23 October, 2008

Ongoing Correspondence

Subject: The Peace Process should become Main Election Issue

From: ZR

Sent: Saturday 25 October 2008 21:12

Subject: Re: Plea to Tsipi Livni...

Do you mean to say that we are wasting our time?

My late father (he died 1971...) expressed it this way:

'Save your breath to cool the soup...'

I hope that you are not suggesting that we should sit back and accept the situation as irreversible.

It would mean that the settlers are getting their way...

And we shall be heading for a bi-national state. The end of Zionism...

Zeev

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To: ZR

Sent: Saturday 25 October 2008 20:36

Subject: RE: Plea to Tsipi Livni...

על זה אנחנו מסכימים. אין למנהיגים שלנו החזון או האומץ או היכולת הפוליטית להוביל מהלכים כאלה. אם לפני עשרים שנה היו אולמרט ומרידור וחבריהם מבינים מה שאנחנו הבנו לפני שלושים שנה – אולי התמונה היתה אחרת.

בינתיים יש בשטחים מאות אלפי אנשים שגרים שם ורובם חושבים שאין בזה שום בעיה והם נחושים להיאבק בצורה ציונית הולמת נגד כוונות הנסיגה. וחלק ממפקדי הצבא לפחות אמביוולנטיים כלפיהם וכלפי מפעלם.

בנתונים האלה - קשה מאוד לקדם את החזון של שתי המדינות.....

אבל אתה כמובן צודק שחוסר המעש – ואף המעש שכן נעשה - לא מקדם אותנו.

אני פשוט הרמתי ידיים מהתקווה שאמירות ברורות והגיוניות מביאות לתוצאות.....

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From: ZR

Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:23 PM

Subject: Re: Plea to Tsipi Livni...

I think we might do well looking after our own difficulties.

The split among the Palestinians is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Our reluctance to make realistic proposals is as old as the occupation.

As I have suggested decades ago, why don't we challenge them,

by launching a dramatic Peace Inititiative, 'made in Israel'?

The ongoing settlement activities cast doubt upon our sincerity...

Shavu'a tov,

Zeev

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To: ZR

Sent: Saturday 25 October 2008 19:29

Subject: RE: Plea to Tsipi Livni...


אני מסכימה שזה צריך להיות נושא מרכזי מאוד בבחירות.

אני לא בטוחה בכלל שהתמונה של הצד הפלסטיני יציבה מספיק כדי לצפות משהו.

האם יהיה הסכם בין הפלגים? ממשלת חמאס ברצועה וגם בגדה?

וודאי יש הבדלים משמעותיים בסוגי המשוא והמתן שניתן וצריך לנהל תחת כל אחת מן ההנחות האלה.

אתה תפנה יישובים גם ללא הסכם קבע וקבלת העיקרון של שתי המדינות? אבל חמאס אינם מוכנים להכרזות כאלה?

אבל גם אני מקווה שציפי תהיה מועמדת רצינית בבחירות ושיהיה לה מצע יחסית ברור בנקודות האלה....

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From: ZR

Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:30 PM

Subject: Plea to Tsipi Livni...

I am not so sure what Tsipi Livni would do "if she could".

Our politicians have a proven talent to talk about what should be done, - as long as they are unable to do it.

Or after they have been kicked out... But their record while in office is poor...

The 'other side' has been making — and continues to do so — concrete and real proposals...

ואין סימנים ליכולת או נכונות שלהם לעשות את חלקם" Is that really correct??

In this connexion, isn't it odd that there is almost total silence about our President's belated embracement of the Arab League Initiative, in Sharm-a-Sheikh a couple of days ago?

I have the distinct feeling that our Israeli 'mainstream' would be open to new ideas,-

IF a new leadership would confront them with an attractive and realistic plan of action...

And in case we shall be faced with new elections, I would humbly propose that Tsipi Livni would make this THE issue of those elections...

