Saturday, December 8, 2007
No State Has the Right to Exist as a Racist State
An Interview with Omar Barghouti
A Very Good, Long Interview
by Silvia Cattori
"Omar Barghouti belongs to a new generation of Palestinians who never adhered to the solution of « Two States, Two peoples ». They are advocating, instead, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel as well as a «secular, democratic state» solution, where Palestinians and Israelis would share equal rights, after historic injustices are redressed and the refugees are allowed to return......
Silvia Cattori: The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, “The dream that was Palestine is finally dead.” . How do you react to this kind of statement?
Omar Barghouti: That is wishful thinking. Neoconservatives, who control the Wall Street Journal, are on their way to the dustbin of history after all their failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would like to think that Palestinians are finished. I think they are finished. It will take some time, for sure, but I honestly believe their crusade has been proven criminal and futile and their arguments refuted.
Their grand ideological design - that was supposed to start with Iraq and then roll like a domino throughout the oil-rich Arab region, all the way to controlling the world - is being shattered. Their vision has been exposed as fundamentally racist, dogmatic, and profoundly flawed. Thanks to the resistance in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, this neocon vision of empire is on its way to ultimate defeat.....
Silvia Cattori: Can we hope that, thanks to voices like those of Ilan Pappe, of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt , of Jimmy Carter, of John Dugard, who broke certain taboos, and thanks to the efforts of anonymous people who helped these voices be heard, that you are at the beginning of a new era regarding a radicalisation towards Israel?
And will these new voices bring about a balance to the voices like Avnery, (who is indeed useful, but nevertheless, supports unjust solutions), to make these voices unacceptable for the Palestinians?
Omar Barghouti: Anti-Zionist Jewish voices are increasingly exposing the deception espoused by soft Zionists like Avnery. Being a Zionist today essentially means believing that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was acceptable or justifiable in order to establish the Jewish State, and that Palestinian refugees should not be allowed to return, in order to maintain the “Jewish character” –read: racist supremacy- of the State.......
Silvia Cattori: But those politicians who have an interest in applying the brakes whenever holding Israel to account, are still very influential in the debate. Do you agree with Palestinian political scientist Abdel-Sattar Qassem , who said that «real Palestinians» have so far had only a very small role in the debate about Palestine?
Omar Barghouti: Genuine representatives of Palestinian public opinion are seldom given a chance to be heard, because the mainstream western media, the large international conferences, the European and American funding organizations, are not interested in any principled Palestinian position advocating the application of international law and universal rights. They invite people who are pliable, “moderates” who will readily give up the right of return, for instance, and accept “Israel’s right to exist” as a racist apartheid state, in return for a subset of Palestinian rights. Only those “good Arabs” are sought after in such world forums......."