Here's my English transcript.0:00
"Q: What's the reality of the current conflict? What is Israel's goal in this
high casualty war?
Norm: The attack against Hamas started because Hamas joined the unity government.
And Hamas accepted the negotations and conditions which were proposed by
the US and the EU. And then Netanyahu used the abduction of the three
Israeli youths, as a pretext (pretext because no one knows who did it),
as a pretext to attack Hamas and get rid of the unity government and to
give Israel a new reason not to pursue peace negotiations.
At first Israel said we can't negotiate with the PA because they are not
the representatives of all the Palestinian people. But if the unity government
went ahead then this excuse would have been removed. An Israeli
political science professor called this move towards a unity government
a Palestinian peace offensive, which will remove Israel's excuse for not
That was phase one, we are now entering phase two. The Israel government
know that if they have a ground invasion, they will face problems, because
they could have casualties, as we saw in 2008/9 they will have to destroy
everything in sight, because they can't tolerate any casualties. But
if they destroy everything in sight the international community...
[interrupted by question]
"Q: Mr Finkelstein you are pointing out that Israelis don't want peace
when in fact it is these Israelis who see themselves as being targets
of Hamas rockets, which people, which country in the world doesn't want
peace and doesn't want to live in peace and quiet?
Norm: Israel wants peace. Everyone in any country wants peace. Every
invading country also wants peace. The question is what kind of peace?
Peace under what conditions? Israel considers itself as having a right
to defend itself. The government of Britain and the BBC support this
right of self-defence in the face of the primitive attacks by Hamas.
But Israel in practice is using this right to defend its occupation
of Palestine, and to fight against Palestinians who oppose this occupation.
So the number one right that Israel gives itself, is the right to continue
the occupation, and the second right is to kill Palestinians that oppose this
occupation. And the international community gives the Palestinians two
rights, the right to die slowly under occupation and blockade, or the
right to die quickly under bombing [interrupted by question, translator
"Q: Mr. Finkelstein before this interview, we had an interview with
a Hamas spokesperson that said we don't recognize Israel, many Israeli
officials say how can we live beside a group that is armed, and has a
territory under its control and doesn't recognize our right to live.
Norm: I think you're having a problem understanding my words, I think
my English is pretty clear. I think we can both agree that a unity
government was being formed. Hamas accepted to join this unity government.
Hamas accepted the conditions of this unity government, conditions that
were suggested by the US and the EU. So what's the problem with negotiating
with them? The problem is Israel doesn't want to negotiate. This is why the
started the attacks in the West Bank after the abduction of the three
Israeli youths. They arrested 700 Palestinians, killed 11 civilians,
including 4 children, in response to that kidnapping. All this was
to get a reaction from Hamas so they could avoid negotiations.
Now I have a question for you, if the unity government went ahead and
took form, and the US and the EU accepted to negotiate with a unity
government, what could prevent an agreement? You say it is Hamas. But
this basically turns you into a defender of Israel (Israeli government).
[interrupted by question]"7:18
"Q: Mr Finkelstein I brought up the Israeli point of view, we are not in
a position to take sides, to support or denounce either side, we're an
You have written books about the conflict between Israel and Palestine
and have worked and researched in this field. This current situation
what effect could it have on Israel (please answer briefly, thank you)?
Norm: Israel faces a problem. If it makes a ground invasion, it has to
destroy everything in sight, because Israeli society can't tolerate
casualties on its side. They like high tech killings they don't want
an actual war and to see their own casualties. But they can't do this
and kill everything in sight, because after the 2008 conflict, when
1400 Palestinians were killed 1200 of which were civilians, while on the
Israeli side 13 were killed, and only 3 were civilians. The international
community will not tolerate such a bloodbath on the part of Israel.
Therefore Israel faces this dilemma.
Here I want to repeat what Amnesty International said: "there should
be an arms embargo against Israel and Palestine", which I am completely
in favour of. And secondly there should be an international investigation
into war crimes that took place. And third my suggestion and not Amnesty
International's is that there should be international sanctions against
Israel until Israel accepts to put an end to this conflict, once and for
all, and under the conditions that the international community agrees on.
This is simple and easily achievable. Israel does not have this right
to go into Gaza every few years and use these weapons like they're
mowing a lawn. The days of Israel's mowing the lawn in Gaza are over.
And Israeli should be under sanctions until they end the conflict as
dictated by international law.
Q: Norman Finkelstein American political scientist and author of the
book [about the Israel Palestine conflict], I thank you for your
presence on this show."