Israel’s policy is unique for it’s the only country where the notion of “left” and “right” have been distorted by military occupation and political criteria. Today, an Israeli does not describe himself as a “left” or a “right” wing person for his opinions about issues like the fiscal system or retirement, but about topics such as the creation of a Palestinian State or a peace agreement. Consequently, we have a strange situation in which the lower class and humble workers support the predatory right whereas the upper class supports the left. This has not only guaranteed the failure of the left. It has contributed to the elitist notion of the concept of peace, associated with the owners of factories and not with their workers.
During these last years, the Labour Party of Israel adopted extreme right wing socio-economic policies that are not much different from those of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud. 30% of active employees make less than 2,000 shekels a month (400 euros). This creates a working class that lives in terrible poverty with not enough money to support a person or a whole family. It’s a destructive process of the society that generates frustration, anger, violence and crime.
I think the occupation is, above all, a moral act. It’s not about borders or territories, but about morals. I want to put an end to the occupation but not because of international or Palestinian pressure, but because I believe it’s of vital importance for the interests of the Israeli nation.
Even when it’s not immediately noted, the occupation has an impact on the occupied as well as on the occupier. Our boys are sent to war with an impossible mission: to rule another people as if they were the owners. Many of them return wounded, with an injured soul and such injuries affect the Israeli society as a whole. In my opinion, the occupation is one of the main reasons for the violence in our society, for its moral decline and corruption. When a country has humiliated a people for 38 years, the moral norms of such a society become corrupted.

LabourStart (Israel)

The concept of peace has become an elitist product”, by Amir Peretz, LabourStart, June 12, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.