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GASTESSAY (14)
Fatima Karamazov Prime Ministerof a New Country:
the Republic of Canaan

by Fausto Giudice (f.giudice at gwadaoka.org) (July 2004)
Translated by Noel Ignatiev

Foreword: "Let us have a dream... To those who say, 'But you are dreaming,' Sami Aldeeb, the 'Global Palestinian' who presides over the Association for One Democratic State in Palestine/Israel (AODSPI), regularly responds, 'Oh, you prefer the present nightmare.' One must dream.. To encourage dreaming, I offer this little tale, written September 28, 2003, on the eve of the third anniversary of the Al Aqsa Intifida, but still current, especially since the circus at Geneva. Let each build on this daydream according to his own imagination." - Israel Shamir

Jerusalem / Al Qods, Jan. 30, 2030. For the first time in this century and for the second time in history, Israel has a female Prime Minister. But more important than her sex is the identity of this young woman - she is only forty - whose coalition has just carried the elections to the Knesset. Fatima Karamazov is the offspring of a Russian non-Jewish father - in the Soviet Union an atheist and Communist Party official - and a Palestinian Islamic mother. Born in 1990 in Moscow, she came at the age of three to Umm El Fahm, where her mother was originally from. Her parents met in 1987 in Leningrad, where her mother was studying medicine.

Fatima Karamazov, leader of the Slavic Union, the most popular Israeli party, headed the New Alliance coalition, which brought together 127 Jewish and non-Jewish groups and movements, including 42 Palestinian and 50 mixed groups. Her platform, both simple and revolutionary, won the support of 32% of the voters, putting it far ahead of the traditional zionist parties, which scored between 2% and 15%. In light of the inability of the latter parties to reach an accord, the New Alliance has been given the task of forming the government. Its path will be strewn with obstacles.

Commenting on the result of the elections, the Jerusalem Post ran a front page in the form of an obituary, proclaiming in large black type the "death of zionism." Ha'aretz ran a full-color front page of its own, with Israeli and Palestinian flags crossed, proclaiming in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, "Welcome to the Republic of Canaan!"

Among the controversial points in the platform of the New Alliance are the call for the dismantling of the 800-kilometer wall which has divided the country in two for twenty-five years, the proclamation of a Constitution following a referendum, and the granting of citizenship rights to all inhabitants of "zone B," the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, which were annexed between 2008 and 2010 but whose inhabitants were denied full Israeli citizenship. It will be recalled that the annexation sparked the "Six-month War" of 2011 against Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iraq, which led to 50,000 deaths on the Israeli side and 600,000 deaths on the Syrian-Iraqi side. No one gained a victory in that war, which marked the beginning of Israeli decline.

The New Alliance platform calls for a 25% reduction of the military budget, the reduction of military service from three years to eighteen months, the introduction of a civil service for appointments, and the incorporation of Palestinians into the Army and the police. In addition, the New Alliance has promised to allow immigrant workers residing in the country for more than five years to obtain Israeli nationality or a ten-year resident permit. But what fed the most debate during the electoral campaign was the proposal attributed to Madame Karamazov to change the name of the country and to inscribe the change in the projected Constitution to be submitted to a referendum. The new name of the Israeli-Palestinian state would be Republic of Canaan. Arabic would become an official state language along with Hebrew and Russian; English and French would have the status of national languages.

The New Alliance carried the elections by creating an alliance among three main components of the electorate: Slavic immigrants and their children, Jews originally from Arab and African countries, and "Israeli Arabs." The architects of the campaign were young people born in the "mixed villages" created by their parents in Israel and the West Bank after 2005, which brought together native-born Israelis, Slavic immigrants, and Palestinians. This initiative came from the leaders of the Slavic Union, created in 2002 by immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The population of these "mixed villages" now stands around 120,000.

This relative "new majority" is the first electoral _expression of a demographic reality. It will become an absolute majority when the five million voting-age inhabitants of "Zone B" become voters. To make room for new "Zone B" voters, the New Alliance proposes to increase the number of seats in the Knesset (Majlis in Arabic) from 120 to 201.

The "Zionist Rejection Front," which brought together seventeen fundamentalist groups, has warned that in the event of a Karamazov victory it would bring the country to "fire and blood rather than live bound hand and foot to Muslim and Christian hordes." Karamazov, who was guarded throughout the electoral campaign by a corps of bodyguards, half Russian and half Palestinian, has promised a general amnesty for all political and military prisoners, Palestinians as well as dissident Jews.

If zionism died on January 30, 2030, there still remains the task of turning the new country into a stable and tangible reality. Until then, the government would have to reflect the demographic composition of the country, with a balance of Jewish and non-Jewish ministers. A Palestinian Christian is foreseen as Minister of Justice and a descendant of Ethiopians as Minister of Sport. The Ministers of the Interior and Defense would be Jews of Moroccan and Iraqi origin. The Minister of Foreign Affairs would be the number-two person in the Slavic Union, Konstantin Fedorov, also born in 1990 of parents who had emigrated from the Soviet Union, who had been totally de-Judaized for three generations. Throughout the campaign he refused to answer the question, "Are you Jewish," declaring, "That is a private affair, nobody's business but my own. When the Israelis understand that, they will be able to have a normal, ordinary human society."

Jerusalem-Al Qods, capital of a new universal republic? With the election of Karamazov, the dream at last becomes a reality. And the new Prime Minister has a new relation by choice: the U.S. President Marta Emilia Hernandez, leader of the Rainbow Coalition, now halfway into her second term (she was elected in 2024 and reelected in 2028), who has been a model for Fatima Karamazov.

Madame Hernandez was the first to address a long warm and congratulatory telegram to Madame Karamazov, whose first official trip would have to be to Washington. She is currently putting together an agenda for a round of visits to the principal capitals of the region and of the world, to allow the voice of the "new country" to be heard.

Note on the author: journalist and writer, author of Turk Heads in France (editions La Decouverte, 1989), Arabicides, A French Chronicle (editions La Decouverte, 1992), etc.

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