Dear Mr. Amr
I never said there is a license to victimize the Palestinians. All I
said, in response to your shock at the fact that Ariel Sharon was elected
leader of the Likud, was that some of the Arab leaders are much worse.
And make no mistake - I certainly think Sharon should not have been elected
leader of the Likud, and I certainly think his public record does not warrant
that he should be prime minister either. That I also think that Mr. Arafat
leaves as a leader a lot to be desired, would probably not surprise you.
But as I said - don't be so shocked at our leaders, and I will not be shocked
at your leaders. In Israel, at least we can elect our leaders.
You can easily check what Haaretz wrote about Sharon in the last twenty
years. We think he only caused damage in his public roles. We wrote that
he lied to prime minister Begin in 1982 (he sued us for libel, lost the
case and is now appealing). But do not get carried away - your comparing
Sharon to Heider, Waldheim, Pinochet or the others show that you are not
a serious student of history, but rather a reckless user of slogans that
are not valid.
Try another explanation on how Sharon became candidate. It is not that
the Israelis have "deep contempt for the value of Palestinian lives", as
you write, but that they have deep respect for the value of Israeli lives,
and when they see Israeli kids killed or mutilated, they think (erroneously
according to my thinking) that a tough General like Sharon will get them
security. And this is not ethnic bias. Most people will be closer to their
own - even the Palestinians.
Should Israel vote in Sharon as prime minister, it will also be a proof
that the Palestinian leadership succeeded in persuading the Israeli public
that peace is not what the Palestinians want, but a showdown of force.
This may not be true, but this is the way the situation will be understood
by the Israeli public.
The "outrageous bigotry that Palestinian mothers would sell their children
for a handful of coins" - where is this nonsense taken from? Has any Israeli
said that much?
Zionism is not an "ideology of another age, another century" as you write,
any more than the Palestinian national movement is the ideology of another
age, another century. In a gist Zionism is the ideology that said the solution
for the dispersed and persecuted Jewish people is in the framework of a
political entity, a state of the Jews, that will be re-established in the
historical homeland of the Jews - Zion. The holocaust has nothing to do
with it. Zionism was formulated much before.
And if a state for the Jews, the law of return is a necessary element
- the homeland of the Jews is open to accept any Jew. You may not like
it, but Jewish history taught us that we are not welcome in many countries.
So let there be one place where we are sure to be welcome.
Your DNA test suggestion is ridiculous. The previous person who suggested
the equivalent test of his period was Adolph Hitler. He too was interested
in race. But this is irrelevant - you have the history of the Jews, and
this history is intertwined with this piece of land. That this is our historic
homeland, there is no doubt. That we wanted to re-establish our presence
here, and that we want to live here, is obvious. How should we co-exist
with the Palestinian population in the region - there is obviously more
than one way, and we and them are now trying to formulate a better way.
You can spend your time developing theories that we belong to Europe,
but what of it? We know where our forefathers lived, and we know what good
life we had in Europe. I get the impression that you too think how nice
life could be without those Jews. Well, you will not blame me for not volunteering
to rid you of the Jews. If in 1948 and in 1967 the Arabs said not how nice
can it be without the Jews, but rather how nice can it be with the Jews,
I am sure you would have been in a much better state.
Why should I go to the 19th century - we are not newcomers to the region
like maybe the Palestinians. Remember Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the
It is unfortunate that you are unable to see in us anything but evil.
But it is not only our problem, it is also your problem. I don't think
that historical research will prove any Palestinian point of view - but
I understand your point. Your solution is to show that we do not belong
here. Do as you like, but do not expect this to solve the conflict.
P.S. You can publish my letters only if you publish the full correspondence
with no omissions or changes.