History, Maps, Glossary
Truth against Truth - Gush Shalom


The settlement of such a prolonged historical 
conflict is possible only when each side is able to understand the mental-political world of the other and is ready to speak as equal to equal, "eye to eye."  Contemptuous, power-oriented, overbearing, insensitive and ignorant attitudes prevent an agreed solution. 

It is worth reading the biography of Uri Avnery, founder of Gush Shalom, to better understand this unique and insightful explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Uri Avnery biography:

The following is from Gush Shalom - About Us:

Gush Shalom (Translated from Hebrew, the name means "The Peace Bloc") is the hard core of the Israeli peace movement.

Often described as "resolute", "militant", "radical" or "consistent", it is known for its unwavering stand in times of crisis, such as the al-Aksa intifada.

For years now, Gush Shalom has played a leading role in determining the moral and political agenda of the peace forces in Israel, as well as in breaking the so-called "national consensus" based on misinformation.

Gush Shalom is an extra-parliamentary organization, independent of any party or other political grouping. Some of its activists do belong to political parties, but the Gush is not aligned to any particular party.

We have reproduced below the text of Gush Shalom's document with much of the same formatting. 

You can download the original pdf here:  Truth Against Truth (4.6MB)


A Completely Different Look at the
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Arabs believed that the Jews had been implanted in Palestine by Western Imperialism, in order to subjugate the Arab world.  The Zionists, on the other hand, were convinced that the Arab resistance to the
Zionist enterprise was simply the consequence of the murderous nature of the Arabs and of Islam.

• The Israeli public must recognize that besides all the positive aspects of the Zionist enterprise, a terrible injustice has been inflicted on the Palestinian people.

•  This requires a readiness to hear and understand the other side's position in this historical conflict, in order to bridge the two national experiences and unify them in a joint narrative.

The Tyranny of Myths

1 After more than a hundred years, the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict still dominates all spheres of our
lives and troubles the entire world. This is a unique
conflict, born in extraordinary circumstances. It can
be described as a clash between an irresistible force
and an immovable object - Zionism on the one side,
the Palestinian people on the other.

2 Already a fifth generation of Israelis and Palestinians
has been born into this conflict. The entire mental
world of this generation has been shaped by the

3 In the course of this long conflict, as in every war,
an enormous mass of myths, historical falsifications,
propaganda slogans and prejudices has accumulated
on both sides.

4 The behavior of each of the two sides to the conflict
is shaped by their historical narrative, the way they
view the history of the conflict over the last 120 years.
The Zionist historical version and the Palestinian
historical version contradict each other entirely,
both in the general picture and almost every detail.

5 From the beginning of the conflict up to the present
day, the Zionist/Israeli leadership has acted in total
disregard of the Palestinian narrative. Even when
it wished to reach a solution, such efforts were
doomed to failure because of ignorance of the
national aspirations, traumas, fears and hopes of the
Palestinian people. Something similar happened on
the other side, even if there is no symmetry between
the two sides.

6 The settlement of such a prolonged historical
conflict is possible only when each side is able to
understand the mental-political world of the other
and is ready to speak as equal to equal, "eye to
eye". Contemptuous, power-oriented, overbearing,
insensitive and ignorant attitudes prevent an agreed

7 "Leftist" Israeli governments that, at times, aroused
much hope were afflicted with such attitudes as much
as "rightist" ones, causing a wide gap between their
initial promise and their disastrous performance.
(For example, Ehud Barak's term in office.)

8 A large part of the old peace movement (also
known as "the Zionist left" or "the sane camp"),
such as Peace Now, is also beset by some of these
attitudes, and so collapses in times of crisis.

9 Therefore, the first task of a new Israeli peace
camp is to free itself from false and from one-
sided views.

10 This does not mean that the Israeli narrative
should automatically be rejected and the Pales-
tinian narrative unquestioningly accepted, or the
other way round. But it does require a readiness
to hear and understand the other side's posi-
tion in this historical conflict, in order to bridge
the two national experiences and unify them in
a joint narrative.

11 Any other way will lead to a perpetuation of the
conflict, with periods of ostensible tranquility
and conciliation frequently interrupted by vio-
lent hostilities between the two nations and be-
tween Israel and the Arab world. Given the pace
of development of weapons of mass destruction,
further rounds of hostility could lead to the an-
nihilation of both sides to the conflict.

The Root of the Conflict

12 The core of the conflict is the confrontation
between the Israeli-Jewish nation and the Pal-
estinian-Arab nation. It is essentially a national
conflict, even if it has religious, social and other

13 The Zionist Movement was, essentially, a Jew-
ish reaction to the emergence of the national
movements in Europe, all of which were more
or less anti-Semitic. Having been rejected by the
European nations, some of the Jews decided to
establish themselves as a separate nation and,
following the new European model, to set up a
national State of their own, where they could be
masters of their own fate.

14 Traditional and religious motives drew the Zion-
ist Movement to Palestine (Eretz Israel in He-
brew) and the decision was made to establish
the Jewish State in this land. The maxim was: "A
land without a people for a people without a
land." This maxim was not only conceived in ig-
norance, but also reflected the general arrogance
towards non-European peoples that prevailed in
Europe at that time.

15 Palestine was not an empty land - not at the end
of the 19th century nor at any other period. At
that time, there were half a million people living
in Palestine, 90% of them Arabs. This population
objected, of course, to the incursion of foreign
settlers into their land.

16 The Arab National Movement emerged almost
simultaneously with the Zionist Movement, ini-
tially to fight the Ottoman Empire and later the
colonial regimes built on its ruins at the end of
World  War I.  A separate Arab-Palestinian nation-
al movement developed in the country after the
British created a separate State called "Palestine",
and in the course of the struggle against Zionist

17 Since the end of  World  War I, there has been
an ongoing struggle between two national
movements, the Jewish-Zionist and the
Palestinian-Arab, both of which aspire to accomplish
their goals - which are entirely incompatible -
within the same territory. This situation remains
unchanged to this day.

18 As persecution of the Jews in Europe intensified,
and as the countries of the world closed their
gates to the Jews attempting to flee the inferno,
so the Zionist Movement gained strength. Nazi
anti-Semitism turned the Zionist utopia into a re-
alizable modern enterprise by causing a mass - im-
migration of trained manpower, intellectuals, tech-
nology and capital to Palestine. The Holocaust,
which took the lives of about six million Jews,
gave tremendous moral and political force to the
Zionist claim, leading to the establishment of the
State of Israel.

19 The Palestinian nation, witnessing the growth
of the Jewish population in their land, could not
comprehend why they should be expected to
pay the price for crimes committed against the
Jews by Europeans. They violently objected to
further Jewish immigration and to the acquisi-
tion of land by the Jews.

