Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Greatest Threat to Zionism

The University Channel Podcast presents a lecture held at Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)) by Akiva Eldar, an editorial writer at the Israeli newspaper Ha`aretz. By the end of the talk Eldar reveals that in his youth he studied at the same faculty as Ehud Olmert. Olemert -at the time- was already with the Likud and Eldar decided to join the left. Likud and Olmert were in favor of the settlement policy and against a two-state solution. Eldar was against settling and in favor of two states.

Eldar begins his speech fulminating against the settlement policy. There is the title of his talk arrived from; in his view the Israeli settlements in occupied territory are the greatest threat to Zionism. He needs some time to get started and in a very Israeli fashion kicks off with a lot of unfinished sentences that makes it difficult to bare with him. He doesn't say much more than that the settlements have no place in the terms of the Israeli independence neither do they serve, to the contrary, in arriving to peace. They sit on the bargaining chips, acquired in 1967 (the occupied territories).

They are a double injustice, he shows, as they took land from Palestinians and they take Israeli tax payer money to enjoy unparalleled advantages, average Israelis not have. But by now also Olmert is in favor of a two-state solution (welcome to the club says Eldar) and the settler are not the 270000 that actually sit in the West Bank, but a mere 8000 hard core nationalists that are too few to be an obstacle. So it is achievable, Eldar hopes to show, to arrive at a two-state solution and get rid of the settlements.
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