Hindsight isn't that great, either
Sunday, July 04, 2004 12:19 AM
Following my previous post, I've received several comments - online (it's been a while, Ralph), by private e-mail, even by phone - so I thought I'd add a little bit of information.
The text of the ad was hardly the most courageous, or extreme, the 12 men (yes, they were (many of them have since died) all men, and let's not go there right now) whose signatures appear at the bottom have said at the time. It's funny how, to them, the fact that occupation leads to resistance, terrorism, and counter-terrorism was obvious, while a lot of people still don't get it today (well, not "ha ha" funny, but you know what I mean).
In fact, even the wording of the ad was an issue of great debate at the time. The first sentence, the one about Israel's right to defend itself, was the result of that debate. Some thought it was necessary, while others thought it was as relevant as Israel's right to collect taxes from its citizens.
Another thing to consider is the message - "get out of the Occupied Territories." While this was definitely the right thing to do at the time, it can be argued that this is no longer the case. 37 years of occupation, the available Palestinian leaderships, and the inherent non-democratic structure of Israel may all require a different solution. The problems in the area of historic Palestine are far greater than the occupation itself.
One final point: when the ad was published, it referred to all of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war. Although the current focus is on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (indeed, the term "Occupied Territories" refers to these areas), Israel still occupies the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem (the Sinay peninsula was returned to Egypt). These territories have been officially annexed, but they are still occupied territories.