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The one thing that disturbs me in the imbalance of representation in Israel. Have we not shot ourselves in the foot with an all Jewish State Department Staff. If we are going have productive talks, there seems to be no one interested in the Palestinian plight. I feel the Staff should be balanced.
When I was in Jerusalem 2 years ago, all of the staff there was Jewish. There was one loan man in the Palestinian consulate who was not Jewish, he is in a diffiuclt position.

Will we ever learn?

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Dear Pamela.

The Arab-Jewish conflict created by the creation of Israel by the Zionist movement is our realty. The change you wish to see where no distinction exist is what many of us wish.

Some times we miss the big picture when we are focusing on one element. The problems are much complex then a simple Jewish-nonJewish distinctions.

I worked with Arabs and Jews Israelis and Palestinians. There are groups who work great when they trust each other. When you do not trust numbers are employed for getting even but the group cannot work because there is no trust.

Israel paradoxical democratic-jewish need to be reviewed by the Israelis. this is an obstacle for getting progress toward a future we all deserve to share.
HI,
Yes I agree this is much deeper than the Embassy makeup. It is simply a casual observation. There is certainly a tremendous amount of good work happening, I just wish the success' reached the American Media. The media oftern portrays the Palestinians as all bad. I had first hand experience with the best in them.
One night at 11P when I was in Jerusalem, my Professor told a cab driver in Hebrew to take me to my Hotel. He went several blocks and dropped me off in the middle. I followed the signs to the Old City because I knew my Hotel was around there. The day before I had purchased some rugs and thanks to God, the shoppe keeper was still in his store. He took me in immediately and then took me to my Hotel. I was extremely grateful. For the rest of the trip, an Arab Israeli took me where I needed to go and I was never left out on the street again.
I love Jerusalem and look forward to coexistance in some form.
Peace be upon you!
Pam
Hi Pamela,

Why did the cab driver not take you to your destination?

Be well...
==Paul R
Hi Paul,
He did not speak English and I didn't speak Hebrew but from his sign language, he wanted me out of the car. We only drove a couple of blocks after dropping the Rabbi off before he put me out. What time I was in the cab nothing was said.
What was explained to me is that he was ultra conservative and would have been uncomfortable being in the presence of an unaccompanied woman. Now I definitely did not fit in the area, I am blonde, blue eyes and very pale complexion.... I dont know why he did what the did. I just am very grateful to the shop keeper and the cab driver that took care of me the rest of the trip.
Any thoughts?
Some ultra conservative Muslim taxi-drivers here in Australia refuse to have guide-dogs used by the blind in their taxi. In Australia, taxi drivers are legally obliged to accept guide-dogs with their blind masters.

It seems that being ultra conservative could be the only issue. The driver must have thought when he stopped that you and the (male?) Professor as passengers that you'd be traveling together. I don't know what laws apply in Jerusalem to taxi drivers when accepting passengers. Others here may know.
The Rabbi I was with explained the situation and the cab driver promised to deliver me back to my hotel......He could have registered his objections and we could have hailed another cab for me.
The Arab Israeli cab driver took care of me from that point on....no more worries. I will always call him in the future.
Peace
Pamela

I presme you are talking about the US State Department. I urge you to read Mearsheimer and Walt's book on the Israel Lobby in the US. It will put things in perspective and explain why the US does not have a rational foreign policy.
As for Israel, I agree with Neri: the main point that Israelis need to check and honestly face up to is this schitzophrenic notion that Israel can be both "Jewish" (I prefer Zionist since I see little of the Jewish ethical traditions in it) and Democratic at the same time.
I will try to find this book. Your comment about the Zionist movement I have heard echoed by a Rabbi, much of their teachings are recent within the last 100+ years and do not represent the original thought. All people I believe have a desire to live in a violent conflict free area, raise their families and live in a productive manner laid on the foundation of their moral, religious and educational paradigms. So how do we make that happen? How do we implore people to respect the other? Do we not realize we are all important regardless of race, creed, belief or sex?
I have observed first hand what the Israeli lobbyist can do, but I also have seen in an instant where they were willing to listen to the other. What united them? It was an speech by King Abdullah uniting them under the Abrahamic traditions, it was amazing! We just have to keep talking, not shut down!
peace
Hi Mazin,

Mearsheimer and Walt's book is full of consistently one-sided factual errors and omissions of relevant facts. Their bias is in accord with yours.

Judaism, the culture of the Jewish People, was and is a work in progress. All Jews, like all people. are imperfect.

No democracy is perfect. Israel's democracy is also a work in progress. That work in progress is less imperfect than that of many other so called democracies. In most democracies, those with poor education and those who are financially poor have problems. That is not a unique aspect of Israel's democracy.

Demanding perfection from one-group (The Jews) only has obvious implications.

Had the Palestinians established a democracy that is as bad as that of the Israelis, then the Palestinian's situation and circumstances would most probably be significantly better. That, I think, is the key and most relevant issue. It is a great pity that most Palestinians simply bitch and complain about Israel rather than look in the mirror and work on their own internal and also very real issues.

Be well...
==PmR
Imagine if what Paul wrote was written about Apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany or Taliban Afghanistan. I will let the reader replace the words in his/her mind to see how/what that sounds like:

"Judaism, the culture of the Jewish People, was and is a work in progress. All Jews, like all people. are imperfect.
No democracy is perfect. Israel's democracy is also a work in progress. That work in progress is less imperfect than that of many other so called democracies. In most democracies, those with poor education and those who are financially poor have problems. That is not a unique aspect of Israel's democracy. Demanding perfection from one-group (The Jews) only has obvious implications."
Mazin,

Imagine if what Paul wrote was written about Netherland and England or Qatar or Lebanon. I will let the reader replace the words in his/her mind to see how/what that sounds like.

I think we do want to put also Palestine in it:

"Palestinian, the culture of the Palestinian People, was and is a work in progress. All Palestinians, like all people. are imperfect.
No democracy is perfect. Palestine's democracy is also a work in progress. That work in progress is less imperfect than that of many other so called democracies. In most democracies, those with poor education and those who are financially poor have problems. That is not a unique aspect of Palestine's democracy. Demanding perfection from one-group (The Palestinians) only has obvious implications."


I think that all people are equal, calling a person Jew or Palestinian or Arab is degradation of his/her identity. addressing a group of people as Palestinians or Israelis or Jews has deep disturbance of what we are as a group of people. We need to recognize the complexity of the situation and work for a better world. As Israeli I recognize the faults in the Israeli system and seek ways do politically influence it. If I were Palestinian I would do the same, within a different life condition. as human being I want to support the change in Israel and in Palestine for all of us not get to the extreme Evil as Nazi/Africaners/Taliban.

The people who say that Israel is a Nazi state or aparthide state and ask to treat israel as such are missing the point and as Humans they fail to recognize the humanistic property of the Israelis as me and many others same goes to the ones who ask the world to treat Gaza and Palestine (or Iran) as terrorist entity.
And so Mazin simply and simplistically tells us that according to him:
  • Jews and Israelis are like "Nazi Germany or Taliban Afghanistan" and that
  • It is only natural "for most Palestinians to simply bitch and complain about Israel rather than look in the mirror and work on their own internal and also very real issues."
Oh well...
==PmR

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