just something to say

Some not so new reflections on the Israel-Palestine conflict

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The try to say something new about the Middle East, as well as to expect to find out new solutions to problems that since 64 years, just to give us a date, have beset this bloodstained region, means to aspire to the Nobel Prize for peace or for arrogance. The first is unattainable even in the wildest dreams of a humble observer of world events, and would also be sort of a devalued award by some attributions given, at least, in a questionable way. Exactly under the heading “peace”, in facts, there has been who has obtained it by virtue of a commitment or even by virtue of a limited and contingent façade (among others come to mind Henry Kissinger, Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat). It would remain the Nobel Prize for arrogance, that does not exist, and still personally I do not care to receive it. So we do without new solutions and prestigious awards.

Thinking about it, one can’t see then why a solution should be linked to something new. Perhaps because so far with remedies as they were designed and implemented we have not achieved anything. And why on earth should there be a transcendent and extraordinary solution in order to remediate to situations due to mankind, with all his weaknesses and his aspirations? Actually, are not the old ideas that do not hold water, but the bad faith with which any possible hypothesis of peace has been devalued, sabotaged and sunk in distrust and fatalism. Of course, time will keep on doing its job, but how much suffering could be avoided, looking at the reality, the facts for what they are, and trying to anticipate the fatal evolution of the situation? A concrete point of departure is, therefore, the one to think it is not necessary a superior intervention to accommodate in a reasonable and human way, old issues festering from pathological degeneration of ordinary feelings, such as fear, greed, mistrust and spirit of revenge.

In dealing of the Middle East, the first thought goes immediately, before all, to the Israel-Palestine conflict. To this end, it seems necessary, from the beginning, a need to simplify and reduce to a few basic facts, the core of the problem and the tools available to deal with what, otherwise, looks like a useless mass of opinions, which, if properly presented, succeed in depicting as it were correct, any point of view and its opposite. Which is obviously not possible. Defending to the bitter end one or the other flag, and though the knowledge of history enables us to go back – at will – ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand years to find a reasonable excuse, however destructive, to the conduct of any party, this approach is totally unnecessary. It says so the blood actually flowing as a river in Palestine. Looking for reasons or justification for the wrong done by the humans, in facts, does not solve anything. And nothing good comes from ancient legacies. No good, especially, from raising the memory of wrongs suffered as a fetish for obtaining the alleged justification for any future action.

Under this aspect would be right Shimon Peres, who, in a debate in Qatar (Doha, 20 January 2007), has invited his virtual Palestinian rival to forget the past and look to a different future, but doing so, he has simultaneously demonstrated that he does not forget his own heavy reserves. That is, the pretences that he himself, on behalf of the Jewish state, doesn’t intend to give up, either in words. For example, dealing with the territorial issue, about the denied, thorny question of the division of Jerusalem. On that occasion, Peres had done, in practice, the same mistakes of the past. It doesn’t matter if one opens a blog on Haaretz and consents to debate if the sole purpose is that of winning, with the words, the resistance of others. We’re talking about sort of a “dove”, but he stifles the impulse self-critical – which also should exist – and decides within himself, a priori, to fight and not to negotiate. And the doves need to talk, starting with Peres (defined by the radical Noam Chomsky’s “iconic mass murderer”,) recalling that the misdeeds of Labor (party of the progressive Israelis) were lethal to the bogus peace process that started in Oslo, as much as their brethren of the right of Likud. Matter of fact, they have been even more effectively destructive, promoting the expansion of indiscriminate and illegal settlements in the occupied territories, and implementing a disastrous state of affairs. In a nutshell, rowing against peace.

But the principle ventilated hypocritically by Shimon Peres, and formerly even more hypocritically, by Alan Dershowitz, is – in words – correct. It’s helpful to know history, but it is constructive to use it solely to explain and interpret the resulting behavior, albeit irrational, because, as someone said, it is not rational to ignore the irrational motives that affect people’s behavior. Rather, is criminal, instrumental and discriminatory, to abuse it and take advantage of that. Great, so, the idea of forgetting in order to restart. So far extremely poor its implementation.

A trail that feeds of the past, of reasons and wrongs, of missed opportunities, of bloodshed, is soon obliterated by a heavy burden of absolute lack of confidence. It’s the same mistrust that has also helped to stifle the desire for peace, alive and real, in the region. The distrust and pessimism which have undermined, for example, the so-called peace process, started in Oslo, stillborn once betrayed in the spirit (according to Shlomo Ben-Ami) and in the letter. Just from Oslo (1993 onwards) and then with the death of Rabin (1995), it was seen undermine and deliberately kill an idea, and the little good that was achieved. Bad faith has prevailed, whereas Oslo had been, first, systematically sabotaged by the right of Netanyahu, and later, thanks to the disastrous interlude of Barak in Camp David (on July 2000), over to the parameters of Clinton (December 2000), to the attempt of Taba (January 2001), down towards the infamous wall of Ariel Sharon.

With the death of Oslo, which was decreed in open words by Sharon, was natural the distrust and the disappearance of an idea that was making its way towards the so called “two-state solution”. That is, two states – Israel and Palestine – allegedly capable of living side by side in mutual respect. Hence the need to adapt to another solution – to the great scandal – the one envisaged by Noam Chomsky, later embraced by Edward Said and then revived by the careful opinion of analysts, such as Ali Abunimah, and professors, as Tony Judt, Ilan Pappè, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. But why the two-state solution is actually dead? I think mainly because of the lack of courage and honesty on the part of Israel, to make a choice – however painful – and move from expansion and greed in favour of security and peace. And with Israel I obviously intend its leadership, which has not been able to explain to people (real men and women, that grow up their children and earn their living), the benefits of that first genuine option for peace.


Written by pipistro

May 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Israel, Palestine

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. As far as the divided Jerusalem goes, I have the following suggestion, as simplistic & naive at it may sound: http://daisybrain.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/how-to-solve-the-palestinian-isreali-conflict/


    May 22, 2012 at 4:25 am

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