Amnon Allan Medad

Public reply to ‘Open letter to Palestinians’

Dear Mr. Baskin,

Your “Open Letter to Palestinians” prompts sadness, and no little consternation. You aver that only Palestinians can “break this cycle”, and challenge Palestinians to be “clear” about their intent to build “your country with honor and dignity, not in place of Israel, but next to it.”

My heart ached when I considered your frustrated efforts (and those of the many dedicated peace activists on both sides of this terrible conflict). Your many years of service to that noble goal, seemingly even more elusive now, merit the greatest respect and gratitude.

Subsequently, my mind could not rest, considering the immiseration of (non-combatant, largely innocent Gazans), and your challenge. Ultimately, your open letter to the Palestinians deserved a response from that side of the divide – perhaps not the one you sought, and that brings us to the crucial first counter-challenge. I wonder whether (given your years of activism and consequent acquaintance with reality on the ground – both in Gaza and in Israel) your ”open letter” was really meant for Palestinians. If it were, as opposed to being intended for consumption at home, then I wonder further. Was it intended for die-hard Hamas cadres and supporters, or for the possibly upwards of 50% of Gazans who are justifiably cowered by Hamas’ brutality toward any Palestinian who opposes it? Or is it that you would have some of the brave underground opponents of Hamas surface at the behest of your exhortation, and risk openly challenging the merciless Hamas during Israel’s siege and plundering of Gaza? And you suggest this while your country is run by a cabal of openly racist irredentists led by a world renown criminal who has arguably prosecuted this “war” with one eye indiscriminately on the “target”, and the other transparently focused on staying out of jail?

Since your resumé and averred objective suggest astuteness, one is made to wonder what you really had in mind when you took the trouble to compose your call to action, in the form of an “Open Letter to Palestinians”. And if one proceeds to wonder, then the sanctimony, if not plain hypocrisy, rises to the surface.

Would a letter to “my peace-loving compatriots” have been a better idea? A call to all who rallied against the government’s judicial “reforms” (and arguably against the general injustice and inequity foisted on Israel by the “Keep Netanyahu out of Jail” cabal).

This letter (in recognition of what you plainly stated and what the world has known for a long time: “almost no people on both sides that I would even call leaders”) would urge enlightened Israeli peace-seekers to call on already involved international third parties – like USA, EU, Saudi Arabia – to force both leaderless sides (via the threat of withholding funding) to follow a carefully honed script intended to primarily stop the carnage and destruction, and concomitantly set the stage for peace for those who seek it, and a final reckoning for those who are determined to subvert it.

Step one: Impose a month-long ceasefire – not “call”, not “urge”, not “demand”.
Each side has its pressure points, and the allied peacemakers know how to exploit their influence over the combatants. At the same time, force Israel to stop all new settlement building (and the marauding activities of current settlers). Israel must be made to cease its aggressive “policing” activities in the West Bank just as West Bank authorities must cease any “resistance” activities, for the duration of the process intended to create a free Palestine, and bring peace to the region.

Step two: Create a well-policed corridor for all peace-seeking violence-renouncing current inhabitants of Gaza for safe passage to one or two new encampments that will form the basis for new, demilitarized, cities guaranteed by the same forces that will undertake their protection in the new space.

These forces will also undertake scrupulous inspection of everything being conveyed into the new space. All new entrants must enter unarmed and will each get immediate citizenship, as well as, temporary homes while the permanent structures are being constructed. This space, to be declared a new state by virtue of a UN resolution, will have open borders with both Israel and Egypt with strict border controls (initially under impartial, multinational policing forces) ensuring that this remains an arms-free state.

A new pacifist state will have been created. Its legitimacy could be challenged by no one. In its wake will remain the vengeful and hate-mongering core of fanatics whose claims to wanting anything but the destruction of its enemy will forever ring hollow, even in the ears of current compatriots. Perfectly unmasked, and unable to hide behind the “Liberation” and “Freedom” banners, it will be subject to the fiercest retaliatory military action, in the event that it initiates any hostilities.

Step three: Israel will be made to obey a forty-eight-hour ceasefire with the “old” Gaza in order to allow for the latter to show its hand under the new circumstances – negotiate, release the hostages, or be doomed.

The establishment of this new Gaza state will be funded by money diverted from military and security budgets, as well as significant contributions from the EU, the US, the UK, the Arab Gulf States, and UN funds. To avoid repeat of graft and fund-diversion, control over disbursements will initially remain at in the hands of the donors, under strict rules of transparency at all stages.

Every aspect of this process is simple, and intended to save lives, as well as lead to much better prospects of lasting peaceful co-existence.

You’ll undoubtedly see, Mr. Baskin, that the calls for movement in that direction must originate in Israel, the self proclaimed “only democracy in the Middle East”. And it is only within Israel that a new movement for a true and equitable peace still has a chance to grow and assert itself, as it did during the protests against its government’s judicial reforms proposals.

To expect anything of this sort from the doubly oppressed Palestinians, is either delusional or deeply hypocritical.

About the Author
Born in Tel Aviv, one month after Israel's birth, I was relocated to Canada with my parents after eighth grade. Finished high school & university in Montreal - B.Science, McGill University - majored in psychology. During the last fifty years I have been a self-employed entrepreneur and consultant to various businesses, in most of which I held a significant ownership position. Most recently, I have been involved - major shareholder & consultant - with an IT venture aiming to revolutionise Web-based communication security.
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