This essay focuses on the changing relationship between the Palestinian-Arab minority and the Zionist left since Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Additionally, suggestions are made about how to advance an effective alliance that promotes Jewish-Arab partnership and strengthens Israel’s democracy.
Even though a Jewish-Arab alliance is considered necessary for the Jewish-Israeli left to challenge the right-wing’s dominance, separation is still the guiding principle among the Zionist center-left when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The author introduces the historic background of the ‘separation discourse, its application in practice and, finally, outlines alternatives.
The essay portrays Peace Now’s efforts to bring peace back into Israeli discourse and outlines the movement’s history, development, and main challenges nowadays. Finally, the author states that that a two-state solution is not only an option to be broad back into discourse but the only way to uphold Israeli democracy.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a major issue in political, public and media discourse in Israel. Public opinion in Israel regarding the conflict is considered highly involved. Based on a public opinion study and personal interviews, the analysis focuses on Israeli positions regarding the conflict and long-proposed solutions.
The relationship between Israel and the Jewish community in the United States has undergone tremendous changes throughout different historical chapters since the founding of Israel and is more dynamic than often thought. Especially the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has had disruptive effects on the Jewish community in the US and its relationship with Israel.
Over the past few decades, the political left in Israel gladly adopted its label as the “Peace Camp”, which served to distinguish it from the nationalist right-wing. The public discourse in the country was quick to follow suit and the common perception that Israeli left-wing politics equates a dovish policy agenda that is above all committed to the pursuit of peace with Israel’s neighboring countries and the Palestinians has been internalized. While the equation of Israel’s political left with the peace movement provided both the Israeli left and the right with a formative story, the truth about the relationship between the Israeli peace camp and the Zionist left is more complex.
Over the past two decades, with the common public perception that the right has largely delivered on its promise for personal security while sidelining the peace negotiations, the idea of working towards a peace agreement became not only unfeasible but even seemingly irrelevant. The shrinking of electoral power is reflected in a near erasure of the peace process from the public discourse. This essay reflects on the decline of the Israeli left and the necessary steps in creating a vision and a way forward for supporters of liberal democracy in Israel.
In contemporary Israeli discourse, the word ‘peace’ is almost a dirty word that elicits sniggers at best, except perhaps on the political fringes. Accordingly, there is not a single person in a position of power in Israeli politics today who is willing to stand behind the equation proudly touted in the 1990s: “land for peace”. That was the logic of the agreement with Egypt and it was supposed to govern the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, too. How did we get to this point, where peace has gone from being the dream of many Israelis to a wedge issue? Not a subject of legitimate debate over the parameters of peace, or the risks versus the odds and so on – but a symbol of something negative and even toxic in the context of election campaigns?
Nearly three decades after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel and the Palestinians have failed to reach a permanent agreement. Despite talks at Camp David in 2000, in Taba in 2001 and Annapolis in 2007, this goal seems further away than ever. By now, mutual distrust, the stalled negotiations, civil wars in the Arab world and the absence of the United States and Europe from the peace process, combined to drive the Israeli Peace Camp” into an ideological shift: from seeking a peace agreement with the Palestinians, to bilateral or unilateral separation. At the same time, ideas such as a federation, a confederation or a single state are gaining traction among Israelis. This essay looks at four main groups of organizations that constitute the new face of the Israeli Peace Camp according to their approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.