REINHART, Tanya. Professor Tanya Reinhart slams oppression of Palestinians by Israeli military Junta

The late Professor Tanya Reinhart (1943-2007 ) was Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Media Studies at Tel-Aviv University and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. She was an outspoken critic of Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. She wrote for Israel's biggest daily, Yediot Aharonot, and is also the author of Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948 and the follow-up TheRoad Map to Nowhere - Israel/Palestine since 2003. In 2007 she became Global Distinguished Professor at New York University (for biographical details see:  ).

Professor Tanya Reinhart, interviewed about her book “Israel/Palestine: How To End the War of 1948"
(Seven Stories Press/ Open Media Series 2002)
: “In the present political atmosphere in the US and Europe, anybody who dares express criticism of Israel is immediately silenced as an anti-Semite. Part of the reason why the Israeli and Jewish lobby has been so successful in forcing this accusation is the massive lack of knowledge about what is really happening.  Without the facts, the dominant narrative remains that Israel is struggling to defend its mere existence. Attention focuses only on the horrible and despicable Palestinian terror, so that if you criticize Israel, you are accused of justifying terror.  My hope, then, is to give the readers the weapons to face such accusations   a detailed knowledge of the facts.

My second hope is to restore hope.  As I said, a sane and rational solution is still possible. People have managed in the past to move from a history of bloodshed into peaceful coexistence, Europe is being the most well known example. After two years of horror, a majority in both the Israeli and Palestinian people is still willing to open a new page. I show this in detail in the book, and I end the book with the story of the many Palestinian and Israeli activists who are struggling together for the only future worth living  a future based on basic human values.  What is needed to give hope a chance is for the people of the world to intervene and stop the Israeli military Junta, which does not even represent the Israeli majority.

Finally, and perhaps most important, I try to  give some picture of the Palestinian tragedy  the best I can from my privileged position as a member of the oppressing society. With the U.S. backing, and the silence of the Western world, there is a serious danger that what we have seen so far is only the beginning, and that under the umbrella of a war in Iraq, the Palestinian people may be destined to a choice between annihilation or a second exile.  Arundhati Roy's description of the situation in Afghanistan at the time seems so painfully applicable to what the Palestinians are enduring:  "Witness the infinite justice of the new century. Civilians starving to death while they are waiting to be killed." [1].

In a lecture titled "Open Air Prisons: The Israeli occupation of Palestine", Professor Reinhart explored the effects of Israel's policies on Palestine: “[Israeli policies] threaten not just the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours, but also the Israelis themselves. In the long run, this war over land is suicidal." [2].

[1]. ZNet interview with Tany Reinhart, 8 November 2002: .

[2]. "Controversial author and academic Tanya Reinhart to speak at Sydney Ideas", The University of Sydney, 26 September 2006: .