Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Three things Israel can do for peace

An Answer to Ronata Dermansky and Persistent Zionists All

Rebuttals to this letter follow, a record of American-Zionist Comment to local objection to the violence leveled against the Palestinian people by the Israeli government.

Ronata Dermansky (Tribune, Dec 11) says that her comments are "facts," implying that those sympathetic to the Palestinians are misrepresenting "truth" or missing the point. Unfortunately, Zionist facts tend to be defined differently than one would find in the universal human rights canon. Anyone who actually wants to know what's true and what's not can find plenty of references in books or on the Net about Zionist myths including the tale of the "generous offer."

Nothing about the Palestinian/Israeli debacle is all black or all white and most of the time one side considers evil or black what most of the world would deem good or white and vice versa. We've seen this white is black and black is white mentality stretch to Washington, and we've also seen a majority of Americans asking for change.

Is it possible that the Zionist's political machine will recognize the value of changing their attitude, with or without Palestinian compliance (from my corner, Palestine has already complied and plenty), and really want peace, a peace that would renew Israel as a trustworthy partner in the citizenship of their neighborhood as well as in the world?

Three things come to mind (and could well apply to the U.S., too). Given worldwide financial concerns, there is something to be said for ending a "war economy" even if it was part of Israel's basic foundation. For example, leading in electronics is much more productive and representative of the modern age than sending Israeli kids out to shoot Palestinian kids, regardless of the demographics and the history of the Maccabees.

Two, by deciding to establish "real borders" which any state that claims to be sovereign and recognized should have (Israel doesn't have established, legal borders, except between land they can make fertile and the impossibly sere Sinai, a fact that makes one wonder about sincerity), Israel could cure their own creeping settlement disease.

Three, accepting their "win" in displacing or destroying the Arabs living on the land Israel chose might give us all a sense that the Jews really are special in Biblical terms because, as colonists, they have the unprecedented grace to show compassion in return for the acceptance they demand. Might caring about everyone living in their region be a plus that could do much to improve local and worldwide acceptance and appreciation?

I hesitate to bring up Albert Einstein given the history of articles in The Tribune about this subject, and I admit to the "fact" that yes, the great man appreciated and subscribed to Zionism. But, he said this in 1938, "...one more personal word on the question of partition. I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain-especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word would be equivalent to turning away from the (spiritualism) of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets."

Sounds good to me.

Elizabeth S. Mayfield


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