The Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi wrote a book called “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbour”. On the book’s cover there is a drawing of an olive tree branch consisting of ten leaves that symbolize the ten letters addressing his Palestinian neighbour: The Wall Between Us, Need and Longing, Fate and Destiny, Narrative and Presence, Six days and Fifty Years, The Partition of Justice, Isaac and Ishmael, The Israeli Paradox, Victims and Survivors and A Booth at the Edge of the Desert.

However, the neighbour that the author fantasizes about is a weak neighbour who agrees with everything that he wrote in the book. The author is asking the Palestinian victim to sympathize with his Israeli victimizer.

The author attempts to find common aspects that the Palestinians and the Jews share in matters of religion, humanity and land for the purpose of promoting coexistence and peace. The book uses a poetic manner to paint a rosy picture of the occupation. The book justifies the Israeli security measures by expressing the so-called realistic need for security.

Israel has remained the enemy of the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims ever since it has been established. The Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims have never committed any attacks against the Jews before the establishment of the State of Israel.

In Yossi’s eyes, the Palestinian has to accept the historical right of the Jews to live in Palestine just because Europe got rid of its Jews. He uses this as a justification for the Jews claim over the land.

In fact, the existence of Israel is merely a result of the Palestinians’ political, economic and technological disadvantage but this unfortunate situation will not last forever. Nothing lasts forever, unlike what the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu would like to think because the life follows the law of change.

The author calls for a mutual acceptance of the other as a path for emotional and spiritual reconciliation. I believe that this could be possible only if Palestinians and Jews were on the same level of political power or when the Palestinians rise above their suffering and agree on living in one civil, secular and democratic state with the Jews.

Bottom line, neither side will eliminate the other. But the pragmatic question here is: will Israel give up on the Zionist core foundations of the Jewish state for the sake of an everlasting peaceful solution in Palestine and the entire region?

 

Haitham Fadel