Monday, November 5, 2007

A Land With People, For a People with a Plan

Israel's Dilemma in Palestine


"Two rabbis, visiting Palestine in 1897, observed that the land was like a bride, "beautiful, but married to another man". By which they meant that, if a place was to be found for a Jewish "homeland" in Palestine, the indigenous inhabitants had to leave. Where should the people of Palestine go? Squaring that circle has been the essence of Israel´s dilemma ever since its establishment and the cause of the Palestinian tragedy that it led to. It has remained insoluble. Ghada Karmi's new book, Married To Another Man, Israel´s Dilemma in Palestine, (published by Pluto Press, London-Ann Arbor) shows that the major reason for this failure was the original and unresolved Zionist quandary of how to create and maintain a Jewish state in a land inhabited by another people. Zionism was never able to resolve the problem of "the other man"......

Refering to Hangebi´s statement that Israel as a "colonial state" cannot survive, Karmi proposes an unthinkable idea: "The best solution to this intractable problem is to turn back the clock before there was any Jewish state and return history as from there." But at the end, she turns back to realism: "The clock will not go back and, although the Jewish state cannot be uncreated, it might be, so to speak, unmade. The reunification of Palestine´s shattered remains in a unitary state for all its inhabitants, old and new, is the only realistic, humane and durable route out of the morass. It is also the only way for the Israeli Jewish community (as opposed to the Israeli state) to survive in the Middle East." "

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