In Brief— An examination of why the Israeli government stands in the way of peace with the Palestinians.
The Definition of Insanity—
It is often said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. If that is the case, why is the Israeli government refusing to treat the Palestinians as the full equals of all Israelis?
Ignorance is defined as lack of knowledge. Stupidity is willful ignorance. The Israeli government knows that its harmful policies toward the Palestinians will only allow hatred to fester, but they keep repeating those policies. That’s stupid.
There is no disputing the fact that the hatred Israelis and Palestinians feel for one another isn’t going to disappear as long as the Israeli government kills Palestinians, walls them off, destroys their homes and resorts in collective punishment of all in answer to the understandable if extreme actions of a few. This piece presents arguments for a single state in which there is equality for both Israelis and Palestinians.
I have written of the poisonous effect of wedding politics and religion. It makes no difference whether it’s Israel, Iraq or the United States. The result is always destructive. We are all human beings with common drives, but as soon as politics and religion are mixed, our commonality is forgotten in favor of suppression. It’s well past time to do something different: Live together in peace. How can this be done? In a moment, I’ll offer a solution.
In the past we have seen that Britain thought it had solved it’s Zionist problem (and other nations’ “Jewish” problems) by joining with other nations in establishing a Jewish homeland on “empty land” that had belonged to Palestinians for hundreds of years. Thus was Israel born. Thus was the foundation for conflict laid.
So how is religion involved? Judaism is based on their deity’s promise that this land will belong to its adherents forever. Netanyahu, a politician like his predecessors, keeps expanding Israel’s boundaries on Palestinian land based on this belief. Here we see a good example of the wedding of politics and religion.
Palestinian Provocation…or Dissent—
What is the Palestinian response to Israeli policies and actions? Rockets, rocks and deadly attacks against Israeli citizens and soldiers are not just provocations but can be seen as misguided dissent against unjust treatment. Regardless of the illogic of such attacks, these attacks are evidence of the hatred caused by Israeli government policies and actions.
Possible Solutions to Avoid Mutual Hatred—
Some otherwise intelligent people claim that the establishment of two states—Israel and Palestine—is the answer. As I’ve pointed out before, this solution is essentially dead and clearly won’t resolve the conflict between the two sides. What might?
I believe that only a single state granting full rights and equality to both Israelis and Palestinians could solve the problem.
Some will argue that 1) Israel will no longer be a homeland for the Jews and/or, 2) the Palestinian birth rate will eventually result in more Palestinians than Jews.
The counter argument is that with equality the existence of Israel is assured and there is no need for separate homelands in an equal world. The Holocaust is undeniable history, but it’s past. New and future challenges require a new way of thinking.
If the Palestinian birth rate dilutes the ratio, what difference does that make if all citizens are equal? It’s essentially the same as the fear in America that it will no longer be a white majority. It’s a false and illogical concern in a single state that guarantees equality for all citizens.
Israel’s counterproductive and, yes, stupid approach must be cast aside in favor of peace. Speaking of insanity, the Israeli government has now passed a law preventing critics of Israel from entering the country. That stupid move is counterproductive not only to peace but democracy.
Let’s remove a key source of conflict in the Middle East. With that out of the way, we can deal with the other conflicts that plague the world.