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Edward Said


No one wants an official peace
Uri Avnery Social activist
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אז ישראל בעצם עם חמאס - וכל ישראלי יודע שהחמאס הוא אויבנו הקשוח, בעוד שאבו מאזן הוא איש מתון ואיתו אפשר לעשות שלום אם רוצים לעשות שלום. בפועל זה להיפך. בפועל ישראל מאוד שמחה שיושב שמה חמאס, מפני שחמאס לא רוצה שלום רשמי. וזה מאוד נוח לישראל שאין שלום רשמי, שיכולים לנפנף בדגל הזה בכל העולם "הנה אויב שזומם להשמידנו ולא צריכים לעשות אתו שלום”. ואם לא עושים שלום אין צורך להחזיר שטחים – שזה לא כל כך בעיה בעזה, זה בעיה גדולה בגדה המערבית. ולכן עם אבו מאזן המתון יש לנו בעיה. אבו מאזן המתון רוכש אהדה גוברת והולכת בעולם, בקרב המדינות, התקבל לאו"ם כמדינה - איך זה מוגדר? "מדינה לא חברה" או משהו כזה - וישראל לא חייבת להחזיר אף מילימטר אחד, לכן הם משמיצים את אבו מאזן. לכאורה זה מצב אבסורדי – יש שביתת נשק בפועל עם חמאס, ומקללים את אבו מאזן. מזכיר לי פסוק שאני אוהב אותו בתנ"ך, של בעלי שכם אחרי שהמליכו עליהם את אבימלך, אז לא מצא חן בעיניהם שיש להם מלך, אז כתוב: "בעלי שכם ישבו ואכלו ושתו וקיללו את אבימלך”. זה בערך המצב שלנו עם אבו מאזן שמשתף פעולה אתנו, יש שיתוף פעולה בטחוני שהוא איך לומר? מאוד מפוקפק בין עם מדכא ועם מדוכא, והממשלה שלנו מקללת אותו בוקר וערב. ויש לנו חמאס שאתו יש שביתת נשק בפועל, לא משבחים אותם, אבל גם לא אומרים עליהם דברים נורא איומים, ואילו היה להם שכל, אילו יכלו לדון בנושאים האלה בלי רגשות, בצורה הגיונית פשוטה, כפי שעשה רבין בסוף, הם היו פותחים את הנמל ואת נמל התעופה ונותנים להם את כל היתרונות האפשריים עפ"י ההיגיון הזה של לא להחזיר את השטחים בגדה. אבל למרבה המזל אולי, הממשלה לא יכולה לנהוג בהיגיון בנושא הזה, מפני שהיא עמוסה ברגשות ובשנאות. אני תמיד מתחבט אם להגיד שִנאות או שְנאות, ולכן היא לא נוהגת בהיגיון והיא למעשה, בפילוג הזה שהיא גרמה לו היא מקללת את שני הצדדים המפולגים.‏

So Israel, basically, with Hamas – every Israeli knows that Hamas is our unrelenting enemy, while Abu Mazen is a moderate and it is possible to make peace with him if we want to make peace. In effect, it is just the opposite. Israel is actually very happy that Hamas is there, because Hamas does not want official peace, and it is very convenient for Israel that there is no official peace, and so it can wave this flag all over the world: 'Here's an enemy that wants to annihilate us and we do not have to make peace with them'. And if there is no peace there is no need to return territories − it is not such a problem in Gaza, but it is a big problem in the West Bank. Therefore we have a problem with the moderate Abu Mazen. Sympathy for the moderate Abu Mazen is growing in the world, among countries, and they have been accepted by the UN as a country − how is it defined? 'Non-member state' or something like that − and Israel does not have to return even one millimetre, which is why they slander Abu Mazen. Seemingly this is an absurd situation − there is actually a truce with Hamas, and they curse Abu Mazen. This reminds me of a verse in the Bible that I love, about the people of Shechem (Nablus) after Abimelech had been made king over them, they didn't like the fact that they have a king, so they wrote: 'The people of Shechem sat and they ate and they drank and they cursed Abimelech'.  That is approximately our situation with Abu Mazen, who is cooperating with us. There is cooperation on security which is – how should I say it? – very dubious, between an oppressing nation and an oppressed nation, and our government curses him morning and night. And we have Hamas, with whom there is a truce in practice. We are not praising them, but we are also not saying dreadful things about them, and if they were wise − if they could discuss these issues without emotion, logically, simply, as Rabin did at the end − they would open the port and the airport and give them all possible benefits in accordance with this logic of not returning the territories of the West Bank. But, perhaps fortunately, the government is unable to act logically on this issue, because it is weighed down with emotion and hatred - I am never sure how to say the word hatred in Hebrew - and so they are not behaving logically and, in fact, this split is a curse for both parties.

Uri Avnery (1923-2018) was an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, 'HaOlam HaZeh' from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery was the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Hamas, Gaza, West Bank, United Nations, Israel, Abu Mazen

Duration: 4 minutes, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 26 June 2017