no_hate.jpgA long exchange of correspondence with people who should know better last week in advocating the Palestinian cause concerning their ‘crude views about Jews’ led to me wasting too many hours looking at a variety of webites that deal with ‘the Palestine Israel’ problem from the perspective of left organizations and Palestinians organizations. I’ve also seen more comments of a nutty nature than I’d wish too. Too often, arguments are crude, sloppy and angry, based on a very bad understanding of the diversity that lies within the Jewish community (from all sorts of religious streams to all sorts of secularists) and their relationship to Israel.
Throwing incendiary mud doesn’t help the cause peace making. It does give the impression that there has been very little thought about practicalities of peace-making.It only gives the hard-line Israel lobby more of an opportunity to use the line that opponents of what is so horribly wrong are simply ‘deligitimizers’ or root and branch anti-Semites.
The New Internationalist in 2004 ran a series of essays on contemporary antisemitism, including this one , by an Israeli Palestinian activist, Asma Agbarieh. The situation is even more dire today. It is well worth reading and sharing around to people whose tongues and ideological fixations run ahead of logical thinking.
There is another quote that I’d like to be considered in this context from Hussein Ibish of the The American Task Force on Palestine:
” Many of the Palestinian and Arab proponents of the one-state agenda talk about overcoming ethnic nationalism and accuse supporters of a Palestinian state of indulging in retrograde ethno-nationalist thinking. However, a brief review of the writings of these advocates reveals them to be among the most strident Palestinian nationalists, as outlined in detail below. In fact, it is some proponents of peace based on ending the occupation who have moved furthest from the traditional Palestinian ethno-nationalist narrative to recognize the validity of the Israeli Jewish narrative and take Israeli national interests seriously, as a necessary precursor to developing a workable peace agreement. It is possible that one day a discourse that genuinely transcends both Palestinian and Israeli national identities and narratives may be developed. Sadly, the literature produced by most Palestinian and Arab supporters of the one-state agenda has for the most part charged headlong in the opposite direction.”
Getting beyond essentialist and paranoid stereotypes is one of the most difficult peace challenge that demands a dropping of both essentialist anti-Palestinism and anti-Judaism/Zionism. And whether it is one state, two states or ‘whatever’, most Israeli Jews won’t leave the country when the settlement comes. They were born there. Of course, let’s hope the right-wing Zionist nuts leave and their private funding dries up. All this means that there’s going to be a lot of need for cultural accommodation on both sides, well beyond what may well be the end of the automatic right of return for both communities.