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Translation of an article to be published
in Ma'ariv on January 10, 2000

Zynische Heuchelei:

by Uri Avnery

Not for a long time have I seen a political statement so mendacious, hypocritical, cynical, devoid of moral integrity and lacking intellectual honesty as the one published under the headline "Real Peace on the Golan" by an assorted group of professors, doctors and pseudo-leftists.

It says: "…a state is not entitled to transfer inhabitants against their will, whether they are Arabs, Jews or Druse. This is a violation of the most basic human rights."

Oh yea? When Israel conquered the area which was, until then, called by everybody "the Syrian heights", some 120 thousand inhabitants fled from the battle zone or were driven out. The great majority of them were innocent tillers of the soil. Their forefathers have been living on this land for hundreds, if not for thousands of years.

Muslim-Arab populations double themselves every 18 years. This means that these deportees and their offspring number now about 400 thousand souls.

It seems that in the eyes of the signatories, these 400 thousand souls are not considered human beings. If not, what are they? Sub-humans, according to well-known racist theories? Rats, as in the films of the infamous propaganda minister?

They are human beings, families. They have lost everything in a few hours: their human dignity, their homes, their livelihood, all that makes life worth living. They were indeed "transferred against their will" (and without compensation!). They vegetate since then in miserable refugee camps.

The horrible indifference to the fate of these human beings, men, women and children, puts the signatories next to the worst of racists.

The statement ignores the deportees so much, that it does not even takes the trouble to repeat the routine mantra: "They attacked us, so we owe them nothing…" They know, of course, that nobody asked these fellaheen whether or not to attack Israel, and that no reputable historian denies nowadays that nearly all the pre-1967 border-incidents ("they shelled us from above") were initiated by Israel.

By the way, more than a million French settlers (called "pieds noirs") left Algeria within weeks after that country attained independence.

The statement continues: "Real peace cannot include the eviction of the Jewish population, the destruction of 33 civilian settlements, the demolition of industrial enterprises and the drying-up of fields and plantations…"

The Golan settlers sit on the ruins of nearly one hundred Arab villages. Anyone who makes the effort can find them easily. The soldiers who were ordered to dynamite them did a sloppy job. The remnants are everywhere, as are the fruit-trees planted by generations of villagers, whose fruit are eaten by the settlers.

It has to be said clearly: the Golan settlers are living on the ruins of those driven out. Every single person who settled on the Golan knew that he builds his home on the ruins of a human being living in misery a few dozen miles away. His wonderful "quality of life" is based on the misery of someone else.

As to the "drying-up of fields and plantations" - well, nobody needs to worry. Quite on the contrary. The lawful owners will return and till these fields, as they did before the transfer. The plantations will bear their fruit, the fields will yield their blessing. The heirs of Arial Sharon must not be allowed to demolish Katzrin, as he demolished Yamit in North Sinai. Everything, including the industrial enterprises, should be sold to the Syrians, to help pay the compensations that will be paid to the settlers.

Further: "If the Syrian ruler refuses to make a peace that guarantees the continued existence and security of the Jewish settlements on the Golan, for the benefit of the two peoples, we shall wait as long as needed for a regime and a society in Syria that will be ready for real peace."

Speaking about "the Syrian ruler" is sheer demagoguery. No Syrian is ready to give up the Golan, as no Israeli is ready to give up the Negev, and as no Egyptian was ready to give up Sinai. Nobody demanded at the time that "the Egyptian ruler" allow the Jewish settlers to stay there, nor that he change the regime in his country to suit Israeli tastes. Even if Syria will become a model Sweden-like democracy, it will not agree to leave the settlers on the Golan. The Messiah will come before the arrival of the kind of peace the settlers dream about.

But do they indeed dream about it? That is the greatest lie of all. The leaders of the settlers, who organized this cynical propaganda gimmick, know full well that not a single settler is ready to live under a Syrian government, the same as not a single settler will be ready to live under a Palestinian government. If there is a so-called leftist who believes this lie, he is indeed a political half-wit.

Gush Shalom
[Visit the Settlement Special]

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