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The one clear solution PDF Print E-mail
Aug 19, 2007 at 12:00 AM
Al-Ahram Weekly
16-22 August, 2007
A workable and just solution in Palestine is predicated on one principle, tested in South Africa: side with racism or be against, writes Azmi Bishara

The world looks different from the southern tip of Africa. There, in that country that liberated itself from a colonialist apartheid regime a decade ago, the people have embarked on a bold venture to build a nation. They have a sophisticated democratic constitution that officially recognises 11 languages within the framework of a multi- ethnic, multi-tribal, multi-religious civil polity founded on the concept of equal citizenship. This constitution embodies different aims and different priorities. It embodies a revolution that has transformed itself into a state, not only by means of the fight until victory but also by means of the arts of negotiation and compromise that made the transition possible.

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The Palestinian people have been torn by the occupation and by the consequences of the occupation. They need a unified national liberation programme opposed to the artifice of the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiating scheme. But this alternative programme must tell the Palestinian people and the world what Hamas truly wants (merely to return to a power-sharing formula with Fatah, for example?) and what Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a large segment of Fatah want. These forces must assume this responsibility before it is too late, even to the extent of neutralising conflicting ideologies so as to produce a truly democratic national alternative and to emerge as a strong and cohesive political force. Is this not what leadership is all about?

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In the enlightened world it's called robbery

Benny Ziffer, Ha'aretz
May 11, 2007

The discovery of Herod's tomb, or to be more precise a few fragments of dressed stone that one archaeology professor has concluded are the remains of Herod's sarcophagus, have preoccupied television news and magazine programs since Tuesday. Amid the general zeal of the Londons and the Kirschenbaums and their talking-heads colleagues for demonstrating their mastery of the history of the Second Temple period, and to revive debates from their youth movement days over whether Herod was good or bad for the Jews, one important detail was forgotten, or almost forgotten: that the excavation of this tomb of Herod was carried out in occupied territory, where Israel has no moral right to dig and certainly not to remove archaeological artifacts. In the enlightened world, what Israel is doing is called robbery.

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