FACES OF THE CONFLICT
Photos by Beverly Orr
He was 18 years old. He died the night he turned 18. He was shot by a settler. I will never forgive them. The land will get me my vengeance and the land will give the Shabab the strength to get the vengeance. Either we have a totally independent Palestinian state or we would rather all die.
Sobhia Hussain Hamid Martyr's Mother West Bank
Janet Aviad, Peace Now
Israel has lost the war of the West Bank basically. They haven't put it down; they haven't managed to scare it out. The soldiers are frustrated and in an intolerable position. World opinion is massively against us. Jewish opinion in America is broken.
One of the original slogans of Peace Now was that occupation corrupts. It corrupts the occupiers because they are forced to use methods which contradict their own fundamental values. You can't have democracy within the Green Line and non-democracy over the Green Line.
The moral damage is deep and long term. The only thing that will change it is Palestinian liberation, Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the withdrawal from the situation of colonization. I think that colonization made the English brutal, made the French brutal, made the Germans brutal and makes the Jews brutal. The Jews are no any different than anybody else in this respect.
Hanna Siniora Editor Al-Fajr
Israel has to give up the territories that it occupied in 1967 in order to have security, peace and recognition. There are two obstacles at the moment. It is not only the position of the Likud which doesn't want to pay the price of peace which is the exchange of territory for security and recognition, it's also the attitude of the other party in power, the Labor party, which doesn't want to recognize the national rights of the Palestinians and the right of self-determination and deal with the Palestinians as an Arab minority. They feel they can resolve the issue by dealing with another Arab country and not directly with the Palestinians.
There are many Israelis who realize there are two essential needs in this region--security for Israel and the expression of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, they go hand-in-hand. That security, recognition, peace and stability for Israel means a Palestinian state next door.
We have only two choices. One: military confrontation. Confrontation is costly in human life to both sides, we have already faced five major wars and the present uprising. The other approach is to come and sit down at the negotiating table and discuss the two main issues - security for Israel and the national rights needs of the Palestinians. Each side has to give up part of its dream in order to start a new chapter in relations.
Dr. Baruch Goldstein Kiriyat Arba Settler
A few years ago Rabbi Kahane's ideas were looked down upon and his followers were ostracized but now things are different because people see the Arab problem more vividly.
People say you can't live with the Arabs and you can't keep so many soldiers [on the West Bank and Gaza] permanently so the solution is to remove the Jews and you don't have to worry about coexistenece. I say the land belongs to us and the Arabs don't belong to us, so the land we should keep and the Arabs we should let go. I think it's feasible today to do. Militarily it's no problem. There was an episode a little while ago in Africa, where 2 million people were driven out in two weeks. As Westerners it seems very cruel, very unrealistic and very barbaric to do this but you have to realize that the Arab mind is not the Western mind. They are a cruel people. They are a people who want to spill blood. I don't feel towards a people like that we have any obligations.
Will the world accept us driving them out? Eventually we're going to have to drive them out or we'll be driven out. Much of the world will be against us, maybe all the world, maybe not.
Yehezkel Landau OZ veShalom
To me there is no inherent contradiction between guaranteeing the security of Israel in strategic terms, and allowing Arab sovereignty again west of the Jordan River. What should happen, if the Israeli government were united and wise? It should allow free elections in the territories, and then negotiate with the people who are elected. That's what the Israeli government should do. But it won't. Certainly not before our elections. And that's a tragedy. We have a schizophrenic government that can't speak with one voice. It's pulling in opposite directions. So we are paralyzed. That means that we have no political program to offer these people, we just have guns and billy-clubs.
Israel Shahak, Hebrew University Professor
People here have perceived that we can do things to Palestinians and the American establishment--the Congress, the presidency and the top politicians--will continue to support us without any limitation. This is the secret behind the hardening of Israeli policies. In the West Bank and Gaza you see Nazi-like brutality, many of the acts are so horrifying that there is no other word in the current language but to use it.
I am a Holocaust survivor myself. It reminds me of the essence of Nazism--which is a complete absence of law. The first thing they did to Jews in the conquest of Austria in 1938, exactly 50 years ago now, was to catch Jews and make them clean the streets. [This] is done to Palestinian ladies and gentlemen all the time. The occupied territories are characterized by a complete absence of law and any guarantee of human dignity.
A very great mistake of what I call the debating of the Holocaust is that you begin with the end product and not the beginning. The beginning is denying any guarantee of law and any notion of human dignity and then extermination. In Israel, we are very much past the beginning.
Salweh Naban Jalazun Refugee Camp
Every four or five days they open the camp for one hour. The water they have not cut, but the electricity is off all the time. Under the curfew the soldiers shoot when they see anything. When people go to the window they shoot. One man lost his eye. They found an old lady in the street and hit her with their guns. The doctor is only allowed to come in for one hour each day.
At the beginning of the curfew when people tried to take vegetables to neighbors or relatives the soldiers would take it and stomp on it. For the necessary things we have had enough. But the flour is finished. Always we are looking out the windows for the soldiers. Always we are afraid.