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(Cross-posted at Nontrivial Pursuits)

I am reposting this because I am actually quite proud of the fact that I was able to write an I-P diary that (1) speaks positively about the Palestinians, (2) is sympathetic to the Jewish people's deepest aspirations, (3) is optimistic about the possibilities of a lasting peace, and it does so (4) without generating any HR's.  If you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so.

.

Once again, we've watched as Israel launched itself into yet another of its periodic efforts to 'defend' itself by seeking to kill all of the Palestinians in Gaza who have either killed Israeli Jews with missile fire, or have helped the militants in their efforts to kill Jews, or have maybe been considering the possibility of killing Jews in the future, or who have simply been hanging out around the missile launchers.

These 'lashing out' responses to Palestinian attacks always provide Israel's civilian population with a certain amount of short-term 'satisfaction', satisfaction that will last for at least another six months or so.  But if the Israeli people took some time to think their situation through from a long-term perspective, it might occur to them that the 'gut instinct' response is actually a very stupid approach for them to embrace, as a people, from one generation to the next.

Over the long run, it just hasn't worked.  They've embraced the 'muscular' approach for over 60 years and that is how many years it has failed to bring about lasting peace and security.  Something else must be done to make the killing stop.  Something other than simply preparing for the next 'beatdown' that you fully expect to be delivering again sometime in the future.

One would think that the Israelis might have put some serious thought into imagining what a future Lasting Peace would look like.  (By a lasting peace, I am necessarily talking about one that even the hawks in Israel would find acceptable and worthy of trust.)

I suspect that if they were to ponder this question at length, it would occur to them that if they want to achieve a lasting peace, it is essential that they find a way to change the feelings that the Palestinians currently have toward the Israeli population in Palestine, from very negative to very positive.

Feelings of hatred, for example, would need to be replaced with feelings of gratitude and good will.  Appreciative smiles must replace the furtive looks that only barely hide feelings of fear and loathing.  If this does not happen, how will it ever be possible for the Israeli people to feel secure in their homes?

This is the supreme, ultimate key to constructing a peace agreement that could actually succeed in ending the conflict between Arab and Jew.  Any 'agreement' that Palestinian leaders could be coerced into accepting through muscular diplomacy and international pressure is guaranteed to fail if it does not replace the feelings of hatred that the Palestinians currently feel with feelings of gratitude.

Isn't that something that we can all agree on?

What, if anything, could be done to bring about such a wondrous change in the hearts of the Palestinian people?  That is THE key question that the Israeli people need to start asking themselves.

(continued...)

EXTREME GENEROSITY

My advice is that the Israelis try an approach that they have never really considered before: EXTREME GENEROSITY.  You'll want to keep in mind that I'm not talking about offers that the Israelis might think are very generous; I'm talking about proposals that the Palestinians would perceive as very generous.

In order for the Palestinian people to ‘let go’ of all the bitterness and resentment they feel now, in order for them to start feeling within their hearts some positive feelings of appreciation toward the Israelis, it is absolutely essential that they be able to walk away from the negotiations table feeling as though they had won a tremendous victory.

They need to end up with a settlement that is so incredibly generous, and so filled with face-saving Israeli [and American] concessions, they won't be able to contain their joy at their good fortune.  They need to feel as though they have won a great victory and their Muslim sympathizers around the world need to see that the Palestinians are delighted with their good fortune.

What the Israeli people need to understand is that this is the kind of Peace Settlement they are going to want the Palestinians to end up with because it is the only kind of settlement that is going to give them the Lasting Peace---the freedom from fear---that they yearn for.

They need to change the hearts of the Palestinians with something dramatic.  The Israelis will know that they have finally achieved true peace when they start to see smiles on the faces of the Palestinian people, smiles that reflect authentic feelings of gratitude and friendliness toward them.

It’s your choice, Israel.  Endless war, with the likelihood of nuclear devastation in the future, or a true and lasting peace with your neighbors.  What will the Israeli people get for the high price they might ultimately have to pay?

Only their “Right to Exist” from the only people who can legitimately grant them that right, the people who used to own the land before Israel's founding fathers took it from them at gunpoint.  Yes, the Palestinians will be willing to grant the Israelis the right to inhabit and rule the land they once owned, but only if they feel as though they have been handsomely compensated for it.

All of the hatred that half the world currently feels toward Israel would come to an end.  The Israeli people may feel as though their founding fathers achieved a great thing when they resurrected the state of Israel from the dustbin of history, but they really haven’t achieved a thing, yet.  Existing at the cost of being constantly hated is not much of an achievement.

The Israeli people have an opportunity right now to amaze the world with a dramatic and historically unprecedented move to change the deeply resentful feelings that their current enemies have toward them.  What a gift that would be for the children of Israel...a future that is cleansed of their fear of future annihilation.  That is what the Israeli people can achieve for themselves if they do something like this:

Agree to a compensation package that overwhelms the Palestinians with its generosity.  Give them [virtually] everything they’ve been demanding for the past forty years plus a little bit more.  Pre-1967 borders.  Jerusalem becomes either an international city, or a multi-capital city.

If it becomes supremely important to Israeli negotiators to turn some of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank into Israeli land, then the Palestinians must be given twice as much pre-1967 Israeli land in compensation.  The way to win the good will of the Palestinian people is by shocking them with your ‘new leaf’ commitment to astounding generosity.

The Israelis need to get over the urge to get best deal they can, by bargaining 'tough' with the Palestinians and threatening them with more pain if they don’t give the Israelis the things that they want.  Instead, they need to stun the world with an amazing display of good will and a generous spirit.

