May 12, 2019

A RACE, NOT A RELIGION:

Palestinian-American lawmaker says Israeli policies pushed her to one-state view (Times of Israel, 5.12/19)

The Israeli government "gave up" on the two-state solution, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in the US Congress, charged in an interview published Friday.

The only Democrat to openly challenge the party's two-state consensus on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Tlaib, of Michigan, was challenged on whether she had "given up" on a two-state peace in an interview on the Skullduggery podcast.

"I didn't give it up," she said of the two-state solution. "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his party gave it up, and the Israeli government gave it up."

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She insisted it was Netanyahu who was working to ensure the proposal would not be achievable.

"If Netanyahu got up tomorrow morning and decided, 'You know what? I'm going to take down the walls. I'm not going to expand settlements. Enough is enough, I really want to push toward a two-state solution' -- he has every power to do that. And then people like myself and others will truly believe in that."

Michael Oren Cuts Short a Conversation About Israel (Isaac ChotinerMay 11, 2019, The New Yorker)


Is that what annexing settlements and building more settlements is about? The safety and security of the Jewish people?

It's assuring that you won't be withdrawing from them so fast. Remember, this is a deeply traumatized generation. This is a generation that--virtually everyone in it has lost friends and family members to terror. And Israel, in contrast to every other Western society, becomes more traditional, more religious, and you can't overlook the fact that people are deeply connected to the land of Israel.

Right, I am trying to disaggregate the ideas that this is being done for safety and security and there is no alternative, and that it is being done because people are traditional and religious--

That's my point. It's not just security. It's also ideology, it's also belief.

Do you think that there are moral consequences to those beliefs, if they include increasing settlements in the West Bank?

I have to distinguish between what's right and what's smart.

Increasing settlements is which?

Again, you want to put this in black-and-white terms, but it is not black and white. Increasing settlements where? They are not all the same.

Sure. I just didn't understand what you meant by right versus smart. I didn't mean to interrupt you.

It is definitely our right. I think it is our incontrovertible right as Jews to live anywhere in our ancestral homeland.

Really?

No question. No question about it. Anywhere. And a member of the Sioux nation has a right to live on Sioux-nation territory. These are our tribal lands. The cradle of our civilization.

Just to be clear: You were born in New York, correct?

I was.

So you think that you, as a Jewish person born in New York, have a right to be anywhere in Israel--

Absolutely.

Plus the West Bank, plus Gaza.

Absolutely. Not Gaza. We can debate whether Gaza is part of the land of Israel.

O.K., Israel plus the West Bank.

Even if you wanted to include Gaza, I'd say absolutely, yeah. The question is what is smart. What's possible.

Who gave you the right to live anywhere you want in the West Bank? That's what I am trying to understand.

Absolutely.

Where did you get that right?

It's my heritage for three thousand years. It's the same exact right I have from where I am talking to you. I am talking to you from Jaffa. I live in Jaffa. The same right I have to live in Jaffa I have in [the settlement] Beit El or Efrat, or in Hebron. Exact same right. Take away one right, the other right makes no sense. By the way, P.S., most of the lands of pre-1967 Israel are not even in the Bible. Haifa is not in the Bible; Tel Aviv is not in the Bible.

O.K., I just want to understand this because I don't want to misunderstand it. You are saying there are Palestinians living in various areas of the West Bank right now--

There are, indeed.

--which may or may not at some point become a state. But you are saying that, wherever they are living, they have less right to be there than you as a Jew born in New York.

I didn't say that. Don't impute words to me I didn't say.

I'm sorry, I thought you just said that.

No, I did not say that in any way. Listen, I don't think I want to continue this interview. 

Posted by at May 12, 2019 7:36 AM

  

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