:: A Message to all Americans ::
Given that successive Israeli governments used the “peace process” as an excuse to build more settlements on the land promised to the Palestinians at Oslo, given that Palestinian people have realized that the “peace process” was another Israeli ruse intended to forever deny them their basic human rights and forever imprison them in an Israeli- controlled ghetto, given the that Barak’s “generous offer” didn’t meet the minimum requirements for a viable solution as attested by no less than former president Jimmy Carter, given the fact that Sharon has no policy except to suppress the Palestinian rebellion with ever greater violence, we in the rest of the world can no longer sit on the sidelines and hope for a good outcome from this 35-year military occupation. Every human being has the moral responsibility to judge what has happened in Palestine, what is happening now, and how to create a just and lasting solution to this conflict.
I am an American of English/German/Danish descent and Protestant upbringing. Like millions of Americans, I was raised to worship Israel as a bastion of freedom and moral superiority in a sea of evil Jew-hating, freedom-hating Arabs. However, my views slowly changed after living in the Middle East for 12 years and studying the history of the region. I came to realize that Zionism is just another form of primitive racism. Zionism is the doctrine that a certain race, the Jews, have a right to create, protect, and expand a racist “Jewish” state in Palestine by any means necessary including violence. In practice, Zionism created the Jewish supremacist state called “Israel” accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of non-Jews on a massive scale, 55 years of war, and a 35-year military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. America’s support of Zionism has put the lie to America’s image as an enlightened nation and international protector of human rights, and placed it in a state of war against all Muslims and Arabs throughout the world. America’s religious prejudice has drawn it into the Ninth Crusade against Islam and all the inhabitants of the Holy Land.
As a physician and a philosopher, my goal is to diagnose and eradicate moral/social pathology. I take the largest possible view of human social evolution and morality. I do not blame individuals for their actions, nor do I favor one group of persons over another. I seek to expose the false and pernicious ideas that produce violence and suffering, I do not hate or blame the victims whose brains they infect-no matter how evil their actions. I oppose all racism, religionism, culturism, and nationalism. We are not primarily Jews, Arabs, Israelis, Christians or Americans. We are all human beings, members of the same species living together on this planet Earth. Only false ideas separate us and put us in conflict.
We Americans must begin to ask ourselves, why did we support the violent creation of the state of Israel, by Jews and for Jews, with no regard for the rights of the inhabitants of Palestine? Why did we support the Zionists as they expelled 750,000 non-Jewish civilians from their homes in 1947 to 1949? Why did we support the Israeli invasion of Syria, Egypt, and the West Bank in 1967, the expulsion of another 500,000 non-Jews from these territories, and the 35-year military occupation? Why have we supported this Zionist/Israeli war against the people of Palestine and the surrounding countries for 50 years? If you are where I once was, you think that you know the answers to these questions–the same answers trumpeted by American politicians, journalists, academics, and clergyman. However, consider for a moment that you may have been misled. After all, the first casualty of war is truth, and the victors write the history. You must not assume that you know anything about this conflict unless you’ve read revisionist (objective) histories of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, until you have talked to Palestinians or other Arabs, until you’ve opened your eyes to the inherent racism of the “Jewish state, and until you’ve opened your eyes to the devastation Israel has wrought in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. If you have done none of these, then your knowledge can only consist of the various pro-Israeli myths designed to support this Crusade against the infidels. In fact, I’ll bet that you don’t dare to investigate this matter, because you know that what you will discover will shake your faith in America and its values to their very core.
My informed opinions on this conflict will shock you, and you’ll be tempted to dismiss me as anti-Semitic racist, when actually I have, by personal experience and great personal effort, deprogrammed myself from the Zionist propaganda sufficiently to grasp our society’s own unacknowledged Zionism: our pro-Israeli–anti-Arab racism. As African-Americans know all too well, suppressed racism is all the more powerful and controlling because those infected with it are unaware of it-they therefore act on these irrational feelings against their conscious intentions and principles. This is the case with Americans’ suppressed Zionism. So hear me out. If you want peace on Earth, you’ve got to start by being completely honest with yourself and making sure that you have your facts straight. To begin, I recommend that you read at least two books: Benny Morris’s The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949; and Norman Finkelstein’s Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. I also recommend, for a brief overview of the long history of the region, Ron David’s, Arabs and Israelis for Beginners. Also read Noam Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle. All four authors are of Jewish origin and Morris remains a Zionist. Search the Web, it is full of sites that expose the history of this conflict and the current reality of life in the region.