20 The struggle between the two nations in the
country appeared in the emotional sphere as
the "war of the traumas." The Israeli-Hebrew
nation carried with them the old trauma of the
persecution of the Jews in Europe - massacres,
mass expulsions, the Inquisition, pogroms and
the Holocaust. They lived with the conscious-
ness of being an eternal victim. The clash with
the Arab-Palestinian nation appeared to them as
just a continuation of anti-Semitic persecution.

21 The Arab-Palestinian nation carried with them the
memories of the long-lasting colonial oppression,
with its insults and humiliations, especially on the
background of the historical memories from the
glorious days of the Caliphs. They, too, lived with
the consciousness of being victims, and the Naqba
(catastrophe) of 1948 appeared to them as the
continuation of the oppression and humiliation
by Western colonialists.

22 The complete blindness of each of the two na-
tions to the national existence of the other inevi-
tably led to false and distorted perceptions, that
took root deep in their collective consciousness. 
These perceptions continue to affect their at-
titudes towards each other to the present day.

23 The Arabs believed that the Jews had been im-
planted in Palestine by Western Imperialism, in
order to subjugate the Arab world and control
its natural resources. This conviction was sup-
ported by the fact that the Zionist movement,
from the outset, strove for an alliance with at
least one Western power, in order to overcome
Arab resistance (Germany in the days of Herzl,
Britain from the Uganda plan and the Balfour
Declaration until the end of the Mandate, the
Soviet Union in 1948, France from the 1950s
until the 1967 war, the United States from then
on.) This resulted in practical cooperation and a
community of interests between the Zionist en-
terprise and imperialist and colonialist powers,
directed against the Arab national movement.

24 The Zionists, on the other hand, were con-
vinced that the Arab resistance to the Zionist
enterprise - which was intended to save the
Jews from the flames of Europe - was simply the
consequence of the murderous nature of the
Arabs and of Islam. In their eyes, Arab fighters
were "gangs", and the uprisings of the time were

25 Actually, the most extreme Zionist leader,
Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky, was almost alone in
having recognized by the 1920's that the Arab
resistance to the Zionist settlement was an in-
evitable, natural, and, from its own point of view,
just reaction of a "native" people defending their
country against foreign invaders. Jabotinsky also
recognized that the Arabs in the country were a
distinct national entity and derided the attempts
to bribe the leaders of other Arab countries in
order to put an end to the Palestinian Arab re-
sistance. However, Jabotinsky's solution was to
erect an "iron wall" against the Arabs and to
crush their resistance by force.

26 These completely contradictory perceptions of
the facts permeate every single aspect of the
conflict. For example, the Jews interpreted their
struggle for  "Jewish Labor" as a progressive so-
cial effort to transform a people of intellectuals,
merchants, middlemen and speculators into one
of workers and farmers. The Arabs, on the other
hand, saw it as a racist effort by the Zionists to
dispossess them, to exclude them from the la-
bor market and to create, on their land, an Arab-
free, separatist Jewish economy.

27 The Zionists were proud of their "Redemption of
the Land."  They had purchased it at full price with
money collected from Jews around the world.
"Olim" (new immigrants, literally pilgrims) many
of whom had been intellectuals and merchants
in their former lives now earned their living by
hard manual labor.  They believed that they had
achieved all this by peaceful means and without
dispossessing a single Arab.  For the Arabs this was
a cruel narrative of dispossession and expulsion:
The Jews acquired lands from Arab  absentee
landowners living in the cities of Palestine and
abroad, and then forcibly evicted the peasants
who had been farming this land for generations.
To help them in this effort, the Zionists engaged
the Turkish and, later, the British police.  The Arab
masses looked on in despair as their land was
taken from them.

28 Against the Zionist claim of having successfully
"Made the Desert Bloom," the Arabs cited the
testimonies of European travelers who had, for
several centuries, described Palestine as a com-
paratively populous and flourishing land, the equal
of any of its regional neighbors.

Independence and Disaster

29 The contrast between the two national versions
reached a peak in the war of 1948, which was
called "the War of Independence" or even "the
War of Liberation" by the Jews, and "El Naqba",
the catastrophe, by the Arabs.

30 As the conflict intensified in the region, and with
the resounding impact of the Holocaust, the
United Nations decided to divide the country
into two States, Jewish and Arab. Jerusalem and its
environs were to remain a separate entity, under
international jurisdiction. The Jews were allotted
55% of the land, including the unpopulated Negev

31 Most of the Zionist Movement accepted the
partition resolution, convinced that the crucial
issue was to establish a firm foundation for Jew-
ish sovereignty. In closed meetings, David Ben-
Gurion never concealed his intention to expand,
at the first opportunity, the territory given to
the Jews. That is why Israel's Declaration of Inde-
pendence did not define the state’s borders and
Israel has not defined
its borders to this day.

32 The Arab world did not accept the partition plan
and regarded it as a vile attempt by the United
Nations, which at the time was essentially a club of
Western and Communist nations, to divide a
country that did not belong to it. Handing over
more than half of the country to the Jewish minority,
which comprised a mere third of the population,
made it all the more unforgivable in their eyes.

33 The war initiated by the Arabs after the partition
plan was, inevitably, an "ethnic" war; a war in
which each side seeks to conquer as much land
as possible and evict the population of the other
side.  Such a campaign (which later came to be
known as "ethnic cleansing") always involves ex-
pulsions and atrocities.

34 The war of 1948 was a direct continuation of
the Zionist-Arab conflict, and each side sought
to fulfill its historical aims. The Jews wanted
to establish a homogenous national State that
would be as large as possible. The Arabs wanted
to eradicate the Zionist Jewish entity that had
been established in Palestine.

35 Both sides practiced ethnic cleansing as an integral
part of the fighting. Almost no Arabs remained in
the territories captured by the Jews and no Jews
at all remained in territories captured by the Ar-
abs. However, as the territories captured by the
Jews were   very large while the Arabs managed
to conquer only small areas (such as the Etzion
Bloc, the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Je-
rusalem), the result was one-sided (The ideas of
"population exchange" and "transfer" were raised
in Zionist organizations as early as the 1930's.
Effectively this meant the expulsion of the Arab
population from the country. On the other side,
many among the Arabs believed that the Zionists
should go back to wherever they came from).

36 The myth of "the few against the many" was cre-
ated on the Jewish side to describe the stand
of the Jewish community of 650,000 against the
entire Arab world of over a hundred million.
The Jewish community lost 1% of its people in
the war. The Arab side saw an entirely different
picture: A fragmented Arab population with no
national leadership to speak of, with no uni-
fied command over its meager forces, poorly
equipped with mostly obsolete weapons, facing
an extremely well organized Jewish community
that was highly trained in the use of the weapons
that were flowing to it (especially from the Soviet
bloc.) The neighboring Arab countries betrayed
the Palestinians and, when they finally did send
their armies into Palestine, they mainly operated
in competition with each other, with no coordi-
nation and no common plan. From the social and
military points of view, the fighting capabilities of
the Israeli side were far superior to those of the
Arab states, which had hardly emerged from the
colonial era.

