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January 2003 • Vol 3, No. 1 •

Just The Word “Peace” Is Not Enough

By Shimon Tzabar

Shimon Tzabar, a ‘grand old man’ of Israeli art, one of the first ‘asli sabres’, real Israelis, born and bred in Palestine before the Balfour declaration or thereabout, describes himself as this perfect fruit of Zionism, a “Hebrew-speaking Goy”. —Israel Shamir

There is no principled difference between Peace Now and the ultra-nationalists. Both are supporters and advocates of a Jewish State. If this is what they are, they both must regard the Palestinians as their enemies. The difference is that whereas Ariel Sharon and the assassinated minister Ze’evi (nicknamed Gandhi) wanted to get rid of all the Palestinians, either by killing or transporting them elsewhere, the Peace people are willing to push them into the enclaves of Gaza and the Bantustans of the Western Bank.

At best, the Peace Now or Peace Block (Gush Shalom) movements represent the moderate section of the Zionist front.

Let me explain myself: Let us begin with the name, Peace Block. Peace? Who is against peace? Show me even one gangster who does not want peace. Peres is for peace, Sharon is for peace, Rehava’am Ze’evi was for peace (remember that even Hitler was for Peace!). When you march down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv chanting “Peace”, you don’t offend anybody.

The “Now” in the name is a bit subtler. When you chant “Peace now”, you effectively say: True, if we continue to fight and conquer territories we will secure more spoils. We will have more towns and villages in which to settle Jews. We will obtain more land to confiscate, etc. But I have got enough. After all, I already live in an Arab house that we stole in 1948 and nobody today is demanding to hand it back. So I am secure in my spoils. Why should I endanger myself for a house in Nablus or in Gaza for a Russian or for another Jewish immigrant? That ought to be his headache. I want to enjoy my booty now. I want peace NOW!

I know this sounds rude and even brutal. Here we have people with a pure soul, and now, not only is Kahana and Gandhi spitting on them, here comes Shimon Tzabar whom we once regarded as an honest Israeli and he gives us a kick in the ass. “How can he say I have spoils and booty? I don’t have a house in Jaffa. I saved money by withholding food from my children in order to buy an apartment in a new neighborhood at Ein Kareem. Is that booty? Is that spoils of war? I am against killing children and I demonstrate for Peace Block. How can you regard me as a child murderer?”

When a Jew is not killing an Arab with his own hands, he considers himself as a saint, and wants to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The fact that he pays taxes to a government which permits (if not orders!) its soldiers to shoot at children, is of course not his problem. He is OK. To be fair I must admit that the Peace Now people, or even more so the Peace Block people, are not all the same. Among them are those who simply stand for peace. Others may be for a Palestinian State and even for the return of the territories conquered in 1967, and there are some who live in old Palestinian houses because they cannot afford an apartment with windows in all the four wind directions.

What binds them and the ultra-nationalists together is Zionism—the idea that Jews deserve a State and that this state can only be in one country, in the Land of Israel that others call Palestine. It is easy to say “I am for a Jewish State in the Land of Israel.” The Land of Israel was never an uninhabited desert without people. If it were, there was no need to conquer it militarily. The mere fact that we had to conquer it in 1948 is the best proof that it was inhabited. We conquered it militarily, expelled some of its inhabitants and settled in their place the Jews we loved so much. But there is a price to pay.

When you expel people, they do not like it. You must hit, kill and if they hit back or kill in return, you, your son or your daughter may also get killed. And then you must enact wicked and discriminatory legislation and force your judges to pervert the law. You must pursue two forms of logic which would serve two sets of morals, one for you and one for them. True, the method is not new, it is as old as history itself. Many States and Empires were established in such a way, including some of the most prestigious.

But this was before we invented television. What you do here today is seen tomorrow around the globe. And you must remember that even if you are sufficiently strong, militarily, to keep the land that you relish, you are not sufficiently strong to compel the entire world to agree with that.

If this is the situation, is there no way to solve the problem? The answer depends on what you consider to be the Jewish problem. If the problem is to find out how human beings can live in peace together, then there is no difficulty in solving it, because this is exactly the problem of the Palestinians. But if the Jewish question is how to live as the upper race and rule others as slaves, then to that there exists no other solution than what is already going on now.

I can only suggest an alternative to those who wish to live not as Jews but as Human Beings, and this alternative is to transform the Jewish State to a State of human beings. The process is not at all complicated and it is possible to implement it in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Formally annex all the Occupied Territories to the State of Israel.

Step 2: All who live in this territory will get the same civil and democratic rights.

Step 3: New elections. The new Parliament will draw a constitution. The constitution should ensure not only the rights of the majority but also those of the minority. This would be a good opportunity to bring back and resettle the Palestinian refugees. Such a Parliament can also decide the name of the country and its flag.

Don’t ask me if the Palestinians will accept this proposal. First we must offer it to them and see. And if you accuse me of not caring for the Jewish people, my answer is that I stopped caring for the Jewish people ever since I realized that it had stopped caring for itself and had abandoned the care for its destiny to a power-thirsty and murderous gang.





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