If you don’t want to lose your own illusions about this conflict, don’t read any further, for in this case, the facts are indisputable, clear, and compelling. The Zionists, a group of European Jewish supremacists and nationalists, with clear forethought and knowledge, established the state of Israel in 1948 in an area with a huge non-Jewish majority through land theft, terrorism, the destruction of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of 750,000 non-Jews-against most preceding international resolutions and against all democratic and moral principles. Between 1947 and 1967, over 1.5 million Palestinians, Muslim and Christian, were expelled from Palestine by force and by the threat of force, and not allowed to return to their homes. This was a horrific case of ethnic cleansing by any definition, was it not? The Christian West and the rest of the international community aided and abetted the Zionists’ conquest and ethnic cleansing for various reasons listed below. This original aggression initiated 50 years of war in the Middle East that has distorted and impoverished the lives of all non-Jewish people in Palestine and the surrounding states. Various wars fought by Arabs to reverse this aggression, return hundreds of thousands of refugees to their homes, and retake stolen land have failed due to the overwhelming military might of Israel-supplied and supported by the United States of America. The forceful establishment of this fanatical Jewish state, along with America’s pro-Israeli interventions in the region have been the dominant factor in the political evolution of the region; and the direct or indirect, necessary or sufficient cause of all the subsequent violent conflicts in the region, from the Iranian Revolution and the civil war in Lebanon to the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War, and Al-Qaeda’s attacks against America. If there had been no Zionist-American Crusade, America could have nurtured democracy and prosperity in the emerging Arab states of the region, instead of warring against them.
We must take the long view-the historical perspective. For centuries, the Christian West has sought to wrest control of the Holy Land from the Arabs and Turks. In the early 20th century, the Arab world was just emerging from centuries of Turkish domination when the Western powers thrust a racist, expansionist Jewish state into its heart. The consequences could have been predicted. Fanatical Islam, slow to develop at first, is a completely understandable reaction to fanatical Zionism and its pitiless, unending victimization of the Palestinians and surrounding Arab countries. The Arab people became progressively more humiliated and angry as, with every passing year, the United States continued to support Israeli ethnic cleansing, expansionism, and occupation. The U.S. used its diplomatic strength in the UN to veto every attempt by the rest of the world to reign in the Israeli state. The U.S. gave Arabs the very clear message that they were non-persons compared with Jews. As any psychologist would expect, the Arabs have incorporated this negative image, coming to loathe themselves and their kind. This shame has focused all their attention on Jewish supremacy and hindered their own mental/moral/social development. Contrary to popular mythology, it has been Israel, not the Arabs, that has evaded all attempts at a peaceful and just settlement, preferring always to expand its boundaries by creating facts on the ground and grinding down the Palestinians and other Arabs until they will agree to its terms. Israel has killed over 100,000 Arabs, while losing less than 8,000 of its own. Israel continues, on a daily basis, to talk peace while building settlements between Palestinian communities in the West Bank and using every violent means that is politically possible to drive the Palestinians out. The international community, bullied by the U.S., sits by silently as one of the century’s most horrific episodes of ethnic cleansing continues with an unprecedented military occupation that imprisons millions of Palestinians in a racist nightmare and makes their lives unbearable. The hysterical pro-Israeli propaganda that assaults us from our televisions and newspapers is a necessary part of the cover-up of this ongoing crime against humanity.
