Miko Peled Journey of an Israeli in Palestine Seattle. Oct. 1, 2012
Auto Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches
This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples I don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than you'd expect that we accept it in general across the board yet when people talk about the right of return of Palestinians to their homeland suddenly a red line comes up and everybody says no we can't talk about the right of return of the Palestinians this has to be taken off the table this is not negotiable the right of return of the Palestinians is not acceptable what's interesting about that is that the right of return of the Palestinians really talking about quite often we talk about the actual people who had to leave their homes and if they had already passed away then we're talking about their direct descendants people who still have the keys and the deeds to their homes and quite often can go to the very spot where a village existed where today there might be a highway and we'll point out the mosque and we'll point out the well and we'll point out the door to their home yet they do not enjoy the right to return so obviously this is a double standard of immense proportions the other thing VB talked about right off as he started was about King David who reigned some 3,000 years ago and you know and here we are today as his descendants what's interesting is besides the fact that there is no historical evidence that King David ever existed outside the Bible which of course is not a historical document and Israeli the archaeologists have all but turned up the entire country to find proof that he ever existed today as we speak an entire town an entire community is being kicked out of their homes and forced into exile through violence in order to prove the King David existed in a place called Seale Wan it's a community of 50,000 people right outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem yet the world sees nothing wrong with this American money is poured into this project to build what is called the new city of David in archeological park and a community of 50,000 Palestinians has to be terrorized in order to leave their homes are being destroyed in order to make this point this fictional mythical connection between the ancient kingdom of King David and today's Israel so these are just two examples and it was interesting that Bibi Netanyahu decided to kick off his speech at the United Nations with these two things but what I'd like to do today is just begin with a little bit of history and if you go ahead and hit the first slide thank you people talk about the fact that this conflict the conflicts in the Holy Land the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been around for so long that it's really not something anybody can ever solve it's been going on for thousands of years people have been killing each other there forever this is not true and a good place to start if we're going to talk about how this conflict began a good place to start would be on the 29th of November 1947 the day that United Nations accepted the resolution to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state and this ridiculous map is what they came up with now when you look at this map before before you even hear about the details before even touch on the details of this map just by looking at it it's it's unbelievable that anybody expected that this would work and of course this didn't even last one day in 1947 there were two communities living parallel lives we had the Jewish community that numbered about half a million maybe a little bit less than half a million that we're expecting and hoping to become a state and you had the Arab community the Palestinian Arab community of about a million and a half people who are also in the process and had the expectation of becoming a state yet when the United Nations came up with this ridiculous plan they chose to give the larger portion of the country to the smaller community to the Jewish community and the smaller portion of the land to the larger community and then people said and to this day you hear people say see the Arabs the Palestinians did not accept the partition plan so all this is their fault is anybody mad enough to think that they would accept this would anybody in their Palestinian in their place have accepted something like this obviously not and obviously like I said this is not last even a single day because as soon as the resolution was accepted the Zionist forces what was called the Hagana the pol mouth began a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing now the story that we hear the myth that we're told about 1947 and I heard it once again today earlier today at the Seattle Times is that in 1947 after the United Nations finally recognized the right of the Jewish people have their own state the Arab armies attacked intending to destroy this fledgling state this young Jewish community and this is only several years after the Nazi Holocaust yet somehow between the end of 1947 and the end of 1948 the Zionist forces were able to conquer almost 80% of the country destroy over 500 towns and villages including schools and mosques and churches and homes and exile almost a million people within a 12-month period how did they do this if they were being attacked by massive armies from the outside but once again when we look at the facts we realized that in 1947 the Jewish community the Zionist community had quite a substantial military force they had a force of close to forty thousand armed men at well trained well indoctrinated my father was one of them there was no equivalent on the Palestinian side the Palestinians have never had a military force to this day the Palestinians have never had an army or military force there was no equivalent of the other side the Arab armies such as they were didn't didn't enter the war until late in 1940 may of 1948 much of the ethnic cleansing had already taken place the war had been taking place for over six months by then so of course this is a myth this is a myth that nobody nobody nobody takes the time to investigate in question but once again the reality that in a 12 month period so much was done exactly because that is what that is exactly was the purpose of these Zionist forces to capture as much of the land as possible and get rid of as many people as possible and that's exactly what they did would you hit the next one please you heard the story Judith related to the story about my mother that's my mother she's 86 now she's still living in Jerusalem she was born and raised in Jerusalem and she used to tell me how when she was she was young she would walk around on a Saturday afternoon and many of the many of the beautiful neighborhoods in Jerusalem and I'm talking about the New Jerusalem the Jerusalem it was built outside the city walls misery beauties were