37 According to the United Nations plan, the Jew-
ish State was supposed to receive 55% of Pales-
tine, in which the Arabs would constitute almost
half of the population. During the war, the Jew-
ish State expanded its territory and ended up
with 78% of the area of Palestine, which was left
almost empty of Arabs. The Arab populations
of Nazareth and some villages in the Galilee
remained almost by chance; the villages in the
Triangle were given to Israel as part of a deal by
King Abdullah and their Arab inhabitants could
not, therefore, be driven out.

38 In the war, some 750,000 Palestinians were up-
rooted. Some of them found themselves in the
battle zone and fled, as civilians do in every war. 
Some were driven away by acts of terror, such
as the Deir-Yassin massacre. Others were sys-
tematically expelled in the course of the ethnic

39 No less important than the expulsion itself is
the fact that the refugees were not allowed to
return to their homes when the fighting was
over, as is usual after a conventional war. Quite
the contrary, the new State of Israel saw the re-
moval of the Arabs very much as a blessing and
proceeded to completely erase some 450 Arab
villages. New Jewish villages were built on the
ruins, often adopting a Hebrew version of the
former name. The abandoned neighborhoods in
the towns were filled with masses of new im-
migrants. In Israeli textbooks, all mention of the
former inhabitants was eliminated.

"A Jewish State"

40 The signing of the armistice agreements at the
beginning of 1949 did not put an end to the his-
torical conflict. On the contrary, it raised it to a
new and more intense level.

41 The new State of Israel dedicated its early years
to the consolidation of its character as a homog-
enous "Jewish State". Huge areas of land were
expropriated from the "absentees" (the refugees
who were not allowed back), from those officially
designated as "present absentees" (Arabs who
had stayed in Israel but were not accorded Israeli
citizenship) and even from the Arab citizens of
Israel, most of whose lands were taken over. On
these lands, a dense network of Jewish communi-
ties was created. Jewish immigrants were invited
and even induced to come en masse. This great
effort increased the State's population several
times over in just a few years.

42 At the same time, the State pursued a vigorous
policy of obliterating the Palestinian national
entity. With Israeli assistance, the monarch of
Trans-Jordan, Abdullah, assumed control over
the West Bank and since then there has been, in
effect, an Israeli military guarantee for the exist-
ence of what became the Hashemite Kingdom
of Jordan.

43 The main rationale for the alliance between
Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom, which has
already existed for three generations, is to pre-
vent the establishment of an independent and
viable Palestinian State, which was - and still is
- considered by the Israeli leadership a potential
obstacle to the realization of the Zionist objec-

44 A historic change occurred at the end of the
1950's on the Palestinian side when 
Yasser Arafat and his associates founded the
Palestinian Liberation Movement (Fatah), not
only for conducting the fight against Israel but
also for freeing the Palestinian cause from the
hegemony of the Arab governments. It was no
accident that this movement emerged after the
failure of the great Pan-Arab wave, whose most
renowned representative was Gamal
Abd-el-Nasser. Up to this point many Palestinians
had hoped to be absorbed into a united
pan-Arab nation. When this hope faded away,
the separate national Palestinian identity
reasserted itself.

45 In the early 1960's, Gamal Abd-el-Nasser set up
the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO),
mainly in order to forestall independent  Pales-
tinian actions that might involve him in an un-
desired war with Israel. The organization was
intended to impose Egyptian control on the Pal-
estinians. However, after the Arab debacle in the
June 1967 war, Fatah under Yasser Arafat took
control over the PLO, which has been granted
international recognition as the sole representa-
tive of the Palestinian people ever since.

"The Six Day War"

46 Like everything else that happened in the last
120 years, the June 1967 war is seen in a very
different light by the two sides. According to the
Israeli myth, it was a desperate war of defense,
which miraculously left a lot of land in Israel's
hands. According to the Palestinian myth, Israel
drew the leaders of Egypt, Syria and Jordan into
a war Israel was interested in, which was aimed
right from the beginning at capturing what was
left of Palestine.

47 Many Israelis believe that the "Six Day War" is
the root of all evil and it was only then that the
peace-loving and progressive Israel turned into
a conqueror and an occupier. This conviction
allows them to maintain the absolute purity of
Zionism and the State of Israel up to that point
in history, and preserve their old myths. There is
no truth to this legend.

48 The war of 1967 was yet another phase of the
old struggle between the two national move-
ments. It did not change the essence; it only
changed the circumstances. The essential objec-
tives of the Zionist Movement - a Jewish state,
expansion, and settlement - were furthered by
the addition of yet more territory.

49 The 1947 partition plan allotted to Israel 55% of
Palestine, then an additional 23% was captured in
the 1948 war, and now the remaining 22%, across
the "Green Line" (the pre-1967 armistice line)
was also captured. The particular circumstances
of this war made complete ethnic cleansing im-
possible, but several hundred thousand Palestin-
ians were expelled, nevertheless. In 1967 Israel
inadvertently united under its rule all the parts
of the Palestinian people that remained in the
country (including some of the refugees). 

50 As soon as the war ended, the movement to
settle the occupied territories began. Almost all
the Israeli political factions participated in this
movement - from the messianic - nationalistic
"Gush Emunim" to the "leftist" United Kibbutz
Movement.  The first settlers were supported by
most politicians, left and right, from Yigal Alon
(the Jewish settlement in Hebron) to Shimon
Peres (the Kedumim settlement).

51 The fact that all governments of Israel
cultivated and advanced the settlements, albeit to
different extents, proves that the urge to implant
new settlements was particular to no specific
ideological camp and extended to the entire Zionist
Movement.  The impression that only a small
minority has been driving the settlement activity
forward is an illusion. Only an intense effort of all
parts of the government, including all ministries,
from 1967 onwards, could have produced the
legislative, strategic and budgetary infrastructure
required for such a long-lasting and expensive

52 The legislative infrastructure operates on the
misleading assumption that the Occupation Author-
ity is the owner of "government-owned lands",
although these are the essential land reserves of
the Palestinian population. It goes without saying
that the settlement activity contravenes international

53 The dispute between the proponents of "Greater
Israel" and those of "Territorial Compromise" is
essentially a dispute about the way to achieve the
shared basic Zionist aspiration: a homogenous Jewish
State in as large a territory as possible, but without
a "ticking demographic bomb". The proponents of
"compromise" emphasize the demographic issue
and want to prevent the inclusion of the Palestinian
population in the Israeli state. 

