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Letter to Peace Now

by KSamman

01 November 2000 01:26 UTC


This is an excellent essay written by a Jew criticizing Peace Now for 
becoming a supporter of the Israeli Death machine.  For those who don't 
know it, Peace Now has effectively turned on the Palestinians and joined 
right wing Jewish demonstrators in NY by blaming the violence on Palestinians.


The Party is Over
An Open Letter To A Friend In Peace Now

by Michael (Mikado) Warschawski

It has been seven years exactly since I wrote my last letter to you. 
It was the day after the signing of the Oslo Accords, when you 
invited me to dance with you in Menorah Square, celebrating an 
Israeli-Palestinian peace that had not yet acquired the  
suffix "process." Permit me to quote for you a few passages from that 
old letter:

"You danced in the square because you were happy about this peace. 
Not just plain peace, but a blend of peace, security, Palestinian 
chest-beating over sins committed (renunciation of terrorism), and 
far-reaching concessions by the other side. A peace that you can be 
proud of. A peace -- so you boast -- for which we are giving nothing 
('Just a tiny bit,' whispers the prime minister) and gaining much: 
recognition, greater security, a halt to the Intifada, renunciation 
of terrorism, being relieved of the Arabs, and more.

You are happy about this peace, and in its honor you invite me to 
dance with you. No thank you.

"Ever since I've known you, fifteen years already, you have struggled 
for peace, not as a value in itself but as a means of assuring us, 
the Israelis, of security. You are in favor of withdrawal from the 
Occupied Territories in order to assure Israel a Jewish majority; you 
demonstrated against Sharon because you were concerned for the soul 
of the Jewish youth; and you agreed to talk with the PLO lest we be 
compelled to talk with Hamas. I, by contrast, see peace as an end and 
not merely as a means, and call for getting out of the Occupied 
Territories because we have nothing to be there for, even if the 
occupation did not cost us even one victim or one cent; and
I am against shooting children -- and adults -- simply because it is
forbidden to shoot children or ordinary civilians.

"So what could be better for you than this peace? You got rid of 
Gaza, you separated Israelis from Palestinians, you gave them the 
dirty work and you didn't even promise withdrawal or a real state. 
Could peace possible be bought more cheaply? To you the Israeli- 
Palestinian connection was always a zero-sum game: anything we give 
them means less for us. He gains, I lose. If you were capable of 
really thinking in terms of peace, you would understand how far wrong 
you are: the more rights the Palestinian receive -- more 
independence, more pride -- the more we too profit. The more stingy 
we are, the more we lose..

"Nevertheless, the two of us are now committed to the same campaign: 
to bring about the full implementation of the Oslo agreement, in 
hopes that the new arrangements will prepare the ground for a true 
peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 'In hopes,' I say, because 
unlike you I do not rely on 'historical necessity' nor on Yitzhak 
Rabin and his government. Regarding Rabin and his government, you 
will agree with me that the burden of proof rests on not on my 
shoulders but on yours.."

Since the writing of these lines you celebrated the peace and you 
became fat and prosperous. The repeated and varied violations of the 
agreements did not move you, not to speak of any change in our 
culture of war and occupation, the arrogant tone of those negotiating 
in our name and their attempts to demand more and more in exchange 
for less and less. And why should this move you? You got what you 
wanted -- separation, security, economic prosperity for the members 
of your class, validation from the international community and the 
ability to look at yourself in the mirror again with a feeling a
satisfaction and self-righteousness -- and for a dime. The orders of 
the day were orders of reconciliation with the settlers, and you 
endeavored to explain to whatever Palestinian friends you still had 
that if they want peace they had better take into account the 
requirements of internal Israeli reconciliation. Otherwise they will 
receive nothing except another disaster on their people as happened 
in 1948, etc. You did not demand sincere negotiations with the 
Palestinians and went along with the salami system, and when we told 
you that this will not work and that a war will surely break out 
again, you answered: 'If they want, they'll get, and if not that's 
their problem.' Because for you a war of conquest is preferable to a 
civil war.

"After all the dancing and rounds of applause for the architects of 
the agreement, are you prepared, along with me, to take to the 
streets in order to make sure that the prime minister does not get 
cold feet again, but does everything he can to get the agreement 
implemented? As one who is not obligated by Arafat's signature, are 
you prepared to demand that the issue of the settlements be dealt 
with starting now since, perhaps unlike Arafat you and I know that 
there is no possibility of advancement without immediately dealing 
with the settlements. Are you prepared, along with us, to demand more 
freedom and more rights for the residents of the West Bank, even if 
this isn't written in the agreement -- out of concern for their
human rights, or perhaps just because this too is a condition for
advancement? Will you join us in demanding the release of the masses 
of political prisoners, or will you say, like Rabin, 'You didn't ask, 
we didn't promise, now it's too late.'

"I fear that again it will be just us -- my friends and I -- alone in 
this campaign, and that the entire job of making sure this agreement -
- which is far from satisfying to us -- gets implemented, will fall 
on us as well." And that's the way it really was. In your eyes we 
were again dreamy leftists or worse, warmongers, enemies of 
peace. "You demand even more than Arafat;" "Let the government 
conduct the negotiations;" as well as "We have to consider the right- 
wing voters." For all your listening to our dear brothers and sisters 
in the settlements of Ofra and Tapuah, you stopped hearing the voices 
coming from Gaza and Nablus, from Dura and Kalkiliya. And, indeed, 
why listen to them? In peace as in war you determine what is
good for us and what the reasonable borders are in a future 
agreement. In all your colonial arrogance you determine as well the 
Palestinians' text in the script of peace. Since 1993 you and your 
friends have been enjoying the fruits of peace, and the Palestinians 
await the fulfillment of your promises of withdrawal, of  
independence, of sovereignty, of freedom. They wait under
an occupation, they wait under closure, and you celebrate and eat the 
fruits of peace. How long did you think that could last?