That’s right. We Americans have been fed a constant diet of lies and propaganda so long that we cannot even see reality when it stares us in the face. Zionists, whether American or Israeli, justify Israel’s ongoing violence against and military control over 4.5 million Palestinians with many rationalizations and lies. They claim that Arabs want to kill all Jews-a claim which is partially true only because of what Israel has done and is doing. They claim that Israel must retain _____ (fill in the Sinai, Southern Lebanon, Golan, West Bank, Gaza strip, etc.) for its own “security”. In fact, Israel has enjoyed overwhelming military superiority since 1947. It now has one of the world’s strongest armies and nuclear arsenals and the full backing of the United States of America. It has no security problem except its vulnerability to suicide attacks-which are the predictable and understandable result of its criminal 35-year occupation and humiliation of the Palestinians. Notice that our press glosses over the reasons for the Arabs’ hatred of the racist Israeli state and the U.S. government that supports it, preferring to dismiss it as irrational and uncaused, or by claiming that Arabs hate “freedom and democracy”. Lies are piled upon lies to in order to cover up and to justify Israel’s ethnic cleansing, military occupation, torture, and daily humiliation of non-Jews. Yet in spite of what Israel is and what it has done, every Arab country and every Palestinian group, including Hamas, has said that it will accept the existence of Israel, even as a racist Jewish state, if it will completely withdraw from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan and come to terms with the refugee problem it created. This is, after all, what UN Security Council Resolution 242 requires. The Arab League recently repeated this call and strengthened it with the promise of normal diplomatic relations. But like all peace proposals to Israel, it has been swept aside. Israel wants land, not peace. In fact, Israel has never withdrawn from any land it conquered until forced to do so by violent opposition. Where Israel has been forced to withdraw, as with the Sinai and Lebanon, it has been rewarded with peace with those countries. It is obvious to all objective observers that Israel can achieve peace and security now only by withdrawing from all the territories it occupied in 1967. Israel should jump at the opportunity to obtain legitimacy in this way; for as long as the occupation continues, it remains a criminal state in a state of war with its neighbors. But, as Israel has demonstrated over and over again, it does not want peace; it wants a Greater Israel. Consider this: all the conflict in Palestine, all the terrorism and all the deaths since 1967 have been caused by Israel’s attempts to hang onto East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan heights. It’s that simple. Israeli racism, belligerence, and military occupation are the problems in the Middle East today. The war in the Middle East continues because Israel and America want it to continue. They can put an end to the conflict today if they choose to do so.
Had America taken a balanced, humanitarian view of the situation from the beginning, we wouldn’t be at war with the Arab world now. But against its own best interests, America has chosen war and has made Israel what it is-a shameless, belligerent, racist, mono-religious state-of the kind not generally accepted in this day and age. Just imagine the reaction if certain groups in America got their way, declared our country to be a Christian state, and expelled most non-Christians? Of course, you’ve been told over and over that Israel is a democracy and therefore worthy of our support. Think about this and do some research. Is expelling the undesirable majority of non-Jews to create a majority of Jews any way to found a democracy? Do you know the odds of a non-Jew immigrating to Israel? Try Zero. In fact, the state of Israel has a law specifying that the non-Jewish population of Israel must never by more than a certain percentage! Arab citizens of Israel can vote, but they do not have full citizenship rights. Take a look at the gross double standard that exists for Jews vs. non-Jews in Israel! Non-Jews are not allowed to buy any property from Jews-as this would return “redeemed” land back to the goyim. Seventy thousand non-Jews live in 100 villages within Israel but not recognized by the Israeli state. They pay taxes but get no services, and all building is illegal. Non-Jews are not even allowed to live in many areas of Israel. Non-Jews are segregated for schooling, in schools with far inferior funding. Non-Jews have to adhere to a great number of Jewish religious laws. Non-Jews must all carry cards specifying their religion and ethnic origin. Everywhere you look in Israeli law and society you find this double standard. This is the democracy we’re supposed to love and support? This is apartheid, not democracy. How you have been fooled, America! Lastly, Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza effectively makes these areas part of the Israeli state. The difference in the treatment afforded to Jews (settlers) and non-Jews in these areas hardly needs to be mentioned. In fact, the Israeli occupation violates nearly every rule in the Geneva Convention! To believe that this racist and criminal state is OK because it is a “democracy” is not only wrong, but pernicious and dangerous. Shouldn’t we demand that Israel outlaw racism and discrimination as the U.S. has? Why not? Why don’t we shudder when we hear Israelis invoking the need to maintain the “Jewish character” of the state of Israel?