Palestinian communities with beautiful homes and she would walk around and she would see the families on a Saturday afternoon sitting under the or by the lemon tree and so on yet and then in 1948 she was living still in Jerusalem these communities were forced to leave their homes were given to Israeli families and she was offered one of these homes and like you heard she refused the thought of taking another families home just did not sit well with her and then she saw the looting and she still to this day when she talks about it you can see that you feel such a sense of shame but what's interesting is that I remember hearing this story as a child many many years ago and over a very long period of time and it wasn't until I was actually working on the book and I spoke to her about this again that I realized why this story was bothering me all those years because the story was bothering there's something about it that was troubling and only now I can I realized it was troubling because it contradicted the national narrative it contradicted what I learned in school that the Arabs attacked we won they left and we get the spoils so what's wrong with taking their homes if this is the truth then there's no wrong and taking their homes they attacked and we won it's fair enough but once again like I said hearing the story in the back of my mind over and over and over again kind of troubled me and this is exactly why the truth lays in the personal story not in the national narrative you hit the next one please the the title of the book is the general son and then the subtitle is journey of an Israeli in Palestine so the general son is a big part of who I am and this is my father as a general now after the State of Israel was established and the Jewish militia the Zionist militia became the Israeli army he remained as an officer and had a very long and you know interesting military career 20 years later 1967 the drums of war were beating he was already a general and a lot has been written about what happened in 1967 and why the war broke out and who actually started the war and why a lot of books have been written about this movies have been made about this and it's an interesting period now just kind of to touch on the history some of you I'm sure recall the Egyptian President Nasser decided to kick out the UN peacekeeping forces that were in the Sinai Peninsula that divided the Egypt from Israel and he and II entered and he entered against against the ceasefire agreement that existed between the countries he entered Egyptian troops into the Sinai Peninsula the general saw this as a cause for war as a legitimate cause for war and they pushed for war the Israeli cabinet however was was not well they were hesitant they were not so eager to start a war and this tug of war began tug of war began between these two groups it was a very interesting difference between these two groups because the cabinet members were older they were in their late 60s early 70s most of them they were born in exile they came with this whole baggage of Exile of pogroms and you know this is only 25 years after the Holocaust and they carried all this and they were worried that a war might lead to another Holocaust the generals however were in the early 40s they almost all of them were born in Palestine almost all of them were members of the Zionist militia before the 1948 and they were what I like to call the new joy that the Zionists wanted to create full of testosterone and very assertive and willing and ready to fight and they created the Israeli army well they wanted to fight they saw they saw an opportunity to start another war now the myth that we're told about this or the story I should say that we're told about the 1967 war is that once again Israel was attacked by three massive armies intending to destroy it and once again miraculously somehow we the Israelis prevailed because we're smarter and because we're better trained and were more motivated and as we heard now recently were somehow a culturally superior as well perhaps who knows but all of these reasons for all these reasons we prevailed and we defeated the Arab armies once again when I was working on the book I decided to look and go into the Israeli army archives to learn my father's career like I said he had a very very interesting military career and I was interested particularly in reading the minutes of the meetings of the generals leading up to the 1967 war now once again a lot has been written about those meetings so I wasn't expecting to find anything new because I'd read everything that was out there but as soon as I began reading I saw something that I'd not seen anywhere else my father says this and several of the other generals say this in their attempt to convince the cabinet to start the war and that is that the Egyptian army is not prepared for war and therefore we must attack now in fact they said the Egyptian army needs at least a year and a half to two years before it is it will be prepared for war so we have a tremendous opportunity now to once again this would be the third time to destroy the Egyptian army and the fact that the Egyptian army brought their troops into Sinai and closer to us closer to Israel only makes it easier for us to destroy them not only are they're not talking about an existential threat they're not talking about any threat they're talking about an opportunity a military opportunity to once again defeat the Egyptian army so once again the myth fizzles away the generals of course won the day the government Allah gave them the OK to start a preemptive strike against Egypt the Egyptian army was decimated in a couple of days the Sinai Peninsula was conquered once again the Gaza Strip was conquered and the generals wanted more the generals wanted more they wanted the West Bank which was a sore spot for them because in 1948 they wanted to take it they were young commanders in 1948 and they wanted the West Bank then but for political reasons Israel decided not to take it well here was their opportunity and they took the West Bank and they had wanted the Golan Heights a long time too because it's high up above the Galilee and it's you knows lots of water there and they took that as well and there was a lot of ambition to the generals the northern commander wanted the Golan Heights the central commander wanted you know they all wanted the laurels of victory they had no doubt that they're going to be victorious in six days in six days the Israeli army defeated and destroyed three Arab armies conquered the West Bank the Golan Heights the Sinai Peninsula the Gaza Strip killed over 15,000 Arab soldiers at a loss of 700 soldiers to the Israeli army 15,000 to 700 that's quite a ratio and all this was done in six days as Arab armies were attacking them true true true that's another one of those stories that nobody talks about deliberate the USS Liberty that's right so again the myth fizzles away once you actually take a look at the facts now my father did something very interesting after the war was over at the very first meeting of the generals the very first weekly meeting he stood up and he said now we have an opportunity to solve the Palestinian question we can now offer the Palestinians a state in the West Bank in Gaza if we do this this will be the first Arab state with which Israel will have a peace agreement it'll be a bridge for peace agreements with the other Arab countries since Palestine of course was always a central issue and we can go on living you know being the Democratic Jewish state that we want it to be and as he was saying this a massive settlement project and an ethnic cleansing project began in the West Bank hundreds of thousands were thrown out towns and villages and cities were destroyed and new towns were being built and highways and so on an infrastructure to Israelis into the West Bank just as Israel had done after 1948 destroying Palestinian towns and villages changing the names and building towns and villages for Israelis the same thing was done in the West Bank after 1967 for Israel this meant the job was done in essence what they did was they erased Palestine off the map I always always like to show this picture this is the victory lap these are all the generals standing after the war young you know victorious and in the center is al Mancha czar who was this president of the State of Israel you know Israel has the President as kind of a symbolic figure somebody who used to be a you know something important in his lifetime and you see the old generation and the new generation and this new generation of generals is often referred to as the silver tray upon which the Land of Israel was given to the Jewish people because from that point on the entire Land of Israel was under Jewish control for the first time after 2,000 years and only 25 years after the Holocaust historically from a Jewish Zionist perspective this is unbelievable unprecedented but in fact this is what they did Palestine was erased completely from the map and Israel was in completely over the entire map this was the objective this was the name of the game erasing Palestine getting rid of people and diera biasing the country dr biasing the country is what was left to do that's why when people talk about the possibility of israel somehow giving up the West Bank for a Palestinian state if it wasn't so sad it would be funny it shows a complete misunderstanding of the objective of Zionism and the Jewish state and the Zionist State because conquering the land was the first objective getting rid of the people and then D Arab izing and I say D Arab eyes in the country this country has a 1500 year old history of Arab and Muslim rule it was an Arab in a Muslim country more than it was anything else in history so that has to be destroyed monuments have to be destroyed names have to be changed the history has to be rewritten to connect once again King David to today's Israel and completely disregard the fact that this is in fact an Arab country that it is in fact in the center of the Arab world and that in fact over half of the population are Arabs now after my father retired from the military he did something even more stunning he dedicated the rest of his life to the creation of a Palestinian state and peace with the Palestinians in the West Bank in Gaza and he advocated for equal rights for the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens to things which are yet to be achieved now in the mid-1970s the Palestinian leadership the PLO this started contacting my father and others or of marrying others people who are like that in order to begin a dialogue and that is really when the notion of the two-state solution was put together these were yes they are fought stops are fought stopped people is his it his advisers and his ambassadors and so on in this picture is my father with dr. Essam sertao he who was the Palestinian ambassador of the PLO ambassador to Paris he was later killed in 1983 and this dialogue went on between official representatives of the PLO and on the Israeli side these were renegades these are people who who used to hold in a high office of one kind of another or another and they were Zionists Israelis but the Israeli government refused refused to take part in any of this only 1993 only 1993 did the Israeli government agree to finally begin negotiating with the Palestinians what happened what what changed well what changed was the they achieved they accomplished their mission of making the conquest of the West Bank irreversible by 1993 the Israeli government knew for certain that a Palestinian state could not be established in the West Bank the settlements were there billions were invested the entire Jordan River Valley was was settled with with villages and kyboot Siemens things like that there are major cities already built in the West Bank entire East Jerusalem was being was taken over by Israel there was no place anymore for a Palestinian state to be established and that is when Israel said okay we will begin negotiations so they allowed our fight to come misleading him into thinking that they were really intending to make peace and basically trying to force him to sign an agreement that would that would complete his surrender but once again when we hear people still talking about the notion that somehow there could be an Israeli government that would give up the West Bank for a Palestinian state like I said if it wasn't so sad and tragic it would be funny because as we look at the 65 year history of the State of Israel that is absolutely clear that this can never happen now later on in the year 2000 you may I'm sure you recall President Clinton invited Barack and our Fattah to Camp David to somehow solidify a peace agreement or so he said what they tried to do is force Arafat once again to surrender which he would not do so they came out of Camp David and President Clinton said our fought games gave some Barack gave more in other words this is our fox fault and from that moment on for the last four years of his life he was vilified and eventually our fad died with Israeli tanks surrounding his office under siege but the myth that were always told is that the Palestinians are not willing to make concessions and that is the problem I think Mitt Romney is alluded to this as well in that little secret tape that was recorded the problem is the Palestinians they just don't want peace Yasser Arafat was willing to give up almost 80% of his homeland and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and be compensated all for the sake of peace what he wouldn't do is he wouldn't go beyond he wouldn't go you know less than 20% he wouldn't give up the West Bank and the Gaza that he couldn't do they wanted to give up even more they want him to sign a surrender agreement and he wouldn't