A Palestinian girl 22 years old, living in the Middle East as a refugee,
has adopted me in her heart as her grandfather.
This letter I sent her, contains my views, and my suggested solution.
My Dear granddaughter Safiyah, (not her real name)
You are pessimist because you do not see the light at the end of the
tunnel. And you do not see the light because you have blinders on your
Let me give you an example of blinders. Samir tells you that I am lying
to you. How does he know? He never met me, he never spoke to me, and
already he "knows" I am lying to you!! He bases his opinion on the fact
that I am a Jew, like those who have tortured him. But I am not only a
Jew, I am also a human being, like you, like him, and yes like the Jews
who tortured him and who also are human beings. So where is the truth?
The truth is in abstaining from generalizing, abstaining from stereotyping
and ABSTAINING FROM CONFUSING THE CRIMINAL ISRAELI LEADERSHIP
WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT IT.
You must be able to find an understanding that is consistent with
the following facts:
1) The Israeli leadership is criminal, inhumane expansionist and racist.
2) The average Israeli is NONE OF THE ABOVE.
3) The average Israeli supports the Israeli leadership.
The three statements are perfectly true, and you must find a way to make
sense of them. Once you have done that, you can become optimist as I am.
Here is Sharon's recipe for success:
a) Take a decent, sincere, idealist average Israeli
b) Prove to him that HAMAS aims at a single Palestinian state from which
would be expelled all post-1948 Jewish immigrants.
c) Remind him that when a suicide-bomber kills innocent civilians, he thus
delivers a message of hate not only to the occupation, but to all
d) Add a few lies such as "Barak had offered 95% of the Palestinian
demands" AND HAMAS' ATTITUDE IS THAT OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PALESTINIANS,
and you get as a result, a decent, sincere, idealist average Israeli
WHO VOTES FOR SHARON.
I will present you with a few more recipes:
a) Complain without end of the barbarism of the Israeli repression.
b) Make all efforts to bring this barbarism to the attention of the US
authorities. Try to get as many visits as possible of high US
c) Proclaim your belief that the US is the only factor which can
resolve the situation and bring about the realization of some of the
d) Proclaim that you have at heart the security of Israel,
and you can expect decades of continual Palestinian sufferings and
increased Israeli arrogance. You gain nothing, and you lose your dignity.
Another recipe is being "cooked":
a) Let everybody know that you will accept no less than a single
Palestinian state over all of Historical Palestine, and from which all
post-1948 Jewish immigrants would be expelled.
b) Proceed with suicide-bombings, particularly when Sharon needs it most.
c) State that every Jew in Israel is an enemy to be killed,
and you get a constant increase in Sharon's ability to advance his program
of expansion, and to come closer to his real aim, that of final ethnic
cleansing. All this with the support of the average Israeli.
And finally: my recipe - but before giving it, I will state from where it
a) recognition that the walls of Jericho will not fall at the sounds of
trumpets. I mean by that, that talking and shouting, however useful,
is not enough.
b) recognition that the policy of suicide-bombings which indiscriminately
kill civilians, has resulted in a strengthening of Sharon, a weakening
of the peace movement in Israel, an increase in the miseries inflicted
on the Palestinian people.
c) recognition that the world, which has remained quiet for decades, can
well remain quiet for many more.
d) recognition that Palestinians, and their potential Arab or Muslim
allies, do not have a military strength capable of challenging that of
e) recognition that while Palestinians can gain the sympathy of a few
countries, this is not likely to lead to these countries challenging,
by force or by any other leverage, the policies of the US.
f) recognizing that the leaderships of the Arab states are corrupt and
afraid of their own people. Their loud support of Palestine is not
matched by significant actions.
g) recognition that, unless there is a radical change in the nature of the
Israeli leadership, no peace process has a good chance of success.
h) recognition that, in the present circumstances, there is only one force
that has the power to bring the Israeli leadership down and replace
it by one of a radically different nature. This force is that of the
Israeli people itself, made of a few millions of average Israeli
i) recognition that, unless we act on the assumption that the average
Israeli is decent, but confused, there is no chance of bringing the
Israeli leadership down.
j) recognition that any request for more than the pre-1967 boundaries will
cause the complete isolation of the Palestinians and leave them more
vulnerable to further persecution and even ethnic clansing.
k) recognizing that asking for the exclusion of all post-Israeli
immigrants, is asking the impossible, if only because of the fact that
Israel has atomic bombs to be used in such circumstances "on us and our
enemies". Of course. Nothing indicates that Israel can be thus
Luckily for the Israelis, and luckily for the Palestinians, the average
Israeli is as decent as the average Palestinian. This is the conclusion
we can easily reach if we stop demonizing the average Israeli, if we
refuse to recognize, how much a decent Israeli can, with HAMAS' help, be
manipulated by the Israeli leadership.
Based on that, I present my recipe which focuses on making peace with the
Israeli people, and not with Sharon.
1) Let the Palestinian Authority proclaim that its dream is that of an
independent Palestinian state over the territories conquered by
Israel in 1967.
2) Let it issue a draft secular constitution, which would be the most
democratic, the most progressive, the most tolerant in the world, and
let it mention as a fundamental principle, the necessity for all people
in the Middle East to live side by side in peace, security and
3) Let the PA proclaim that it absolutely forbids the killing of Israelis
citizens on the Israeli territory. Let it state that it will consider
any group basing its policies on the killing of civilians on Israeli
territory, as having received no mandate from the Palestinian
people for creating a center of command independent of the PA.