We Americans, blinded by false information and religious/racial prejudice, have granted this Jewish racial state a moral carte blanche to discriminate against non-Jews and commit any atrocity. Like a psychopath who finds he can get away with anything, Israel has responded by acting with increasing recklessness, flaunting international law and abusing the Palestinians and people of the surrounding states as if they are not human beings. It killed 20,000 civilians in Lebanon, it slaughtered Egyptian prisoners of war, it attacked the USS Liberty, it tortured Arab prisoners, it turned the West Bank into a concentration camp. Yet Americans don’t care! WHY?? America has instead helped the victims of Nazism to become Nazis. Not only has America never been an honest broker in the Middle East, it has been the superpower partner of Israel-using all its economic and military power to force the Palestinians to renounce their human rights and allow Israel to enjoy the fruits of its violence in peace. Without American support, Israel would be forced to make peace with its neighbors. America is the primary impediment to any just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
I ask all Americans to do some real soul-searching. Why do you, who otherwise have a fair moral sense and have often intervened around the world to protect victimized groups, continue to tolerate any and all Israeli crimes against Palestinians, and then blame the Palestinians for fighting back? Why do you consider Palestinians undeserving of basic human rights? Why don’t you condemn Zionism as a form of bigotry and ethnic discrimination? Why did you support the UN Resolutions to aid Muslims in Kosovo, including the bombing of Serbian civilian society, yet continue to aid and abet the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in contradiction to all UN Resolutions and accepted norms? Why don’t you realize that it is not in your own long-term interest to support and carry out a racist war against the non-Jewish people of the Middle East? Why won’t you admit that your blind support for Israel puts you in a state of war against all Israel’s victims?
Having been raised in a typical protestant American family, I believe I know why you are so blind. I was once there myself. It’s a matter of many factors working together, reinforcing each other. I hope that by exposing them, I can reduce their power:
Physical Isolation — Americans live on a continent on the other side of the Earth. Most Americans never travel to the Middle East. Most don’t even know any Jews or Palestinians, least of all Palestinians. Americans are not close enough to the people or the conflict to receive any unbiased, unfiltered information. They must rely on the American media for information.
Media Bias — The American media and political establishment is rabidly pro-Israeli for a variety of reasons, some listed below. Many, perhaps most, newspapers and media giants are owned by Zionist-sympathizing Jews or Christians. Most journalists and commentators are rabid Zionists, whether Jewish or Christian. In addition, the Israeli propaganda machine is sophisticated and powerful, practically guaranteeing that Americans receive nothing but pro-Israeli propaganda. Any one who attempts to criticize Israel’s actions is shouted down with the all-purpose charge of “anti-Semitism”. Any attempt to present a “neutral” journalistic view of current events in the Middle East plays into Israel’s hand, as such a treatment ignores the historical and moral context that has produced the current violence. Violence against Israelis gets full coverage and condemnation; violence against Palestinians, including the crime of occupation, is ignored or downplayed. The movie Exodus, seen by millions of Americans, presented the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 non-Jews from Palestine as a beautiful thing.
Jewish manipulation of the American Political system — Politicians are afraid of the Zionist/Jewish lobby. The power of AIPAC is well known. It has destroyed the careers of many politicians who dared question Israel or America’s support for Israel. Books have been written about this. Enough said.
No comprehension of suffering é White Americans generally have grown up comfortably in a stable country that was never seriously threatened. They have no idea what life is like for people who are victims of racism, who live under occupation, who suffer the trauma of 9/11 everyday. They can easily suppress any identification with the Palestinians even though they know that they see their relatives killed, are displaced from their homes, live under the power of a hostile racist army, have to watch their own homes being bulldozed, and depend on their overlord’s whims even to earn enough money to eat. Americans suppress the obvious, so they cannot understand why the Palestinians hate the Israelis so much that they will take up stones against soldiers firing bullets and kill themselves in order to take revenge against a few Jews. Let any American live with some Palestinians in the West Bank for a few days and his views would be transformed. They would soon realize that occupation is the worst crime against humanity. (See Occupation and Terrorism)
Shared Racism and Genocide — America, like Israel, was created by Europeans through genocide. White settlers drove the native Americans off the land they had occupied for thousands of years. If they fought, they were killed. Indians were confined to a few reservations. No thought was given to their rights as human beings. Whites, like the Hebrew tribes of the Bible, told themselves that God wanted them to have the land and believed that God approved of the slaughter of the evil inhabitants. Until recent years, the Indian Genocide was celebrated in Western movies and never criticized in schools. Just as Indians were considered uncivilized heathens not deserving basic rights; so are the Palestinians. The parallels between the establishment of the American and Israeli states are many. The American’s enslavement of African people and its multigenerational traumatic effects have likewise has been insufficiently recognized, criticized, or corrected. Unacknowledged racism persists at a subconscious level in many white Americans’ minds. Many Jews still consider themselves the “Chosen People” deserving of special treatment and rights. The religious bigotry and tribalism inherent in that idea require no comment.
