Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zionist Dreaming

What Zionists say among themselves can often be of more interest than what they say to the rest of us.

This observation came to me as I was perusing Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) 2015, a glossy 24-page supplement that came with the Australian Jewish News of April 24.

One particular item, The state of the State at 120, was of particular interest. It began thus:

"It's Yom Ha'atzmaut 2068. The Israeli sports minister's rocket-boosted El Al flight has just touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport. Nothing remarkable about that. What is remarkable is that only minutes earlier, this regular commercial flight had taken off from Damascus Airport, where the minister was in talks with her Syrian counterpart, making final arrangements for Syrian venues that will be part of the Tel Aviv Olympics... As The AJN celebrates its 120th anniversary, Peter Kohn asks several community members to look into the crystal ball and share their visions of Israel for Yom Ha'atzmaut of 2068, when the Jewish State reaches its 120th birthday."

Well, bully for Israel, I thought, after reading this, but where were the Palestinians in all this navel crystal ball gazing? You know, the ones whose hopes and dreams lie buried under the rubble of dispossession, apartheid and rampant colonisation.

In a word, absent.

Of the 7 contributors, 4 had nothing whatever to say about them. For the record these were Hallely Kimchi (editor of Eton, a newspaper serving Israelis in Australia), Amit Tzur-Tal (executive director and shlichah of the United Israel Appeal Victoria), Richard Balkin (president of the Zionist Council of Australia), and Danny Lamm (president of the Zionist Federation of Australia).

And the remaining 3, those who could at least pay lip service to the 'P' word?

First, there was Ran Porat, who teaches Israel and Middle East Studies at Monash University:

"... the Palestinian issue is solved, thanks to technological developments and perception changes. Both these advances enable Palestinians to prosper in a viable and lively entity, in harmony and cooperation with the economy and culture of the State of Israel."

Technological developments and perception changes?

What, give them laptops and vouchers to see a shrink?

A viable and lively entity?

Entity? Porat can't even bring himself to utter the word 'state'!

And where may this entity be located? In Jordan? On the moon?

Then came Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC):

"Palestine, having emerged after the international community started supporting direct negotiations between the parties, leading to a comprehensive peace agreement, has partnered with Israel in attempts to build a viable economy and democratic institutions. The vast amount of global and Palestinian effort that had been used to demonise Israel, to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine and perpetuate the refugee issue before the agreement, has been redirected into modernising Palestinian society and its economy."

The international community, so-called, has returned to the good old 'peace process' for more interminable jaw jaw (as more and more settlers flood onto what's left of Palestinian land); UNRWA, if not the UN, has been terminated; and the issue of Palestinian refugees and their right of return has disappeared into the dustbin of history. Problem solved.

Finally, there's Sam Tatarka, president of the Zionist Council of Victoria:

"The path to Palestinian statehood began in earnest with the passing of the last of the old guard of Palestinian rejectionists and a realisation that the 'right of return' and other demands made in the seemingly endless peace process begun in the closing years of the last century were never going to succeed. Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel... Palestinian government offices in the city barely raise an eyebrow as residents and visitors alike enjoy the freedom and spirit of this wonderful city... The Jerusalem light-rail extension to Ramallah built in the early 2030s continues to serve as a reminder of the baby steps taken between Israel and the Palestinians as they moved to broad economic cooperation and integration over the past three decades."

Just hang in there until the Palestinians have dropped all of their demands, the right of return, East Jerusalem and the rest. Say around 2030. No mention of the settler hordes, of course. Palestinian hewers of wood and drawers of water will ride the light rail from Ramallah into Israel to do all the shit work.


No comments: