Two Peoples, Two States
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Amos Oz, The Los Angeles Times, 6
Der israelische Schriftsteller Amos Oz
hat in Frankfurt den Friedenspreis der Geschwister Korn und
Gerstenmann-Stiftung erhalten. Bundesaußenminister Joschka Fischer
bezeichnete Oz bei seiner Laudatio als "einen der größten Schriftsteller
Israels" und als "unermüdlichen Kämpfer für den Frieden". Die mit 40.000
Euro dotierte Auszeichnung wird alle zwei Jahre an Persönlichkeiten
vergeben, die sich für den Frieden im Nahen Osten einsetzen.
von Amos Os (ra)] [Tel
Aviv, 11. Mai, Rabin-Platz]
For the first time in 100 years of conflict, the two
peoples - the Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs - are ahead of their
leaders. The people know that the disputed land must be divided into two
nation-states, while the leaders are being drawn into the peace process
The basic facts are actually very simple. A country that is
roughly the size of Sicily is now inhabited by 5.5 million Jews and 3
million to 4 million Arabs. They cannot share the land - so they must divide
it into two. The Czechs and the Slovaks did the same not very long ago
without shedding any blood at all.
After three years of bloody Palestinian intifada and of bloody Israeli
oppression, it has become clear to the majority of the Israelis that most of
the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza will have to be removed;
otherwise there cannot be a viable state of Palestine. At the same time,
more and more Palestinians realize now that the 1948 refugees will have to
be resettled in Palestine, not in Israel; otherwise there will be no viable
state of Israel.
This process of sobering up hurts. For both sides it means an injured
self-image, a compromised sense of justice, shattered dreams and a heavy
sense of loss. Both parties are going to feel as if they were amputated once
the two-state solution is implemented.
This is the time for the rest of the world to offer both sides as much help,
empathy and understanding as possible. This is the time for well-meaning
governments and individuals to come forth with a mini-Marshall Plan in order
to resettle the Palestinian refugees in the state of Palestine. It is also
the time to offer Israel the security guarantees it will need in return for
renouncing the occupied territories.
This is time for compassion, not for historical accounting and not for
blaming. The photos out of Aqaba mean little. Neither Ariel Sharon nor
Mahmoud Abbas is likely to become a Nelson Mandela. But whether they like it
or not, it looks as if their sleeves are now caught in the cogwheels of the
peace process. They are being pulled into it, kicking and screaming and
trying to appease their fanatics back home. Yet it will be almost impossible
for those two leaders to run away from the peace process now.
Let us not expect a sudden honeymoon between deadly enemies. Let us expect
and encourage a painful divorce and a partition of the very small home into
two even smaller apartments. The time is ripe.
Amos Oz is an Israeli novelist.
From the Common Ground News Service