Zionist Union acting like Likud 2.0
In response to “Why we didn’t attend the demonstration” (Tzipi Livni, Opinion, August 17).
To MK Livni: That’s not how governments are replaced. As the leader of the opposition, you don’t have the privilege of demonstrating with the Druze and not with the Arabs. You are conveying a message to the voters that there is a hierarchy among the people when it comes to the quality and nature of citizenship: the good Jews, then the Druze and finally the Arabs. You are conducting yourself like a Likud 2.0 and are afraid of conveying an unambiguous message that the nation-state law is not acceptable! These are not democratic values. There is no democracy lite. There is no such thing as a bit of equality or half-equality.
In your column, you didn’t explain clearly why the heads of the Zionist Union didn’t come to the Arabs’ demonstration, instead hiding behind statements such as: “We believe Israel must be both a Jewish and a democratic state” and “every citizen deserves equality; it is not conditional!“ Anyone who wants to replace a racist, undemocratic government, which is expected of a fighting opposition, must undertake sharp and clear positions and actions on the ground without a wink to the extreme setter right wing, because that spot is already taken. It’s part of the process of becoming inured to a decline in moral standards that Israeli society is undergoing, and it is not bypassing the Zionist Union.
Imagine a country with two peoples who have hated each other for over 70 years. A country blighted by violence that killed thousands. Two peoples with irreconcilable loyalties and dreams, segregated at home and at school, taught from birth that the other wants only their destruction. One side, supported by a powerful ally, maintains the status quo, in the face of seemingly endless “terrorism.” All agree there will never be peace, their destiny is to be locked in an eternal struggle, a tit-for-tat of atrocity after atrocity, ensuring forgiveness will never be possible. It is the mid-1990s, and the country is Northern Ireland.
And then one brave man, a politician, a man who has fought against violence all his life, respected, even grudgingly so by the enemy, has a vision, and decides to talk to the “terrorists.” The man is John Hume, and he is castigated, vilified in the press, his career appears over. But something strange happens – slowly, very slowly, other brave men start to appear.
It is 21 years since the Good Friday Agreement. I cried the day it was signed, I never thought it would be possible. A unique democracy is formed. The two sides agree to share the country, to share power. A “First Minister” from one side, a “Second Minister” from the other, each side guaranteed a certain number of ministries. Respect for both traditions is enshrined. The most hated man on one side is forced to work with the most hated man on the other. They discover a mutual love of fishing, and apparently a similar sense of humor, because they end up being nicknamed the “Chuckle Brothers.” The peace is tenuous, the Brexiteers may destroy it, but it is still there. People in Northern Ireland are proud of their country and most of all, of their ability to make peace.
There are roughly an equal number of Jewish and Palestinian people in Israel and Palestine right now, for the first time in history. Every time a child suffers, we should cry and feel ashamed.
Beware of Corbyn
Gideon Levy’s lavish praise of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn leads one to assume that Levy is also an admirer of Corbyn’s acknowledged friends, Hamas and Hezbollah. If Corbyn becomes prime minister, it will be the greatest disaster Britain has faced since Dunkirk.
Morris Lewin Rostowsky
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