According to Moshe Zimmermann, the Israeli government is opposed to anything that could lead to the foundation of a Palestinian state. Susanne Knaul spoke to the historian
Mr Zimmermann, you are one of the left-wing voices in Israel that are raised in warning; you are opposed to occupation. Is the conservative government now getting what it deserves for not having listened to people like you?
Moshe Zimmermann: If you look at it objectively, that is indeed the case; but the government certainly doesn’t look at it like that. The objective and neutral observer will say that because Israel did not enter into talks with the Palestinians in recent years, public opinion among the Palestinians, in the Arab world and even in Turkey has come to the conclusion that the time has come to take a stance against Israel.
Struggling for international recognition: in the run-up to the UN general debate in New York, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is insisting that the Palestinians should have a seat in the United Nations
If Israel had made some constructive proposals to the Palestinians in recent years and stopped its settlement policy, it would have been much easier for the Egyptians, the Syrians, and the Libyans, who were involved in the Arab Spring, to understand Israel. The government in Jerusalem sees things very differently, as do its supporters. They consider what is happening now to be a confirmation of their conviction that the entire world is and always has been against Israel.
The Palestinians intend to put their application to the UN. Should Israel have reacted differently and perhaps even agreed to the foundation of a state as the Palestinians are demanding? After all, they want a two-state solution, so what’s the problem?
Zimmermann: If one wants to represent the true interests of Israel, one has to be in favour of a UN resolution like this. Ultimately, the UN resolution in 1947 was for the foundation of two states side by side. So if one state, i.e. Israel, is legitimate then the other state is automatically legitimate too. That means that Israel should have actually taken action to ensure that such a resolution is accepted. However, the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu and consorts automatically oppose everything that will ultimately lead to the foundation of the Palestinian state.
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