2009 #66060

If I am a Jew from parents were born outside Palestine since 1948, I'll go back to where I belong, because there is a day will come you Zionist will regret forever that you have stayed in the Land of Milk and Honey (Palestine). You Jews know that you are a religious movement scattered all over the world, you never been a nation, you lived throughout the world without being a nation. Since Moses (PBUH) tried to take you to the Holy Land, but your Ancestors refused to go there, so, biblically, you have no claim for Palestine, You Jews always say this is the promised land for you and, you are the chosen people from GOD, I like to tell you, the Chosen people where gone, they were with MOSES, none exist now, For your claim that Palestine is your promised land, again. The real Chosen people never entered Palestine and, the real chosen people all died with and after Moses, so no more chosen people EXIST. My advice for the Jews to Read their History. You Jews and Zionists, you are nothing but Killers, thieves and Skin heads, you raped Palestine, killed its people and claimed that Palestine is yours. Remember, What goes around comes around, The Truth always prevail s, regardless how long it takes. You may stay in Palestine for a period of time but not forever, your shinning Sun is beginning to SET (Sunset). I dare any Jew or Zionist to show me in any place anywhere or in any book in the history of civilization that ISRAEL was a country. All of us knows that ISRAEL never been a nation only a religious sect. That is it.
Just a reminder, more than 15,000 profit been sent to earth from GOD, More than half been killed by Jews, you can Imaging if they kill profits, why can’t the kill human being, that is their nature.
Have a good day cousins, see you in HELL
Posted by sana Hamdan on January 15, 2009 #63899

I'm so proud to be palestinian and If I were Jewish I would skin myself alive. I'm also a devoted muslim I believe in christianity and Judaism but not your jewish state.Palestine is our ancestor's land, why do you expect us to live under your domination? State of Terrorism (Israel) is built on our people's bones and blood. To all Israelis who occupy our beloved Palestine , you'll never rest in peace. We'll come back.If not me it will be my son or my grandson.
I have no grudge against any jew outside Palestine ,we muslims respect every living being but we're defending our right to live on our land ,no one should deny us this right.
Posted by jgarbuz on January 15, 2009 #63862

Nobody in ISrael asks Muslims or anyone else to convert, but only to live quietly in peace. Christian Arabs have a higher income than Jews in Israel. Druze serve ferociously in the IDF. Many Bedouins do to. Armenian Christians and other non-Jews are very loyal citizens. Every citizen of ISrael has basic civil and religious rights. But Muslim Arabs have a RELIGIOUS imperative, from their Koran, to oppose Jewish sovereignty. They don't want to live in a predominantly Jewish state regardless of how well they are off compared to other Arabs in the Arab countries. The very idea of a Jewish state is anathema to them, and that will never change as long as Islam is not reformed to accept a Jewish state.
Posted by Aaron on January 15, 2009 #63858

If I were a Palestinian, I would convert to Judaism. After all, if I truly believed that I was a "native" to Palestine, I would come to the conclusion that my ancestors were Jews who were forcibly converted, first to Christianity by the Romans, then to Islam by the Arabs.

Therefore, in throwing off the bonds of "occupation" and "colonialism", I would throw off their religious legacies as well by converting back to the faith my ancestors were forced to leave behind.

Shalom/Salam
Posted by Jasmine on January 13, 2009 #63553

Although I truly respect the peaceful thoughts of Yosi sarid but I think that the bad blood between Jews and Palastenians has got beyond any kind of promising solution. What Israel is doing in Gaza today shows that she doesn't have the slightest respect to the Palasteian existense and orgins on this land. I feel totally torn inside when I watch pieces of young children under the rackage. All Israel is doing is increasing the rooted hatred between the Arab nations and the Israeli government and citizens. That situation will lead to a more dangerous situation inside and outside Israel. Soon we will see that Israel will achieve nothing by this war. I can not understand how people who suffered from the holocaust 60 years ago can commet those crimes against innocent people.
Posted by royj on January 13, 2009 #63503

In Ireland we tend to be supportive of Palestine, but we are aware of the historic analogy which exists in Ulster, where there is a settler population (from the 17th century) and a displaced native population, leading to political antagonism, encouraged by the British, on the 'divide and rule' principle. For a time in the 1790s there was a united ovement for an inclusive independent republic, led by activists from the settler community, and this led to the 1798 insurrection, but this was defeated by the British, and divisions were again encouraged. The 1922 Treaty involved partition, with 2/3 of Ulster kept under British rule; there had to be enough of settler stock to vote down the remaining native stock. This has generated violent campaigns since; the most recent one lasted from 1971 to 1996, and has now been resolved politically with the Good Friday Agreement, which has initiated a power-sharing procedure as an alternative to majoritarian voting down of the minority. This has its prblems, but it seems to be working.