The Bible — Having no ancient history of their own, and being descended largely adherents of various Christian sects, most Americans have grown up in Sunday schools being taught stories from the Bible about the Jews-their suffering in Egypt, their march through the desert, their wars, their kings, their prophets, their heroes and heroines, etc. The other world history that Americans are taught in public schools is comparatively dry and meaningless. The only meaningful ancient history for most Americans is Jewish history. From the Old Testament, American kids learn that the Hebrews’ attack upon, conquest of, and slaughter of the Canaanites, Philistines, and other indigenous peoples of Palestine was good and right; ordained by God himself! Imagine the effect of such ideas on little children! The Old Testament makes it very clear: Hebrews-Good :: Canaanites-Bad. Now of course, the formula is Israelis-Good :: Palestinians-Bad. If Mommy, Daddy, and the pastor say it’s so, it must be true! Is it any surprise that when they grow up, Americans think that it’s perfectly all right for Israeli Jews to kill and displace non-Jewish Palestinians? Isn’t God on the side of the Jews? Shouldn’t they be allowed to reconquer the land that God gave them? Aren’t the Palestinians evil to resist this Holy Crusade? Furthermore, the New Testament is interpreted by most Protestants, not all, as prophesying that Christ’s Second Coming to Earth will be preceded by the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Israel. All the more reason for Protestants to help establish Israel and remain its “friend”. The state of Israel does not fail to take advantage of this Christian prejudice.
The Crusades — After Jewish history and Cowboy history, Americans know Crusader history. Castles and knights fascinate us, how much more the Holy Quest to take back the Holy Land from the Muslims! What could be more wonderful than to see the evil Saracens finally vanquished? How much better if the Jewish people can also recreate Israel in their Biblical home? In fact, history will look back on the establishment of the state of Israel as the Ninth Crusade of Western Christendom to control the Holy Land. The history books will relate how the collapse of the Ottoman Empire allowed the Christian West to retake the Holy Land and re-enact Biblical history with no risk and little expense-using a small proxy army of Zionist volunteers.
The Holocaust — Americans fought the Germans and liberated many Jews from the concentration camps. The mass-murder and atrocities committed by the Nazis rightly filled Americans with pity. This prompted Americans to support the establishment of the state of Israel against all democratic and moral principles. The Zionists have continued to shamelessly play on this pity for their own advantage. Their leaders never fail to mention it as a justification for whatever atrocity they commit. One is reminded frequently of the psychological phenomena of identifying with the aggressor. The Isrealis have externalized their anger and attempted to undo their own victimization by repeating the Nazi’s crimes-the victim this time being the unfortunate Palestinians. This kind of social/psychological pathology should be contained, diagnosed and treated, not given free rein.
Islam — Judaism is familiar through the Old Testament, which is included in every American’s Bible. For American Christians, Judaism is not the right religion, but it is a precursor to their own and is no threat. They are unfamiliar with the racism and double standard found in the Talmud and in Jewish legal writings. They know only that God chose the Jews for the first covenant with man, but supplanted that choice with a second covenant with man through Jesus Christ. So to Christians, Judaism is tribalistic and anachronistic, but is a part of their own religion that poses no threat to Christianity. Islam is a completely different matter. It is a universal religion that is built upon Judaism and Christianity and claims superiority over them. It is not confined to a single tribe or race. It is growing and presents a threat to Christianity. Christians know that Islam reduces Christ to a prophet, so they see it as a heretical distortion of their own religion-which is much worse. Americans fear and loath Islam all the more because they’ve encountered it primarily in the context of the current Israeli Crusade. Unfortunately, Americans generally don’t actually know any Muslims so that they might realize that they’re humans also.
