The Fools On The Hill
So schlimm kann die Stimmung in israel nicht sein, wenn sich zwei Vertreter des progressiven Lagers darüber streiten, ob sie zum Status quo ante von 1948 oder 1967 zuückkehren möchten:
The ‘Two-States or One State’ public debate between Uri Avnery and Ilan Pappe got enormous attention already before it took place on the evening of May 8. 2007. The positions taken by the two “gladiators” were known in advance. It was Teddy Katz who came up with the idea of inviting them before an audience, after the two had started polemizing over the internet.
Actually, already for several years this subject is being debated in all kind of informal gatherings, but Gush Shalom has brought the discussion to the limelight by renting the big hall of the Kibbutz Movement’s House in Tel-Aviv, and challenging Ilan Pappe to appear together with Uri Avnery under the modest but firm moderation of Zalman Amit. An enormous boost to the evening was given by Angela Godfried’s initiative, as manager of ICAHD’s Action Advocacy Project, to provide professional simultaneous translation from Hebrew into English for this debate.
First to speak for a packed hall was Ilan Pappe. What he told us about ethnic cleansing having taken place in 1948 would have been even more shocking had we not already become acquainted with these facts - not in the last place due to the actions of the “new historians”, to whom Pappe himself belongs. The more remarkable thing is what conclusions the pedagogue/activist Ilan Pappe draws from the crimes which were perpetrated during the birth of the state of Israel. For Pappe, 1948 isn’t closed history about which he can say learned things, without being able to change anything. His concept is based on reversing the wrongs of 1948.
For Uri Avnery, the results of 1948 are in the main irreversible, but he wants to undo the wrongs of 1967 - in a way which would lead to two-states and a peace agreement, and he is convinced in spite of all the set-backs that that is where we are heading. Ilan Pappe, however, sees the ongoing settlements drive as… irreversible, and doesn’t believe anymore in a fair two-state solution.
Living through times where Israel is like a ship loaded with explosives and without a captain, and surrounded by cliffs, it was actually refreshing to hear these two display their thoughts - the bold, uncompromising thinking of Pappe and the very special rationality of Uri Avnery (“it is not rational to ignore the irrational motives which affect people’s behaviour”).
Maybe not many changed their mind on the subject of the debate, but at least one went home knowing that the two camps of which Avnery and Pappe are such outspoken representatives, respect each other enough to continue together the struggle against the occupation which was mentioned by both speakers to be point number one on the agenda. And for this struggle, the evening provided, strange as it may sound, new energy.
Ilan Pappe’s opening speech https://zzzen.secured.co.il/sites/gush/home/en/channels/archive/1178972526/
Uri Avnery’s opening speech http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1178916307
Hebrew original - ?????????? ??????