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30 Oct, 2011 08:49

‘Everything Israel does is unilateral’

Tensions are running high between Israel and Palestine as both sides continue cross-border attacks which broke two months of quiet. Meanwhile, Israeli politician Yael Dayan has said direct peace talks between the two sides are doomed to fail.

Despite the ceasefire, the exchanges of fire between Israel and Gaza have continued through the weekend, with both sides blaming each other for igniting the violence. On Saturday, Israeli aircraft hit Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, reportedly killing seven people and injuring 15 in two separate attacks. In response, militants fired some 20 rockets into southern Israel, injuring at least three civilians.Yael Dayan, an Israeli politician and author, told RT that Israel is not very good at making bilateral moves. “Everything that we did was unilateral after 1967,” she said. “The only time that we had bilateral negotiations or something similar happening was during Oslo. And the result was an assassination of [the former Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin.”Dayan says that there is a deep problem that Israel is failing to address: Israeli people are afraid, she says, and have lost any sense of self-confidence, which alienates Israel from the rest of the world.“We can’t have the whole world against us and have self-confidence,” she said. “We should have self-confidence from the element of being just. And if we are just, the world won’t be against us. And if we treat our neighbors with justice, we will be strong enough to avoid any prediction of destruction.”And she considers the Palestinian bid for statehood to be a move in a just direction, which in the end is good for Israel.“Of course it is good,” she said. “Because what we don’t understand the natural way – maybe we will understand the international way. If most of the countries of the world raise their hands for a Palestine, I don’t think we can ignore it. And I think it will show a direction of justice.”Dayan believes that the unrest throughout the world is caused by the failure of two major elements. One of them is “centralized dictatorship,” whether it is based on army or religion, and the other is “extreme rightwing capitalism.”“Israel has got its own spring,” Dayan explained. “In Israel, we have an infrastructure that is basically social-democratic, so it will go through reformation, but it will not collapse.”Yael Dayan believes that the revolutions in the Arab world were caused by the countries’ inability to reform “from the inside.”“Egypt, Tunisia, Libya don’t have even what Morocco has,” she explained. “And that is an ability to reform from inside. Someone will have to go. Either the army should reduce its authority, or civil society should take over. They’ve got to reshape themselves from deep ideology. Because obviously they were not pro-dictators, but the dictators held the power.” That is why, she believes, some countries might need help from the outside to conduct reforms.“I hope they will get the chance and will be helped – by maybe European countries – to reform and really give civil society the power to just build institutions to replace ones that are rotten, corrupt, or dictatorial,” she said.Dayan does not see the possibility of revolution happening in Israel. Her worst fear is that Israeli Jewish extremists will continue their repression of Palestinians.“I am more concerned with the activities of the settlers against Palestinians and now against Arabs in Israel,” she said. “I think this is really the danger – that we will not be able to stop,” Dayan concluded.