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Avraham Burg Part 2: The 1-state solution 'will happen by itself'

October 26th, 2012
01:47 PM ET

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.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Thinker23

    Someone should explain Mr. Burg that the Palestinians DID vote. After all WHO elected Arafat? WHO elected Hamas in Gaza and Abbas in the West Bank?

    October 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  2. Thinker23

    If the next Palestinian revolution will be peaceful they will indeed win. They will win PEACE. They will win a sovereign independent STATE where they vote for their own Palestinian leaders. Not a single Jew will be found in that peaceful Palestinian state (again, a WIN for the Palestinians). The Jews will live in Israel... and this is called A TWO-STATE SOLUTION.

    October 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  3. mick

    With just the West Bank there is still a Jewish majority and a Jewish state. They should have been more careful what wished for when they campaigned for a Jew-free Gaza.

    October 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      In Gaza they got what they've asked for, a Palestinian state with not a single Jew alive.

      October 27, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      mick... I hope that you're not arguing that Israel should annex the West Bank. If you do then you may consider that doing so will bring the percentage of Arabs in Israel to 40% or more. The next elections with such electorate will result in a Kneset that will revoke the Law or return for Jews and will replace it with the similar law for the Arabs... and this will be the end of the Jewish State.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  4. predrag lukič-nea-slo-eu

    haj evribary.plitz hilfe–story-hezbolah-šabac-ss al kaida-šejtan iglena-meka-kileri ćabskog kamena-sv.bilal efendi hilfe-end-hezbolah kileri izraela-civil pipel-al aksa-pejgamber hant-end hezbolah hear-blind-devil end death-kuga speack-navigator za hezbolah kilere?'??šimon(laćo-radvanje katoliš kirche-mmaribor-slovenya-EU)perez-enemi na goda-jasenovac-sapun-biznismen-kanibal-laćo F-konc logori.???aretacija usa prezident mrki-gej-pedofil-svinger-bleck-hilari kanibal bokasa-angel majna-šabac-paravan-"'blind-hear-death-devil sony-prezident usa?-šabca-go home hel.tenks-go home-devil fus-spajder men-patrijarh-belgrade-kanibal-pedofil??gej-blind-stoun story.hel.pontije-milošević-hag-aretacija???hezbolah kilera??turške grlice-al kaida??hag-salamoni-big problem?'mister mat bizonzon story-kiler sawa-hitler-hezbolah-šabac-big srbija hel-džimi boj-kaktus kid-frajer-jerusalim-izrael15v.???mudžara-džins???majn mani-nea?'

    October 29, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
  5. AB

    i agree.one state is inevitable.story will judge bibi and co. badly and harsly.

    October 29, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "ONE state" will not happen because Israelis do not want it and the Palestinians do not want it. Simple, is not it?

      October 29, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
  6. jaysonrex

    Christian Amanpour always had a soft spot for "Palestinians" trying hard to whitewash Hamas/Fatah/Hezbollah terrorism. Apparently, CNN brought her back in order to 'prove' how independent a media it is. Well, this is why Fox News overtook CNN (not to mention BBC) in audience and reliability.

    As everybody knows, except the "special Jews" being interviewed only by Christian Amanpour, there will NEVER be peace between the Arabs/Muslims and Israel. The sheer successes of the Jewish state makes its presence in that area highly undesirable.

    Maybe CNN should review its strange editorial line and let Christian Amanpour go and join, say, Al Jazeera or other similar media.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
  7. jaysonrex

    complementing ...

    In the interview with Christiane Amanpour, Avraham Burg states that "Palestinians" clamour "We want to vote. Just tell us where to vote.” Well, they did vote for Hamas in Gaza, for Fatah in the West bank and for Hezbollah (clients of Iranian demented leaders) in South Lebanon.

    Since Christiane Amanpour is promoting anti-Israel terrorism with her sily interviews, she did not challenge Burg's shameless lie(s) because it would reveal the inconvenient truth she is trying hard to hide.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
  8. Niederkrüchten 2020

    From a German perspective – I totally agree with finish the TRAUMA. (it is also still so deeply in the German minds)

    Please consider also the following; in the German school system I learned around at least 15 times in almost every school year and subject (German, English, Music, Arts, Religion...) about our biggest mistake in world's history. So when I went abroad for the first times, I always have felt to apologize. Even today it is always there in my mind (feels a very little like a brain-wash). So it can be nice to apologize sometimes, but we really should go beyond that and step out of the old role models.