On top of all the territorial concessions, throw in a huge amount of cash at the Palestinians.  Make them feel as though they had all just “won the lottery.”  Would $30,000 per family be enough?  $50,000?  $80,000?  Pour an equally generous amount of money into the construction of new businesses, industries, and a modern infrastructure in the new Palestine.

Where would all the money for this come from?

Well, if we were to take all the money that Israel and the United States are now spending on their Wars on Terror and then solicit big contributions from Europe, Japan, China, and the rich Arab states, it should not be difficult to put together a pot of around $500 billion, which should be more than enough to overwhelm approximately 5 million Palestinians with a feeling of great pride and satisfaction.

They would finally have Peace With Honor.

AN APOLOGY

There is one more thing we could give them that would guarantee the success of the Extreme Generosity approach.  It is actually something that Israel cannot give them, but the United States can.  It is also something that would not cost the American taxpayers a cent.

What might this magical ‘something’ be? A formal admission by the United States government that we had been wrong all along in getting ourselves involved in the dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  Why would we do such a thing?  Because it is the simple truth.

Mistakes made by American leaders in decades past are ultimately to blame for the fear that Americans currently have of one day suffering a nuclear terrorist attack.  It was good old Harry S. Truman who first got us involved in the Arab-Israeli dispute and it was his decision in 1948 that put us on the side of the Israelis.

At the time, the American people were feeling a lot of sympathy for the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed, so it was easy for them to consent to a plan to ‘give them a homeland’ where they would be free of persecution.  Unfortunately, everyone in the press conveniently ignored the fact that the land the U.N. decided to give to the Jews happened to belong to someone else.

The U.N.'s proposal to grant the Zionists a new homeland out of Palestinian lands was not a popular one with some deeply religious Jews, a fact that most Americans are currently unaware of.

To understand how the Palestinians see the creation of the state of Israel, imagine a similar thing happening here, in America.  What if the Indians who lived in New Jersey 300 years ago fled by boat to Europe instead of becoming assimilated into the developing American culture?  What if, over the years, those Indians educated themselves and kept their sense of ‘nationhood’ alive and maintained a dream of some day returning to their homeland?

And what if they started emigrating back to New Jersey in big numbers maybe 75 years ago and made it clear that they intended to get their land back? What if the majority of European nations supported their cause and sent them military hardware and financial support? How do you think the modern inhabitants of New Jersey would feel about the claim that the land really belonged to the Indians because they had once lived there 300 years ago?

I’m pretty sure I know how most property owners in New Jersey would respond. Outraged? You bet. Militant? You can count on it, especially if the seizure took place at gunpoint, as it did in Israel in 1948. The truth is that it is impossible for the United States to justify its support for Israel while declaring loudly to the world that it is outrageous and immoral for one country to invade and annex another.

It’s theft at gunpoint, any way you look at it. This is why the Palestinians and their Muslim sympathizers are so crazy angry at the United States, because they see the incredible hypocrisy of our political leaders and are outraged that we do not see the injustice and sympathize with their plight.

Yes, it’s true. Our sympathy for the Jews---a good thing---is what ultimately led us to make an incredibly stupid decision to approve an illegal and immoral act. Maybe we weren’t guilty of malevolence, but we are nevertheless paying the price now for the moral/intellectual lapse we had back then.

Since Nine Eleven, we have been spending hundreds of billions of dollars on Homeland Security and on the Iraq & Afghanistan wars and we will be spending trillions more in the future if we cannot get ourselves on the right side of history. Does this mean that we are supposed to start hating the Israeli Jews now? Of course not. But no longer can we play favorites.

WISE PARENTS

Americans have become accustomed to seeing the Israelis as their friends.  I’m not recommending that we just toss that aside.

When a parent sees his child being chased by some angry adults who live at the far end of the neighborhood, he will naturally assume that his child is being victimized and will threaten the pursuers if they do not cease chasing his child.

But if he listens to the adults and finds out that his child stole something from them and damaged their property, he will not abandon the child, but will reprimand him and insist that he do the right thing to make amends.

If he is a Wise Parent, he will feel a little embarrassed, but he will not hesitate to scold his child.  He will recognize that an opportunity exists for his child to learn some important lessons about life through acts of atonement.

But if he is a Foolish Parent, he will ignore all evidence that is presented to him of his child’s guilt and will accuse the angry adults of ‘just hating’ his child for no good reason.  He will focus, instead, on being loyal to his family members and trying to defend them from all outsiders, no matter what they might have done to earn the antipathy of strangers.

For 60 years, America has been a Foolish Parent re: the Arab-Israeli dispute.  Because our ‘child’ has always been in the wrong, we now have a lot of people around the world hating us for our moral hypocrisy, who see us as an arrogant enemy of Justice.

We can bring an end to the Arab-Israeli Feud if we would stop being foolish and start being Wise Parents, instead.  We have a moral responsibility to try to talk the Israelis into doing the one thing that is going to bring true peace to their land.

For Israel, it is actually quite simple.  They are not going to get True Peace without Happy Palestinians and they are not going to get Happy Palestinians unless the Palestinians are able to achieve a negotiations settlement that is 'unbelievable' in its magnitude.

Israel can give them that and still keep at least 90% of what they had in 1966.  They will have to give up a little, but they will have won the biggest prize of them all, the one that has eluded them for sixty plus years: the acceptance of their 'right to exist' by the Palestinians.