it's not the Palestinians that aren't willing to make concessions it's Israel that's incapable of making concessions because concessions on the land are impossible from a Zionist perspective the whole name of the game is taking the land and making it ours and this is exactly the process that took place please now once again like I said the book goes in and out of my own personal families to history and the steps history of the State of Israel and how the two are related this is a picture of my niece Madara and on 2 September the 4th 1997 she was killed two young Palestinians blew themselves up in Jerusalem took their own lives and several Israel the lives of several Israelis including her she was 13 years old so in a 13 year old little girl that you know and love gets killed like this you know you don't really know what to do you don't know what to think you don't know what to feel you don't know how you're going to get back to life after that now she was a granddaughter of a famous general so this was big news on top of that she was also the granddaughter of mr. peace with Palestine and now look what they did to him look what they did to his granddaughter my father had already passed away by then so this was even this is big nose and when I landed and when I arrived in Jerusalem my sister's house on the ground I could all see I saw the the morning paper and on the front page it already said the granddaughter of general Peled was killed by Palestinians and my sister's apartment was packed with mourners of course people who came to express their sorrow but also reporters endless stream of reporters I mean after the funeral she came out to greet and see everybody she said two things that put me on a path and I think it put her on a path and many of us kind of helped us to wrap our heads around this unspeakable tragedy the first thing she was asked of course is about revenge and retaliation in the comment that she made was no real mother would want this to happen to another mother don't talk to me about revenge motherhood is a uniting force it cuts through religion it cuts through any differences that might exist between us and if she's anything above all as she is a mother she's got three other boys wonderful boys and the second thing she said was my government is responsible my government brought these two young men to such a level of despair that they would take their own lives and take the lives of other innocent people including a 13 year old girl the lab route Allah pression under which the Palestinians have to live because of us is the cause of this that is why this is happening if we want this to happen we have to lift the oppression as long as Palestinians are denied hope and denied freedom and denied water and denied their land and their homes this will continue to happen I point a finger at my own government and interestingly enough Bibi Netanyahu who's today Prime Minister was prime minister there as well he also used to be a close personal friend of my sister because they went to school together in Jerusalem that's a whole other side story so then I came back you know the seven days of mourning that we Jews a keep you know we're over and I had to come back I lived here in America already and you have to go to work the next day and how do you do this but somehow what my sister said put me on a path and I decided okay it's time to do something because she became very outspoken and her husband Romney became very outspoken some of you I think know some of you heard him here about Rica the needs for reconciliation and the need to allow the Palestinians their rights and freedoms I was lucky enough that in San Diego I made a group of people it was it was a Jewish Palestinian dialogue group it took me some time to find them it took me some time to understand what I was going to do and what was interesting was I was 39 years old I was here in the United States and that was the very first time I ever met Palestinians I grew up in Jerusalem I was born and raised in Jerusalem a mixed City the first time I ever sat with Palestinians in a normal setting as completely equal people was here in the United States because even those Jerusalem is you know so-called United and so on it's completely segregated so an Israeli boy does not meet Palestinians I mean you might see them doing landscaping or you know washing dishes and then I began hearing all these stories that I'd never heard before this was a dialogue group so it was not about you know accusing or arguing everybody told their story and I'm sitting with Palestinians and they're telling me about forced exile and about massacres and all these things that we don't do we as rallies don't do these things we are moral people we are a moral army we've made mistakes we're not perfect but basically we don't do these things and my good fortune was that I was around a group of people mostly Palestinians who helped me go through this transformation it's like learning I don't know it's like having your tooth pulled out teeth pulled out without anesthesia it's so painful you suddenly learn that ever thing you know is not true and coming from my background with my family history that was very painful but they were very gracious and very generous in the way they kind of led me through this and I'm you know I'm forever grateful to that Palestinian community in San Diego for you know carrying me along it took several years the way now I talk about it like it was easy but was very difficult and it took a very long time and then I became active and then I started visiting Palestinian communities inside Israel and I would visit the West Bank and I began learning more and more about the issue to the next one please and as I travel to the West Bank I you see this if you've been to Qalandia or any of the major checkpoints you see the sign it's about the size of one of these walls it's a massive sign and as you can see it's white letters over a red background which usually means danger and of course it's in Hebrew and what the sign says is that this road leads to area a which is under Palestinian control an entry to Israelis into area a is forbidden it's life-threatening and it's a felony and if you notice there are two exclamation marks so if you're not scared yet the two exclamation marks will probably do the trick now you'll also notice that unless you can read Hebrew this is this is irrelevant it's only true if you can read Hebrew now if you see a sign like that and you have any sense at all you turn around and go home who in his right mind would see a sign that says danger firing zone and walk right into it my good fortune was that I don't have that kind of sense and that I have many friends who don't have that kind of sense and we went right through and I've been going right through that these checkpoints and right through that sign every single time I go visit my friends on the other side of