Last night I spoke at Sydney University for Israeli Apartheid Week 2012. There was a good turn-out, a smattering of Zionist lobbyists and Arab and Muslim haters but overall a large crowd keen to hear about the reality of Palestine.
Although it’s often shocking to hear the hatred directed at Palestinians, and defence or ignoring of Israeli occupation, it was heartening to see many new faces who talked about wanting to isolate Israel until it adhered to international law. More, please.
Of course, now and then the Zionist mask falls away and some hard truths are acknowledged. Like this:
Noam Schalit, father of former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, said Wednesday that if he were Palestinian he would try to kidnap IDF soldiers.
In an interview with Channel 10, Schalit, who is running for a Knesset seat with the Labor Party, paraphrased former Labor leader Ehud Barak, who shocked many people when he told anti-Israel activist Gideon Levy in a 1998 interview that if he was Palestinian, he would have joined a terrorist organization.
“We also kidnapped British soldiers when we were fighting for our freedom,” Schalit said, referring to pre-state Zionist paramilitary organizations during the British mandate.
Asked if he would be in favor of negotiating with Hamas, he said, “I am in favor of speaking to anyone who wants to talk to us.”
When interviewer Amnon Levy asked whether Schalit’s answer still applied if Hamas was headed by his son’s kidnapper, Schalit said “If they change their ways and are willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, yes, I would shake his hand.”
In the interview, Schalit was unprepared to reveal his opinion on key issues like whether Israel should attack Iran. But he did say that following his son’s kidnapping, Israel should have stopped transferring tax payments and gas to Gaza.