When the Palestinians grant them this right, then the rest of the Muslim world will grant it also if face is saved with the gifts of extreme generosity and the United States apologizes to the Muslims of the world for mis-reading their grievance.  If/when the United States does this, there won't be a dry eye in all of Islam.  The 'Clash of Civilizations' will be over.  Peace will have finally arrived.

For the Israelis, they would not only finally have peace and friendly relations with the Palestinians, but would also the respect and admiration of 'the rest of the world' [i.e., the world that is not America or Western Europe].

The Story of Modern Israel in the history would no longer be one of colonization and repression and military aggression, but one of a people who decided to transform themselves, who amazed the world with their collective decision to embrace humility and apologize to their former victims.  A people who share an earnest desire to convince those victims that they can be good after all is said and done.

Yes, President Obama, it is true that all peoples may very well have a 'right' to defend themselves, but sometimes it is really, really stupid to defend yourself in ways that only ensure that you will continue to be surrounded by enemies who hate you and who would like to see you die.

Originally posted to James Kroeger on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:15 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Palestinians are entitled to the same (12+ / 0-)

    as we pledge for ourselves... "liberty and justice for all." These are human rights, not gifts, not matters of generosity.

    Although an apology would be appropriate, too.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:44:49 AM PST

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      ...do you think it would succeed, if it was tried?

      On a side note, how many times do you thing this diary will be HR'd?

    •  Agreed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kroeger, bluedust

      Although I agree with most of this diary, I suspect it would turn most Palestinians off by the suggestion that they can be bought.
      Also, I think Native Americans going to Asia and setting up colonies might be a more apt analogy.
      And I foresee flaming of the diarist if not HR's. But I've learned that there is no safe position so you might as well be honest.

      Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

      by emidesu on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:15:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naah... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluedust
        I suspect it would turn most Palestinians off by the suggestion that they can be bought.
        I think this would be a misreading of the state of mind of the vast majority of Palestinians, who have been willing for quite a while to accept the certainty that Israel is going to be around for a long, long time and they really, really would like to have some peace; it's just that they can't abide a peace with dishonor.

        An extremely generous settlement would give them their honor, enable them to say to themselves and each other that they did give up their land, but because they were adamant about justice, they finally got justice.  In effect, they sold a huge amount of their land to the Israeli colonists because they got a really good deal for it.

        •  I'd like to ask how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian

          you are ostensibly correctly "reading the state of mind of the vast majority of Palestinians?"  Are you drawing upon sociological studies that quantify data and construct averages?  Are there particular polls?  How significant a majority is it?  Is "vast" 70%?  Is it 80%?

          I don't really understand how diaries and comments assert anything about either Israeli or Palestinian mentalities without data.  When looking at a complex conflict in which two hetergeneous cultural groupings are at odds, and a conflict whose discourse is often oversimplified with terms like "racism" and "anti-Semitism" and "Islamophobia" and other accusations of unethical generalization, it seems particularly crucial to avoid participating in such generalizations without having something to back it up.

        •  On what do you base your "reading" of (0+ / 0-)

          "the state of mind of the vast majority of Palestinians?"

          Both Israelis and Palestinians are diverse and heterogeneous cultural/national communities, just like all cultural/national communities.  One side is frequently accused of anti-Semitism and the other of racism.  Give that such generalizations are problematic, why would anyone want to engage in generalizing about them or their "states of mind" without some data?  Is there a particular survey?  Is there a current and up to date sociological study that quantifies data and calculates averages?  What is the difference between a majority and a vast majority?  Is a majority of 70% vast?  Or does the vastness of the majority depend upon reaching 80%?  83%?  

          At this point, given how both the conflict itself and its discussion are vexed by problematic generalizing assumptions, I think statements like this need to be backed up by something.  And if you don't have something to back it up, maybe that's a sign that your assumptions lack appropriate grounding and need to be tested and verified in some way before asserting them as facts.

          •  Well, the only way to know for sure... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuck utzman

            ...is to poll each and every one of them, to avoid sampling errors.

            And seriously, if I produced the results of some surveys, would you accept them as 'proof' of my assertions? :)

            The whole idea of making assertions like this is not to prove a claim, but to provide the reader with a rational inference that he/she might not have been exposed to previously.  (An inference re: 'what makes the Palestinian people tick', i.e., what can explain the behavior we have seen.)

            If you are sincerely interested in the reasoning that informs my assertions re: the Palestinians (and all other peoples of the world), you might want to read through my essay, "Why Are People So Cruel?"  In it you find another of my 'unproven' claims re: human nature...all human beings have the same emotional needs.

            Again, proof is not possible, I simply encourage people to consider the logic of my assertions...

            •  How is this different from positioning (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neuroptimalian

              predjudices as facts?

              And yes, I would be happy to consider your assertions as responsible if they were based on something.  There's plenty of research to use and it's readily available.  You see, you have already assumed that I disagree with your general perspective on the conflict because I question both the responsibility and ethicality of its formulation here.

              The fact that absolute proof or consensus sources are few and far between doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to base assertions on something more than our general impressions of "what the  Palestinians think" or "what the Israelis think" or "what the Arabs think" or "what the Jews think" or by analogy "what women think" or "what the blacks think" or "what the poor think" or...etc.

              Saying that absolute consensus or unimpeachable data are impossible is a terrible cop out.  You don't need to do the work yourself.  But you do, if you aspire to ethical analysis of cultural communities, need to take the time to inform yourself and your readers.  And when someone asks for the basis of your assertion, it doesn't serve you at all to assume that someone is asking in bad faith.  It makes your argument appear defensive and lazy.

              You can also formulate opinions without recourse to generalizing about the mindsets of entire populations.  Then you avoid this.  Your analysis might be structural, functional, theoretical, materialist, or employ any other critical lens.  But it's borderline racist to generalize about what such communities think without basing it on data that includes their constituents' actual experiences and responses.

            •  Here you go (0+ / 0-)

              Take 45 minutes and skim a few of these: http://scholar.google.co.il/...

              Khalil Shikaki is broadly considered one of the most responsible sources for Palestinian public opinion.  His brother was a founder of Islamic Jihad, and he became a leading academic sociologist and pollster.  So you see, it's not a good idea to generalize about the state of mind even within a single Palestinian family.  Two very different responses to historical suffering and injustice.

            •  I agree with your diary, but ortheorder has a (0+ / 0-)

              point.
              I wouldn't make your proposal dependent on the immediate and easy acceptance by the Palestinians.
              It's too important an issue.
              Main thing is to get them their human rights and some food, water, health care, jobs, dignity, etc. asap.
              That will help change their minds.
              I think that we need a way forward that puts this atavistic tribalism behind us.
              It might take some convincing, and it might take a generation at least, for the change to "sink in", but ultimately what you're proposing is almost the only way to achieve peace. The alternative is eternal warfare that not only jews and Palestinians have to deal with, but the whole world.

              I'm tired of this shit. The first thing Israel needs to do is boot Netanyahu out of office. This last outburst of killing was all about his re-election.
              There's another issue here. The Israelis are testing Iron Dome, as are Hamas/Hezbollah-Iran.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:05:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Should the US and Israel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, mahakali overdrive

    Vote "Yes" on thursday, when the PA brings to the UN a vote for non member observer status?

    What would you do about the Israeli concerns regarding vulnerability to International Criminal Court actions?  Amnesty?

    •  Vote yes? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure it really matters how they vote, if they can't pull of an Extreme Generosity maneuver.

      If the U.S and Israel could agree on the EG approach, it would make sense for them to seek Palestinian forgiveness of past wrongs committed.  

      If the total package offered is generous enough, I suspect the Palestinians would be in a mood to grant it.

  •  Hmmm... (5+ / 0-)

    From your link:

    IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT ALL THE SAGES AND SAINTS IN EUROPE AT THE TIME OF HITLER'S RISE DECLARED THAT HE WAS A MESSENGER OF DIVINE WRATH, SENT TO CHASTEN THE JEWS BECAUSE OF THE BITTER APOSTASY OF ZIONISM AGAINST THE BELIEF IN THE EVENTUAL MESSIANIC REDEMPTION.
    Probably not the most constructive source you could've chosen to make your case.
    •  Uhh... (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't provide the link to 'make my case' but only to let the uninformed know that there are some Jews out there who are very critical of Israel's leadership class, that not all Jews uniformly stand behind Israel's purported 'right to exist.'

      Of course, like most people, Jews who are critical of Israel are as likely as not to have any number of bad/stupid/dubious ideas that at least partially inform their perspective.

      What is not clear to me is how this citation could be rationally seen as damaging to my thesis, which is that it would be a good idea for Israeli Jews to try to make the Palestinians feel positively toward them.

      •  You raise that point for a reason. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greek Tragedy

        Specifically to attach credibility to a thesis by showing Jewish support for the proposal.  The support comes from an organization that depicts the Holocaust as an act of divine wrath aimed at chastening Jews.  At the very least, the inclusion of such an argument indicates poor judgement in securing moral support.  In the main, it taints your entire argument.

        I don't have much sympathy for your point of view, but you might consider citing another Jewish organization.

        •  Non sequitur (0+ / 0-)

          I may not have made it excruciatingly clear that my purpose in citing the Jewsnotzionists.org was only to provide evidence that NOT ALL JEWS are 100% behind Israel's purported right to exist, but that is all that was intended.

          Gee, I feel like Barack Obama who, during the campaign, would make some clearly innocuous statement about some issue and then the Republicans would seize upon some of the 'imprecise wording' he used and then willfully interpret it to mean that he, Obama, actually supports some things---only incidentally connected---that he clearly doesn't support.

          The interesting thing is that the only reason they were able to misrepresent Obama's intentions was because he failed to use language that would exclude the possibility that his critic's ridiculous interpretations were what he meant.)

          I'm confident that most readers will not misconstrue my arguments/intentions as you appear to have.

          :)

          •  That's different. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greek Tragedy

            The President doesn't agree with you that the US needs apologize for 1948.  He also didn't look for moral support from an organization that believes the Holocaust is an act of divine judgement.

            •  Oh boy, here we go... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluedust

              Now you insinuate that I look to ultra-conservative Rabbis for moral support?  

              I must say that you have all the savvy misrepresentational skills that an elected Republican politician constantly relies on...

              •  I insinuated nothing. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Greek Tragedy

                I explicitly said you look to Jews Not Zionists for moral support.  And that's precisely what you did.  Whether or not it was an oversight or indicates other motives is not my concern.  I did suggest you edit your diary accordingly.

                •  Uh, no, that's not what he said -- multiple times (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  James Kroeger, bluedust, Emmy

                  He used "Jews Not Zionists" solely as an example of a group of Jews who do not support Israel, to show that such support is not monolithic among all Jews.  

                  Whatever other views that group may hold are incidental to the thrust of the argument, "Not all Jews support Israel."

                  Sure, he could have put in "Note:  This group has a lot of ideas I don't agree with and that have nothing to do with the point I'm making," but it seems like you are deliberately attempting to deflect the discussion into minutiae by combing that site for things you won't like or that will make the diarist look bad.

