Wednesday, October 12, 2005

March of folly?

"This week I had the opportunity to have a debate with one of the leaders of the [Gaza] settlers in front of an audience of high school students, aged 16 or 17. It was a rare opportunity, because the nationalist Ministry of Education generally uses its fearful power to prevent people like me from being invited to school debates. After a shower of the settler's demagogic phrases - 'Jewish blood', 'All Arabs are animals', 'Mahmoud Abbas is a bastard like Arafat', 'The Arabs understand only force' - I conveyed a simple message: Let's make peace while we are strong. Instead we are doing the opposite". Uri Avnery, Salaam or Salami, 8 Oct (thanks to Stephen Marks of Jews for Justice for Palestinians for refering to this).

Is this right? Israel only seems to be getting stronger, as - for example - Jonathan Freedland points out in The canny Sharon's one and threequarter state solution (12 Oct).

[P.S. Avnery told the pupils: "Listen carefully to what [the settler] says and ask yourself: what is he offering you - except kill and be killed, be killed and kill, from here to eternity"]

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