“These young people who put a keffiyeh around their neck and imagine themselves serving the Palestinian cause with anti-Israeli slogans, it’s distressing”

“These young people who put a keffiyeh around their neck and imagine themselves serving the Palestinian cause with anti-Israeli slogans, it’s distressing”
“These young people who put a keffiyeh around their neck and imagine themselves serving the Palestinian cause with anti-Israeli slogans, it’s distressing”
Blockage of students on the ULB campus: “What is extraordinary is the abysmal ignorance of these young people”

You really are persona non grata at the Free University of Brussels?

In fact, it is not the university which is in charge, it is the students who requested the cancellation of my visit. The rector, Annemie Schaus, confirmed the invitation very firmly. The students also demanded that the ULB cut ties with my alma mater, Tel Aviv University, and I understand that the organization which brings together the French-speaking rectors of Belgium has expressed its opinion in this sense. Tel Aviv University is a very large institution, a liberal bastion. That does not make sense ! Do we even realize that this kind of decision is a magnificent gift for Netanyahu, further proof for him that we are alone against everyone, right and left united against a pack of anti-Semites? All this is appalling stupidity and ignorance.

What is your opinion on the student demonstrations in France?

It’s going a little better, it seems to me. Unlike Belgium, you still have a state. But what is happening at Sciences-Po is not great either. These young people who put a keffiyeh around their neck and imagine themselves serving the Palestinian cause with anti-Israeli slogans, it’s distressing. Fun fact: I taught for three years at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, and it was a pleasure to interact with Palestinian students. I taught them European history, but we also talked a lot about the political situation in Israel and Palestine. We didn’t agree on everything, but there was never a problem. What do these young people from Paris or elsewhere know about the suffering of people, the roots of their conflict, the possible solutions? Nothing. And it’s very convenient. Why complicate your life with nuances, when choosing sides and demonizing the other is so simple and satisfying?

You just called, in the world and in Release, to the recognition of a Palestinian state. Did you have any reactions?

Yes, a lot, and all positive. It remains, excuse me, to take action. Frankly, I have a hard time understanding what the problem is. Since everyone finds that the creation of a Palestinian state is the only possible solution, how can we not see the symbolic and diplomatic advantage that the immediate recognition of this state would have? Wouldn’t Netanyahu’s government like this? But so much the better!

Do you think a truce is still possible?

Frankly, I don’t know anything about it. At one point I thought we were very close to an agreement. The problem is that neither Yahya Sinwar nor Benjamin Netanyahu have an interest in the war stopping. The first needs hostages to protect himself and the second needs war to stay in power.

Truce in Gaza: Netanyahu says ‘Israel cannot accept’ Hamas’ demand to end war

Why aren’t Israelis demonstrating more widely against Netanyahu, as they did against his judicial reform?

There are daily demonstrations, but not massive enough. As long as the war continues, it is difficult to get people onto the streets. And then, the families of the hostages do not necessarily agree with each other. There are not only people from the left and center left among the hostages. This is why we have not yet reached the critical mass necessary to bring down the government. But he will eventually fall. Netanyahu is staggering on the edge of the precipice, and that is why he is prolonging the war, while orchestrating a confrontation with the United States. But he knows the keys are in Washington. Biden, exasperated, begins to jingle them.

In Gaza, “it is unimaginable for Israel to accept a definitive end to the fighting”

So there is no hope?

Yes, there is always a way out. The situation is so volatile that anything can happen. The war as it is taking place today cannot last very long. The army says it is in Rafah but it is not there, and it will probably not go to the city itself. This is all very confusing, intentionally.

Is there not a risk that Israel will regain total control of Gaza?

No, i dont think so. The Americans don’t want it, and neither does the Israeli army. In fact, we are stuck in a sort of in-between place from which the government is incapable of extracting us. However, Israel is losing this war. None of its stated goals have been achieved. Worse, wherever the Tsahal is no longer, and it is no longer anywhere except in the center of the strip and, precisely, in the vicinity of Rafah, Hamas is in the process of regaining its health. This is the price of the stubborn refusal to adopt a political strategy for ending the war. When you don’t have a strategy, you’re doomed to go around in circles.

Benjamin Netanyahu, sacrificing hostages to save a career

What is the possible future of Gaza then?

The Americans have a fairly complex plan, which integrates the local, the regional and the international, but it is based on a Palestinian component that Netanyahu does not want to hear about. For now, he is refining an excuse: since the Americans do not want the Israelis to enter Rafah, he will be able to say that Biden prevented him from offering the people of Israel the “total victory” he had promised them. promised.

You are not afraid that he will manage to cling to power?

No, as soon as the war ends, maybe even sooner, his coalition will disintegrate. Netanyahu is caught in a web of contradictions that will be insurmountable in the long run. The “magician” is testing his limits.



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