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further reflections on Israel/Palestine

11 Aug
While I wrote this six years ago the issues are the same as well as continued settlement expansion, etc.  I include these reflections now, 2015,because history as written on my posting six years ago and the current situation in that region just reminds us how the words of politicians have had no significant meaning for any positive resolution for that situation. Sad. Sad
Feb 5 2009

As an American I continue to reflect on the treatment of Israel on the Palestinians and now especially Gaza. As a result of my reflections, I am horrified at the callousness and mean-spiritedness of the Israeli government. Even if one accepted the position of the Israeli government for the “disproportioned” attack on Gaza to stop rocket fire on Israeli towns, now there is a ceasefire and hopefully a continued peace effort by all involved. Despite this fact that almost all hostilities have ceased, the Israeli government refuses to allow the necessary border crossings to be opened to allow a reconstruction of the massive damage it inflicted on the population of Gaza.

It is a well documented fact that before the attack on Gaza the blockade and occupation of Gaza had made life there terrible in the most basic ways. Yet now, after the very destructive attack on Gaza, the blockade continues and life in Gaza is many times more miserable because of the suffering and injury and death of the residents, extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure of the Gaza strip.

Why? Why does the Israeli government continue to punish the people of Gaza. Why don’t they allow the necessary aid that is ready and available to help the people of Gaza rebuild  go into Gaza? Why don’t they allow international observers assist them in monitoring the flow of aid into Gaza?

To answer these whys one must conclude that the Israeli government is discriminating against the Palestinians. The Israeli government has a vendetta against these people. They must want these people to suffer greatly. It has been common practise in the past that after a war the societies damaged by the war if not directly helped, at least, were allowed to rebuild their shattered lives.

These are the obvious yet true conclusions that any objective person must conclude.

So where does that leave a peace process? No-where. There must be a will to resolve the conflict. In conflict resolution, a win-win attitude is necessary for both parties to believe they are getting something out of a conflict resolution process. There is no win-win mentality on the Israeli side. Only I win- you lose. There will be no peace in Palestine under those conditions no matter who goes to try to mediate a peace. Only words will be the result and no action for resolution. This is the history of the conflict.

Israel is the dominate force here not Palestine. Israel continues to ignore International law and it lacks a “good will” to resolve in any win-win situation.

Therefore, my reflection on the Israeli governments actions – not words- continues to show me that Israel is not intent on resolving this conflict in a just manner, in accordance with international law and humane standards, but instead it wants to persecute, humiliate, and discriminate against the Palestinian people and frankly make them suffer.

Therefore, let’s stop the charades and really put pressure on Isreal to engage in a meaningful peace process. Actions speak louder than words. Let the world community make Israel act in a responsible way for peace. If they don’t sanctions or other means that are available to the world’s governments must be used to make Israel act as a responsible country that exists in a world community.

Reflections by an American on Israel-Palestine

11 Aug

 Jan 23, 2009

I had grown up in the USA watching the movie Exodus, respecting the proud Mosha Dayan, honoring Golda Meir as a strong and just woman, honoring Israel’s technological success in turning the desert into fertile land, a bit confused about Isael’s socialist almost communist agendes, eg. kibbutz since the USA was in the cold war against socialism. However, this was the image of Israel that was given to the Americans as Israel became a nation. Arabs were little discussed and it seemed fair to Americans that after the holcaust in Europe, Jews be given a nation where they could be secure and not persecuted. It was said it wasn’t a lot of land for Israel and the Arab population would have their own land – less of course, and the Arabs could live as their own nation as the same for Israel.

Ok, this was the story told the American people and supported by Hollywood, the government and newsmedia. Remember this was way before the internet or even sophisticated satellite communications.

When Arab nations attacked Israel this was seen as unfair to Israel and America supported Israel’s right to exist. And this story continues to be told.

I believed this story. I believed that the Iraeli people were a just people wanting to be fair yet firm with thier Arab neighbors.

However, now, I see that story as a myth. Now I see after reading reports from credible international organizations, reports from Israel, and the actions of Israel in it’s attacks on Gaza now and before, Israel is a nation in the grips of anti-Arab racism and it is de-sensitized to the suffering of the Palestinian people. While this is, of course, not the only reality in the complex situation which has unfolded over the past fifty years or so, it is, I believe, a major variable in the present conflict.

Today there is the news about the Palestinian doctor whose three daughters were killed in their home. This man had worked tirelessly to build bridges between Israel and Palestine. Even as this man was being interviewed, in his grief and shock of having lost his only three children, some Isaerlis shouted at him to go back to Hamas, etc.

My story of Israel has been re-written. I now see the dark side of Israel clearly. It is not a new dark side for nations – racism- but it is a horrible darkside because the people who are disciminated against are seen as sub-human, evil, worthless except for contempt or worse.

We in the USA know of Racism and it’s ugly manifestation and consequences. But, fortunately, we have had the strength of some to help us understand and fight against this ignorance. And in the soul of America, there has been a response of confirmation to those calls to stop racism.

However, right now, I don’t see that happening in Israel and the consequences are an almost total destruction of way of life of a people living in what is called Palestine.

I don’t believe the old story anymore. A new disturbing story has become clear. Now, for us who are disturbed by such things as injustice and racism, we must continue to tell the accurate story of what is going on in Israel.