By Mick Krever, CNN
Avraham Burg says obsession with the holocaust is destroying Israel.
That may seem a strange statement, especially from an orthodox Jew and former speaker of the Knesset, but Burg says it is unhealthy.
“It’s too much,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “If you are traumatized, go through it. Don’t deny it. Don’t silence it. … [But] I see a day already in which the last holocaust survivor will pass away. It will happen in our lifetime. Then we shall wake up one day, one morning, and the holocaust will not be any more a personal experience, but it will be a kind of collective memory.”
For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to compare Iran to Germany in 1938, Burg said, is exploiting Israel’s traumas.
“I write about the different strategy for the future memory,” he said. “A strategy of trust between us and the world, rather that one of permanent trauma.”
Reconciliation is possible, says Burg, and one need look no further than Germany itself.
“We drive German cars, and we have Braun shavers, and Berlin is full of Israelis and Jews,” he said. “I even ran the Berlin marathon and enjoyed it tremendously.”
But far from dispensing with their anger, Burg says, Israelis have simply shifted it to their backyard.
“We took all the hatred and the animosity and the fears and the phobias and moved with it to the Middle East,” Burg said. “So much so [that] Menachim Begin, the late prime minister, called the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] a Nazi organization.”
When the Arab Spring began to sweep across the Middle East, there were fears that it would encourage a Third Intifada in the Palestinian Territories. Instead, Burg says, the next revolution by the Palestinians will be a peaceful one – and they will win.
A new generation of Palestinians are looking at their station and saying “if Israel doesn’t have the power to call back all these settlements, which are in the hundreds of thousands of people, so what about our rights as individuals and as citizens? We want to vote. Just tell us where to vote.”
It is, he says, a one-state solution.
“The minute … it’s about voting, the minute it is about civil rights,” Burg said, “that’s the end of the two-state solution.”
It has been two decades since the Oslo Accords were agreed upon to set in motion the two-state solution. And political “lip service,” as Burg calls it, is getting us no where.
It is the Palestinians demanding to vote – the one state solution – that is inevitable, says Burg.
“If we will not do a thing, if our leadership will not take a position, eventually it will happen by itself.”
Watch Part 1 of Christiane Amanpour's interview with Avraham Burg here.
CNN’s Ken Olshansky produced this piece for television.