the wall and what's interesting is I always see the same thing from the very first time all the way to today it's been several years every time I cross that thought wall every time I crossed the sign I see the exact same thing I see traffic jams I see children going to school which is probably the most common sight in Palestinian areas the children coming and going to school I see people going to work I see shops I've yet to see the Palestinians that want to kill me I've yet to see the Palestinians ready with machine guns and tanks and f-16s ready to bomb me because I'm an Israeli I meet just have yet to see that and I know that many other Israelis who do this haven't seen it either and with time I began to realize this sign has nothing to do with security the wall has nothing to do with security the massive armed Israeli forces along the road have nothing to do security the terrorizing and harassment that Palestinian Israelis go through when they go through Tel Aviv Airport the humiliating process that they have to go through they have to endure every time they decide to leave and go overseas has nothing to do with security it has everything to do with racism with hatred and with a deep desire to keep us apart to keep me privileged and them with no rights that's the name of the game that's what it's all about and that's the purpose of the sign can you the next one please can can you read that can somebody read that for me domination legitimate and in full accordance of the principle of international law this describes the Palestinian struggle because that is exactly what Israel is now in this picture I stand with my friend Jamal who sat in Israeli prison for many many years in fact he was given a life sentence but he was exchanged within one of the prisoner exchanges between Israel and the PLO and the reason he was given a life sentence is because he killed a soldier he and three others the RIA saw two young Israeli soldiers guarding a bank in Ramallah of all things and soldiers usually fully armed of course and they approached them and they stabbed them to death with a knife and for that they were later on you know beaten tortured and arrested and given life sentences but when I see the picture of the two of us standing side by side I have to wonder which one of us is really the terrorist because according to this it's certainly not him I on the other hand served in the Israeli army an Army of Occupation an army of oppression an army who is sole purpose is to make sure that he does not have a state he does not have rights and he dare not resist so yes my army has uniforms and commanders and generals but which one of us is really the terrorist and finally and this is also how the book ends what do we do I mean how do two nations share a state how do they share a country well there are lots of examples look at the Switzerland look at Belgium you know these are multinational states the Swiss are Swiss the Belgians are Belgium's regardless of what you know actual nationality they are beyond that so there are plenty of examples of nation of states that have multinational Nations within them once again going back to this question is one state the right thing is to States the right thing or three states the right thing somebody gave me something you know about a confederation the reality is that Israel had created a one state the borders in terms of what from Israeli perspective are very clear the borders of the state of israel are the jordan river on the east and the Mediterranean on the west that's it if you look at Israeli schoolbooks if you look at weather maps if you look at any official maps of the state of Israel it is absolutely clear there is no question anybody's mind what the borders of the State of Israel are that's it so the notion that there could be as an Israeli government that would give up some of that is absolutely absurd and Israel governs this one state very skillfully with three different sets of laws you have the laws of governed people like myself Israeli Jews who can come and go and say what they please pretty much a democratic state for all preventers for all purposes you've got the laws that govern the Palestinians who are citizens of Israel and there are over 30 laws in the law books that discriminate them against them specifically and you've got an entire culture of discrimination against them that is deep-seated and deep-rooted in Israeli society and then you've got the laws that govern the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and this is really at the pleasure of the Israeli army if they want to destroy the destroy if they want to arrest and beat the arrest and beat if they want to torture they torture if they want to kill they kill and Palestinians have no recourse this is the reality there's an education system the zionist education system like Judith alluded my sister just wrote a book about it she's an educator that teaches racism in a very subtle way there's a bureaucracy an entire bureaucracy that is dedicated to making life impossible for Palestinians through all kinds of restrictions and permits and and requirements that are absolutely uncalled for and unnecessary but are all given and provided under the guise of security and then you've got the Israeli army which I like to refer to as one of the most one of the best-trained best-equipped best fed terrorist organizations in the world and yes they have generals and have nice uniforms but their entire their entire purpose is terrorism and just as one example I'll give you one example almost exactly four years ago as Israel began its attack on Gaza September the 27th 2008 at 11:25 in the morning what I refer to as the most shameful day in the Jewish history the most shameful day in the history of the Jewish people Israel began carpet bombing Gaza and on the first day of it what was to be a 21 day attack they dropped 100 tons of bombs okay a one-ton bomb will decimate an entire city block Gaza is one of the most densely populated places in the world 800,000 children live in Gaza 11:25 is exactly the time when the morning school shift and the afternoon school shift change so all the kids are in the streets all the children on the streets that was the moment decided by the decision makers in Israel to begin the attack this was the first day of a 21 day slaughter that had absolutely no justification if that's not terrorism I don't know what is and this is how the State of Israel manages to control the different populations and somehow still keep up this very sweet liberal kind of face to everything but we still have to figure out how we go from here well let's look at what happened in South Africa they got rid of apartheid that is the example what do they do in America they had got rid of the racist laws that existed in the south did the whites in South Africa want this like this absolutely not did the whites in the southern states