My Idea for Israeli/Palestinian Peace Process – Uhhh, How ’bout Saying What You Really Mean?

17 04 2010

Let’s start off by clarifying a few things before you get all upset.

1. Am I “Anti-Israel”?
No. I don’t want to see Israel destroyed, but I also don’t believe that the Palestinian people have no right to exist.

2. Am I some dumb fool who believes that peace can happen overnight?
No. Peace takes a long time, so the sooner we get started, the better.

3. Since I’m not jewish or muslim, I obviously can’t care strongly enough about the issue and therefore have no right to an opinion, particularly one which I’ve made public.
This is the one that bothers me the most because I’ve had people – friends – say this to me in all seriousness and think that doing so is quite alright.

I'm not Hillary Clinton either, but I would strike the same pose at this point.

No, I’m not jewish. I’m not a muslim either, I’m agnostic. I don’t practice anything. I don’t have a problem with any individual who does until they start telling me what I do and do not have the right to think about and discuss. At that point, whether they know it or not, that individual and I have a big problem, and it has nothing to do with their religion and everything to do with their arrogance and pretension masked as piety.

Still not the Secretary of State. Just needed the pose again.

I hate to break this to them, but any sort of armed conflict in that region effects everyone and it doesn’t stop to make sure I have a personal stake in the matter before it messes with me. The way I see it, if the problems caused belong to everyone, the solution should too. Everyone should have a seat at the negotiating table whatever their religion or lack thereof.

So now that I’ve stated where I stand, what’s my idea?


I don’t believe any of the public statements put out there by anyone – not the Israelis, not the Palestinians, not the US, not the UN, not anybody – and haven’t for quite a while. I would love for the Israelis, Palestinians, US, UN, League of Arab Nations, and any other groups involved in the peace process to meet somewhere and speak their minds. It wouldn’t be pretty, but we’d have a far better idea of how big a task the peace process actually is and who really wants it. For example, I don’t believe for one minute that Israel – the government, the people, all of it – wants a two-state solution. From a practical standpoint, they have no reason to want it. All they do is loose land. Many say they would gain an enemy, but I don’t see how. They’re already fighting the Palestinians, so the enemy would not be a new one. Speaking of the Palestinians, I think that they would like a two-state very much – it beats being a refugee in what was, at one time, your country – but they don’t want to appear weak by just talking over an agreement and then signing it. No, they want to fight tooth and nail for their peace. Unfortunately, no one has informed them that, to paraphrase an old expression, violence for the sake of peace is like promiscuity for the sake of virginity. It doesn’t work very well. The US and the League of Arab Nations are two sides of the same coin. Both have voices calling for peace within them, but there are strong loyalties within them linking the whole group to one side or the other. The Arab League of Nations will always back Palestine over peace and the US will never push for peace as hard as it pushes for Israel for a number of reasons, all political. The UN, if we’re honest, has lost much of its power. I wish it weren’t the case and I wish someone were able to put them on the path to becoming what they once were, but for now they serve one very important purpose – they condense, into one voice, world opinion and make that voice heard. While, traditionally, the world at large has had its issues with jewish people – that’s one reason why Israel was created in the first place – currently, the world voice is still calling for peace and a homeland for both peoples.

If everyone involved would say what was unpopular but true, maybe we’d get somewhere before the two sides start lobbing missiles at each other again. I’m glad we are still working on peace even though I complain about the process. We can work on disagreements, nihilism gets us nowhere.

If it’s news you’re after as opposed to my thoughts and opinions, this site follows the process very closely and does so fairly and honestly, I feel.



2 responses

17 04 2010

You’ve hit on the major problem with all discussions about Mideast Peace- no one will discuss the issue objectively (if such a thing is possible) or honestly. It’s a difficult situation and difficult truths need to be spoken- out loud. Obama and SOS Clinton initially attempted to do this, beginning with his speech in Cairo and they have gotten nothing but blowback since. As I’ve said hundreds of times, there are people on all sides, including the US Congress, who talk about “peace in the Middle East” but the phrase is empty and meaningless because when it comes to doing what is necessary, albeit unpleasant at times, they dig their heels in and whine, cry and shout at the top of their lungs that to speak such truths is disloyal.

There is a huge imbalance of power in that Israel has the upper hand and the backing of the US. The Palestinians have no army, no freedom of movement and no real bargaining chips thanks to Hamas. Netanyahu knows this and by refusing to move forward and continuing to build in East Jerusalem he ensures that there will be less land for a two-state solution although the cost will be very high, as Pres. Obama said, in terms of “blood and treasure”- a recent comment for which the conservative media harshly criticized him although it was the truth.

The real problem for the AIPAC crowd is that Netanyahu has been exposed as the Emperor who has no clothes- if he wants to bang on about Iran and Israel’s right to security, so be it but then to pick a fight with the Obama admin. who is leading the charge for sanctions against Iran and which wants to help the Israelis and Palestinians live side by side peacefully, is counterproductive. In fact, Bibi is doing exactly the opposite of what he should be doing if he really wants to ensure Israel’s security both short and long term.

The other problem for the AIPAC crowd is what Gen. Petreus pointed out several weeks ago- that with the US military spread out all over the region, the continued prolongation of the Arab-Israeli conflict puts American lives and interests at risk. This of course is so basic so as to not even need to be uttered out loud and yet it upset AIPAC, certain members of Congress and the ADL so much that the ADL wrote a letter denouncing the General’s assessment. In other words they refuse to accept that our relationship with Israel can be very positive but unless things change, it can also be negative and that is why the US has every right to push both sides to the negotiating table.

Professor Juan Cole has hit the nail on the head in my view- with each passing day a two-state solution seems less likely:

19 04 2010

First off, Stacy, thank you for dropping by my little corner of the blogosphere and thank you for the link.

When I was in high school, I thought that I would see a viable two-state solution that would sort things out as best as can be expected with neighbor who hate each other. I didn’t think it would be immediate, but I thought it wouldn’t be too far away, less than thirty or so years. Now I can’t believe how pessimistic my outlook has become. How things change.

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