April 3, 2008

Peace Now

The link above is to the american version of the Israeli movement founded many years ago when Israel first started flexing its muscle in the 1980s. I was over in Israel on a belated honeymoon in 1983 and heard the ads then pressuring the government for peace. The settlements are a huge mistake. The problem for me as a Jew is that it is unclear whether the Israelis were to blame originally or whether the United States had hidden agendas and strings attached to their support of the Israelis. Israel under Golda Meir was a much better country. Getting it back to that will not be possible with this generation of Israelis who feel entitled because ... they have been told so many false things so many times that they believe them to be true. 1. Israel is such a small nation it cannot absorb the palestinians who will swamp the country because they reproduce more than the israelis do, 2. Israel needs to have a defensive posture because everyone hates them, 3. Israel is right no matter what, 4. it is OK for Israelis to shoot rockets in response to Palestian provocation, 5. it is OK for Israel to starve populations who cannot escape. These are all hogwash arguments. It is not ok to starve populations. Jews who do this are no better than Dachau guards. It is not ok to rocket trapped populations. Warsaw ghettos were wrong and so is this policy. Yes, it is right that Israel is a tiny nation but it does not give them the right to be so racists. Yes, 1948 was an awful year that gave birth to a nation with a troubled pysche. That nation needs to deal with their pysche and deal with it constructively by bringing in the palestinians. But it is way too late for that now. Yes, giving land is a bad deal. Yes, giving up water rights is a worse deal. There will be no good answers after the intifada. But we can hope for the best by looking for mutual solutions. We can't give up.