in America here in the United States want this or like this no it was not done by consensus but Zionism just like racism has to go the Zionist State the zionist state has to be replaced with a democracy equal rights we have five and a half million Palestinians about six and a half million Israelis there's absolutely no reason in the world why they can't live together as equals now when often when Jewish people hear this especially if they support Zionism and support the State of Israel they go see you're talking about genocide you're talking about another Holocaust that's just an excuse there's no reason to assume this is going to be vile there's no reason for a transfer of power to be violent evil dictatorships can be an evil regimes can be replaced by democracies without violence it's happened before there's no reason why it won't happen again I just heard this thing today about the vast differences between Israelis and Palestinians cultural differences the cultural superiority of the Israelis I've never heard such nonsense in my life the two societies could not be more similar their languages are similar the religions are similar more than half Israelis half of all most I'm sorry more than half of all Israelis are descendants of people who came from the Middle East the descendants of Arab Jews who came from Iraq who came from North Africa who came from Yemen Arab culture is part of who they are when he rot when Baghdad was being bombed you had old old Arab Jews from Baghdad in Israel crying that their city is being bombed there are no differences and the likelihood of both populations seeing their common cause and seeing their common goals as outweighing any differences that might be the truth might exist between them is far greater than anything else and then young Palestinians and young Israelis can grow up and have a future and live in a real democracy and do great things because this is a beautiful country and it's a lot of possibilities so the name of the game has to be democracy and equal rights not anything else all right thank you all very much the first one was is the sale and purchase of land a viable function and does it follow the rule of law I'm assuming that means for Palestinian I am and then does Israel use the right of eminent domain or is the land seized with no legal process how strong is the opposition within Israel to what appears to be an impending attack on Iran by Israel that's three questions okay let's do one more one more okay is Bibi really serious about attacking Iran or is this a sideshow in order to avoid dealing with the Palestinians I'm saying I'm no legal expert so I don't really know about this eminent domain and sale of land and so on so I'm not really not sure how to I will say this and I don't know if it answers the question or not but in Israel the land is all owned by the state so there's no in essence there's no private property when you buy land you're actually leasing it from the state so in every 49 years you have to lease it again for either 50 or either 49 years or 99 years that's kind of how that works so what they try to do like after 1948 they passed a law that meant that all of the absentee property absentee property is the property of the people who were thrown out and then left as absentee is their absence on how was taken was the law passed that made it permissible for the state to take over the land then they passed another law that made it illegal for the Palestinian Fugees to return and claim their land so that's how that works I'm not I don't know if that answer the question but I'm like I said I'm no legal scholar is there opposition in is to an attack you know the hole and his be be serious about the attack the whole Iran issue in my opinion anyway is a smokescreen it's it was designed very cleverly and it's used very cleverly by Netanyahu and his government to shift everybody's attention from Palestine to some other fictional threat and it's been very successful I mean the United Nations General Assembly nobody talked about Palestine you know everything was about Iran Iran the threat on Iran attack Iran the bomb Iran don't bomb Iran thousands of political prisoners in violation of international law stood in Israeli prisons is a Palestinian children get less water than Israeli children Palestinians are kicked off their homes and their land is being taken and their towns are being destroyed every single day people are being killed shot and killed in nonviolent protests in the West Bank every single week how can you talk about this nonsense though when there's a threat of an Iran nuclear the Iranian nuclear threat and they managed to manipulate this so I don't think he's serious I think he would be politically insane to let go of this wonderful card but as long as he can keep talking about an Iranian threat people are not going to talk about Palestine what's the point of attacking Iran what would that give him politically it gives him nothing militarily it gives them nothing because there is no threat and then he's going to have a problem this way he's got this issue he's had it for several years and I don't think he'll give it up so I don't think he's serious about it that's not to say that there is no possibility that something might happen but I can't I can't imagine that they would he would do that and you know people in Israel are basically scared I mean what do people know people know what they read what they hear in the paper every day the headline somebody says something about Iran the Defense Minister decided to say no just a few weeks ago any the Defense Minister goes back and forth supporting it and being against it and supporting and being against and so a few weeks ago there was a headline saying quoting him as saying that the blade that rests on our on our next now is even sharper and more dangerous than the threat of 1967 so my first reaction was he should read my book but you know anybody thats knowledgeable knows that there was no threat in 1967 but they want to create this tension that was the bring back of that tension of 1967 where people are actually afraid Israelis in 1967 were scared to death but generals didn't let on that this was going to be a very easy war you know people were actually afraid that there would be another Holocaust and they're creating this fear again so that they can continue to to talk about this threat so I don't think it's a it's a real threat and I don't think Bibi would attack because it's too good of a political card to give up yeah okay do you think a one-state solution will work given that 60 to 70 percent of Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs and Palestinians do not favor a one-state solution how do you make this happen that's one question okay okay well and they second one the second one is similar so I won't read it where did this land grabbing this is a biggie racist Zionist philosophy come