The "Greater Israel" adherents place the empha-
sis on the geographic issue and believe - privately
or publicly - that it is possible to expel the non-
Jewish population from the country (code name:

54 The General Staff of the Israeli army played an
important role in the planning and building of
the settlements. It drew the map of the settle-
ments (identified with Ariel Sharon): blocs of
settlements and bypass roads along lateral and
longitudinal axes, chopping the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip into pieces and imprisoning the
Palestinians in isolated enclaves, each of which is
surrounded by settlements and the occupation

55 The Palestinians employed several methods of
resistance, mainly raids across the Jordanian
and Lebanese borders and attacks inside Israel
and throughout the world. These acts are con-
sidered "terror" by Israelis, while the Palestin-
ians see them as the legitimate resistance of an
occupied people. While the Israelis considered
the PLO leadership, headed by Yasser Arafat, as
a terrorist headquarters, it gradually came to be
internationally recognized as the "sole legitimate
representative" of the Palestinian people.

56 At the end of 1987, when the Palestinians re-
alized that these actions were not putting an
end to the settlement momentum, which was
gradually pulling the land out from under their
feet, they launched the Intifada - a spontaneous
grassroots uprising of all sectors of the popu-
lation. In this ("first") Intifida, 1500 Palestinians
were killed, among them hundreds of children; 
several times the number of Israeli losses, but it
put the "Palestinian problem" back on the Israeli
and international agenda.

The Peace Process

57 The October 1973 war, which commenced with
the surprise initial successes of the Egyptian and
Syrian forces and ended with their defeat, con-
vinced Yasser Arafat and his close associates that
the realization of Palestinian national aspirations
by military means was impossible. He decided to
create a political option that would lead to an
agreement with Israel and enable the Palestinians,
through negotiations, to establish an independent
state in at least a part of the country.

58 To prepare the ground for this, Arafat initiated
contact with Israeli personalities who could in-
fluence public opinion and government policy.
His emissaries (Said Hamami and Issam Sartawi)
met with Israeli peace pioneers, who at the
end of 1975 established the "Israeli Council for
Israeli-Palestinian Peace".

59 These contacts, which gradually became more ex-
tensive, as well as the growing Israeli fatigue with
the Intifada, the official Jordanian disengagement
from the West Bank, the changing international
situation (the collapse of the Communist Bloc,
the Gulf  War) led to the Madrid Conference and,
later, to the Oslo Agreement.

The Oslo Agreement

60 The Oslo Agreement had positive and negative

61 On the positive side, the agreement brought Israel
to its first official recognition of the Palestinian
people and its national leadership, and brought
the Palestinian national movement to its recog-
nition of the existence of Israel. In this respect,
the agreement - and the exchange of letters that
preceded it - was of paramount historical signifi-

62 In effect, the agreement gave the Palestinian na-
tional movement a territorial base on Palestinian
soil, the structure of a "state in the making" and
armed forces - facts that would play an important
role in the ongoing Palestinian struggle.  For the
Israelis, the agreement opened the gates to the
Arab world and put an end to Palestinian attacks -
as long as the agreement was effective.

63 The most substantive flaw in the agreement was
that the final aim was not spelled out, allowing the
two sides to continue to aim for entirely different
objectives. The Palestinians saw the interim agree-
ment as a highway to the end of the occupation
and to the establishment of a Palestinian State
in all the occupied territories (which altogether
constitute 22% of the area of the former Palestine
between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan).
On the other hand, successive Israeli governments
regarded it as a way to maintain the occupation
in large sections of the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip, with the Palestinian "self-government" filling
the role of an auxiliary security agency protecting
Israel and the settlements.

64 Since the final aim was not defined, the Oslo
agreement did not mark the beginning of the
process to end the conflict but, rather, a new
phase of the conflict.

65 Because the expectations of both sides were so
divergent and each remained entirely bound to
its own national "narrative", every section of the
agreement was interpreted differently.  Ultimate-
ly, many parts of the agreement were left un-
implemented, mainly by Israel (for example: the
third withdrawal, the four safe passages between
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.)

66 Throughout the period of the "Oslo Process",
Israel continued its vigorous expansion of the set-
tlements, primarily by creating new settlements
under various guises, expanding existing ones,
building an elaborate network of "bypass" roads,
expropriating land, demolishing houses, uprooting
plantations etc. The Palestinians, for their part,
used the time to build up their strength, both
within the framework of the agreement and out-
side it. In fact, the historical confrontation contin-
ued unabated under the guise of negotiations and
the "Peace Process", which became a substitute
for actual peace.

67 In contradiction with his image, which was culti-
vated extensively after his assassination, Yitzhak
Rabin continued furthering expansion "on the
ground", while simultaneously engaging in the
political process for the achievement of peace
according to Israeli perceptions.  As a disciple of
the Zionist "narrative" and its mythology, he suf-
fered from cognitive dissonance when his sin-
cere desire for peace clashed with his conceptual
world.  This became apparent when he refrained
from removing the Jewish settlement in Hebron
after the Goldstein massacre of praying Muslims.
It appears that he began to internalize some parts
of the Palestinian narrative only towards the end
of his life.

68 The case of Shimon Peres is much more damning.
He created for himself the international image of
a peacemaker and even adjusted his language to
reflect this image ("the New Middle East") while
remaining essentially a traditional Zionist hawk. 
This became clear in his short and bloody pe-
riod as Prime Minister after the assassination of
Rabin in 1995 and, again, in his joining the Sharon
government in 2001 and accepting the role of
spokesman and apologist for Sharon.

69 The clearest expression of the Israeli dilemma
was provided by Ehud Barak, who came to power
thoroughly convinced of his ability to cut the
Gordian knot of the historical conflict in one
dramatic stroke, in the fashion of Alexander the
Great. Barak approached the issue in total
ignorance of the Palestinian narrative, showing
utter contempt for its significance. He drew up
his proposals in complete disregard of the
Palestinian side and presented them as an
ultimatum. He was shocked and enraged when
the Palestinians rejected them.

70 In his own eyes and in the eyes of the entire
Israeli public, Barak "turned every stone" and
made the Palestinians "more generous offers
than any previous Prime Minister". In exchange,
he demanded that the Palestinians sign a declara-
tion that these offers constitute the "end to the
conflict." The Palestinians considered this absurd,
since Barak was asking them to give up their basic
national aspirations, such as the Right of Return
and sovereignty over East Jerusalem, including
the Temple Mount. Moreover, the annexation of
territories that were presented by Barak as negli-
gible percentages (such as the "Settlement Blocs")
amounted, according to Palestinian calculations,
to an actual annexation of 20% of the West Bank
to Israel.

71 In the Palestinian view, they had already made
their decisive concession by agreeing to estab-
lish their State beyond the Green Line, in a mere
22% of their historical homeland. Therefore,
they would only accept minor border changes in
the context of territorial swaps.  The traditional
Israeli position is that the territories acquired
by it in the course of the 1948 war are beyond
dispute, and the required compromise concerns
only the remaining 22%.

