Saturday, January 24, 2009

Being "Delusional" - re: Helping Build Positive Change

What follows below is a response to a lengthy posting I made on a Jewish Facebook Group topical page:
"There was a truce - where there weren't rockets heading towards Israel. Israel violated the truce with a raid I believe November 4th or 5th, 2008."

I'm sorry, this was so ridiculous I had to reply. (By the way, what is with the dashes? It makes reading almost unbearable.)

The day after the truce was officially agreed upon, six rockets fired into Sderot. Dozens in the months following.

On November 4th, Israel shot at armed militants digging a tunnel into Israel, and you call that breaking the ceasefire?


Hamas uses EYE GOUGING on Fatah members in the Gaza Strip, and that doesn't even make the news. You seem to be one of those "liberal" and "progressive" Jews, who thinks that all the Arabs really want is to live in peace with Israel, who is the mighty aggressor. That if Israel just played nice, everything would be all peaches and rainbows. Where I come from, we call you "delusional."
It is hard, and a waste of time, to respond directly to statements such as is noted above. Simply put "we don't speak the same language". For me Israel (and the U.S.) face a situation which has complexities but basically comes down to how one can find a way beyond the mistrust to make peace. I see Palestinians who basically want their own independent country, They want it to be free of interference from Israel and also free from the dictates of other Arab countries. I see a current impossibility of this occurring until Israel and the U.S. talk in good faith respecting the Palestinians and no longer Dictating the end result (which is a continuation of the status quo).

In all of this I see "extremists" both Palestinian and Israeli (and Jewish Americans) who bitterly fight anything that isn't their ideal future (Palestinian) or a minor modification of the status quo (Isreali/Jewish).

For the woman who I've quoted above probably nothing that I've said "speaks the truth". Part of me hesitates to guess what her reality is. I'd guess that some of the following are true for her. Palestinians and Arabs are killers who threaten to kill Israelis who have done nothing to deserve any aggressive behavior. Palestinians break agreements and Israelis follow them. Israel is a democracy and the Arabs have no democracies. If one negotiates with the Palestinians they will continue their past history of breaking agreements and Israel will "lose" no matter what is agreed upon. In the end Israel risks its own destruction and another holocaust if it doesn't remain militarily strong and vigilant against Arab aggression.

If we are to really succeed in the future at making peace we will need to confront the fears and help show that peace is possible. We also will need to break through much of the general ignorance and apathy of most Americans. People will need to see the costs in lives and money that U.S. foreign policy and Israeli policy force upon both others and ourselves.


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