#Israel & #Palestine, Clueless in Gaza: Dial ‘D’ for Dignity…

 

Gaza in ruins

Gaza in ruins

“You don’t negotiate with them.” “You make them beg.” Words like these, in reference to Palestine in general, and Hamas in particular, were overheard from the mouths of various Israeli leaders, journalists and pundits-at-large following John Kerry’s recent failed attempts to cut a deal, any deal, between Israel and Palestine. They disgust me, so racist and hateful. Israel tried to back away from the comments, but—you know.

If words like this hurt me so much, I can only imagine what they do to Palestinians. It’s no wonder there is no solution in sight, with such racism and prejudices at work behind the scenes. Imagine the Western horror if Palestinians spoke like that: ‘Muslims are like that; it’s in their blood.’ Religion flowing through capillaries: now there’s an image.

I’ve been following the Mideast crises for a while now—approximately 2000 years—and it seems to me that the modern version of the quagmire boils down to one irreconcilable issue: Israel’s various leaders demand that Palestinian’s various leaders officially recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

The accent, of course, is on ‘Jewish’ and ‘official’; that is: in writing; that is: in words; that is: kiss ass, something that Palestine is not likely to do in this lifetime or the next, nor should they have to. They’ve already recognized Israel’s right to exist by the way, since 1993. Only now does Netanyahu add the ultimate insult: as a Jewish state. If someone stole my property, which they have, I’d never recognize them as rightful owner, but I’d get on with my life. But I’ll be damned if I’d suffer their insults publicly. Who’s the obstructionist?

Casualties of Gaza war

Casualties of Gaza war

Bottom line: dignity is non-negotiable. Once you lose it, you never get it back. Peace is not dependent on certain words coming out of certain Palestinian or Israeli mouths. It is about mutually-agreed-upon, and verifiable, terms that both sides have agreed to, presumably with lines drawn on a map, simple. Or not. But hardly the psycho-drama that some would have us believe. Nobody in Egypt or Jordan LIKES Israel, after all, but they co-exist peacefully, and with open borders.

Words are just so many scratches on paper, anyway. Actions are more important, like the cessation of new Israeli settlements in occupied territory; like the cessation of Palestinian guerrilla activity; like the removal of the Palestinian blockade; like the dismantling of tunnels and the disarming of Palestine.

Drop the Israeli demand that Palestine and the Arabs grovel first, and you might just have something. You might have peace. Until then you’ll never see the end of what Israelis generally refer to as “mowing the lawn,” i.e.mowing down innocent Palestinians. Now that’s disgusting. When will Israel recognize Palestine’s right to exist?  Who’s the obstructionist?

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