72 Thus, as with most terms and concepts, the
word "concession" has different meanings for
the two sides. The Palestinians believe that they
already "conceded" 78% of their land when they
agreed in Oslo to accept a mere  22% of it.  The
Israelis believe that they are "conceding" when
they agree to "give" the Palestinians parts of that

73 Things came to a head at the Camp David Sum-
mit in the summer of 2000, which was imposed
on Arafat against his will and without any time
for preparations. Barak's demands, presented at
the summit as Clinton's, were that the Palestin-
ians agree to end the conflict by relinquishing
the Right of Return and any return of refugees
to Israel; accept complicated arrangements for
East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount without
obtaining sovereignty over them; agree to the
annexation by Israel of large settlement blocs
on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; accept
an Israeli military presence in other large areas
(such as the Jordan valley); agree to Israeli con-
trol over the borders between the Palestinian
State and the rest of the world. There was no
possibility that any Palestinian leader could sign
such an agreement and convince his people to
accept it, and thus the summit ended without
results. Soon after, the terms in office of Clinton
and Barak also came to an end, while Arafat was
received by the Palestinians as a hero who had
withstood the pressure of Clinton and Barak
and not surrendered.

The El Aqsa Intifada

74 The breakdown of the summit, the elimination
of any hope for an agreement between the two
sides and the unconditional pro-Israeli stance of
the United States inevitably led to another round
of violent confrontations, which became known
as "the al-Aqsa Intifada". For the Palestinians, it
was a justified national uprising against a pro-
tracted occupation with no end in sight, that has
allowed the continued pulling out of their land
from under their feet. For the Israelis, it was an
outburst of murderous terrorism. The perpetra-
tors of these attacks appear to the Palestinians
as national heroes and to the Israelis as vicious
criminals who must be liquidated.

75 During Barak's short term as Prime Minister,
settlement activity continued at an accelerated
pace. Palestinian resistance was minimal. The Is-
raeli authorities saw in every violent attack on the
settlers a crime against civilians. The Palestinians
saw it as a legitimate defense against the spear-
head of a dangerous enemy, which was dispos-
sessing them of their land.

76 In the course of the al-Aqsa Intifada, a large part of
the Israeli "Peace Camp" collapsed, demonstrating
the shallow-rootedness of many of its convictions.
Since it never undertook a real revision of the
Zionist narrative and never internalized the fact
that there exists a Palestinian narrative, too, the
Palestinian behavior appeared quite inexplicable,
especially after Barak had "turned every stone
and made more generous offers than any previous
Prime Minister".  The only remaining explanation
was that the Palestinians had deceived the Israeli
Peace Camp, that they had never really intended
to make peace and that their true purpose was to
throw the Jews into the sea, as the Zionist right
has always claimed. The conclusion: "We have no

77 As a result, the dividing line between the Zionist
"right" and "left" almost disappeared. The leaders
of the Labor Party joined the Sharon Govern-
ment and became his most effective apologists
(e.g. Shimon Peres) and even the formal leftist
opposition became ineffective. This proved again
that the original Zionist narrative is the decisive
factor unifying all parts of the political system in
Israel, making the differences between them lose
their significance in times of crisis

78 The Second Intifada, resulting from the failure of
the Camp David conference, raised the intensity
of the conflict to a new level. More than 5000 Pal-
estinians and more than 1000 Israeli soldiers and
civilians were killed. The Israeli military reaction
turned the lives of the Palestinians into hell, cut
towns and villages off from each other, destroyed 
their economy and their homes. Palestinian mili-
tants were executed ("targeted liquidations"),
often killing civilian bystanders. Yasser Arafat was
effectively imprisoned in his Ramallah compound
(the "Mukata'ah").

79 The extreme military and economic pressure
did not break the Palestinian population. Even in
the most extreme circumstances, they managed
to maintain some semblance of normal life and
found means to fight back. The suicide bombings
brought the confrontation into the center of Is-
raeli cities.

80 As a response to the attacks, the leaders of the
"Zionist Left" demanded a physical barrier be-
tween Israel and the Palestinian territories. At
first, the "Zionist Right" opposed this "Separation
Fence," fearing that it would create a political bor-
der in close proximity to the Green Line, but it
soon realized that it could exploit the idea of the
fence for its own purposes. Ariel Sharon started
to build the fence/wall rapidly along a path that
cut deep into Palestinian territory, joining the
large settlement blocs to Israel and cutting many
Palestinian villages off from their lands. In the
course of the fight against the fence, the village
of Bil'in became the symbol of a stubborn, non-
violent struggle, creating a partnership between
Palestinians, Israeli peace activists and interna-
tional volunteers. Additional Palestinian villages,
such a Ni'lin, saw in the fight of Bil'in a model to

81 After the failure of the Camp David conference
and the collapse of the Israeli peace movement,
several attempts at furthering the peace process
were made. In December 2000, just before leaving
office, President Bill Clinton published guidelines
that constituted a full and sensible peace plan. In
March 2002, the Arab League summit conference
in Beirut unanimously accepted the peace pro-
posal initiated by the (then) Saudi Crown Prince,
Abdullah. In Israel, too, alternatives to the govern-
ment policy were proposed. In August 2001, Gush
Shalom published a draft peace agreement and
in July 2002, the Israeli Ami Ayalon and the Pal-
estinian Sari Nusseibeh published the principles
for an agreement. In October 2003, the "Geneva
Initiative" was published as the draft of a peace 
agreement worked out by a group of Israeli and
Palestinian personalities, and the signing ceremony
turned into an international event. These initia-
tives created a consensus about a solution based
on the principle of "Two States for Two Peoples".
They did not bear fruit in practice because of the
opposition of the Israeli government.  

82 In May 2003, the Sharon government was com-
pelled to accept - though only for show - the
Road Map imposed by President George W. Bush
on behalf of the "Quartet" consisting of the USA,
the European Union, Russia and the UN. The at-
tacks by suicide pilots in the US on September
11, 2001, the American invasion of Afghanistan and
then of Iraq increased American sensitivity to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but did not weaken the
pro-Israel lobby in the US.

83 The Road Map of 2003 is afflicted with the same
basic fault as the Oslo Declaration of Principles
of 1993. Although, unlike Oslo, it does define an
aim ("Two States for Two Peoples"), it left the
delineation of the borders of the Palestinian
state to later stages. Sharon and his colleagues
were ready to confer the designation of "Pales-
tinian state" on the Palestinian enclaves that they
wanted to set up in 11% of the country. They
attached to the acceptance of the Road Map 14
conditions that turned it into a dead letter.

84 The experience of the Road Map, like the expe-
rience of the Oslo declaration before, confirms
conclusively that a document that sets out in-
terim stages is valueless, unless it clearly spells
out from the outset the details of the final peace
agreement. In the absence of such a definition,
there is no possibility at all that the interim stag-
es will be realized. When each side is striving for
a different final aim, the confrontation is bound
to flare up at every interim stage.

