ISRAELIS AS OCCUPIERS
It does not matter who was there first. Both the Jews and the Arabs deserve their own state in the Middle East. There must be two democratic states living side by side in peace. Jewish people who care, are very sensitive about the existence of Israel and the fair treatment of Palestinians. I am not naive enough to believe that everything Israel does in the need to maintain the survival of the country is constrained. I expect, under certain circumstances, morally ambiguous tactics are used to achieve a desired result. Israelis are human beings and are not perfect, far from it, and in addition it is my opinion that the Palestinian leadership takes into consideration the human rights passion of most Israelis and acts accordingly. What shocked me in a documentary movie entitled “The Gatekeepers” by Dror Moreh, made for distribution in 2013, and well received in Israel, were the opinions of six former leaders of Shin Bet, an Israeli agency charged with protecting the security of Israeli citizens. The six leaders are Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri and Avrahamn Shalom. Ami Ayalon has since been elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) as a Labour party member. These are not ordinary Israelis. While not making top level decisions alone, they were somewhat involved as leaders in Shin Bet in the decision-making. Avraham Shalom, leader of Shin Bet, 1980-1986, confirms that after the “300 bus hijacking”, the two leaders of the Palestinian terrorists who surived the action were beaten and executed with the consent of the highest levels of the Israeli government. More recently Shalom acknowledges that the Israelis, in some instances, have become a “brutal occupation force”. To have an Israeli soldier execute a terrorist in anger is understandable, but with the concurrence of the highest level of the Israeli government, is totally unacceptable. And that is not the least of the problems. It appears that in times of calm when it may have been possible to sit down and talk with the Palestinians, to quote Dror Moreh, “nothing is happening”.