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The following article is extracted from the April 1997 issue of THE OTHER ISRAEL. The publisher encourages unrestricted distribu- tion with acknowledgment of source.


by Uri Avnery

Translated from Ma'ariv, 17.03.97

"For three transgressions and for four, I will not turn away
the punishment thereof..."

  • For the terrible bloodshed on its way, which will bring bereavement to mothers and fathers on both sides.
  • For renewal of a tragic century-long conflict, so near to historic reconciliation.
  • For burning the bridges which have begun to go up between Israel and the entire Arab world.
  • For turning Israel into a despised villain in the eyes of the world, isolated among the community of nations.

All of this, for what purpose?

Let it be said with the brutal honesty called for at a time like this: It is for the sole self-interest of one man, an ignoramus in all matters Arab, an arrogant, brutal man, an egocentric and egomaniac, fearing only for the fall of his government.

Netanyahu's partners in crime:

-- The whole collection of two-bit politicians seated around his table, a few of whom had seen handwriting on the wall, but none of whom had the guts to stand up, to protest, to cry out, to vote against building at "Har Homa." Each and every member of Netanyahu's cabinet is culpable. Every drop of blood spilled will be on their heads.

-- All of the parties in this miserable coalition -- the Likud, Shas, the National Religious Party, Agudat Yisrael, Degel Hatorah, Yisrael Ba'aliyah, the Third Way -- each of which has made its own calculation about its potential gains from the approaching catastrophe, the hundreds of millions of dollars from building contractors, the rabbinic support, settlers' votes, popularity with the right wing.

-- The heads of the intelligence services, who have superficially done their duty by explaining and sounding warnings, but who did not have the guts to fulfill their real duty by resigning on the spot.

-- The Labor Party, which is longing for a so-called national unity government, which has agreed in principle to construct at Har Homa, which instead of raising heaven and earth in protest, merely mumbled something about "bad timing."

-- President Clinton, who sent confusing signals to Israel, who came out with a weak objection to the Har Homa plan yet vetoed the U.N. vote condemning it, thus affirming Netanyahu and his cohorts in their belief that "it will go through without a hitch."

When a future historian comes along to research this affair, he will undoubtedly be dumbfounded in the face of such sheer ignorance, arrogance, brute force, contempt of one's fellow human, and machismo, which propelled Israel toward this disaster -- a disaster whose consequences could have been foreseen by anyone with a pair of eyes.

There is no national interest, of any kind, of any ideology, that would justify this step. Even the greatest champion of Greater Israel, the greatest supporter of a "United" Jerusalem, could have no interest in the imminent bloodshed. The entire world will be involved and Jerusalem will ultimately be divided -- but out of mutual contempt and hatred, instead of peace and reconciliation.

All for the self-interest of one man: Binyamin Netanyahu.

His entire talent lies in his ability to take over the leadership of an impotent party and a confused nation, using false slogans about "Secure Peace", aided by millions of dollars from Jewish tycoons living securely in the United States.

He believes that one can fool the whole world all of the time, that every problem can be solved by sweet-talking, that one can tell everyone anything they want to hear and then do the opposite.

He finds himself caught in a trap of his own making, faced with an unequivocal choice from which he cannot extricate himself with sweet talk: to save Israel or to save his government. And he has made his choice.

Let it be recorded for eternal shame. [THE OTHER ISRAEL is the newsletter of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, P.O.Box 2542, 58125 Holon, Israel.
Phone/Fax: (03) 5565804
Editor: Adam Keller
Coeditor: Beate Zilversmidt

Subscription details and other information about THE OTHER ISRAEL are given in the file TOI.inf in this library.
For a free copy of this issue, please send your name and postal address to]

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