Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Uri Avnery on Amram Mitzna (who lost to Sharon)
"Amram Mitzna... had a new and invigorating message: To place peace at the head of the agenda. To reopen the negotiations that were killed by Ehud Barak. To negotiate under fire, because that is the only way to stop the fire. To talk with Yasser Arafat, because he is the only person able to sign a peace agreement, if convinced, and convince his people to accept it. To achieve peace between the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine. And even before that, to order the unilateral withdrawal from all the Gaza Strip, the dismantling of all the settlements there and the isolated settlements on the West Bank.

"This message has a great potential: The Israeli public is fed up with the situation, it knows already that there is no military solution, and it is being told that there is no political solution, either. There is no security, the economy is in tatters, there is no solution in sight."

This is an optimistic essay on Avnery's part. The problem with Labour and the Israeli "Peace" movement is that while they affect to stand for the "peace process" they are every bit as zionistic (if not more so) than Sharon and the hardline Likudniks. Hence the Labour party has a huge credibility problem. Even if they were genuinely in favour of peace there is a lot of work to do to convince anybody that that is so. A role for a genuine statesman, but is Mitzna such a person?

No comments: