Friday, April 30, 2010

Israel: ditch the enablers or self-destruct

Israel official: Accepting Palestinians into Israel better than two states
Haaretz: Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said... that he would rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution... Late last year, Rivlin said in a Jerusalem address that Israel's Arab population was 'an inseparable part of this country. It is a group with a highly defined shared national identity, and which will forever be, as a collective, an important and integral part of Israeli society.'

In a speech given in the president's residence, the Knesset speaker called for a fundamental change in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, urging the foundation of a 'true partnership' between the two sectors, based on mutual respect, absolute equality and the addressing of 'the special needs and unique character of each of the sides.'

Rivlin also said that 'the establishment of Israel was accompanied by much pain and suffering and a real trauma for the Palestinians,' adding that 'many of Israel's Arabs, which see themselves as part of the Palestinian population, feel the pain of their brothers across the green line -- a pain they feel the state of Israel is reponsible for.' 'Many of them,' Rivlin says, 'encounter racism and arrogance from Israel's Jews; the inequality in the allocation of state funds also does not contribute to any extra love.'

Jeet Heer, National Post: Israel is the [Ernest] Hemingway of nations. Like the great writer, Israel is admired by many for its courage and fighting prowess and indulgently allowed to go on pursuing those elements of its behaviour that can only end in disaster. And just as Hemingway had his bar-room buddies who cheered on his alcoholism, Israel has its enablers, foreigners who encourage the Jewish state to follow the self-destructive path of keeping the Palestinians permanently immiserated...

Who are the enablers? Some are Jews in the Diaspora who feel, either out of tribal loyalty or guilt at their comfort, that Israel deserves unconditional support. Others are Christian millennialists who view the Middle East as a playground for their own apocalyptic fantasies. Still others are regular conservatives nostalgic for the imperialist days of yore when Western nations could impose their will on the unruly masses of the Third World. Some of the enablers have genuinely good motives. After the Holocaust, concern for the survival of the Jewish state is a strong moral imperative. What the enablers don't realize is that the policies they defend will doom Israel as Jewish democracy.
Image source here.