from and where did the suicide bomber phenomenon come from and whoa let me read this down and how could you live your whole life in Israel serve in the military and not see what you now see Oh easy okay is that three good ones yeah well I don't know that such a large number of Palestinians don't want this two-state solution I talked to a lot of Palestinians and I don't haven't done any statistics but a lot of Palestinians that I talked to realize and see no problem with it so I don't think there's going to be that big of an opposition on the Palestinian side to this at all there will be opposition of course on the Israeli side because when you're privileged you don't want to give up your privileges you know we the Israeli Jews are privileged in this society and the privileges that are given to us by the state are part of the attempt to set us apart from the Palestinians so if I break the law in Hebron and a Palestinian breaks the exact same law in the exact same spots the laws that govern the State of Israel which are you know regular you know conventional law applies to me Israeli military law applies to the Palestinian if I participate or I should say when I participate in protests in the West Bank and I get arrested everybody knows how it's going to end I go home at the end of the day I might get roughed up a little bit you know whatever but at the end of the day everybody knows I go home because I'm an Israeli Jew Palestinian that gets arrested will be beaten will be tortured and will be kept in prison as long as the local commander wants him in prison it could be a day could be a week it could be a month it could be a year without charges and without a trial and then six months later I get a letter from the police saying that the case was closed because of something some technicality so Israelis are not going to want to give up this privilege but I think whites in South Africa didn't want to give up their privilege and whites in America didn't want to give up their privilege either but they're going to have to things like this are not done as a result of a consensus that's why there are pressures that's why there's BDS that's why there's an honor of nonviolent resistance that's why we have events like this that's why more and more American Jews are breaking away from Zionism and coming in organizing events like this and whether they like it or not this is the transformation that's going to take place people ask me I'll tell you a little story I was asked I spoke at an 8th grade class friend of mine as a teacher of this really nice special kind of a school where kids actually learn about stuff so it's an eighth grade class and they're learning about this issue and they've been learning about it for a few weeks and they wanted me to come and speak and they took a poll among themselves asking how many of them think there will be a solution in their lifetime a peaceful solution in their lifetime these are eighth graders they're 13 years old 80% said no so when I came to speak I said well let's see if I can't change your mind because it's all a question of what you know and I explained to them about the similarities about the societies and all the possibilities that exist once the State of Israel is transformed into a democracy if I didn't think this was possible in my lifetime I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't completely confident that this is actually going to happen I wouldn't be doing this so Israelis aren't going to like it but they don't need to like it you know that's kind of the way these things are but I think Palestinians the impression that I have and I'm there a lot is that Palestinians actually do favour this ok there's two questions here one is about where designers philosophy come from well in the turn of the 19th century there was you know the nationalism rose and all these little groups decided that they were going to become Nations and my grandparents were part of that they were Jews and they were in Eastern Europe and they suffered from pogroms and they suffered from all kinds of all kinds of discrimination and racism against Jews and anti-semitism and they thought well maybe this is a good idea and when Zionism began you know there was a whole scope of Zionism you know the resigned us to believe in a democracy and that the Jews and Arabs would live together they didn't in their wildest dreams imagined that they would kick out people from their homes and then there were others ein is - later on became the mainstream scientists led by people like Ben Gurion who was Israel's first prime minister that were radical racist and violent and they won the day and they gave the tone and that's why Zionism is what it is today racist violent militant and non compromising but that tone was given by ben-gurion and people around him so that's that's where that came from and where did suicide bombers come from I don't know the suicide bombing is a philosophy I mean there are five million five and a half million Palestinians who live inside of Palestine there's probably another five or so that live outside of Palestine that's ten million people there were less than 200 suicide bombers so it's not like you know there's a rash there's some kind of a madness of suicide bombers among Palestinians let's put things in perspective and I don't know that there's a philosophy to it I think when people are desperate enough and hopeless enough they see their fathers being beaten and tortured they see their sisters being shot and arrested they see their homes being destroyed they have no ability to go anywhere or buy food or provide water for their families or their other siblings and they see this massive army that is relentlessly oppressing them and beating them if there's no hope there's no hope so we do what we can you know but I think if we actually look at how many people actually did this and I don't know a single Palestinian and I know a lot of Palestinians the things this was a good thing or supports it so I think it's important to put the suicide bombing thing in proportion yeah okay I have four cards here that all kind of deal with something so it's not really three questions I'll just do a whole series of topics are you saying that nothing will change unless there are changes in American policies in public piñon what can we do in our US communities to support a single democratic state in Israel hold on hold on slow down um so how do we counter although this is all part well it's not but I got a yeah oh you gotta get them so nothing will change unless something changes in the US what can we do yeah and what can we do the are you saying that nothing will change it unless America and what can we do in our communities to support a single democratic state and to counter what yeah he wanted me to read them I tried how do we counter them but the influence of AIPAC and other Jewish organizations over US policies okay and how do we convince Americans I assume who speak against Israeli policies to fight the false accusation of anti-semitism and what do you see is the u.s. collusion with the current Zionist project and who's actually calling the shots historically the Zionist movement or the US government and big business those are all related okay wow that's a lot of questions okay well nothing's going to change until a lot of things change I think closer okay I think nothing is going to change until a lot of things change so things have to change in this country certainly and they are changing in this country like I said you know I'm going to be speaking right now I'm booked through Thanksgiving pretty much straight through more than half of the events that I've invited to speak at are organized by American Jews so I see a very big change in in what's perceived to be you know American American jewelry it's not it's no longer this blind admiration for AIPAC and for Israel and for