85 Well knowing that there is no chance at all for
the actual realization of the Road Map, Sha-
ron announced at the end of 2003 his plan for
"Unilateral Steps". This was a code-name for the
annexation of about half the West Bank to Israel
and the confining of the Palestinians in isolated
enclaves, connected only by roads, tunnels and
bridges that could be cut at any time. The plan
was constructed in such a way that none of
the Palestinian population would be added to Israel,
and no land reserves would remain for the Pales-
tinian enclaves. Since the plan did not involve any
negotiations with the Palestinians, but claimed to
bring "peace and security" to the Israeli citizens,
it was able to exploit the growing Israeli longing
for a solution.

86 The general attack of the Sharon government
and the army leadership on the population of
the occupied territories (extension of the set-
tlements, establishment of new settlements
called "outposts," building the "separation fence"
and settlers-only "bypass roads," incursions of
the army into Palestinian towns and "targeted
liquidations", demolition of homes and uproot-
ing of plantations), on the one hand, and the le-
thal Palestinian attacks inside Israel on the other
hand, put the Palestinian citizens of Israel in an
intolerable position.

87 The natural inclination of the Arab citizens of Is-
rael to help their brethren on the other side of
the Green Line conflicts with their desire to be
accepted as equal citizens of Israel. At the same
time, the fear and hatred of the Jewish popula-
tion in Israel against all "Arabs" was growing and
threatened the foundations of equality and civil
rights. These processes came to a head in the
events of October 2000, immediately after the
outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada, when the Israeli
police opened lethal fire on Arab citizens.

88  These processes, together with the re-emergence
of the "demographic problem" on the Israeli agen-
da, cast new doubt on the "Jewish and democratic
state" doctrine. The internal contradiction be-
tween these two attributes, which has not been
resolved since the founding of the State of Israel,
neither in theory nor in practice, is more con-
spicuous than ever. The exact meaning of the term
"Jewish State" has never been spelled out, nor the
status of the Arab-Palestinian minority in a state
officially defined as "Jewish". The demand to turn
Israel into a "State of all its citizens" and/or to
give defined national rights to the Arab-Palestinian
minority is being heard more and more, and not
only from Arab citizens. The radical Israeli peace
movements can be likened to a small wheel with
an autonomous drive which turns a bigger wheel,
which in turn activates an even bigger wheel, and
so on.

89 As a result of all these processes, the conflict
is becoming less and less an Israeli-Palestinian
confrontation, and more and more a Jewish-Arab
one. The support extended by the vast majority
of the Jewish Diaspora to Israel, irrespective of its
actions, and the adherence of the Arab and Mus-
lim masses to the Palestinian cause, irrespective
of the attitude of their leaders, have consolidated
this phenomenon. The assassination of Hamas
leaders Sheik Ahmed Yassin in March 2003 and of
Abd-al-Aziz al-Rantissi three weeks later fanned
the flames even more.

90 After being besieged for two years in his Ramallah
compound, Yasser Arafat died on November 11,
2004. His sudden demise is shrouded in mystery,
and many believe that he was murdered by means
of a sophisticated poison. Masses of the Palestin-
ian people turned the funeral of the father of the
nation, as they saw him, into a huge demonstra-
tion of mourning. His last ten years were marked
by the inherent contradiction between his two
functions: leader of a liberation movement that
had not yet achieved its aim and chief of a state-
on-the-way. He was succeeded by his long-time
partner in the Fatah movement, Mahmoud Abbas
(Abu Mazen).

91 In the course of 2005, Ariel Sharon started
carrying out the "separation," which included the
dismantling of all the settlements in the Gaza Strip
and some in the North of the West Bank. The
implementation of the "separation" took a year
and a half, in the course of which the confrontation
looked as if it had only two sides: Sharon on the one
side and the settlers on the other. The Geneva
initiative and all the other peace proposals were
eradicated altogether from the public mind.

The main aim of the "separation" was strategic: to
get rid of the small and bothersome Gaza Strip in
order to concentrate on the struggle against the
Palestinian people in the West Bank - contrary to
the impression created in the world, that Sharon
had "started down the path of peace".

92 Sharon tried to convince the leaders of the set-
tlers that it was worthwhile to give up some
far-away settlements in order to concentrate
on the enlargement of the important settlement
blocs. However, these leaders were afraid that
the evacuation of the settlements in the Gaza
Strip would create a dangerous precedent and
refused their assent. The evacuation turned into
a tear-soaked melodrama designed to convince
the world that any future large evacuation would
create a profound national crisis.

93 The "separation" was carried out without any
agreement or dialogue with the Palestinians, in
adherence to the principle of "unilateral steps".
It left behind a power vacuum which was filled
by Hamas. The Israeli government asserted that
it had voluntarily "given up" the Strip and ter-
minated the occupation, but the Palestinians felt
that the Israeli  occupation was continuing with
even more force, since Israel cut off the Strip
on land, on the sea and in the air.

The result: the Palestinian organizations started
to launch home made "Qassam" rockets against
the neighboring Israeli towns and villages, and
Israel imposed on the Strip a blockade that
deprived the inhabitants of raw materials and
even medicines and foodstuffs. The situation
once again created two contradictory narratives:
In Israeli eyes, "we left and got Qassams";
in Palestinian eyes, the Strip had become
"the biggest prison on earth".

94 In January 2006, a few days after Sharon had sunk
into a coma, elections for the Palestinian par-
liament took place, monitored by ex-President
Jimmy Carter. Contrary to expectations, Hamas
won a resounding victory with 75 of the seats, as
against 48 seats for Fatah. Most of the Palestinian
voters had not become more religious, rather
they had become convinced that only violent
resistance would bring results. Also, unlike Fa-
tah, Hamas was considered untainted by corrup-

95 Israel, followed by the European governments and
the US, boycotted the new Palestinian govern-
ment headed by Hamas. The boycott continued
even when the Hamas government was replaced
by a Government of National Unity with the par-
ticipation of Hamas. This radicalized the internal
struggle within Palestinian society, and in June
2007 Hamas took possession of the Gaza Strip,
while Fatah took control of the West Bank. Thus,
two mutually hostile Palestinian entities came into

96 The capture of the soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas
and its associates in a military action on June 26,
2006, illustrated again the difference between the
narratives of the two sides to the conflict. Accord-
ing to the Israelis, the soldier was "abducted" in
an action by terrorists, who demanded for his
return the freeing of criminals with "blood on
their hands". According to the Palestinians, the
soldier was taken prisoner in a legitimate military
action, and for his return the freeing of hundreds
of Palestinian fighters was demanded.  