And lo and behold, to your surprise, they're not reciting the lines 
you wrote for them but their own script, and it is spoiling your 
show. The truth is that the Palestinians, and not only the Left and 
the Islamic Movements, but also the official spokespeople, never hid 
for a moment their red lines and their conditions. But, as I've said, 
you didn't see any need to listen because, after all, you are the 
exclusive director of the peace show.

You are angry today, you are boiling with rage: Why demonstrations 
all of a sudden? Why the sudden demands for sovereignty over 
Jerusalem? Why the demand to evacuate all the settlements? What is 
all this hate against the army, Barak, the Israeli peace camp? Who 
gave those Palestinians the right to depart from the script and 
recite a different text? What ingratitude, after all you were willing 
to give them, after seven years of peace happenings funded by the 
European countries!

Once more you tell them "don't come looking for me." Don't come 
looking for me because I've returned to the bosom of the consensus in 
order to defend my people and my homeland. The truth is that you 
haven't returned to any consensus because you never left it. You have 
never stopped working for national reconciliation with the worst 
enemies of peace. And by the way, as regards this reconciliation 
effort in which you became so prominent after Rabin's assassination, 
the Right understood very quickly that not only that you have no 
ideological backbone or morals, but to what degree you are a
sucker. Like every extortionist in cheap detective films, the Right
understandthat cowards like you can be extorted endlessly. As much as 
you were ready tpay to avoida civil war, the Right demanded more: 
from East Jerusalem you came down to Abu Dis, from Abu Dis to Hizma, 
from Hisma to Beitunia. Today you are ready to die for Psagot and 
Netzarim. Excuse me, not to die, to murder for brothers and sisters 
who settled in the heart of Gaza for the sole purpose to frustrate 
any possibility for peace.

The other day in a meeting in Jerusalem, one of your comrades from 
Meretz, from among the best and most honest of them, said: "I am 
confused." In light of the lack of confusion from you and most of 
your friends, I wanted to compliment him on his confusion. But I 
remembered the pictures I saw that day on television, the same media 
that is hostile to human rights, to intellectual honesty and to 
journalistic ethics, and I refused to be lenient with him, to be 
understanding towards his confusion. What is there to be
confused about? A conquering army is using tanks and helicopter 
gunships to disperse demonstrations. What is so hard to understand 

Seven years of deception and violations of agreements, and the 
Palestinians rise up. What is so hard to grasp? Barak threatens to 
impose Jewish sovereignty on the Haram/Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and 
they refuse to accept it as a permanent solution. What is so hard to 
understand? There is no place for confusion. There is an occupation 
and there is a struggle against the occupation. There are 
demonstrators and there is an army that has received orders to shed 
their blood. And don't come to me with the story of the rifles. Your 
glorious war record qualifies you to understand what even CNN 
reporters understand, that those rifles do not endanger either
Israel or the soldiers if they don't get too close. They don't even 
endanger the occupation, since the means of control that have been 
developed under the guise of the peace process permit Israel to fully 
control the Occupied Territories "without the Supreme Court and with 
B'tselem," but also without a massive military presence.  
"Bloodletting" was part of the contingency plans that the army 
prepared in the event that the Palestinians declare independence 
unilaterally, long before Sharon's provocation, and every child
can see that the IDF was prepared in advance to spill blood. Your 
confusion, my dear friend, is artificial, because if it wasn't for 
the shame of all that is being done in our name and according to the 
orders of the prime minister you support, you would not have any 
problem seeing who is the victim in need of support and who is worthy 
of condemnation.

As for you, my friend from Peace Now, you're not even confused. You 
boil with anger at the Palestinians because they spoiled your 
celebrations and refuse to let you continue living the illusion that 
the occupation is concluding and that peace rules the land. Peace is 
a tango that takes two equal partners dancing in unity; it is not a 
dance of one who drags around his partner at will. And what do you 
say? "If that's the way it is, they are not partners." This time 
you're right. In your dance of peace you have no partners, only 
enemies. For your peace is his occupation; for your success
is his loss; for your reconciliation is a closing of the door on
reconciliation with the Palestinians.

"We have signed a cease-fire agreement, and it is good that we 
signed. But peace is still far away, because peace demands honesty, 
because peace demands equality. You want to force them to lie, you 
want of them a peace of surrender, you are celebrating a peace of 
master and slave. Under such conditions there will perhaps be peace- 
and-quiet, but Peace, no. Not until you open your eyes and your 
heart. Not until we are ready for a peace of partnership and 

This is what I wrote you seven years ago exactly. You preferred to 
block your ears and close your eyes. I am sorry, I really am, that 
only through bursts of gunfire at Psagot and the exploding of 
missiles near Netzarim were they opened once more. I hope that your 
heart and your mind will open quickly as well, before buses explode 
in our cities. The choice has not changed: either genuine peace 
without dealing and deception, a peace of mutual respect, or a 
descent to a religious war in which there will be only losers.

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