It all sounded so polite and gracious, when the Zionists were seeking recognition and power. Yitzak Epstein, Jewish activist spelled out how Jews moving into Palestine would improve the lives everyone, including Arab farmers:
The residents will benefit from new scientific farming methods, better health care and education, and will recognize “us as their benefactors and comforters”.
Haim Kalvarisky, expounding on the Balfour Declaration addressed the Arab resistance to Zionist intrusion into their land by declaring:
Palestine constitutes the homeland of all its residents, Jews, Muslims and Christians are citizens on equal footing. Its government would not discriminate against anyone, its administration will be open to all, its schools will promote bilingual education and social services will be provided by the state with no distinction between people on the basis of religious origins.
Bret Shalom, organized in 1925, based on “absolute political equality,” declared:
Although Palestine was the only place where Jews could become a nation-state, they have to operate together and in equality with the Arabs.[i]
Then came Israel with power.
Arnon Soffer, professor at Haifa University, just looking at Gaza, offered a much less optimistic prognosis:
When 2.5 million people live in a closed off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will be even bigger animals than they are today. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.
He goes on to express concern:
If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist. The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.[ii]
His concern was right on target. Of all the things that can be said of Israel today, being a “normal society” is not one of them.
September 1, 2017