Yesterday on RT foreign correspondent, Paula Slier, interviewed advocate Talia Sasson, who describes herself as a former head of the Special Tax Division in Israel’s State Department, in a brief video.
In a sensitive and reasoned exchange, speaking from Tel Aviv, Talia Sasson – though a patriotic Israeli – said firmly but gently that 150,000 settlers should pull out of the West Bank.
Remembering the huge Israeli demo about housing last year (below) she agreed that the resources which go into building in occupied territory would be better spent providing public housing in Israel.
In 2005 she was commissioned to write a report for then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. Recording the major obstructions placed in the way of gathering information, she finally concluded that unauthorized Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria should be demolished. In the summary of the report she writes:
“There is no way to validate the establishment of an outpost on private Palestinian property, not even post factum. Such outposts must be evacuated, the sooner the better. . .
“The actions described are not a matter of political view. It is a matter of law enforcement, a question of the rule of law . . .
With measured passion she maintains:
“In order to maintain the democratic regime of Israel, urgent measures must be taken to change the reality I have described. It can no longer be accepted. It must be reformed, and I believe you have the power to do so. I therefore suggest you implement my recommendations” . . .
“(The government) is acting utterly against our interests — the most fundamental interests in our Declaration of Independence and our Basic Laws: the Jewish democratic state of Israel. That’s the country. That’s its essence. That’s what they’re destroying.
“I cannot accept that in this same swathe of land, two peoples live, one with rights and the other without. That is not democracy. The same goes for Palestinian citizens inside Israel. They deserve equal rights, in terms of land allocation, employment, whatever. They deserve equality and I won’t accept anything else.
“Why don’t we focus on our state? There’s so much for us to do. It’s a great country. There are wonderful people here – people who built a country from nothing. They invested their lives; their children gave their lives, so we can live here in a democratic state with the democratic values that we came here for. Why shouldn’t we have that? With the brain power and the economy and the hi-tech, with the extraordinary abilities, with the Nobel Prizes. It’s the state of our dreams. Why shouldn’t it exist in reality?”