“Terrorism” — Americans have been assaulted for years by images of Arab groups committing small scale attacks against Israelis and their American supporters. Ignorant of the history of the region, they fail to understand that small-scale Arab terrorism has been a reaction to systematic, large-scale Israeli terrorism-its ethnic cleansing of Palestine, its slaughter of civilians, and its brutal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. There were no Arab terrorist attacks against Westerners before the Zionists began to implement their plan of conquering Palestine. The impotent Arab reaction to Israeli terrorism supports the West’s anti-Arab bias. With the help of non-stop pro-Israeli propaganda, Americans conclude that Arabs are the root of the problem and are inherently violent and untrustworthy. They have mistaken a symptom of a moral disorder for the cause. In fact, Arabs are not violent people in general. By any measure, there is far less violence in their societies than in America. They particularly like and admire Americans who come to live among them. What they hate are the actions and policies of the Israelis and the American government. The Palestinians have suffered invasion, occupation, and racism. They have suffered much, much more at the hands of the Israelis than the American colonists ever did from the British, yet Americans celebrate their violent struggle against the occupying British. Palestinians have suffered much more than Americans did when America decided to kill 100,000 Japanese civilians to end WWII. The Palestinians’ desperate acts against the occupying Israelis and Israeli citizens are in fact a morally justified response to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and occupation. Under altered circumstances, Americans would support the Palestinians as freedom fighters and understand that they are driven to suicidal violence by the criminal actions of the Israeli state. Morally, most persons believe that violence is justified in order to end violent oppression. This is the case in Palestine. Consider this: If, during the Holocaust, a few Jews had been able to bomb concentrations of German citizens and thereby bring the world’s attention to the plight of Jews under Hitler, would Americans or Jews now condemn them as terrorists, or celebrate them as freedom fighters? In addition, we must realize that psychologically, people who are violated and oppressed will strike back in any way they can, especially when they have nothing more to lose. The Palestinians have no hope of ever being free of Israeli occupation and control. They believe they have no future. They will therefore do anything to change the situation, if only to take revenge. They have no military power, they cannot take on the Israeli war machine, so they attack any Israeli or supporter of Israel that they can reach. Israel has amply demonstrated that it will not withdraw from the West Bank until forced to do so. This is asymmetric warfare and the occupation is the root cause. Who is controlling and denying the basic rights of millions of non-Jews? The Israeli Army. From whom does the army take its orders? The elected government. Who elects the government? The citizens of Israel. Since Israel is a Jewish democracy, every citizen of Israel bears responsibility for the government’s criminal actions. No citizen is innocent. This is the unfortunate fact. Let us be frank, the great problem in human society is violence, whether committed by the state or by groups or by individuals. Occupation is the worst form of violence against a people, second only to genocide. Every person has the right to use violence to stop violence against themselves. “Terrorism” is just the pejorative term that the dominant military power uses against those who violently oppose its actions. The greatest acts of violence against civilians have been, and still are the work of governments, not of small bands of rebels like the Palestinians or Al-Qaeda. Israel has killed over 100,000 non-Jews and driven over a million from their homes. The United States has killed, or supported the killing of millions of “innocent civilians” in the last century-in places like Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, El-Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, Panama, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, and now Afghanistan. What perverse games politicians and their sycophantic media play with our precious language!
The above factors, taken together, are a sufficient explanation for America’s collusion with Israel’s theft of Palestine, with its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, with its apartheid regime, and with its use of violence to force the Palestinians to accept a peace plan that lets it get away with murder and theft. The current state of affairs is a violent affront to the values that Americans hold dear. I sincerely hope that more and more Americans will wake up and open their eyes. If only they could begin to understand the true historical and moral context of the conflict, they would demand an immediate and just solution. They would demand US enforcement of UN Resolutions 191, 242, 338 that call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories and resolve the refugee crisis. They would demand an end to the payments and the arms shipments to Israel. They would demand furthermore that Israel reconstitute itself as a non-tribal, secular democracy with full rights for all its citizens. The international will and money are available to solve this problem, only Israeli and American racism prevent its solution.
The current state of affairs is not only terrible for Arabs, but also for Jews and for all sensitive human beings. What damage has been done to the cause of human rights and international morality by Western support for ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and apartheid in the Holy Land? What damage has been done to Jewish culture and the Jewish religion by the actions of Israel! In fact, large portions of orthodox and secular Jewry outside Israel are absolutely opposed to the Israeli state and its actions. Israel itself is split by conflict. America’s support for racist oppression in the Middle East is a huge gaping wound in our moral consciousness. What message does America’s support for Israel send to all the oppressed people of the world? It puts the lie to everything America says about truth, justice and democracy! I ask all Americans, all Jews, and all citizens of Israel: Is the dream of a Greater Israel worth the price of perpetual war? Do you really want to incite the hatred of all Arabs and all Muslims forever? Do you want to continue feeding religious radicalism in every country of the Islamic World? Do you want to keep killing Arabs until the entire world turns against you?
