Here is an interview i did for the Italian paper La Republica, one of the largest in that country.
Thought you would find it interesting.
(i don't know what they will end up printing, but these are the answers i gave them)
1) Why in all these years all the pacts did not reach a real solution for the crisis?
There exist a sufficient number of Israeli Jews who are convinced that Arabs by and large want to kill them, destroy Israel and impose fanatic Moslem hegemony all over the world. At the same time there also exist a sufficient number of Moslems who are convinced that Israeli Jews wish to colonize them, expel them, kill them and enslave them forever. Unfortunately there exist enough evidence to substantiate both arguments! and the evidence continues to compile every day. Obviously each side is convinced that the evidence proves their own righteousness, while the evidence to the contrary play very little role in the minds of most people. This happens for a simple reason. Here's a metaphor which explains why: If, for example, while entering a 1000 seats auditorium, i'm being told that there is one crazy gunman with one bullet in his gun and he's bound to shoot someone, would i stay there? would i say its just one in a thousand ? of course not! i will leave the place immediately! The point is, one doesn't need too many threats to feel threatened and get defensive. From that point the road to violence is unfortunately a very short one. The Hamas Covenant on one side and the ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers' ideology on the other, combined with both parties actions to implement their ideologies by building settlements or by terrorism, provide all the necessary evidence for anyone who finds it difficult to believe in peace. For instance, i am certain that the assassinations of Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat by Muslim fundamentalists and of Israeli PM Itzhak Rabin by a Jewish fundamentalist sealed the lid on many people's hopes in our miserable war stricken region.
2) What the artists, and especially the Israeli artists, can do to testify the need of a democratic solution of the israeli-palestinian crisis?
In general I wish Israelis would both campaign and use their democratic vote to elect a government that would put a complete end to the 1967 occupation and would sign a peace treaty with the elected government of the Palestinian people. Both governments would ideally represent the wishes of both peoples to live side by side in peace and cooperation in their independent, sovereign and internationally recognized state. I will always raise my voice in such campaigns and urge all artists, Israeli and Palestinian to do the same.
I will also repeat my three stage peace plan: Recognize, Apologize, Share:
Each side must recognize the rights of the other to life, freedom, independence, identity, the right to flourish, the right to a peaceful existence. This is the first and critical stage of the plan. Without formal recognition, in writing, signed by the recognized leaders of each nation, no progress can be made.
Both sides have done horrible things to each other in the name of this and that ideal. Since the death of one life is parallel to the death of all of humanity, there should be a true and deep remorse for these actions, a heartfelt apology on both sides for the pain and anguish they have caused.
Each side should revoke their dreams of a complete ‘anything’. Only through compromise is peace achievable. In this way, on one small piece of land, we can create 2 countries, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully and respectfully alongside each-other.
3) After this violent and tragic event, what is the atmosphere and what are the feelings among your friends and people you daily meet?
The feeling is terrible, a lot of anger and frustration, a lot of remorse for the loss of human life. Nobody in Israel believes that the Israeli government intended to kill anyone on that boat. Many in Israel believe the Israeli government's decisions regarding how to handle the situation has not only brought the unnecessary loss of human life and injury to the passengers of the boat and to our soldiers, but also brought harsh criticism and demonization of the state of Israel and the Jewish people, while at the same time absolving all other participants in the incident from any responsibility for the unfortunate and utterly tragic event. If i were the Israeli PM or Defence Minister, I would resign immediately, taking responsibility for the consequences of my decisions, that have jeopardized the security of my country and harmed its image.
Personally my criticism of my own government is mostly that it continues to see the occupation as an asset rather than a liability. This position has made the moral and human implications of occupation "tolerable" for too long, and in my opinion, they are intolerable. Truly the alternative of losing strategic depth (a common fear prevalent in the post 1967 era, with arguably good reason) could only be compensated by relying on friendly nations for defence. However the inability of the allies to stop the holocaust during WWII burnt into the hearts of Jews and Israelis the notion of "never again"...never again will we rely on anyone's help but our own strength for survival! Can anyone contest this argument easily? i don't think so.
In conclusion, when i say that i Noa want to end the occupation and am willing to rely on friendly nations for my children's security and my own, it is because the west bank occupation is immoral and inhuman. I know i might be taking a huge risk, but my moral fabric refuses to succumb to any fear, however substantiated it may be. I'm far from being naive and only history will tell, but i am willing to take the risk, just as i hope people like me, on the other side, are willing to take the same risk, no matter how deeply fear and prejudice is rooted in their hearts. The anti-Israeli sentiment I feel everywhere in the world media today doesn't make that an easy thing for me and other Israelis to do, and it is for that reason that we are asking, emphatically, that the international community and its media stand firmly by those who refuse to surrender to fear and hatred, and refrain from the judgement and finger-pointing that does nothing but make matters worse.