British Chief Rabbi: "Demonizing Israel is Tragic for All"

(Telegraph-UK) Daniel Jacobson - From an interview with Dr. Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth: "I am genuinely distressed that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is presented in the European media as a zero-sum game. So you are either pro-Israel or you are pro-Palestinian. That is an entirely fallacious way of looking at things. From peace, both sides gain. From violence, both sides lose. Therefore, it is not a zero-sum game whatsoever. Those who care about the future of the Palestinians must care about the future of Israel as well, and vice versa." "Those who support Israel's neighbors in demonizing Israel are indirectly perpetuating closed societies which deprive human beings of their rights." "Palestinians want a state. And we forget that they could have had that state: in 1937, 1947, and 1967. All along, Israel said yes to every one of these proposals and the Jewish people said yes. What are the Palestinians afraid of?" "The only people who have ever offered you [the Palestinians] a future are the Israelis. Let go of fear. Stop forcing Israel to build a fence to protect itself from you. Let go of the 'nakba' [catastrophe, the Palestinian term for the creation of Israel]. That was self-imposed, friends. Stop fighting a battle with somebody who wants to be your friend." "I had the opportunity to discuss this [the 2000 Camp David talks] with Bill Clinton. He felt that Ehud Barak had not only gone the extra mile, not only further than he thought he would; [Clinton] thought Barak had gone further than he thought he should."

2004-06-17 00:00:00

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