the whole Zionist thing Jews are looking at the State of Israel and they say well we this is not this does not represent us this is not what we you know what we stand for thousands of political prisoners torturer discrimination this is not what American Jew stand for so more American Jews are moving away from Zionism and I think that's a very good thing so that's changing already I also think that you know certainly the United Methodist the Presbyterian churches are doing a lot of work on this issue and they're making big strides and they're bringing about big changes and I think the more the more Americans see Jewish people criticize Israel the more non-jewish people will feel comfortable and this anti-semitic thing people ask me this all the time they say well look you can say this because you are you but when we say it they call us anti-semitic and my reply to that is fine ever they call me a self-hating Jew I just got something that said I was self aiding Jew or that I hate Jews or something fine I'll take that now let's let's talk about something else can you explain to me why Palestinian children get no water can you explain to me how you justify dropping a hundred tons of bombs on children can you explain to me throwing people out of their homes by making them homeless can you explain to me taking kids up yanking kids out of their beds at two o'clock in the morning throwing them in prison and torturing them can you explain all this to me perhaps I'm anti-semitic now you explain all this to me what does that make you and this has to be the conversation calling people anti-semitic is is a very weak weapon it's a very weak tool it's all they've got but when you actually look at it it's completely meaningless because they do not have an answer for all those other questions and that has to be the issue they're the ones who have to explain not anybody not you not us do you have nothing to explain these are legitimate questions you supported you danced you celebrated when Israel was dropping hundreds of tons on bombs on 800,000 children they were locked up in Gaza and had nowhere to go you supported this I'm anti-semitic what does that make you you support a country that deliberately prevents children from access to water not to mention food and medicine and education and a home and freedom you support that what does that make you how can you support this this has to be the conversation and I'm not suggesting it's an easy thing to do but I am suggesting that this is how you counter AIPAC and that's what you do here in the US because these are the conversations that these are the best excuses these are the best thing a pet can come up with the talking about transforming Israel is that de semitism and it's calling for genocide who's talking about genocide I haven't heard anybody suggest genocide of all the people that I've heard and I've heard a lot of people talk about strength this is trans transition changing Israel from a Zionist state to a democracy I've heard many people talk about land poppy talks about it many people talked about this none of them not a single one of them would support a violent transformation transition not one would support violence and violence is not needed so that's how you combat AIPAC and that's how you counter AIPAC and that's how you convince Americans not to be afraid like I said I'm not suggesting it's easy when somebody comes back with as anti Semitism thing then people you know pull back and they're afraid and I can understand that it's very hurtful at the same time there's a bigger issue here so this may hurt our feelings for five seconds but you know let's continue the conversation and that's what has to happen and that's how you take over the CPAC nonsense the collision was Zionism is inevitable was a collision or collusion huh a collusion I'm sorry well I think it's temporary it's temporary I mean America does you know a politicians in America do what they have to do in order to get elected being pro scientists is part of what you have to do in America if you want a political career either you're the President or a council member of you know my city Coronado I mean they're not even you know it's kind of a part-time job that's what they that's the name that's the name of the game that's the price of doing business so I think the president cares more about health care than about Israel so he's going to give it money to Israel so they shut up and he can pass health care reform this is how it is this is politics in America and that's why a second Obama term is not going to make the difference any change it's not gonna be different on this issue because he doesn't care enough and because you know why bother he's got nothing to gain but it's going to start from the bottom and once there's a lot going on it's like I said to somebody earlier it's like Vietnam when American people decided it enough is enough Congress said enough enough and the president said enough and that was it and Americans were out of Vietnam but it takes that kind of a movement and right now it's true that on this issue Israel calls the shots right now and Israel says John but the American politicians say how high and then they move on to the next thing but that's the price of doing business here in America if you want to be a politician let it I one more question how has your book been received in Israel it hasn't been received in Israel I don't think anybody in Israel read it I'm you know I've had several speaking events and I've had a couple of book launches but they were all on the other side one was in East Jerusalem one was in Ramallah and so on and so Israel ignores this completely and that may change I don't know but I haven't had any any response one way or the other from anybody in Israel about the book that's it yeah I that is it four questions it is not it for signing books you yes we need to give this man an incredible amount of applause.