Exchange with Francois Nazarian

----- Message no. 1 -----
From: info@hasbara.us
To: ashersh@bezeqint.net
Cc: info@hasbara.us
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 6:43 PM
Subject: Hopeways
 
Shalom Asher,
 
I am confused, - What do you propose as 2 states solution??
 
Please send clearance on the subject & the “Right of return – Refugees) & the “final status” - “settlements” - “land swap” etc.
 
Once I have more clear understanding of what you propose & not what you don’t think that is helpful or works, then we will be in better position to decide on how to proceed about your request.
 
Looking forward to your response.
 
Francois Nazarian, Director, Hasbara.us
 
WWW.HASBARA.US / WWW.HASBARA.ORG.IL

-----Message no. 2 -----
From: Asher Shla'in [mailto:ashersh@bezeqint.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 2:04 AM
To: info@hasbara.us
Cc: HopeWays Editor
Subject: Re: Hopeways
 
Dear francois.
 
Your confusion must be contagious, because now it is I who is puzzled.
 
I try in vain to decipher what writing of mine did you read to produce such questions.
 
You see - I am willing to discuss my opinions, but you seem to ascribe to me ideas that are not mine.
 
So let us start it all over again.
Please point out to me what of my writings you refer to.
 
Is it possible that in fact you refer to someone else's words?
This is something easy to determine, because in HopeWays.org website, everything is signed, and the responsibility for the opinions is well-located.
 
I beseech you to allot a little more time for this, so that the discussion of important and difficult issues like "Right of return", “final status”, “settlements" can be managed with clarity.
 
Besides, I am curious what is the meaning of "we will be in better position to decide on how to proceed about your request" - what is my request that you refer to?
Reading this sentence makes me wish that you reproduce the communication you got from me.
 
Please, answer me.
 
Asher Shla'in 
 
----- Message no. 3 -----
From: info@hasbara.us
To: 'Asher Shla'in'
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 1:21 PM
Subject: RE: Hopeways
 
Shalom,
 
Asher my questions were just that, QUESTIONS!
 
I did not imply that a special writing of yours gave me such or such reason for my Questions!
 
So there are nothing specific to write, I just want to know How / what you feel / think about those subjects in order to know you and your HopeWays better! – Not just what you don’t think it works or good or believe it should not be! – Give Solutions
 
Maybe it is too much to ask? But you requested; to spread the word about HopeWays, so I wanted to know more about your principals.
 
Regards,
 
Francois
 
----- Message no. 4 -----
From: Asher Shla'in [mailto:ashersh@bezeqint.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 1:02 PM
To: Francois Nazarian
Cc: HopeWays Editor
Subject: Re: Hopeways
 
OK, dear Francois, let me answer.
 
The principles of HopeWays are rather general and stated in the opening page and in "About Us".  Within these principles there is place for different opinions on the points you raised. Each participant is responsible for his/her view and the way he/she presents it.
 
What I can do is to speak for myself and express my view and ideas.
 
What do I propose as 2 states solution? - Nothing.
I think that at least for the time being this is no solution.  The "Roads Map" and the "Geneva Accord" which both lead to the establishment of a PLO state, are very dangerous - to Israel - but mainly to the Palestinians who already pay a grave deadly price for the Oslo blunder.  The issue of “land swap” becomes of course irrelevant.
 
Let me be specific on each of the other issues.
 
Right of return – Refugees
In 1948 many Arabs where displaced - most of them being personally innocent, some of them even actually deported by Israel.  This was one consequence of a severe war in which the existence of our state and our very personal lives and dignity were threatened.
The threat was prolonged for scores of years by the Arab vow to have a "second round" in which "the Zionist entity" is meant to be wiped out.
The Palestinian refugees were kept or encouraged to stay in camps and their normal rehabilitation was hampered, making them to wait until Israel disintegrates and they can come back to their places and inherit all that has been built in Palestine, when the Jews (at best) will be deported to their places of origin.
The education of these people was conducted accordingly, and in fact the refugee population is comprised of 2 generations which have been thoroughly indoctrinated to hate the state of Israel and the Jews that continued to join it.
These poor people do have personal rights that stem from the grave situation they were brought to - but their return to Palestine is not feasible. It is dangerous both to Israel and to them - as long as they are deeply educated to wish the destruction of our state.
The refugees are beyond our reach. The people who are recognized as their international representatives revealed themselves as no partners for real peace. Therefore it seems that this deep-rooted problem will stay with us for a long time.
 
“settlements”
It so happens that I have conducted a profound exchange on this issue. I am forwarding to you separately one of the messages I wrote at the time.
 