We have been thinking perhaps. if pre-1948 Palestine were the be restored, with an inclusive power-sharing government, giving equal poltical rights to Jews, Muslims, Christians, whatever, with the right of return for all displaced in 1948, and compensation where their land is currently occupied by settler Jews, without displacing the latter, would this be a workable political model? Call it Palestein perhaps, to distinguish it from the earlier name, and acknowledge the presence of an immigrant Jewish population, whose historic connection does need recognition, but not as exclusive occupants of a mythical 'promised land'.

The so-called 'two-state solution' is a replica of the Bantustans under the South African apartheid regime. It seems to me that people will have to come around in the end to one good inclusive State, with a power-sharing constitutiom.
Posted by zoro on January 6, 2009 #62578

Mr.Yossi Sarid is a great man!Ive met him en person and had the honor to talk to him and listened to his beautiful peacefull thoughts of a civilized lecturer and a real human being.He told me ..he is anxiously looking for the day when Palestinians and jews can do their best to live together in peace!!He asked me to measure his blood pressure ,and expressed ,saying textually...This is a happy day in my life that ive spoken to a Palestinian doctor,and im proud of it,i wish so heartly to see the Palestinians one day turning to accept the jewish neibourhood,we have no other choice but to share life together on Palestine without wars neither differences.Then he took his small jet and flew to Tel-Aviv.atahis man of peace must be an example for those who came to Palestine since 1917 as immigrants and neibours but afterwords they turn their nives into the Palestinian peacefull nation!!we dont forget DER Yasin massacre,sabra &Shatila etc..
Posted by amali on January 5, 2009 #62490

Palestine is my country, and i will do whatever it takes in order to get it back.
I'm the third generation of refugee hood, and i have nothing to loose except my soul, and i wish if i could've had another one in order to loose it again for my country "Palestine".
Posted by zoro on January 5, 2009 #62427

Thia land is Palestina (PALESTA)and named KANAAN before!!there has been never a land named israel!!The israelis are called so, because of there grandfather israel!!Who was just a person.The occupiers of Palestine actually are those descendents of the migrants who came to Palestine from Europe,Egypt,beduins of Asir from the peninsula Arabica!!I wonder what kind of wright they have!!simply i advice them to return to their original countries!!they and their descendents will never have peace in Palestine!!sooner or later,the conventional evolution will reject them.It has been proved historically that jewish beduin tribe from ASIR IS THEIR ORIGIN.I advice them to apply for4 immigration to Saudi Arabia,Egypt,ayaemen,Morocco,Irak,Libya and Erope,back to their gettos in Romania with the Gypsies.
Posted by Amir on January 5, 2009 #62397

When young Palestinians see no future, no freedom, no security, and they're dying anyway, they better end their lives, with enemy's ones too!

Israel is the creator of terorrism. Stop killing our children first, and let poor Palestinians have their right to live freely!
Posted by Azmi on January 5, 2009 #62386

Israel is the cause of terrorisim in the middle east & Arabic & Islamic , Israel is the creator of terorrism
Posted by john on January 4, 2009 #62300

Sarid is not only an old codger, he is quite evidently an old fool, too. He does not understand that the Palestinians are acting as the willing spearheads of an ancient and reborn Arab-Muslim imperialism. Sad to see a a man who promotes himself as an anti-imperialist, above all, cannot see a raw imperialism when it's staring him in the face. Utter folly.
Posted by Elias El-sayeh on January 4, 2009 #62253

Not just the past 41 and half years but for the past 60 years. The occupation of Palestine by zionists started in 1948, not 1967.