                  James, I'd suggest you throw in the quickie edit and cut this digression off at the knees.  Otherwise, you'll end up doing a lot of fighting about red herrings and straw men, rather than the meat of your argument.

                  "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

                  by stormicats on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:06:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ridiculous. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Greek Tragedy

                    Here's the exact passage:

                    To understand how the Palestinians (and some Jews) see the creation of the state of Israel, imagine a similar thing happening here, in America.  What if the Indians who lived in New Jersey 300 years ago fled by boat to Europe instead of becoming assimilated into the developing American culture?  What if, over the years, those Indians educated themselves and kept their sense of ‘nationhood’ alive and maintained a dream of some day returning to their homeland?
                    Kroeger is asking the reader to empathize with Palestinians and some Jews, comparing the plight of Palestinians to Native Americans.  The Jewish organization he cites when begging for sympathy is one that has some very heinous views on the Holocaust.  

                    I've already suggested twice that Kroger edit his diary to reflect the views of a different organization.  That'd probably be more effective than simply trying to distance himself in a disclaimer.

                    •  Persistence pays off... (0+ / 0-)

                      So as to not confuse you with imprecise wording, I have re-written the section:

                      At the time, the American people were feeling a lot of sympathy for the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed, so it was easy for them to consent to a plan to ‘give them a homeland’ where they would be free of persecution.  Unfortunately, everyone in the press conveniently ignored the fact that the land the U.N. decided to give to the Jews happened to belong to someone else.

                      The U.N.'s proposal to grant the Zionists a new homeland out of Palestinian lands was not a popular one with some deeply religious Jews, a fact that most Americans are currently unaware of.

                      To understand how the Palestinians see the creation of the state of Israel, imagine a similar thing happening here, in America.  What if the Indians who lived in New Jersey 300 years ago fled by boat to Europe instead of becoming assimilated into the developing American culture?  What if, over the years, those Indians educated themselves and kept their sense of ‘nationhood’ alive and maintained a dream of some day returning to their homeland?

                      I hope this section now meets your satisfaction...
  •  I agree with the diarist, despite reality (11+ / 0-)

    Netanyahu, following Sharon, seems to be bent on driving to an end that his words do not represent in public.

    That end would seem to be complete subjugation of the Palestinians and possibly their annhiliation if that can't be achieved.  

    Hitting them every now and then with crazy violence on a scale that shocks the world would seem to have no other purpose.  

    But the future of this has to be considered.  

    I think the diarist is one of the few who have put forward a way to think about this that isn't in the conventional box and for that ought to get some thanks.  

    It don't see the present leadership of the public in Israel going for it, but on the other hand, they have worked themselves into a really narrow and stereotyped pattern of seeing.  

    I think the two state solution may have been rendered impossible, considering that the land base necessary for it probably hasn't existed for a long time now.  The drive to take land and build "facts on the ground" in the form of settlements has pretty well succeeded in gobbling up the land that would have made a Palestinian state viable.

    If the two state solution isn't viable, then the question becomes one of the nature of the population as the next few generations come on the scene.  The state of Israel may have to deal with more and more Arab citizens who gain sufferage and vote.  There may be a future in which the Israeli prime minister is an Arab.  

    The effort to keep a nation ethnically and religiously homogenous would seem ultimately futile.  How long the process might take for natural evolution to overtake the hardened attitudes and stubborn resistence to change in the present population is anyone's guess.  It has been two or three since 1948.  Another two or three?  Four or five?  Six?  Ten?  

    I think there is an amazing amount of short term thinking among the so called leaders in this.  

    Again, I support the diarist in his effort to get out of the same old rut.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:07:20 AM PST

  •  Israeli Elections are January 2013 (5+ / 0-)

    How "convenient" that a "security operation" will be fresh in the minds of the Israeli electorate at that time.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:10:25 AM PST

  •  Like others, you have tried to write a solution to (4+ / 0-)

    the Middle East conundrum, and you have fallen into the same trap: historical amnesia.

    In point of fact, Israel has, more than once, offered to generously give Palestinians virtually everything they asked for (except, of course, the annihilation of Israel). Arafat made specific demands on what land he wanted in exchange for peace. The Israelis agree to all of it, at the Dayton negotiations. Arafat then said "NO" and launched the intifada. We know how that turned out.

    Now, there is a chorus of those condemning Israel for mobilizing against Gaza JUST because Hamas is using Gaza as a base to rain hundreds of rockets and missiles down on Israeli women, children, schools, hospitals, churches and synagogues every day. I mean, how cruel of the Israelis; er, Palestinians.

    But to abandon sarcasm for a moment, the most liberal advocates for Palestinians never seem to want to deal with the fundamental problem, which is that the Arab nations WANT the Palestinians to suffer.

    Ever since the establishment of Israel, and particularly since the seven day war, the Arab states jointly adopted a policy of abandoning the Palestinian people, trying to make them an albatross around Israel's neck that would (they hoped) sink Israel. Hamas continues this policy by using civilians in Gaza as a shield to hide behind, while they launch gratuitously violent attacks on Israeli civilians.

    Were ANYONE to set up shop in Tijuana and rain hundreds of rockets down on schools in California and Texas, would you expect the US to act any differently? Sure, you'll say yes; but the fact is, that if it were American children and mothers dying, the president would face impeachment if the Marines didn't respond immediately.

    IF there is to be peace in the Middle East, the Arab nations will have to withdraw their support from terrorist organizations, condemn terrorism, bankroll the formation of a civil society in Palestine and Gaza, and fully support a peaceful settlement.