97 After the capture of Shalit on the Gaza border,
Hizbullah carried out a similar incursion on the
northern border and captured Israeli soldiers.
Ehud Olmert, who was chosen to replace Sha-
ron as Prime Minister, saw this as an opportunity
to eliminate the threat of Hizbullah, which was
supported by Iran and Syria. On July 12, 2006, he
started Lebanon War II, which lasted 34 days. Its
incompetent conduct by the political and mili-
tary leadership caused a profound crisis in Israel.
Hizbullah claimed victory, and a tense ceasefire
took hold on the northern border.

98 In order to restore to the Israeli army its honor
and power of deterrence, the Israeli government,
in December, 2008, launched the "Cast Lead"
operation against the Gaza Strip. The unofficial
war aim was to overthrow the Hamas regime
in the strip by exerting massive pressure on the
civilian population. The narratives parted again:
most Israelis believed that the war ended in an
Israeli victory, while most Palestinians were con-
vinced that victory was theirs, since the handful
of Hamas fighters had held out against the Israeli
army. Hamas was left in control of the Strip and
the blockade became even stricter. As on the
northern border, a tense quiet took hold. In the
Gaza War, as in Lebanon War II, the "Zioist Left"
supported the war in the beginning but changed
its stance towards their end. "Gush Shalom"
and its partners in the consistent peace camp
demonstrated against both wars right from their

99 The Gaza War ("Cast Lead") had a devastating
impact on Israel's standing in the world. The UN
appointed an investigation committee headed
by the Jewish judge Richard Goldstone, whose
report accused Israel - and also Hamas - of
war crimes.

100 The Gaza War did not change the decision of
successive Israeli governments to reject any
talks with Hamas, much as they had in the past
rejected dialogue with the PLO. Hamas refused
to recognize Israel or to sign a peace agreement
with it, but announced that it would accept an
agreement based on the Two State Solution,
along the 1967 borders, if the agreement were
to be confirmed by the Palestinian people in
a referendum or a decision of the Palestinian

In Israel, voices were heard that proposed
talking with Hamas, since it is an integral
part of Palestinian reality. According to this view,
Israeli interests demand the restoration of Pal-
estinian unity, contrary to the "divide and rule"
policy of the Israeli government.      

101 In November, 2008, Barack Obama was elected
President of the US and immediately changed the
style of American policy towards the Muslim world.
Some months later, a new Israeli government was
elected. It was headed by Binyamin Netanyahu and
included extreme-right and even fascist elements.
It seemed that Washington was headed towards a
clash with Jerusalem, but Obama avoided a confron-
tation and contented himself with a half-hearted
recognition by Netanyahu of the "Two States for
Two Peoples" solution. Netanyahu made this
conditional upon Palestinian acceptance of Israel as
"the state of the Jewish people", which means the
acceptance of the Zionist narrative, giving up
in advance the rights of the Palestinian refugees
and the negation of equality for the Arab citizens
of Israel. Netanyahu hoped that no Palestinian
leader could accept that.

102 The perceived Iranian effort to acquire nuclear
arms was defined in Israel as an "existential
danger". It threatened to create a "balance of
terror", such as had existed in the past between
the United States and the Soviet Union. The only
practical way to avoid this danger is to turn the
region into a zone free of means of mass de-
struction, in the framework of a regional peace
treaty, after the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian
peace treaty.

103 The postulated danger of an Iranian nuclear
bomb served the Netanyahu government also
as a means to divert attention from the ne-
cessity of conducting practical peace negotia-
tions with the Palestinian people. Like all Israeli
governments in the past, it acted to prevent
the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state,
the opposition to which is imbedded deeply in
Zionist consciousness.

104 In the course of 2009, there was again a histor-
ic opportunity for the achievement of peace:
the Palestinian Authority and the PLO publicly
called for full peace between Israel and Pales-
tine, Hamas agreed indirectly, the President of
the US promised to help with all his might and
a world consensus favored the "Two States
for Two Peoples" solution. However, in Israel,
which was ruled by the extreme right, there
was no effective peace movement able to focus
public opinion in this direction.

A New Peace Camp

105 The Israeli peace movement has not yet recov-
ered from the blow dealt it in October 2000,
after the Camp David conference, when the Is-
raeli public - including a large part of the peace
movement itself - came to believe that "there
is no partner for peace." The results of the
"separation" from Gaza reinforced this belief,
owing to the simplistic version that "we have
returned all the territory and got Qassams in
return". Parts of the peace camp join in the
demonization of Hamas and are not ready to
accept it as a potential partner in peace nego-

106 These opinions led to the conclusion that there
is no sense in demonstrations or in voting for
peace parties. Some determined extra-parlia-
mentary organizations continued with their im-
portant activities - the struggle to convince the
public that there is a different way to settle the
conflict, contrary to the prevailing brain-washing,
as well as the monitoring of road blocks, report-
ing on the expansion of settlements, medical
aid and the fight against the "separation fence",
sometimes taking physical risks - but the peace
camp has lost its mass basis.  This found its ex-
pression in the collapse of the political parties
identified with the peace movement - at least
in theory - in the Israeli parliamentary elections
of February 2009.

107 The Israeli conviction that there is "no partner
for peace" has been reinforced by the almost
total cutting off of the connection between the
new Palestinian leadership and the Israeli peace
movement - a connection that had been dili-
gently furthered by Yasser Arafat for decades.

108 More and more individuals and groups who
should have been natural supporters of the
peace camp have turned to other matters, which
are important in themselves - such as protec-
tion of the environment, feminism, the rights
of gays and lesbians, worker's right in general
and the rights of foreign workers in particular,
and religion-state relations. These subjects have
become asylums for those who are tired of the
struggle for peace, against occupation and set-
tlements. This inclination has been encouraged
by the tendency of the media to cover these
subjects while ignoring almost completely any
activities for peace.  

109 There is an urgent necessity for the building of
a new Israeli peace camp, on firmer foundations
than in the past. This new camp must be able to
attract people from all sectors of Israeli society -
women and men, Jews and Arabs, Orientals and
Ashkenazi, the elderly and the young, old-timers
and new immigrants, secular and religious - and
to encompass all progressive causes.

110 The new Peace Movement must be based on
the understanding that the conflict is a clash
between the Zionist-Israeli movement, whose
"genetic code" directs it to take over the en-
tire country and to drive out the non-Jewish
population, and the Palestinian national move-
ment, whose "genetic code" directs it to halt
this drive and set up a Palestinian State in the
entire country.

111 The task of the Israeli peace movement is to
stop the historical clash, overcome the Zionist-
Israeli "genetic code" and to cooperate with
the Palestinian peace forces, in order to enable
a peace through historic compromise that will
lead to reconciliation between the two peo-
ples. The Palestinian peace forces have a similar

112 For this, diplomatic formulations of a future
peace agreement are insufficient. The Israeli
peace movement must address the hearts and 
the minds of the entire Israeli population, and
especially of those sectors that are hostages to
the old myths and prejudices.

