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‘Deal of the Century’ Revealed!

jpost.com

BREAKING NEWS: You are about to learn the details—minus necessary redactions here and there—of President Trump and peace-negotiator-in-chief Jerad Kushner (with the blessing of the architect behind the scenes, PM Benjamin Netanyahu), long-in-the-making peace plan for solving—once and for all!—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How did I get hold of it, you ask? Ah, well… you know me, I can’t lie. And the truth is, I woke up one morning this last week from unsettling dreams (to paraphrase Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’), and found myself in bed changed into an enlightened man. And in my head, lo and behold, was the entire plan. The whole deal, people, plain and simple.

I got out of bed and stumbled onto my computer and hit the keyboard full-forced, as my mind was obsessed with telling you all about it. But wait, I have some military-experience, some security-service background too, and even without anybody telling me what to do, I decided—‘conscientious’ is my middle name—to do some extra work on the document and give you just the summary, redacted here and there for security reasons, in order not to jeopardize the successful negotiation and implementation of the plan.

Enough talking. Here it is then, point-by-point, starting with what NOT in the plan. First—there will NOT be a Palestinian state. Second—East Jerusalem will NOT be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Third—there will NOT be a right-of-return for the Palestinian People (even those born in old Palestine, now Israel—but all Jews, wherever they are born, will continue to have the-right-of return throughout the land, from the river to the sea.) Fourth—the new Palestinian entity will NOT have an army. Fifth—the Palestinians will NOT have an uncontrolled, free-flowing land connection between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Now to what the Palestinians WILL have. On the outskirts of Jerusalem, they WILL have the Abu Dis village as their capital (if they really need it, since they won’t have an independent state anyhow, and might as well stay in Ramallah). They WILL have a full autonomy in the places—areas, towns, villages—which are currently under their control. They WILL have a huge, tremendous—the biggest ever!—financial and economic aid from the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. And to top it all, they WILL be allowed to breathe freely—no taxes at all!—the clear, Biblical Judean Hills air, and to work, marry, even have sexual intercourse as much as they wish, and have children who will grow up in their beautiful—controlled albeit by Israel—Autonomy Plus.

As for Israel: Not a single settlement and not a single settler, WILL be evacuated from what used to be called—very wrongly!—the “Occupied Territories.” All these areas, the roads leading to them and the walls protecting them, WILL be annexed to Israel proper, and WILL be known from now on (in this document and elsewhere) as “Judea and Samaria.” Israel WILL have the entire, undivided, eternal Jerusalem as its capital (granting free access to the Holy sites, regardless of religion). Israel WILL continue to have its security-services and army-forces patrolling and controlling the Palestinian-territories (whatever they wish to call it). Needless to say, Israel WILL continue its presence and control of the Jordan Valley, safeguarding its eastern front.

Addendum to this summery. Hostility: Must cease and desist between the two parties; any violation WILL render this agreement null. Armed Forces: The Palestinian Autonomy WILL have no army, as stated, other than police; the Israeli State WILL continue to develop and extend its army as needed, including as many nuclear warheads it deems necessary (under this agreement, Israel WILL never again be asked to join the ‘Non-Proliferation Treaty’.) Traveling: The Palestinian People WILL travel freely between their towns and villages, but WILL need special permits to travel to Israel or abroad, and WILL continue to pass through check-points. Israel WILL maintain control of sea, land, and air. However, under a special arrangement with the liberal city of Tel Aviv, the Palestinian People WILL be able to freely enjoy the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, and even to look longingly at Jaffa, where their ancestors had used to live before the war of 1948.

Lastly: By signing this peace-deal, the parties accept it wholly without reservations. As reward for the Palestinian Authority choosing corporation over corruption, Israel WILL host a celebratory soccer match between the parties in the near future. Likewise, the great President Trump—best leader ever!—WILL host the leaders of the two parties in the White House for an elaborate signing ceremony, with Roseanne Barr as MC, with a grand party to follow at the Trump Hotel, financed entirely by MbS, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, with Vladimir Putin in attendance.