    I have no doubt, what so ever, that if that happened, both Israel and the US would respond positively. But no nation can be expected to continuously offer up ever more generous concessions to an enemy that is continuously holding a gun to the head of said nation's women and children.

    So, perhaps we can save our condemnations of Israel until we are ready to condemn, equally strongly and vociferously, the terrorism and military attacks that come from Palestinians.

    •  Historical Amnesia? (5+ / 0-)

      perhaps better than ahistorical hallucinations.

      Dayton accords?  Wrong continent, that was to resolve Bosnia Herzogovina.  

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Now General Keith Dayton's mission was to arm and train Fatah to kill Hamas, with our tax dollars.  http://www.aljazeera.com/...

      Israel has had an offer on the table since 1988 for non belligerence, full diplomatic recognition of the Arab States in return for withdrawing to the green line.  ISrael chose the territories over peace.

    •  Just about everything in your position... (5+ / 0-)

      ...is based on a false premise:

      Israel has, more than once, offered to generously give Palestinians virtually everything they asked for...
      As I pointed out above...
      I'm not talking about offers that the Israelis might think are very generous; I'm talking about proposals that the Palestinians would perceive as very generous.
      You state bluntly that Israel has made very generous offers.  That is a view from Israel's perspective.  Real peace is possible only if the Palestinians perceive the offer to be---not just very generous, but amazingly generous.

      Your other interpretive claim, that the neighboring Arab states want the Palestinians to suffer is pure fantasy, something you have apparently been carrying around for a long time.  Feeling helpless against a stronger foe is not equivalent to feeling utterly indifferent to one's extended family.

      This is pure character assassination.  Harboring these false assumptions re: the Arabs does clearly make it easier for you to maintain your 'beliefs' about 'who is to blame' in the conflict, as all dehumanizations of one's perceived enemies usually do.

      All I can do is encourage to read my diary again, this time more slowly...

    •  I don't know, but the idea that Arabs want (4+ / 0-)

      Palestinians to suffer sounds like one of Rush's conspiracy theories.

      Isn't it more likely that they are simply neutralized by Israel's superpower benefactor? I mean, how aggressive would an Arab country have to get before the U.S. would increase its already significant involvement in Israel? Not very much at all. We make that very clear every time someone so much as flexes a sabre hand, whether it is Israel or one of its "adversaries". And if there is actual physical conflict, it is always clear whom we support. And when nothing at all is happening, there is always the flow of money.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

      by Words In Action on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:05:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I ... can't agree with this line. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    letsgetreal
    All of the hatred that half the world currently feels toward Israel would come to an end.
    I won't presume to give percentages, but I can say with some certainty that a non-trivial amount of hatred toward Israel is rooted in anti-Semitism and will continue regardless of what Israel does.

    This, of course, feeds Israel's belief that everybody who hates them -- and indeed anybody who ever criticizes them in any way -- is just doing it because they're anti-Semitic and will continue to hate them no matter what they do, thus freeing them from any need to worry about global opinion.

  •  It isn't a question about Israel (2+ / 0-)

    being generous towards the Palestinians. To state it that way is turning it upside-down. Since Israel is the newcomer in the area Israel should be behaving as the guest it is. And then, first if the Palestinians generously accepts Israel it might be able to stay.

    So, for the people of Israel to peacefully stay in the area, I think they would have to accept becoming a part of Palestine.

    I think I might have the solution in my sig.

    Dissolve Israel; stop distinguishing between jew and non-jew in Palestine.

    by high5 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:29:05 AM PST

  •  Doesn't placing all responsibility on Israel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, Greek Tragedy

    also implicitly strip Palestinians of all agency?  The imbalance of power is real, severe, and problematic.  But positioning Palestinians as passive doesn't recognize the resources they have and the dignity inherent in recognition of their agency.

    •  Interesting... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard
      Doesn't placing all responsibility on Israel also implicitly strip Palestinians of all agency?
      The only thing that the Palestinians have that gives them any bargaining position at all is their unique position to grant Israel's right to exist.

      A 'right' exists only if it is granted by others who are in a position to grant that right.  If Australia grants Israel's right to exist as a new nation created out of other people's land, it doesn't mean very much if the people who once owned the land won't grant it.

      It is the ONLY thing the Palestinians have (besides more land) that the Israelis place any value on (and they can go grab the land with their tanks any time they want).

      This is why Hamas has always been right to not grant it as a pre-condition to negotiations.  It is the only leverage they have.  If they give that away for nothing, they are worse than fools.

      •  I'm sorry my friend (3+ / 0-)

        Such a comment might support your perspective, but it isn't supported by reality and it isn't very respectful of those who struggle.  Palestinians exercise agency in all sorts of ways beyond that.  Some have proven more productive and effective than others.  Ultimately, Israeli governments backed by the US still dictate the majority of the conditions of the conflict.  But it would serve you well to look at the myriad avenues of resistance by which Palestinians have maintained and nurtured their identities and their dignity under these conditions.  I'm sure it makes you feel good to set yourself up as the advocate of a poor, disempowered, and oppressed nation, but it does you more good than it does any of them or your readers.

        I'll exit this diary now.  But this is not how to advocate for any politically and economically marginalized community and it does "them" no favors.

        •  What I don't get... (0+ / 0-)

          Is why you chose my voice on this topic as one to chastise for imperfections, real or imagined?

          I mean, outside of your gut instinct to 'help me' do a better job of achieving my objectives as a writer?

          Is there something about the theme, or the ends of my contribution that you found disturbing?

          (Aside from your obvious concern that I might, in my own mind, be shortchanging the Palestinian people...)