    Our society was so disappointed when in the Euro crisis, newspapers from Greece, UK were bashing Merkel with this old stigma again. How can u be still so childish between the European countries?

    I guess we need to strongly reform our education system in Europe!!

    October 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  9. prof. Farouk Dakhil

    It is really very encouraging to see that someone like Mr. Avraham Burg thinks the same way as I did and do. Actually in 2008 when Barak Obama became president and on this same site I have also sent a copy of my open letter to president Obama in which I have suggested exactly this 1-state –Solution instead of the blocked and impractical 2-state-solution. In my opinion, just like Mr. Burg, I think the 2-state-solution is not even legal and in fact is an illusion and will never solve and settle the conflict for a long period of time. However a 1-state-solution (1-ST) in my humble opinion would last and is the only possible and realistic solution, because the Palestinians will always want to return to their home land from where they were deported in 1948, 1967. Indeed a democratic election for both Jews and Palestinians in a 1-ST parliament would be a real and just solution for both people. Both Jews and Palestinians in a 1-ST would be equal citizens with all their rights and responsibilities equally devided.
    In fact, the Jewish state of Isrel today is a discriminating apartheid state of injustice and unequal rights: the Palestinians live almost in enclaves and Gaza is a modern Ghetto really. It is unbelievable that especially the Jews who has experienced the Holocaust and suffered from the Nazis those untold atrocities would do the same like the Nazis to other people. It is unfortunately, the human irrational deep psychology of the unconscious that implicate how a traumatic person or even worst a nation can be so irrational and repeat the same lived trauma he/she or they lived to others, encoring the same sufferings and terrible experience like the one they experienced under the Nazi regime. Certainly, one could argue that the state of Israel is a democratic state and all is very rational and controlled by a democratic process of elections and parliament etc... Unfortunately the human soul does not obey to these rational laws it goes its own irrational contorted path: The Jews today have and are deporting Palestinians from their homes and land pulling down their homes for any even a slight suspect of “Terrorism”, they have built a wall around the Palestinians suffocating them almost totally, depriving them from equal portions og their own fresh water and posing on them martial laws and taking away their land with the excuse of being needed for military reasons etc....
    All this can and should end if we have a 1-ST in which a united Jerusalem its capital and equal right for all citizens of this same 1-ST.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
  10. sally

    In Germany they are always talking about the uniqueness of the Holocaust. I would doubt this. There has been the death of the Armenians – a kind of test, if mass killing was possible and tolerarated. There was the deportation of indian native tribes in America a century before. The term "race" was somehow superior to individual; a common fate was proclaimed and a question of power. So what to do with all the genocides and mass killing in the name of racial prejudice and tribalism? The holocaust isn't a unique story! Germany should be carefull that the same mistakes of weak political parties and low democratic tools, isn't generating new forms of stigmatizing. Israel and the Jew doesn't find so much acceptance among younger people. Jakob Wassermann, a jewish author who lived in Germany around 1920 wrote that he wished he could be seen as a German in the first place and not as a jew!

    November 6, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
  11. sally

    For younger people the Holocaust is something they were filled up with at school in the early 70ies and 80ies. It was important to go to Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen etc, with school and to watch films about it in history, religion and politics. But the younger generation aren't so close to the past and lost touch. It is hard to understand what really happened, even for people born more than twenty years after the war. People didn't talk about it. There were grave-yards, specially for jews in smaller villages, but no jewish people. So the Holocaust was a construction – a word! But it formed our (f.e. my) relationship to this country. Being proud about this country and having a kind of national consciousness about right and wrong of traditional values was difficult to get. Somehow people looked at other european countries – do Germans have a tendency to extreme positions? A doubt remained! Other countries had a strong nationalism and anti-semitism as well at that time in Europe, Germany was unlucky to bring this all together: science, religion, economic interests, political unrest and revolutionary ideas. The mechanism of all this were working subtile: power, necessity and big tentions underneath the surface: bringing the subtile voices to speak – all motives behind a fassade of prosperity, progress and wealth, was something managed by Hitler.

    November 6, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
  12. Sam Rivers

    One state solution is the only viable solution for all concerned. Most younger Palestinians don't want Arafat or Erikat style government. There is also no space left for another viable state between Jordan and the sea. Best is Burg's solution and idea of one state solution that guarantees equality and the right of return for both people.

    August 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply

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