DR. ZALMAN AMIT:
Dr. Zalman Amit is a professor of psychology at the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology in Concordia University. He is a co-writer of Notes on a Conflict, which is an electronic newspaper on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Amit is a founding member of Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians. In June 2006, ACJC defended the CUPE resolution for a boycott of Israel in contrast to the Canadian Jewish Congress, which condemned the CUPE Israel boycott. CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan sited the ACJC position as evidence that he was not guilty of being an anti-Semite. On these grounds, along with the fact that ACJC refers to Israel as an apartheid state, led the Canadian Jewish Congress to reject ACJC’s request for affiliation.
Amit signed onto a petition supporting a Canadian boycott of Israel, which supported a CUPE decision and denounced international investments in Israel which the petition claimed “support Israel’s daily violations of international law and accelerated colonization of the occupied territories”; referred to the Security Barrier as an “apartheid wall”; and made a series of other accusations portraying Israel in a dehumanizing manner. In October 2006, Amit accused the Canadian Jewish lobby of engaging in war crimes. In 2005, he called upon the Canadian Jewish community to stop supporting Israel. In 2003, right in the middle of the Second Intifada, Amit signed onto a petition calling for international involvement in order to stop the Israeli “occupation.” According to this same petition, the Israeli right seeks to eliminate the Palestinian national presence west of the Jordan River; promotes violence against Palestinians; that Israel routinely demolishes Palestinian homes and appropriates Palestinian land for settlers in order to minimize the actual area inhabited by Palestinians; that Israel engages in huge-scale harassment, humiliation, beatings, detention of thousands in sub-human conditions, and a series of other things; that Palestinians are living in ghettos thanks to Israel; that Israel’s actions are encouraging terrorism; that nationalism is backwards; and that young Israelis participating in the “occupation” will be morally scarred for life.
DR. DAPHNA LEVIT:
Dr. Daphna Levit is currently teaching at the Senior College Association of Nova Scotia. She formerly taught finance at both Ben-Gurion University and Tel Aviv University, and is the co-writer of Notes on a Conflict, which is an electronic newspaper on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Levit was involved with the Coalition of Women for Peace. Levit signed unto a petition of 530 Jewish anti-Israel activists who claim that they support a Palestinian right of return to Israel proper. She also signed unto a petition of 287 Israeli faculty members who declared that they support both students and faculty who refuse to serve in the “occupied territories” and declared that Israel denies Palestinians “basic human rights” and routinely oppresses them. In 2003, right in the middle of the Second Intifada, Levit signed onto a petition calling for international involvement in order to stop the Israeli “occupation.” According to this same petition, the Israeli right seeks to eliminate the Palestinian national presence west of the Jordan River; promotes violence against Palestinians; Israel routinely demolishes Palestinian homes and appropriates Palestinian land for settlers in order to minimize the actual area inhabited by Palestinians; engages in huge-scale harassment, humiliation, beatings, detention of thousands in sub-human conditions, and a series of other unsavory things; that Palestinians are living in ghettos thanks to Israel; that Israel’s actions are encouraging terrorism; that nationalism is backwards; and that young Israelis participating in the “occupation” will be morally scarred for life.
Israeli Rejectionism: The full history of Israel’s refusal to negotiate peace in Palestine
Around 9 months ago, we at Pluto were considering the title for a book on the history of the Middle East Peace Process, which drew on material in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Title discussions are often a torrid affair, but in this case the evidence pointed to a clear conclusion: Israel did have a partner for peace, but the Palestinians did not. From there, it was a short journey to reversing ‘Arab Rejection’ – the mainstream media’s narrative of the failing peace process – and using the title to assert that Israeli Rejectionism was the main enemy of the peace process. In this post, the book’s authors, Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit, outline the historical background that led to the PA’s misguided but understandable stance and the inevitable reaction from Israel.
On Sunday, January 23rd, the TV Network Al Jazeera released 1600 documents covering the ‘Peace Negotiations’ between the Israelis and the Palestinians over ten years that were leaked from the Palestinian Authority. These leaked documents reveal that Palestinian leaders made enormous concessions to the Israelis including their willingness to forego the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and even allowing Israel to annex most of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinian claim as their future capital. Such concessions fundamentally contradict the known official Palestinian position and expose the extent to which they were willing to go for peace. The Palestinian people themselves had no idea, apparently, of these concessions. But even more incredibly these concessions were a complete contradiction to the Israeli version of the failure of the peace negotiations.
Our book, Israeli Rejectionism: A Hidden Agenda of the Middle East Peace Process is about to be released by Pluto Press. The main tenet of the book is that the failure of peace negotiations had nothing to do with the Palestinian unwillingness to be a partner for peace but has always been that for Israel peace was never the goal. Throughout its history, the State of Israel and the Zionist Movement before it considered the entire territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as its own rightful land and took every opportunity to conquer more and more of this land. Israel achieved its territorial goal in 1967 when it conquered all of British Mandatory Palestine. It is therefore not surprising that during the period covered by the leaked documents Israel sabotaged all peace proposal presented to it, as we demonstrate in our book.
Regardless of the enormity of concessions made by Palestinian leaders such as Saeb Erekat and Ahmed Kourei, Israel’s standard response was that these offers were inadequate and therefore of no interest. It is no consolation to demonstrate that these leaked documents confirm and validate our contention that there is no peace because Israel never wanted peace. Nevertheless the documents clearly confirm our contention of Israel’s rejectionism and reveal that the Palestinian rigidity alleged by Israel is untrue.
A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process
Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit
An analysis of the Middle East ‘peace process’ showing that peace has never been in the interest of the state of Israel.
A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process
Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit
The Palestine-Israel conflict is one of the longest running and seemingly intractable confrontations in the modern world. This book delves deep into the ‘peace process’ to find out why so little progress has been made on the key issues.
Zalman Amit and Daphna Levit find overwhelming evidence of Israeli rejectionism as the main cause for the failure of peace. They demonstrate that the Israeli leadership has always been against a fairly negotiated peace and have deliberately stalled negotiations for the last 80 years. The motivations behind this rejectionist position have changed, as have the circumstances of the conflict, but the conclusion has remained consistent – peace has not been in the interest of the state of Israel.
A fascinating read, and particularly timely as the Obama administration tries once more for a peace settlement, this book draws on a wealth of sources – including Hebrew documents and transcripts – to show that it is the Palestinians who lack a viable ‘partner for peace’.
Zalman Amit was born in Palestine and grew up in a newly created Israel. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Canada and is the author of four books and over 300 articles.
Daphna Levit taught finance and economics at the Universities of Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion. She has edited and contributed to numerous books on Middle Eastern Politics.