An off-the-record New Year conversation with President Obama

Q: Mr. President, the conclusion invited by our conversation to this point is that it’s too late. The Zionist not Jewish state has become a monster beyond control and the Israel-Palestine conflict can only end in catastrophe for all. Do you see any reason for clinging to the hope that it could be otherwise, that peace with justice for the Palestinians is still possible?

A: Yes, I do see reason for hope if we put it in terms of justice for the Palestinians and peace with security for all. But for the hope I see to become reality, it’s the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, not me, who must take the lead. Let me now explain precisely what I mean. The only possible peaceful solution is one state with equal rights for all. The process to bring this about has to begin, must begin, with the Palestinians dissolving the Palestine Authority and handing full responsibility for the occupation back to Israel, then leading a global campaign for equal rights for all in the one state. I’ve said that Zionism will never accept one state for all because it would mean the end of Zionism, but here’s THE question. What, really, is most important for most Israeli Jews? Is it their wellbeing and security or commitment to an ideology, Zionism, which offers only Jewish domination and no hope of peace with security for them?

Q: I can see where you’re going with this line of thinking. You believe that if the Palestinians could convince a majority of Israeli Jews that their security would be absolutely guaranteed in one state for all, that could be a game changer…?

A: That is more or less what I believe and here’s why. If a majority of Israeli Jews were convinced that they could and would have a secure and prosperous future in one state with equal rights for all, there has to be a possibility that they would tell their hardcore Zionist leaders that their time was up and that what was needed was a new vision. As to what that new vision could be, I’ll quote to you, Mr. Hart, your own words on the subject. You have written and said this: “The Jews, generally speaking are the intellectual elite of the Western civilization. The Palestinians are by far the intellectual elite of the Arab world. What they could do together in peace and partnership is the stuff that dreams are made of. They could change the region of the better and, by so doing, give new hope and inspiration to the whole world.”

Q: If the occupied and oppressed Palestinians took the lead in the way you have suggested and seriously got down to the business of seeking to convince Israel’s Jews that they would have a secure and prosperous future in one state for all, would there come a time when you endorsed the one state call?

A: Yes, and now I’ll be completely frank with you. If the occupied and oppressed Palestinians put every possible effort into trying to convince Israel’s Jews that they could and would have a secure and prosperous future in one state for all, my task in helping to bring it about would be assisted by the support of many if not most American Jews. You probably don’t need me to tell you that a growing number of American Jews, more of them each day, are silently concerned, even alarmed, by what Israel has become. They are aware that the anti-Israelism being provoked by Zionism could be transformed into classical anti-Semitism.

Q: You mean that more and more Americans are beginning to understand that it’s not in their own best interests to go on supporting Israel right or wrong?

A: I am saying more than that. I’m saying that if a majority of American Jews were convinced that Israel’s Jews could and would have a secure and prosperous future in one state for all, they would become involved in the game-changing process.

Q: The implication of what you are saying is that days of the Zionist lobby calling the shots for American policy on all matters to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict could be numbered.

A: Yes. And the sooner the day comes when an American president can work with Congress to put America’s own interests first instead of having them subservient to Israel’s interests, the better it will be for all of us.

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