Given the situation, how can a lasting peace be obtained? It is clearly dishonest, prejudicial, and futile to expect the Palestinians to stop attacking Israel and negotiate a peace with Israel when Israel occupies all Palestinian land, exercises complete control over them, and offers them no hope that it will allow them to have a viable state. Morally, this is tantamount to demanding that concentration camp inmates stop attacking their guards and negotiate a peace that requires them to ignore the past, give up their rights, and agree to stay forever in the camp. In fact, the Palestinians have every right to attack Israel and Israelis in every way possible as long as they are under military occupation. We must end the occupation, not merely condemn the overt violence on both sides.
There are two possible solutions at this point-one more attainable in the short term, the other being the best long-term solution. Right, now, the immediately possible solution is to create a small Palestinian state next to Israel using the1967 borders as a guide. The American government must force the Israeli government to announce that it accepts UN Resolution 242 and the Saudi/Arab League proposal and will withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza within a certain time. The US and UN must broker an agreement on the nature and the timing of such a withdrawal. They must involve all parties including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, and the international community. Israel must be pressured as needed to agree to a reasonable plan to end this occupation quickly-largely on the basis of UN Resolution 242. This plan must then be properly supported by the US and UN, including the money needed to make it work and international troops to patrol the new border.
Is there a better way? I believe that there is, although I’m probably looking decades into the future. The best solution is for Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank to form a new, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual state with a new constitution. This has, in fact, been the state goal of the PLO all along. Isn’t such a state the generally avowed aim of the U.S. and U.N. in other regions of the world? This solution has the great advantages of morality and simplicity. It also would not require the evacuation and movement of all settlers from the West Bank. It would allow Jews to live in a state encompassing most of what they consider their historic home. It’s so simple. Instead of creating a second state, simply remove the Green Line that separates the West Bank from the rest of Israel/Palestine. Give Jews, Christians and Muslims-all human beings-equal rights before the law in a non-racist secular state. Offer citizenship to all Palestinians, including the refugees. Return all property to its rightful owners or compensate them appropriately. Write a new constitution to create a liberal democratic state with no government intervention in religion or education. Hold “Truth and Reconciliation” hearings as was done in South Africa. Let the healing commence. Non-Jews would certainly constitute the majority in this state, but that itself is not a problem for Jews IF the constitution fully protects individual rights. What to call this new state? Let them negotiate it. It could well be called “Israel”, but I prefer that it should keep its traditional non-racial, non-religious name of “Palestine”. Maybe someday.
The Arabs are a pragmatic people. They want and need peace as much or more than the Israelis do. The Arabs and all Muslims could live in peace with Jews in the Middle East if only Israel would comply with international law, and withdraw from the West Bank. Peace in the Middle East will bring happiness and prosperity to all. Arabs and Jews are actually far more alike than different. They are both Semitic, Levantine peoples who share a common lifestyle. Personally, I have no doubt that with a just settlement, age-old grudges would be soon forgotten and these mercantile people would return to doing what they do best, buying, selling, and enjoying life in their own unique way. Religious fanaticism on both sides would dissipate. The end of the 55-year Crusade would permit the gradual democratization and liberalization of all governments in the area. Libertarian democracies would be able to open their borders to their neighbors. Arabs and Jews would be freed from their respective national and ideological prisons and would be able to travel freely throughout the Middle East! Imagine a free trade and free movement zone encompassing the entire region! The different peoples would get to know each other and discover just how much they have to offer each other. Prosperity and peace would replace poverty and war throughout the Middle East. The Middle East could become a vibrant and prosperous region, like the European Community but with Sun, sand, tabbouleh, and a unique flair for life! The American and Israeli people can make it happen with a simple choice. They must stop living in the past and begin to envision fair and attainable end to this conflict.
If America ends the occupation and creates a just settlement for the Palestinians, the root cause of Arab-American hostility will be removed. It will then be a relatively simple matter to resolve the American-Iraqi conflict. American troops could be removed from Saudi Arabia (as is being done now anyway). With the resolution of these three issues, the demands of Al-Qaeda would be met, it’s raison d’etre would vanish, America would no longer be threatened, and the American people could regain their sense of security and their civil liberties.
The choice lies with you, the American people. You can continue to wage war against “evil” and “terrorism” forever, or you can admit your moral failure, remove the causes of the Arab’s grievances, and bring peace and prosperity to the region.
It’s up to you.