THIS JUST IN: Israel, the Jewish State, has agreed already to sign this deal. Palestine, the Arab Autonomy, hasn’t done so yet. My “sources” at the administration are telling me that they can surrender and sign it, or commit suicide. Entirely up to them.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

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In the land of Israel

Amazon.com

In the land of Israel—modern Israel, that is—never lived a finest man than Amos oz. As a writer; as a salt-of-the-earth farmer and warrior; as a peace-loving man and activist; as a man of his word and vision. And when he died unexpectedly from a sudden illness at the end of last year, at age 79, a voice whispered in my ear—it was him, I believe—that his optimistic outlook of Israel just couldn’t stand the disaster—cry for the ages, as we like to say in Hebrew—of the coming elections, and of what they might bring upon the country and people he so much loved.

About the latter I will write in the next month or two, just before the elections, but about the former—the man and his vision—allow me to add my humble voice to the many who spoke and wrote so appraisingly about him. To my sorrow, though he was one of the founders of the ‘Peace Now’ movement (and in a way, so was I), we never met. But that’s not exactly true, since I’d met him so often through his essays and books. One of which I’ve found in my library, in a section reserved—one shelf for fiction, one shelf for non-fiction—for the best works I ever read.

I reread ‘In the Land of Israel’ in his honor. And though his fiction was always more to my liking—The New Yorker just published his beautiful short story, “All Rivers,” from which you can learn so much about the man and his origins—I found plenty to admire, and to fear, in this book from 1982. In it, Amos Oz chronicled his interviews with everyday Israelis, which he had conducted throughout the land, and the occupied land, allowing them to speak their mind freely. It was first published in the Israeli morning paper ‘Davar,’ and later collected into this book.

He took a journey while writing it, becoming “a tourist in his own country in order to explore and record the cauldron of emotions, fears and prejudices” of Israelis. As he writes in his ‘Author’s notes:’ “Every place is an entire world and every man is a world in himself, and I reached only a few places and a few people, and even then I was able to see and to hear only a little of so much.”

In line with his words, I’ve chosen to highlight only two people who spoke to him, from two different “worlds,” though they lived so close to each other. The first person (he names no names, generally, in this book), it that of a resident of the development town of Bet Shemesh, whom he met at a Café in the center square, together with some others, all of them Mizrachim: Immigrants from Arab countries and North African countries. What used to be referred to back then as the “Second Israel.” Among so many other things, he’d said this:

“When you were on top (he meant Ashkenazim, kibbutzniks, the “First Israel,” H.D.), you hid us in holes, in moshavim and in development towns, so the tourists wouldn’t see us; so we wouldn’t stain your image; so they’d think this was a white country. But that’s all over now, because now we’ve come out of our holes. You still haven’t figured out what hit you, have you?”

And still more: “You guys, your time is past. Even after Begin (the Prime Minister then, H.D.) you won’t make a comeback in another hundred years. We are sick of you and your squabbles. Yes to the Palestinian state or no to the Palestinian state… To give back or not to give back, peace in the Galilee or not… Anything goes.”

Two things strike me here: First, the force of the hurt and resentment that existed back then; second, the prophecy ingrained in his simple words. It may be that, as to the former, the equilibrium had changed, but if so, just a bit. What used to be the “First Israel” is now centered in Tel Aviv and around it, no more just Ashkenazim but liberals, secular Israelis of all backgrounds, who emphasize democracy first and Jewish second.

The “Second Israel” is now centered in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the settlements of the West Bank, and it’s not only Mizrachim there now, but everybody who put the emphasis on Jewish first and democracy second. Moreover: As the second quote indicates, the “Second Israel” is still in power. It is actually the “First Israel” now. And the hell with the rest. The occupation is not occupation; the West Bank is Judah and Samaria; the rule of law is our law; the hell with the rest of Israel.

Here’s then is the second quote, from a veteran member of Amos Oz’s kibbutz, Hulda: “Ask them—hand on your heart, as they said to you in Bet Shemesh—whether now, when the power is in Begin’s hands, and in theirs, they really think it pays to settle accounts with us like this, the night of the long knives. And ask them another thing as well, hand on your heart: Was everything we did in this country in 50 years, or 80 years, so bad? Was it all malicious? Everything we built here at such great sacrifice, everything we created out of nothing, including the mistakes we surely made? What would the Land of Israel look like without the Labor movement?”

There would be no Land of Israel, if you ask me. Certainly not the “Land of Israel” where Amos Oz walked and wrote. He left us very poor, I’d say that, teetering on the edge of an abyss.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

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