In this chapter Shavit encounters the voices of the Arabs of the State of Israel. The central speaker here is attorney and activist Mohammad Dahla. Shavit and Dahla co-chaired the Association of Civil Rights in Israel in the mid-1990s. As Dahla shares his outlook in detail through this chapter, the gulf between these two friends on the legitimacy of Zionism and the viability of the continuing Jewish State becomes apparent.
Dahl makes a number of very clear points. He questions – and ultimately denies – any Jewish claims to historic continuity within the land. Zionism is thus reduced to an invading colonial force which has come from the outside and imposed itself on the Arabs of Palestine. As a majority in the land, Zionism has imposed an alien regime. It forgets that it is actually a minority in a larger Arab and Moslem world, a world growing stronger and larger all the time. Ultimately, he says, Zionism will have to change and will have to learn to share the land, relinquishing sole sovereignty for its Jewish inhabitants and working out a genuine power sharing arrangement with the Arab inhabitants. (more…)