Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The French Press

from an interview with Israeli Nobel Prize-winning author and leftist intellectual Amos Oz in today's Le Monde--
Voici en tout cas ce que disait Amos Oz dans une interview donnée en 2003 à « La Paix Maintenant », mais qui n'a pas perdu de son actualité : « ...je pensais que si les Palestiniens se voyaient offrir ce que Ehoud Barak leur a offert a Camp David, ils répondraient par une contre-proposition. J'admets que je n'imaginais pas que de proposer une solution avec deux Etats, deux capitales, et le retour de 92 ou 95 ou 97% des territoires déclencherait une vague d'hostilité contre nous. Cela a été pour moi un très grand choc »

And my attempt at translation--
Here is what Oz said in an interview in 2003 with "Peace Now" which has not lost its relevance: "... I thought if the Palestinians were offered what Ehud Barak offered them at Camp David, they would respond with a counter-proposal. I admit that I never imagined that proposing a solution with two states, two capitals, and return of 92% or 95% or 97% of the territories, would trigger a wave of hostility [the Second Intifada] against us. This was for me a great shock "
There is a saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. In Israel a Zionist is a leftist who has seen for himself that the Palestinians were lying about their intentions all along.

Amos Oz spent years and years pounding away at his own government demanding concessions to the Palestinians. Only after Camp David 2003 did he realize that concessions and territory have never been what this is about.

The only issues to the Palestinians are the existence of Israel and the presence of the Jews in the Middle East. Everything else is a tactic. The only thing remarkable about the process is that it took Amos Oz so long to see it, in spite of the Palestinians having repeatedly said precisely that.

And the other thing remarkable is that he was not frozen into ideological posture. In the end he was able to admit that he and his fellow leftists had been wrong all along.

Sadly the rest of the world has not been so flexible nor so open to persuasion by events as Oz.

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