To the Editors: Your readers may be interested in the following statement by Daniel Barenboim and the list of those who have supported it.
For the last forty years, history has proven that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict cannot be settled by force. Every effort, every possible means and resource of imagination and reflection should now be brought into play to find a new way forward. A new initiative which allays fear and suffering, acknowledges the injustice done, and leads to the security of Israelis and Palestinians alike. An initiative which demands of all sides a common responsibility: to ensure equal rights and dignity to both peoples, and to ensure the right of each person to transcend the past and aspire to a future."
I woke up to see a copy of this piece of trash in my inbox. I can't say that I was surprised because I saw the name of Daniel Barenboim on top, and never expected much from him. I never liked or trusted this man, and his friendship with Edward Said meant nothing to me. I never felt that I need to befriend an Israeli to complete my humanity or to prove my civility. I don't understand why Barenboim dares on the heels of the massacres of Gaza to lecture to the Palestinian people. This statement is a proof that Barenboim and every person who signed this lousy statement has declared himself/herself an enemy of the Palestinian people and their historical resistance movement which began a century ago. Just look at the political primises of the statement: they basically imply that both sides are at fault, or that both sides are just, and that we need to move on. Move on? At what price? And under which balance of forces. I would have no problem in signing this statement once we defeat Zionism and liberalte Palestine and ensure the return of the Palestinian refugees. Only then I would sign it. You see this statement is a sneaky (but not smart) way to basically legitimize the facts on the ground which have been achieved by force--in favor of Israel of course. This is like asking a family that has been conquered and beaten and shot at and whose house has been occupied by a merciless killer to sign a statement to foreswear force once and for all. And notice the very first phrase: "For the last forty years." Barenboim and his Zionist friends (every person who signed this statement and others in the Israeli terrorist army--those who signed this statement are basically identifying with the Israeli killers in Gaza, make no mistake about it) decide just like that to re-write the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Forty years? How did you achieve that magic number? By order from the Israeli military censor? You are telling me that prior to 1967 there was no Arab-Israeli conflict? I was born to the conflict and its discussion all around me, and I was born in 1960. Do I have to disbelieve my own memories? Do I have to disbelieve all those Israeli attacks on our lands? Do I have to go the Palestinian refugees in squalid camps throughout the Middle East and tell them that all your tears and pain and blood before 1967 were imaginary and that this is the case because Barenboim's Piano and his Zionist friends on this list have so decided? And then to vomit a flat out lie that the Arab-Israeli conflict can't be settled by force is to deny the realities in the holy land thus far. Did Israel not take Palestine by force? Did Israel not expel the Palestinian natives by force? Did Israel not occupy Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt by force? Did Israel not bomb Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq by force? Did Israel not achieve its status as the brutal hegemon in the region by force? You think that Israeli conquests were achieved by persuasion? And do you think that the word Palestinian was made famous in the world by peace and candle vigils? No, the world knew of the Palestinian people and their cause by virtue of the force that the Palestinians decided to pursue in the 1960s. And notice that this lousy statement refers to injustice but without identifying who was unjst to whom? The implications are clear: that there is a symmetry of pain and tears and blood by both sides, that both sides suffered injustice--perhaps by nature or by some outside force from another planet which killed hundreds of children in Gaza. And is it not cute how th Zionists on this list refer to security for both people? Yes, the side with nuclear weapons and other WMDs needs the same kind of reassuances and security guarantees as the side in refugee camps being bombed from the air, land, and sea by the Israeli terrorist army. And then they call on me to transcend the past? How cute is that? If the realities on the ground favor one side (the killers, the conquerers, the usurpers, the colonizers) then any call for transcending the past is a mere call for legitimizing and accepting not only occupation, but all the massive violence and terrorism that have been used and are still being use to ensure the supremacy of Israel. I never understood why Barenboim's piano playing or his friendship with Edward Said entitles him to offer preachments to the Palestinian people. I never liked this man or his statements on Palestine and avoided posting what people sent me about him. What is particularly offensive about this particularly offensive statement is that it came on the heels of the Israel festival of butchery in Gaza and said not word about what happened. That proves that those who signed it decided to ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people, and to support the violence of the occupiers. Make no mistake about it. The good thing is this: the Palestinian people in the camps don't give a shit what Debra Winger and other signatories on this list have to say on the Palestinian problem.
PS I am too pissed to write more this morning but just ask yourself this: would Netanyahu or Kahane object to this statement? I really think that both would not object to its contents. I will respond to this lousy statement in a long article in Arabic in Al-Akhbar.