          •  Since you asked (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greek Tragedy

            Because I read your diary and seemed emblematic of certain things I object to.  It's not about your voice.  It's not about you.  It's about a mode of discourse relating to this issue, though not only this one, that is particularly problematic.  I've enumerated my objections above.  No need to enumerate them again.  I'm sorry you can't see this other than as about you and I.  It's not.  It's not about what happens in your mind or to your voice or your person or your passions and sympathies (though I don't disregard the ethical importance of any of those either).  It's about how this topic is discussed.  I'd like it to be more productive and more ethical.  And I think that would produce more understanding.  More understanding can be productive of more effective action.

            But again, it's not about you and me.  So instead trying to "turn the tables" and make it about my motivations, you might attend to my objections.  Do they make sense?  Do you disagree?  

            But I offered to exit your diary and I really don't seek an interpersonal dialogue.  I simply ask that you consider my objections and proceed as you will.  What you assume about me, or wonder about me, isn't something I consider so important.

            But I do apologize for being condescending.  That was uncivil, thus unethical, and as your responses suggest, unhelpful to conveying my objections.  I do see something offensive in these modes that I object to, but they are only so as they are too common in my view.  But offense at a statement or a method of argument does not mean I find you an offensive person.  I don't know you.  And I take responsibility here for it coming off as a personal chastisement of your personal voice.

      •  not really (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mother Shipper
        The only thing that the Palestinians have that gives them any bargaining position at all is their unique position to grant Israel's right to exist.
        It's not anyone's to grant. That's the starting position, and the ending position. With that held constant, negotiations can proceed.
  •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Kroeger, happymisanthropy

    It is very difficult for non Jewish people to actually speak out for  true peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighboring peoples.

    So I will just say think you for saying what shouldn't need to be said.  Since it is so obvious.

    •  Thanks... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Emmy

      ...for sharing your appreciation of my efforts.  

      I must say I'm surprised that there is so little appreciation for what I think is a very positive commentary on the possibilities for peace in the region, one that is pretty much devoid of the hot buttons that usually transform I-P diaries into emotional slug fests.

      Is that how bad it really is now at Dailykos?

  •  My bottom line on I/P at the moment (0+ / 0-)

    As an American I feel that every time the I/P issue comes up......I should start here at home and take action for justice for America's broken treaties with the Native Americans. . . . .and donate to ameliorate their suffering.

    For example, via Daily Kos diary:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I also think about separating the 'military-industrial complex" and the other profiteers on all sides of the I/P issue from what would exist if certain ambitious people weren't able to make money from the conflict.

    Plus, I want to know more about why Egypt does not want to take responsibility for Gaza and why Palestinians are not given full rights in places like Jordan.

    But my first duty is here at home and I feel like a hypocrite if I form too many opinions about a region I am not a part of and have trouble identifying with. I cannot imagine myself fitting in on either side there.

  •  Interesting perspective (4+ / 0-)

    Although I'm far to cynical to think you're proposal will ever come to pass, I do appreciate the thinking behind it. What if we turned the conflict on its head? Asked Israel to declare the Palestinian's right to exist, including a right to its own economy, military, and agreed-upon borders? Asked Israel to confirm Palestine's security? Wouldn't that be a trip? In exchange, they'd get half of Jerusalem, a peace treaty, and recognition.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:24:54 PM PST

    •  Forgive the misspellings ;-) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kroeger

      The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

      by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:25:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Last night my wife & I talked (4+ / 0-)

    at length with a friend recently returned from Lebanon. She was born in Iraq, raised in Lebanon, and married a Palestinian. She had some interesting observations.
    With the Arab Spring sweeping the region, Israel’s position is becoming more and more untenable. The Arab street has a profound dislike of Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians.
    She thinks there is no chance that Morsi can take over governance of Gaza.  And after the latest affair, I think there is no chance that Israel will lift its blockade.
    The entire region wants peace, but it must be peace with honor. The present Israeli settlement program is an unworkable apartheid system. The Palestinians must have a viable homeland.
    Israel has a hard choice to make. Either remove enough settlements to allow the creation of real Palestinian state, or grant the Arabs there full citizenship. It’s hard to see how the current right-wing Israeli government would be interested in doing either without strong U.S. pressure.
    I think James is correct. Only a major breakthrough will have any chance of resolution. But it is certainly possible to imagine PBO convening a peace conference that included all the interested parties. We’d need to apply major pressure on Israel to disband settlements & the oil states would need to come up with a large amount of money to fund the creation of a healthy Palestinian state.
    It would be a very heavy lift, but if we don’t find a way out soon, I expect Israel will attack Iran. Then we are all in the soup.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:48:11 PM PST

  •  It turns out that (3+ / 0-)

    Sledgehammers make very poor flyswatters.

    Who knew?

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:26:35 PM PST

  •  how did you do that? (4+ / 0-)

    this diary is from earlier, but now it's at the top of the recent list.  how do you do that?

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:21:11 PM PST

  •  Perhaps you're assuming the end of apartheid, (0+ / 0-)

    the ultimate generosity reflecting the world's interests is reunification, not partition, as a holy land homeland, not just restorative, but the leader and source for world peace.

  •  This diary is like a conspiracy theory: (4+ / 0-)

    it is predicated on an unbelievable conspiracy of kindness.

    That doesn't mean it's a bad diary, just a flimsy one: a daydream or, to be more polite, a thought-experiment.