With my best regards,

Zeev

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To: ZR

Sent: Friday 24 October 2008 15:43

Subject: RE: 1985 - and today...

אני בטוחה שציפי לבני היתה שמחה לנוע. אבל אין לה ממשלה לזה. וגם הצד השני לא ממש מזדרז.

בשנת 1985 זה היה יותר קל. היו פחות מתיישבים בשטחים ומה שהיינו מציעים היה יותר דרמטי. היום כולם חושבים שכל מה שיש לנו להציע זו חובתנו – ואין סימנים ליכולת או נכונות שלהם לעשות את חלקם. בתנאים האלה לעשות את המאמץ הפנימי נגד המתנחלים זה לא אפשרי....

זה המלכוד. ממנו צריך הרבה חזון על מנת לגבש את המרכז הישראלי שבאמת רוצה בפתרון הזה ויעמוד מאחוריו בצירוף עמידה מול העולם לשינוי הגישה שלהם. בתנאים כאלה יכולנו לפעול מול המתנחלים הקיצוניים.

לא נראה שכך זה מתקדם..... גם ברמת הפנים המרכז הישראלי לא עושה מה שהוא חייב לעשות על מנת לשרוד.....למשל, לשנות את שיטת הבחירות (לא לגמרי ברור לי איך, אבל בצורה שתאפשר יצירת ממשלה אפקטיבית ויציבה), ולשדר בהירות ערכית ותקציבית מול קבוצות כגון החרדים ולאומנים ערבים.

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From: ZR

Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:28 PM

Subject: 1985 - and today...


Thank you for sending me your 1985 article.

It is as topical today, as it was then...

Though the facts on the ground are making things ever more difficult...

I am asking my perennial question: What are we waiting for??

At about the same time when you wrote your article, the following appeared in the Jerusalem Post:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5BdcFWbkqxE/SMkIqqPgw3I/AAAAAAAAAYE/GrdFojRy2AI/s1600-h/RPLONegJP85.jpg

Best regards,

Zeev

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Subject: Israel's Arab citizens

From: ZR
Sent: Thursday 23 October 2008 18:35
Subject: Re: Fw: [Fwd: FW: חובה לכל יהודי]

"… כך שבעוד עשור או שניים יהיו היהודים מיעוט בארצם וגם ישראל תהפוך לפלסטין. לא מתאים לנו . ולכן זה מה שבסופו של דבר יקרה, גם אם השמאל שלנו מפזר אשליות הממלאות את לבכם תקווה גדולה: יהיה עליכם לחזור לארצות מולדתכם. זה יקרה או בטוב או בחרב."

Dear (...),


Let me just comment on the above few lines of Drora’s tirade.

אזרחית יהודיה ישראלית, בעלת המקום Drora signs herself…


1. Drora is RIGHT when she warns us that in a decade or two we shall become a Jewish minority in Israel! Already today, the non-Jewish minority living under Israeli sovereignty is getting close to 50%. For two generations now, a significant part of these citizens is deprived of the civil rights that are customary in a democratic state. The conclusion is, that if our Jewish and Democratic state is dear to us, it is in OUR Zionist interest to return to the pre-1967 lines, — with minor and mutually agreed changes.


2. Israel’s Arab citizens are the natives of this country. To force them to leave, is a preposterous proposal.


3. Today’s difficulty in returning to the pre-67 borders is due to the ongoing folly of our Settlement Enterprise. All our post-67 governments, from the Right and the Left, must share in the blame for this. However, there is an answer to the problem. About ten years ago, a proposal was launched to let Jews remain in the evacuated territories, as Israeli or Palestinian citizen, under Palestinian sovereignty. It would be a parallel arrangement to Arab towns in Israel. The author of the proposal was Yoram Sade, son of the legendary Yitzhak Sade. See the following Link for more on this idea.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5BdcFWbkqxE/SMoEKfpyGZI/AAAAAAAAAdQ/h9f9tQ1f6OQ/s1600-h/RYSade-IPJ97.jpg


With regards,

Zeev

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Subject: Those Readers Letters

From: ZR
Sent: Tuesday 21 October 2008 09:56
Subject: Readers Letters

Dear (...),

Thanking you for going to all this trouble.
I think I should explain about those readers letters. I don't know how close you are to (...), but his & my political views are quite close. With the difference that I identify as a Zionist. Though I have plenty of criticism of our Israeli leadership, in particular after 1967. And that is reflected in those letters.

