For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Private Peace Treaty

October 12, 2002

By Israel Shamir

The most recent massacre in the Holy Land, this time of fourteen men, women and children near Gaza, was described by our Prime Minister, General Sharon, as "a necessary and successful operation". He also promised more of the same, and there is no reason to doubt his word. There is no reason to doubt the reprisals, promised by the relatives of the murdered folks, either. This war will go forever, and an anonymous IDF colonel advised the NY Times correspondent amidst ruins of Nablus that 'we are in the middle of Hundred Year War'. Thank you for the good news!

An ancient Greek farmer, the main character of the funniest comedy by Aristophanes, Acharnians, found himself in a similar predicament. His country was run by a General Lamachus, an early version of General Sharon, hell-bent on waging war of domination. Tired of endless struggle, of ruined economy, of war drums instead of music, of funerals instead of weddings, the farmer-hero Dicaeopolis strikes a separate peace treaty with the Spartans.

It makes a world of difference. On one end of the stage, the General asks for more swords, on the other end, the Farmer calls out for more sausages. I want a new system of air-to-air missiles, bellows the general. Bring me more wine and blondes, yells the Farmer. In the apotheosis, Dicaeopolis chairs a great feast, while beaten up Lamachus heavily slumps down.

This solution, offered in 425 BC, is still valid. I signed a separate peace treaty with all my neighbours in the Middle East. As for me, Syrian children may come and swim in the Sea of Galilee, and children of Palestine are welcome to amusement parks of Tel Aviv, while I shall sip Lebanese arak at Bardaouni in Ramallah. The refugees of Gaza may come back to the fields they
owned before 1948, and deal directly with the few old Polish Jews who "privatised" the lands.

Keep me out of it. In Israel, there are no more lands belonging to all of us. Every strip of land, every drop of water was carefully privatised. Now, let the happy new owners pay for whatever they need, including new defence systems, the army expenses, fences and other useful devices. Maybe when they 'll see the bill they rather would opt for a new soft armchair and separate peace.

This vast undoing of collective property and dismantling of remnants of socialism should be completed. It is right time to bring more hard-nosed neo-liberalism into daily use. While an increasing number of unemployed Israelis took to stealing food from public hospitals, the Army still gets what it wants anytime it asks. This socialist easy-going approach should be stopped. If generals want new aircraft, let them chip in and buy one, on the free market, without government subsidies. Sharon can barter his sheep for the bright new state-of-art toys from Douglas-McDonnell. And if it would not suffice, I can offer him the advice of my wise late grandmother: if you have no money, do not buy arms.

The same advice could be given to our American friends and allies. They calculated the war in Iraq will cost 800 billion dollars. In my opinion, until the people of America will see at least double this amount in ready cash produced up front by Richard Perle and other Zionist warmonger agents of influence, they should not bestir themselves. And do not take personal cheques!

Even better advice: join Separate Peace, and if Sharon calls upon you, reply him as I do:

"General, if you want war, please wage it personally. And do not call us, we shall call you."


You may freely display this article on the Web or forward it, but ask for permission in order to publish as hard copy.