More Israelis say NO...
Two years later after miscellaneous correspondence, from Salman to Uri, 10/6/16:
Just finished reading you article today (Friday, 10/6/16). I am amazed at how many stories, anecdotes, religious, historical and personal references and insights you marshal in your writings, particularly this one, on Tin disguised as Gold. A wealth of knowledge, I printed it.
You certainly do not live in the Israeli bubble of denial like those who committed the crimes of the Nakba and refuse to talk about them, or even close the archives describing them. You obviously do not belong to the present generation who do not know that these crimes have happened because nobody told them. It is taboo. Israelis live in a drugged world. But you do not. You could not.
Which begs the question: why do you not, then, publicly support the natural right of Palestinians, the natural inhabitants of Palestine, to live freely in their homes?
I do not give a hoot about the two-state solution or the umpteenth-state solution. State recognition is a political act which can be revoked, expanded or cancelled. Look at Europe, or the legacy of Sykes-Picot. Look at Israel. It exists by virtue of political recognition, mostly Western, not by international law.
But Human Rights are fundamental, permanent, non-negotiable - unless humanity is for sale or bartering.
On which side are you?
PS Did you receive your copy of my book, Mapping the Return?
From Uri to Salman, 11/6/16:
Good to hear from you.
I have not yet seen your new book. Am very interested.
Israelis at large do not want Israel proper to turn into an Arab-majority country. They have toiled for five generations to create a Hebrew-speaking country. This is a fact of life, so the other vision can only be achieved by a bloody war. This may change in a few generations, though I doubt it.
So those who want peace have to look for another solution, probably a complicated one, in the framework of the two states plan.
All the very best,
From Salman to Uri, 30/9/16:
As usual, your article on Peres last week and Abu Mazen this week are spot on. At least from your perspective, which is widely accepted.
I had a debate at Tokyo University in September 2013 with the late Ron Pundak on Oslo, and I said that the Abbas government is a Vichy government. He was upset, not because Abbas was not Petain but because Israel was not Nazi Germany. I pointed out that in 1941 the Nazis signed the 'Paris Economic Protocol' with Vichy for the same purpose (and name) that Israel signed fifty years later with Abu Alaa - who now says Oslo was a huge disaster.
I am not going to ask you if you have read my book. The first edition has sold out, and a paperback edition is due in November. It was reviewed a dozen times, including by the Guardian. It describes my uprooting from my village, Al-Ma'in (60,000 dunums), on which is now perched Nirim, Nir Oz, Ein Hashlosha and Magen Kibbutzim. My extended family is now 10,000, mostly living in refugee camps 2 km away, not once forgetting their right to return. Nirim lies on my father's land, with 174 kibbutz members plus their children.
I have a suggestion, a mere suggestion. Could you contact these four kibbutzim and ask them if they know how they got there in 1948, and if they know that the owners of the land they occupy still insist on returning there? And whether the answer is yes or no, what are you going to do about it?
I know that their existence is precarious, hanging by a thread (the gun). That is why they hide in their bubble of denial, afraid to face the fact. Is there any one of them brave enough to shout out and say, We were wrong?
Some would say of them that if they were brave and not cowards, they would have fought the Nazis who pulled them out of their homes and killed them, not attack, at battalion-strength, a small village in far-away Palestine, armed with a dozen rusty rifles, and then butcher and expel its people. If they were brave and had a conscience, they would not call ethnic cleansing a 'war' of anything, let alone 'independence'.
Could you act on my suggestion?
I hope so.