I have no illusions whatever, as to their effectiveness to change the course of events... non pissum contra windum...
Or: the dogs are barking, and the convoy proceeds...
So the letters are a summary of my credo. And displaying them as facsimile adds authenticity I think. And anyhow nobody is likely to read them. The same was the case when they were published. Only my friends occasionally noticed them... That did/does not bother me. For me it was simply 'letting off steam',if you like.
With repeated thanks, and regards,
Zeev

Sent: Monday 20 October 2008 22:29
Subject: RE: Readers Letters

I do have one more general suggestion for you. Rather than upload your past letters to the editor, I would begin blogging about current matters on yr blog. Readers are less interested in historical events than they are in current events. Also, uploading an image & forcing yr readers to click on it in order to read it almost guarantees that very few people will do so. If you want your past documents displayed on yr blog I’d transcribe them from the original directly into a post rather than just uploading an image of the document. I know that will be tedious work, but it’s far better to do that—or else feature larger images of the document that doesn’t force readers to click on a thumbnail to open a larger version.

That’s just my own 2 cents…

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Subject: The cardinal error...

From: ZR
Sent: Tuesday 7 October 2008 16:52
Subject: The cardinal error...


"... The important point about progressive Zionists who are in favour of a democratic egalitarian Israel is that the worse thing one can do is treat them by name-calling and disdain rather than by seeking alliances with them beyond ideology, in order to focus on practical goals."
Thank you, (...). I think (...) and others should take heed!
Uri Avnery's recent article “It Can Happen Here!” (27 Sep 2008) comes to mind. This was Uri’s bottom line:

"... I do not believe that Fascism will win in our society. I believe in the strength of Israel democracy. But if I am pushed into a corner and asked: "Can it happen here?" I am bound to answer: "Yes, it can."

To which I would add this quote from William Shirer:

"… No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler. The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it. At the crest of their popular strength, in July 1932, the National Socialists had attained but 37 per cent of the vote. But the 63 percent who expressed their opposition to Hitler were much too divided and shortsighted to combine against a common danger which they must have known would overwhelm them unless they united, however temporarily, to stamp it out …" (“The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” Crest Book 1962, page 259.)

Best regards,

Zeev, Haifa


Sent: Tuesday 7 October 2008 16:00
Subject: Announcing the Launch of the International JewishAnti-Zionist Net...

In a message dated 10/7/2008 9:24:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time, (...) writes:

I do think that people who describe themselves as
Zionists and say they want full equal rights for everyone in Israel so that it can be a democratic Jewish state are not seriously dealing with the inherent contradictions in that, To say the least. . .

I don't care. If they are working against the occupation that's a million times more important than what I perceive as problems in their analysis.

I do care because I find that an illogical analysis interferes with useful work against the occupation. For instance, in planning joint demonstrations with these zionist groups, we found that we were unable to fully lay out the price the Palestinians pay for Jewish discrimination in Israel because the zionist groups always wanted to add literature publicizing "Jewish suffering." Well, there is Jewish suffering, but you will agree that Jews assuming the role of victims yet again (still) doesn't help educate the public on this issue. . . ?


It is unfortunate that in some cases people who

describe themselves as progressive Zionists will not work with people
who describe themselves as anti-Zionists because the latter are not
committed to a Jewish state in principle. As I recall, this was a problem
with some groups not wanting to work with Jewish Voice for Peace
since the latter did not take an explicit stand on one-state/two-state.

I don't know which progressive zionist group you are referring to but the issue in question in the past, as far as I know, was not one-state/two/state, but what kind of two state. . . JVP was, I believe, a supporter of Oslo and I know for a fact was a supporter of the Geneva Accords, which many of us think of as Zionist Lite positions, i.e., merely ameliorative, not so much interested in ending the occupation and resolving the issues as getting past them at minimum cost so that Israel stays secure. --
(...)

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Subject: Olmert’s ‘Change of Mind’. Reflections on possible solutions.

From: ZR

Sent: Wednesday 1 October 2008 15:42

Subject: Re: Olmert: "We refuse to face reality. Time is not on Israel's side


Dear (...),

As always, I thank you for your response.

Unlike Olmert, you have held these opinions for more than 30 years. It is my guess that also other leading Israeli personalities think likewise. And that they too, have thought so for years. Please forgive me my frankness, but in my humble opinion, your collective silence has brought us to the almost impossible mess of our present day.

Individuals like Uri Avnery, Lova Eliav, Yossi Beilin et al, are easily dismissed as cranks and naive. Whereas outspoken language from our leadership might have had an impact on public thinking. The only conclusion can be that our leadership as a whole, believed in the Greater Israel illusion, and thus fooled the electorate.

Myself, I wrote readers letters on the futility of our policies ever since the early 1970s. Here is one example, dated 18 Oct 1974:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5BdcFWbkqxE/SMaoRkEvR1I/AAAAAAAAARs/gAkSanhHwQg/s1600-h/RIllusionsHA74.jpg

I share your pessimism about an agreement by the end of 2008. But not for the reasons that you stated. Rather because of our ongoing collective reluctance to return to the pre-67 borders. Isn't it grotesque that during his two years at the helm, Olmert did nothing to halt the settlement drive. And the minute he is kicked out, he talks like Zahava Gal-On...

With my best wishes to you personally,

Zeev

To: ZR

Sent: Wednesday 1 October 2008 10:58

Subject: RE: Olmert: "We refuse to face reality. Time is not on Israel's side

כמו שאתה יודע, אני מסכימה עם אולמרט ובניגוד לו – תמיד חשבתי ככה. כבר למעלה משלושים שנה.

אני חוששת שהבעיה עכשיו איננה עצם הרעיון – נדמה לי שיש רוב גדול בציבור הישראלי לרעיון הזה. הבעיה עכשיו היא כפולה – איך מגיעים למצב יציב של שתי מדינות מן המצב הקיים, המורכב, שבו הממשלה גם בישראל וגם אצל הפלסטינים כמעט לא קיימת, ואיך מגייסים תמיכה בשני העמים ובקהילה הבינלאומית למסלול הנדרש.

אני לא מאמינה שהרעיון של אולמרט ורייס – הסכם עד סוף 2008 – הוא מעשי. זה נראה לי פאטה מורגאנה. אני כן מסכימה שצריך לפעול. לגבי סוריה אני לא בטוחה מה המצב ונראה לי שאני לא היחידה. שם חסרים לציבור נתונים שתמיד יחסרו לו על האמינות של המגעים. אני מכל מקום בעד להמשיך לנסות.

מכל מקום, ישראל אינה יכולה לומר שהיא חייבת הסכם עכשיו – כי אז ברור שמחיר ההסכם יהיה גדול יותר ממה שנכון וצריך ואינטרסים חשובים של ישראל יצאו לא מוגנים. אז יש פה בעיה ציבורית לא פשוטה. ניתן להפגין על הצעה קונקרטית – אבל מה שאולמרט מציע אינו הצעה קונקרטית אלא גישה. אני יכולה לדבר על גישה. ראש ממשלה צריך להציע תכנית פעולה. בינתיים – כאמור- אין לנו ראש ממשלה מתפקד היכול להציע תכנית פעולה ולבקש תמיכה....

בינתיים נבחר במי שנראה הכי קרוב לכיוון שלנו ונקווה שתצליח.

שנה טובה,

(...)