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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Amira Hass: Confronting Myths and Deadly Power

The official Israeli version, propagated by the political echelons around the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak of Labor, and adopted by a great part of the Israeli Jews, ran as follows: Arafat planned, initiated and orchastrated the armed conflict from the start; Arafat did not accept the generous offers of Barak at Camp David, Camp David talks reached a deadlock because of Palestinian insistence to demand the Right of Return of all Palestinian refugees; Arafat is anyway aiming at the gradual destruction of the state of Israel ; from the start of the present Intifada Palestinians resorted to using arms against the Israeli soldiers; Palestinians who were killed were killed in armed clashes between the two parties.

Each such statement, which was actually accepted, if not presented, as a purely objective fact, has been contradicted and challenged by articles and reports published by Israeli papers. I well remember an article which the Israeli political sceintist, Menahem Klein, published in Haaretz. By the way he is a religious jew who teaches at Bar Ilan university, and he participated in negotiations over Jerusalem. It was a few weeks after the outbreak of the Intifada. He offered the solidly logical argument, that had Arafat really secretly plotted to eventually destroy the State of Israel, he would have accepted Barak's offers at Camp David, and proceeded from there, gradually, to his final goal. Arafat, wrote Klein, could not accept Barak's offer as a final deal, because he genuinly clinged to the two states solution, along the borders of June the 4th, 1967.

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Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was going to bed but this is a worthwhile article on the Israel-Palestine published in Counterpunch.

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