Framed by the account of a transformative experience that jarred the author, after years of activism and peace work, into recognizing the underpinnings of an Israeli national consensus he himself had unconsciously shared, this essay is primarily a reflection on that consensus. Deeply internalized but largely unacknowledged, it is based on the assumption of a self-contained, Jewish-only space created and maintained by what the author calls a ““cognitive membrane”” that renders ““Arabs”” entirely irrelevant if not invisible. The mechanisms that make this mindset possible——exclusivity, displacement and replacement (Judaization), and segregation——are described and analyzed. The essay ends with an account of the creation of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD) as marking a transition from mere protest to engaged resistance, and reflections on the requirements of a true peace.
This essay by a prominent Israeli activist grows out of concern that advocacy efforts in support of the Palestinian cause have remained stuck at the protest-informational stage of combating disparate manifestations of the occupation. What is needed, the author argues, is a strategy to mobilize the vast range of civil society groups——Palestinian, Israeli, and international——to forge an effective lobbying and advocacy force that can lend the Palestinian leadership public support and a measure of parity with Israel. Intended as a starting point for debate, the essay explores the possibilities of a ““middle range”” strategy that would articulate the essential ““red line”” elements crucial to any just and sustainable settlement, provide a coordinated strategy of advocacy, and explore a range of ““endgames,”” including a regional approach to resolving the conflict if the ““two-state solution”” is found to be impossible because of irreversible ““facts on the ground.””