The atmosphere heated up at the 2012 International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East taking place at the Centre International de Conférences in Genève, after IPCRI founder and Co-Chairperson Gershon Baskin blamed Palestinians for the weakness of the Israeli left. Luckily, Israel’s Oslo left is arrogantly on the road to history’s garbage can, and today we have a new generation of activists who understand the meaing of struggle and solidarity. Sergio Yahni explains.
The Seminar focuses on the role of the media in covering various aspects of recent events in Middle East, especially the Arab Spring, and how they relate to the situation in Israel and Palestine. At the seminar Baskin claimed that Israelis have never been interested in trying to understand the region in which they live. However, he added that “what is left of the Left is diminishing” due to Palestinians avoiding contacts with Israelis.
Gershon Baskin founded the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) in 1988; currently he is on the group’s board of directors.
Baskin’s statement, which appears to be shared by many so-called peace seeking Israelis, expresses a radical incapacity for self reflection and a colonial vision of the political realities in West Asia.
The Israeli left, which was in power for most of the Oslo period, failed to produce a sustainable alternative to Israel’s colonial policies. The settlement enterprise went on undisturbed during the days of Oslo and Israeli prisons continued to be stuffed with Palestinian prisoners while the Israeli General Security Services and military continued to execute Palestinians on the streets.
Moreover, the Israeli left in power couldn’t even control Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and the 1994 massacre by settler Baruch Goldstein Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque stands out as a symbol of left-wing impotence. However, the Palestinians are to be blamed for this failure.
Not only did the Israeli “left” fail to stop Ehud Barak’s criminal offensive against the Palestinians in October 2000, it actively supported it. As Israeli tanks were roaming through West Bank cities and refugee camps and Israel’s air force destroyed Palestinian facilities, the Israeli “peace camp” blamed the Palestinians for the violence it was “forced” to use.
The victim is always the one to be blamed. Here lies the radical colonialism of the Israeli left. In order to achieve peace Palestinians have to give up their rights, but if they fail to surrender they are blamed for the conflict.
Happily, the “Oslo left” is arrogantly on the road to the garbage bin of history and there is a new generation of activists who clearly understand that victims are victims and deserve complete solidarity. They consequently believe the executioner, the jailer and the aggressor are the ones who deserved to be condemned. That is Israel.
Normalizers are not the ones who engage responsibly in the struggle for rights and join forces with Palestinians to create a different future, but the ones who would prefer to blame the victims instead of assuming responsibilities for the policies they themselves promoted.
* This article was published by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)