Home NewsAsia Zionists not ready to reach compromise, says Israeli activist

Zionists not ready to reach compromise, says Israeli activist

by Zahid Jadwat

Jeff Halper co-founder and director of ICAHD (ICAHD USA), does not believe Zionists are ready to compromise. [Picture: Middle East Eye]


The people of Palestine have fought an arduous battle against colonialism in their corner of the Middle East. The recent “surprise” attack by Hamas against Israeli cities previously belonging to Palestine might have indicated renewed gusto in the resistance movement, but the fight is far from over. Not so long as Israel refuses to back down.

Speaking in an interview on Salaamedia, Israeli-American lecturer and political activist Jeff Halper said there was no way Israel would agree to coexist with Palestine as it was built upon Zionist ideology. Halper is the director of the Jerusalem-based Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

“… Zionism is a settler colonial movement. It’s not ready for compromise, geographically. Two states doesn’t make any sense; the whole point of Zionism is to take over the entire country of Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, not 78% of it,” he said.

The way Halper saw it, a two-state solution – often touted as a possible compromise to end the decades-long, lethal struggle – was impossible at this stage. Instead, he suggested, Palestine should seek a political settlement.


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Political settlement

Halper said the only solution was a political settlement that would see Jews and Arabs coexist in a single country. Drawing parallels between apartheid South Africa and Israel, he said the entire Zionist system of Israel needed to be dismantled and replaced with a democracy.

The quest for a political settlement, he said, should be focused on lobbying the citizens of the world – not governments.

“Our inspiration comes from South Africa because in some ways you were in a similar position. It was the ANC that managed to mobilise the international civil society – not governments – in support of you and, by unleashing an anti-apartheid movement, you created a global movement that was able to counter the power of governments,” he said.

However, he noted the fragmented nature of politics within Palestine could present a significant hurdle to such large-scale mobilisation. With this in mind, he urged Palestinians to develop a political programme that could be used to further international solidarity.

“They have the resources, they have the people, but they have to get behind a political programme and mobilise because it has to be led by them; it’s their struggle. Unfortunately, they’re fragmented … they’re really in a difficult position because of that.”

A reversion to the borders of 1967, essentially a two-state solution, was out of the question, he said. “You have to attack the essence of Zionism, which is settler colonialism. You have to formulate a political programme that has to be one state because you have to decolonise Zionism.”

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