By disobeying its orders, sabotaging the PA's policies, it therefore
betrays the Palestinian people. The PA should state that it will use
all the power it can muster to arrest those traitors and bring them to
4) The PA should proclaim that it is the sacred right of any people living
under the iron will of an occupier, to resist the occupier by all
means, be they violent, but not against the enemy's civilian
Still, in order to create an atmosphere that can lead to a peaceful
solution, the PA proclaims a unilateral truce of two months, even
against the occupying military. During that truce, the Palestinians will
not have recourse to violence except in self-defense.
5) The PA should remind the Palestinians and the Israelis of the rich
contributions that both people have made to civilization, and the
friendly relation which traditionally existed between them. The PA
should remind the Israeli people that antisemitism was mainly a
6) The PA should state that it knows that the present Israeli generation
may not be aware that the refugee problem has been created by Israeli
operations of ethnic cleansing. The PA should add that an apology for
it is not part of its demands, but it knows that when the relations
between Israelis and the Palestinians will become friendly and even
brotherly, the Israeli people, enlightened by courageous Israeli
historians dedicated to truth, will demand from its leadership to
apologize for it.
In peace and friendly relations, all dreams become possible.
The PA should state that it takes the responsibility to proclaim to
History that it has no secret agenda other than the public one which
consists in the evacuation of Israel from the territories it occupies
beyond its pre-1967 boundaries. That Israel should recognize the
independent Palestine as a sovereign state, the only one in control
of its skies, its littoral, its boundaries and its mineral resources..
The PA dreams of a continual friendly relation between the two countries,
to the point that any Israeli would feel at home when on visit or when
staying in Palestine, and every Palestinian would feel at home when on
visit or staying in Israel.
As to the fusion of the two states into one, it is not a demand. It is
a wish that the relations between the two people will become so good
and so friendly, that the need for maintaining armies to protect the
boundaries will have disappeared, as is the case between France and
Germany who for long years have been mortal enemies. The fusion of the
two states could only be voluntary and will never be imposed by one
side over the other.
The closeness of the Arabic and Hebrew languages are an indication of
how close the two people once were. We dream to get back to that
The Israeli people know that it would not accept that its dignity be
trampled. Likewise, nobody should expect the Palestinians to have their
dignity trampled, and there is no dignity in being submitted to
checkpoints, in a 95% solution in which the remaining 5% are designed
to deprive the Palestinian people of its boundaries, and divide its
territories by roads over which Israel would have sovereignty. A
solution Israel would reject for herself, cannot but be rejected by the
7) Let it be understood that HAMAS has some popular constituency from
which it can renew its "reserve" of volunteers for "suicide bombers".
The PA is condemning the policy of suicide-bombing of HAMAS. It is
clear that in view of the existence of that constituency, a police
operation can at most hamper for a time the criminal activities of
Something else must be done to put an end to HAMAS' violence. HAMAS
must lose its constituency, and there is only one way to achieve that.
Give back to the Palestinians their dignity, their sovereignty within
the pre-1967 borders. Let them enjoy a revival of their economy, in
security, without administrative territorial divisions and without
checkpoints, and the violent activities of HAMAS will dwindle for lack
of constituency. It is only the absence of hope that fills the ranks of
HAMAS. Give hope and dignity to the Palestinian people, and it will
demand the cessation of HAMAS' violent acts. It will then be possible,
with the Palestinian people's help, to hunt down every single remaining
would-be suicide-bomber. In short, to be able to have peace and
security, the Palestinians must have independence and dignity. This is
not put as a tit-for tat of the kind "you give me this and I give you
that". It is simply impossible, by the very nature of the situation,
and with the best of wills, to eliminate the violent aspect of HAMAS,
without giving the hope and the dignity that the Palestinian people
It is up to the Palestinian and Israeli people to choose leaders which
have the correct understanding of the need for hope, dignity, peace and
security by the two people, leaders who believe that, in the long range,
the interests of the Israeli and the Palestinian people are identical.
All those who believe that the day may come in which these two peoples
could live side by side in a brotherly relation, must work unceasingly
to make that day come soon, very soon.
If leaders, be them Palestinians or Israeli, are in the way of peace
and friendly relations between the two people, let they be swept aside
by their people.
Let a new crop of leaders come and succeed were the older crop has
We reject the stereotype that the average Israeli is as brutal and as
devoid of a will for peace as its leadership. We do believe that the
average Israeli is as decent and honest as the average Palestinian. We
think that, if only the average Israeli could lose his blinders and
discover that he has nothing to fear, and everything to gain from
an independent Palestine, as soon as he will be able to understand that
giving hope and dignity to the Palestinians, is the only way to empower
them in a successful fight against suicide-bombing, he will look forward
for the establishment of the independent and sovereign Palestine,
destined to live side by side with Israel in a most friendly relation.
On our part, we intend to use all possibilities of an imaginative and
creative policy, to persuade our two peoples, that the conditions can
soon be created for the establishment of a peaceful and friendly
Palestinian state over the territories conquered by Israel in 1967.
Then, in an improved atmosphere between the two states, a solutuion of
the problem of the refugees, respecting their individual right of
return, will become possible.
With grandfatherly love,