Photo: Reuters
Barriers in East Jerusalem. 'Good fences make good neighbors'
Photo: Reuters

It's not a wave of terror, it's a civil war

Op-ed: In the current situation, citizens of the State of Israel are going out to kill fellow citizens; the fact that both the murderers and the victims have an Israeli identity card turns a battle between states into a civil war, which is harder to solve.

The recent wave of terror attacks is characterized by a common denominator: The murderers and the victims both have an Israeli identity card, as the murderers are citizens of East Jerusalem. They are citizens of the State of Israel who are going out to murder other citizens, as part of a battle within the State.



While previous intifadas were characterized by an organized struggle by the Palestinians Authority or Hamas, a struggle which prepared by labs for the production of explosives and created shipments of suicide bombers which were organized by the government, today we are in the midst of a civil war. People with an Israeli identity card are going out to murder other people with an Israeli identity card.


The poisonous campaign of lies waged by Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic movement, who also holds an Israeli identity card, is not a campaign supported by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, outside the State. It is led ideologically by a global Islamic movement, but it is a war of citizens against citizens over the control of the united state - from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, which part of us hope for every day and every minute.


East Jerusalem, last week (Photo: Ido Erez)
East Jerusalem, last week (Photo: Ido Erez)


Now imagine what would happen if we annex all the territories, and in the united state, as some of us hope, everyone will carry Israeli identity cards and become citizens of one state, the State of Israel, a bi-national state in which half of the citizens are Jewish and half are Arab Muslims.


Is this move the solution for the existence of the two people side by side? Such a move will not prevent a civil war, and such a move will not increase security. The undeclared basis of such a political intention is of course to empty the territories of their residents, but no one will say that - at least none of the people controlling the State. They are sticking to their declarations, to a solution of the conflict by creating one state, a bi-national state, believing (as if) that this will prevent wars because there will ne no rival, there will be no enemy. We'll all be one state.


If we wish to learn from global conflicts, I would start from the United States of all places, and from disputes between neighbors living side by side in an American neighborhood in the suburbs. The American culture is a mosaic culture, not a melting pot. In a "melting pot," everyone is supposed to blend in and take on one color. In a mosaic, each person is supposed to maintain his or her uniqueness and contribute to the overall picture through this uniqueness.


Different people from different places and different cultures in the US, all immigrants, continue to maintain their uniqueness, but they are all still Americans. How does this wonder take place? The necessary foundation for such a life is creating fences. According to an American idiom, "Good fences make good neighbors." A clear fence separating me from my neighbor creates a required separation so that each of us can manage our own businesses within the boundaries of our fence without the neighbor's interference, and that's the only way to create good neighborly relations, because the areas of friction are restricted by a fence.


With the absence of a (physical and political) fence between us and the territories, n the deep sense of "separation" as well, we remain one state with two people. The meaning of the fence is disconnecting from the other side, setting a border and living side by side - not even as friends, like with Jordan or Egypt, but living in a complete and perfect dissociation.


With the absence of separation - by a political border and independence for each side - we are going back to the days of the blue identity card, which marks unity in one state, a unity of some six million Jews and some five million Muslim Arabs. Such a unity carried the symbol of the State of Israel, such a unity carries one identity card, a blue one, like what was done in the annexation of East Jerusalem, an annexation which gave the residents there an Israeli identity card.


But such a united state with millions of citizens carrying Israeli identity cards does not protect us from a civil war. It is in fact its case. And that card turns a battle between states into a civil war, a war which is harder to solve.


פרסום ראשון: 10.19.15, 00:35
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