113 The small and consistent peace movements,
that served as a compass and continued the
struggle with unwavering determination when
most of the peace camp collapsed, must play
a significant role. These movements can be
likened to a small wheel with an autonomous
drive which turns a bigger wheel, which in turn
activates an even bigger wheel, and so on, un-
til the whole machinery springs into action.
All the past achievements of the Israeli peace
forces were attained that way, such as Israeli
recognition of the existence of the Palestinian
people, the wide public acceptance of the idea
of a Palestinian State, the readiness to start
negotiations with the PLO, to compromise on
Jerusalem, and so on.

114 The new peace camp must lead public opinion
towards a reassessment of the national "narra-
tive". It must make a fundamental effort to unite
the historical versions of both peoples into a
single "narrative," free from historical decep-
tions, acceptable to both sides and respectful
of their sentiments.

115 This must include an effort to help the Israeli
public to recognize that besides all the great and
positive aspects of the Zionist enterprise, a ter-
rible injustice has been inflicted on the Palestin-
ian people.  This injustice, most extreme during
the "Naqba", obliges us to assume responsibility
and correct as much of it as possible.

116 A peace agreement is valueless unless the ma-
jority of both sides are able to accept it in spir-
it and in practice, in as much as it satisfies the
basic national aspirations and does not offend
national dignity and honor.

117 In the existing situation, there is no realistic
solution but the one based on the princi-
ple of "Two States for Two Peoples," meaning
the peaceful coexistence in two independent
states, Israel and Palestine.

118 The idea voiced sometimes that it is possible 
and desirable to replace the two-state with a
one-state solution in all the territory between
the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River,
either as a bi-national or non-national state,
is unrealistic. The vast majority of Israelis will
not agree to the dismantling of the State of
Israel, much as the vast majority of Palestinians
will not give up the establishment of a nation-
al state of their own. This is also a dangerous
"solution", since it undermines the struggle for
the two-state solution, which can be realized
in the foreseeable future, in favor of an idea
that has no chance of realization in the coming
decades. This illusion can also be misused as a
pretext for the existence and extension of the
settlements. If a joint state were set up, it would
become a battlefield, with one side fighting to
preserve its majority by the expulsion of the
other side. There is no lack of examples of the
failure of this kind of solution.

119 The new peace camp must formulate a peace
plan based on the following principles:

a.  The occupation will come to an end. An inde-
pendent and viable Palestinian State will be
established alongside Israel.

b.  The Green Line will be the border between
the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.
Limited exchanges of territory will be possible
only by mutual agreement, arrived at in free
negotiations, and on the basis of 1:1.

c.  All Israeli settlers will be evacuated from the
territory of the State of Palestine, and the set-
tlements turned over to returning refugees. 

d.  The border between the two states will be open
to the movement of people and goods, subject
to arrangements made by mutual agreement.

e.  Jerusalem will be the capital of both States.
West Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel
and East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. The
State of Palestine will have complete sovereign-
ty over East Jerusalem, including the Haram al-
Sharif (Temple Mount). The State of Israel will
have complete sovereignty over West Jerusa-
lem, including the Western Wall and the Jew-
ish Quarter. The two states may reach agreement
on the unity of the city at the municipal level.

f.  Israel will recognize, in principle, the Right of
Return of the Palestinian refugees as an
inalienable human right, and assume moral
responsibility for its part in the creation of the
problem.  A Committee of Truth and
Reconciliation will establish the historical facts in
an objective way. The solution on the practical
level will be achieved by agreement based on just,
fair and practical considerations and will include
return to the territory of the State of Palestine,
return of a limited and agreed number to the
territory of Israel, payment of compensation
and settlement in other countries.

g.  The water resources will be controlled jointly
and allocated by agreement, equally and fairly.

h.  A security pact between the two States will
ensure the security of both and take into
consideration the specific security needs of both
Israel and Palestine. The agreement will be
endorsed by the international community and
reinforced by international guarantees.

i. Israel and Palestine will cooperate with other
States in the region for the establishment of a
regional community, modeled on the European

j. The entire region will be made free from
ons of mass destruction.

120 The signing of the peace agreement and its
honest implementation in good faith will lead to the
end of the historic conflict and the reconcilia-
tion between the two peoples, based on equali-
ty, mutual respect and the striving for maximum

January 2010

GUSH SHALOM is the consistent hard core of the Israeli
peace movement. It is known for its unwavering stand in
times of crisis, such as Lebanon War II and the Gaza War.
For years, GUSH SHALOM has played a leading role in
determining the moral and political agenda of the Israeli
peace movement.The primary aim of GUSH SHALOM is to
win over Israeli public opinion for these principles:
an end to the occupation.

acceptance of the natural right of the Palestinian people
to an independent and sovereign state.

the pre-1967 Green Line as the border of peace between
the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.

Jerusalem as the capital of the two states, East Jerusalem
as the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel. A city open for all, not cut into pieces by walls
and roadblocks.

just and agreed solution to the refugee problem, that will
include repatriation to the State of Palestine, return of
an agreed number to Israeli territory, payment of com-
pensation and settling in other countries.

evacuation of all the settlements in Palestinian territory.

GUSH SHALOM is an independent extra-parliamentary
organization. Being free of any obligations to parties and
lobbies, the movement can advance its principles clearly,
completely and resolutely. Not seeking any fleeting popular-
ity, the Gush can act as a vanguard - advocating ideas years,
and sometimes decades, before they are generally accepted.
GUSH SHALOM is based solely on volunteers, and has
no salaried employees. Any financing for actions comes
from peace groups and individuals, in Israel and abroad.

This is a subversive text. It undermines the very
foundations on which the National Consensus is based.

These 101 points demolish the myths, conventional lies and historical falsehoods, on which most of the arguments of both Israeli and Palestinian propaganda rest. The truths of both sides are intertwined into one historical narrative that does justice to both. Without this common basis, peace is impossible.

By Uri Avnery

Third Addition

Gush Shalom is engaged in a wide range of activities - such as political information campaigns, public petitions, publications, propagation of our "heretical" positions on the internet, a weekly political ad (since 1993), lectures and conferences in Israel and abroad, demonstrations and direct actions on the ground. Among the Gush's prominent actions: the call "Release all Palestinian Prisoners" (Campaign 1993); "Jerusalem - Capital of Two States" (Petition signed by 850 leading intellectuals and artists, Israel Prize laureates, peace activists and Palestinian leaders, 1995); Boycott the Products of the Settlements (Ongoing campaign since 1997); "Marking the Green Line on the Ground" (Campaign 1997); Publication of the first complete draft of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement (2001), Campaign against War Crimes (2002); Creation of a Human Shield for the protection of Yasser Arafat from assassination by Sharon (2003), "The Wall Must Fall" (Ongoing campaign, from 2003 on); Demonstrations against Lebanon War II (2006) and Operation "Cast Lead" (2008) from the first day on; Participation in humanitarian actions.

For additional information:
Gush Shalom
P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033