More than two thirds of the world’s population are already organized into four markets: the Chinese market (1.2 billion people); six hundred million in Europe; and in the two Americas, eight hundred million people. What about the rest? For example, with the Islamic world, which is as big and important as the Chinese community: 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. What direction is this community taking? The fundamentalist and reactionary direction, or the democratic one? Turkey or Iran?
In the Middle East there are three forces that play an important role. First of all, oil. Oil prices are falling, and many rich countries suddenly discover that running a deficit is a problem. It is something they did not know. Second, water and its cost. The Middle East has become a great desert, and if we cannot establish a relationship between water disturbances and economic and ecological factors, people will die from this problem. And the third force — of a very different nature, of course — are women. You know that women are the greatest hope in the Middle East, as, for example, in Iran. The changes in Iran have been achieved by the electoral behavior of women. You see women of a new generation who are no longer willing to wear their mothers’ clothes, who do not want to allow themselves to be oppressed by their families. And that really represents a force.
And in this context I want to refer to the Palestinians. We have to overcome such a strong enmity. We cannot dominate another people, and we, the Israeli Labor Party, say very clearly that we need the Palestinians and we want them to remain where they are. A binational state would not be the solution.
Our generation must not condemn a younger generation to a situation that has no solution. That is why we say that a Palestinian state that has the same economic status as us is in our interest. It would be a tragedy if Israel were a rich people and Palestine a poor state. That is where envy arises, the feeling of discrimination, the exploitation of cheap labor. An economic conflict would turn into a national conflict. And that would become a tragedy for generations.
The world has changed and we socialists must understand it. We hear it said that unemployment is a very important issue. Sure.