    This will never happen in the real world. But if it makes more conversation than mere shouting in I/P, I guess that's a little victory.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:44:00 PM PST

  •  Uplifting diary (0+ / 0-)

    Reading this diary really uplifted me.  It is the only real visionary long term solution I have seen and at relatively little cost compared to the cost of the decades of conflict.
    Sadly there is too much arrogance and "not appearing to be weak" attitude about, which means that there may not be the willingness to win hearts and minds.

    •  I'm glad you decided to read the diary and comment (0+ / 0-)
      Reading this diary really uplifted me.  It is the only real visionary long term solution I have seen and at relatively little cost compared to the cost of the decades of conflict.
      I thank you for your uplifting comments.

      It is true that, in the current environment, the thought of American and Israeli negotiators embracing this strategy is almost impossible to imagine.

      But perhaps that cynical status quo would change if, over time, (1) an increasing number of observers became aware of the Extreme Generosity Option, and (2) they began to express a lot of approval for...well, at least the ideal aspirations of the proposal.

      Then, who knows?  It would be interesting to see what an opposition party in Israel could do with such a vision...

  •  Wrong on too many levels to count (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Mother Shipper, Jersey Jon
    • Start from the title and the overall tone of the piece - it puts all of the power to make decisions in the hands of Israel, and none in the hands of Palestinian leadership. If you hold Israel responsible for the acts of those who have killed Israelis over the years, both in wars and through terrorist acts, just say so.
    • Your opening section, while a bit liberal with the 'air quotes', is both accurate and (intentionally?) incomplete at the same time:
      • Peace will only come when the feelings that Palestinians have towards Israelis change.
      • Don't forget the anger so many Israelis now have towards Palestinians, unless you think those feelings are irrelevant. You do not mention them at any point in your piece.
      • Why must anger end in order for the fighting to end? Here in the USA there are still plenty of Southerners who grow up with a type of hatred of Northerners or the federal government over the Civil War yet, with the exception of some isolated cases, we are no longer actively fighting in this country.
    • From the "Extreme Generosity" section:
      • Either a state is sovereign or it is not. A sovereign state does not need anyone from the outside to tell them they have a "right" to exist. As long as the state can defend their people and their land they can remain a state until such a time as someone from the outside comes in and takes over.
      • You spend only one little section on Jerusalem, one of the two most complex aspects of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. You also ignore why Jerusalem is a sticking point, which is because of its religious significance to both Jews (most holy location on earth) and Muslims (3rd most holy after Mecca and Medina). Complicating matters even more, one holy spot is on top of the other. The worldwide Jewish community has good reason not to trust our holiest sites in anyone else's hands:
        After 1948, since the old walled city in its entirety was to the east of the armistice line, Jordan was able to take control of all the holy places therein, and contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, denied Jews access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites (source)
        Who would you propose that both Israelis and Palestinians would trust to guarantee full access to these holy sites?
      • By failing to address the dispute over a Palestinian right of returnyou leave out the second and larger sticking point in current negotiations. In the end it all comes down to Jerusalem and the right of return; everything else has pretty much been figured out (such as final borders)
    • From the "Apology" section:
      • Mistakes made by American leaders in decades past are ultimately to blame for the fear that Americans currently have of one day suffering a nuclear terrorist attack.
        Can you prove this assertion? I suspect that you cannot. While Israel is often brought up as a reason from groups in the Middle East who do not like us too much the same groups often have many more reasons that have nothing to do with Israel. Take the history ofAl Quaida, which is rooted in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, or our dealings with Iran:
        Opinions differ over what has caused the decades of poor relations. Iranian explanations include everything from the natural and unavoidable conflict between the Islamic Revolution on the one hand, and perceived American arrogance[3] and desire for global hegemony on the other.[4] Other explanations include the Iranian government's need for an external bogeyman to furnish a pretext for domestic repression against pro-democratic forces and to bind the government to its loyal constituency. (source)
      • Unfortunately, everyone in the press conveniently ignored the fact that the land the U.N. decided to give to the Jews happened to belong to someone else.
        The land did "belong" to someone else before the UN partition plan - the British! Before that, the Ottoman Empire. As far as I know the Palestinian People to not view themselves as descendants of the Ottoman Turks.
      • While the Holocaust may have accelerated the process there was already a willingness to establish a National Homeland for Jews in Palestine as early as 1917. The Holocaust plays a role in the establishment of the state but that role can be, and often is, overstated.
      • Jews who are anti- or non- Zionist are the extreme fringe of the worldwide Jewish community. They were already a minority, even among religious Jews, by 1948
      • It’s theft at gunpoint, any way you look at it.
        Do you take the same perspective on any war which resulted in different borders and refugees?
      • You call the establishment of the State of Israel "an illegal and immoral act." This runs counter to your statement at the beginning of the piece that you are "sympathetic to the Jewish People's deepest aspirations," unless your interpretation of the word 'sympathetic' is different from my own.
      • I suspect many Palestinians who would probably be deeply offended that you or anyone else thinks their feelings can be bought.
    • This paragraph I think sums up the deepest issues I have with this piece:
      For 60 years, America has been a Foolish Parent re: the Arab-Israeli dispute.  Because our ‘child’ has always been in the wrong, we now have a lot of people around the world hating us for our moral hypocrisy, who see us as an arrogant enemy of Justice.
      Always in the wrong? Are you referring to Israeli actions or the country's very existence? What did Israel do wrong in 1948 when it celebrated the UN partition plan? What were they doing wrong to cause multiple Arab countries to attack her on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, in 1973?

      You cannot solve problems that you do not understand. With all due respect, I think that you do not understand the situation in Israel well enough, either today or historically, to post on this issue.

    If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
    If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
    If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

    by A Gutin Daf on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:52:05 AM PST

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