“final status”
The final status is very hard to predict or plan. I do not accept the trend of trying to arrive presently to the "end of conflict" through negotiations with the representatives of PLO. The effort to get "international support" to "accords" or "maps" is not leading to any security or stability (of course not to reconciliation).
I think we should stick to the interim, as I wrote in HopeWays:
"I avoid drawing a definite plan, because I cannot see a clear picture as yet, and fail to follow those who think they can. So I hold to good values and practices, like: candor, respect, compassion, fairness, listening, proper dialog. I am not in a position to strike any deal. I do not know if I have partners and I look for them at grassroots."
I can dream of a desirable future. How about a State of Israel where people live in peace and equality, where the proper needs of everybody are attended to, the spiritual center (and potential residence) for every Jew, when all the citizens (Arabs included) are loyal to the state and ready to defend it with their lives against any aggression from a foreign hostile regime.
 
More "realistic" than this, is my imaginary story "Palistrael" that you can read in the site. If you read Hebrew, you can read a second installment of that story.
 
"etc"
Well I guess you got some notion of the "etc." as well.  Yet I am ready to discuss any issue you wish to bring up.
 
 
Waiting to hear from you,
 
Asher
 
----- Message no. 5 -----
From: nazarian
To: 'Asher Shla'in'
Cc: info@hasbara.us
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 10:36 PM
Subject: RE: Hopeways

Dear Asher,
 
Even though much of your thoughts are so called “Noble”; I am afraid to my view they are not realistic! And they are somewhat contradictory!
 
I definitely do not agree with your vision of “Plaesisrael” – No way, a one state solution; that way either Israel can not remain democratic or Jewish, as a state; Of course that is if it is important to the person!? Personally, I want neither another Lebanon nor South Africa, that were!
 
Settlements are not the biggest issue (If there is good will, some give & take and compensation would take care of it) and it is not the main obstacle to any final “Peace agreement” - What is the real problem is the so called “Right of return for Refugees”!
 
With that “right” which most of the Arabs & Palestinians insist about, or “Palesisrael” you undertake to hand over Israel in matter of few decades to its Palestinian Arab residents as a second Palestinian state.
 
There is only one Jewish state and we should try and keep it as such, that democratically a Jewish majority is ruling it, with rights for its minorities.
 
Notwithstanding of the disagreements above, I will put your website in our WWW.HASBARA.ORG.IL as a link.
 
Good luck, and may we see and feel the real peace in our life time – for all parties involved!
 
Francois Nazarian
 
----- Message no. 6 -----

From: Asher Shla'in <ashersh@bezeqint.net>
To: Francois Nazarian <nazarian@hasbara.us>
Cc: HopeWays Editor <editor@hopeways.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: Hopeways

Dear Francois.

Let me first thank you for putting HopeWays in your WWW.HASBARA.ORG.IL as a link.
Could you tell me the location of this link in that site?

I realize that my view may seem unrealistic to many. This is because people (necessarily) base their testing of reality on their previous experience and concepts. I call on you to apply equal rigor in the examination of feasibility to all alternative "solutions".  What is so realistic about 2-states "solution"?

Let me use your words in former messages: "Once I have more clear understanding of what you propose & not what you don’t think that is helpful or works, then we will be in better position to decide..." and then: "Not just what you don’t think it works or good or believe it should not be! – Give Solutions."
In other words, is there a viable arrangement that you see, which involves a Palestinian state? Show me.

But I do not mean to challenge your choice just to evade dealing with your arguments. Following are my comments.

"Palistrael" is not a plan but a story (BTW could you read the 2nd part?). When I wrote it, I myself felt a threat in what is described - but I decided to publish it because it represents some truth, it advances respect to everybody, it promotes the spirit of candor, it tries to be realistic in predicting current public response (yours as well) - and all this aimed to make people examine their feelings. Since the time I wrote it, terrible things happened which on the surface undermine any effort at genuine reconciliation - but the adverse effect on the "conventional solution" of 2-states is much more severe.
The approach of Palistrael is to focus not on negotiations between politicians but on cultivation of feelings conducive to reconciliation.
I do not support a 1-state that could emerge from political give-and-take. Palistrael shows a path (possible or not) where Arabs understand that they must earn the trust of the Jews in order to get the equality that they should have as honorable people. This depends also on a change in the prevalent attitudes among the Jews. The obstacles to all this is not overlooked - but I learned that the social roots to such a development do exist in both communities.

The choice between "Democratic State" and "Jewish State" is only theoretical and imaginary. The alternative of a Democratic State which is not Jewish, is not real. The only chance for Palestinians to live in Democracy in the visible future, is in the framework of Israel.  Yet, Israel is necessarily the state of the universal Jewish people - a Zionist state. As such it should be prepared to treat Palestinians as equal respectable humans, both within Israel and in occupied areas.
Mind you that political power of non-Jews within Israel is increasing - and it is the Jewish policy and/or public atmosphere that will determine what direction this power will take.

The care for our close neighbors should include freeing them from the inner terror that they endure. I realize that no international support will be granted to this idea - but this is required by basic decency and the hope for real peace.

I do not have all the points covered - but I think this is enough for one message.

Thank you again - for the link and for the discussion.

Asher
 


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