Some reflections on the Zionist notion of History and Return
Zionism did not wage its struggle against “Europe”, but against the
Palestinians, thus alienating them from “history"...
The Palestinian tragedy caused by Jewish settlement and by the establishment
of the Jewish state was not considered as part of the history – but rather
denied and suppressed...
The notion of “return” is connected to and has determined the exile of the
Palestinians, and still prevents any discussion based on the fulfillment of their
rights, including the right of their return. It determines the state of exile in their
own land, through Jewish “negation of exile”...
In this framework, the concept of exile directs us also towards a different
definition of Jewish collective identity in Israel/Palestine, one which is based on
the recognition of Palestinian rights. Exile refers to the decolonization of the
Jewish entity in Palestine, and directs to a bi-national perspective.
Elsewhere I have suggested the possibilities of linking the notion of exile with
the notion of bi-nationalism. This attitude was presented already in the 20th by
the small group of Brit Shalom ("Covenant of peace") that included
intellectuals such as Gershom Scholem, Hugo Bergman, Hans Kohn and later
Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Hannah Arendt. All of them shared a
critique of the radical notion of Negation of exile, with the desire for an equal
national co-existence between Jews and Arabs".