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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Peace Piece by Piece Now's 30th anniversary

This evening, there will be a 'celebration' of Peace Piece by Piece Now's 30th anniversary. As you might expect, it will be held in Tel Aviv and will largely be attended by upper class Ashkenazi Jews from Tel Aviv and its environs, and by Arabs and 'internationals.' In an editorial this morning, the JPost points out why 'Peace Now' has never enjoyed widespread acceptance among Jewish Israelis.
To attain peace now - notwithstanding what the Palestinians are saying or doing - has always required the group to almost willfully disregard the unpleasant realities of the Arab-Israel conflict. Its emphasis is exclusively on what Israelis should concede, as if our collective craving for peace alone can supernaturally overcome Palestinian intransigence, incitement, internal upheaval and the culture of violence.

But 'Peace Now' represents something else, as the Post points out. It represents foreign - and specifically European (whom the Post does not even mention) - interests in appeasing the fictitious 'Palestinian people' and their Arab patrons.
Israelis are asked to believe that a finely-tuned machine capable of running airborne surveillance over every nook and cranny of the West Bank operates quite informally, by consensus, under the auspices of university students and aging hippies.

Peace Now is actually funded through an educational NGO called Sha'al, which receives "most" of its funds from American Jews, according to Oppenheimer. But he declines to say what his annual budget is, or how much cash comes from foreign governments and foundations who might be interested in co-opting the Peace Now brand.
The Post correctly places 'Peace Now' "on the periphery of Israel's body politic." But even most Israelis don't appreciate how extreme 'Peace Now's positions are. The Post does a service to its readers by spelling them out.
PEACE NOW spokesman Yariv Oppenheimer says vaguely that he supports whatever Israeli and Palestinian negotiators can agree upon. But in practice, Peace Now is demanding something different and specific. While claiming it does not want to push Israel back to the indefensible 1949 Armistice Lines, Peace Now nonetheless opposes any construction over the Green Line. It does not support the retention of major settlement blocs such as Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel; it considers east Talpiot, Gilo and Pisgat Ze'ev "occupied territory."

Peace Now also stands squarely outside the consensus by favoring "joint sovereignty" over Jerusalem's Old City. And while it opposes the "implementation" of the Palestinian "right of return," it does not necessarily oppose its affirmation.
Those positions are much closer to the 'Palestinian' position than they are to even most of Israel's left. The only difference between 'Peace Now' and the 'Palestinians' is that 'Peace Now claims that it does not favor 'implementation' of the 'Palestinian right of return.'

But 'Peace Now' does favor going back to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, from which it would be less than an hour's run to the coast at the narrowest point, it favors putting 'Palestinian' terrorists in position to fire upon commercial jetliners taking off from and landing at Ben Gurion Airport, and it favors making 500,000 more Israelis homeless, to join the 10,000 from Gush Katif who are still homeless nearly three years later.

And then it favors moving to France. Yes, Avram Burg (who now lives in France) was one of the founders of 'Peace Now' along with current re-education minister Comrade Yuli Tamir.


At 10:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Still - Israeli governments have gone out of their way to implement the "Peace Now" platform. While its true the group is on the margin of its Israeli politics, it has seen much of its goals, from dismantling revanants, to redividing Jerusalem and to at least admit some Arabs back into Israel - become part of Israeli mainstream discourse.

Just ask Ehud Olmert.

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