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Let me pose a general question to you all:

What do you regard as the main obstacles to lasting peace in Israel/Palestine and why?

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i hope so but violence is the main thing isreal do, they used the force too much in away people here cant find peace in thier self where it is very hard to feel that you are living quite life
The main obstacle to a just and lasting peace in Palestine is the existence of a colonialist and racist Zionist state on Palestinian land, and it is not very complicated to understand why...
Whether I agree with you or not, how would your analysis contribute to finding solutions? If your analysis was the main issue, the only solution I can think of is that the majority of Israelis change from Zionists to become Palestinians. Do you think that can happen? (I am not being sarcastic, I actually want to understand)
I am a former Zionist Israeli who became an anti-Zionist Palestinian, and I am not the only one...

There can't be peace with Zionism, because there can't be peace without justice, and Zionism is fundamentally unjust toward the Palestinians...

Or the Israelis abandon Zionism and integrate in the Middle-East, or they will be wiped out of it like the Crusaders...

Any other "solution" is completely desillusional! So, the first step toward a real and lasting peace is to combat against the Zionist ideology and Jewish exclusiveness by every possible (peaceful) means.
I am interested how that happened and why? I am an Israeli citizen, I consider myself zionist but I want to end the occupation, I want equal rights for all citizens of Israel. I want the discrimination to end. I want to redefine what it is to be Israeli to be inclusive of Palestinians. I think this is true of many people I know who would also call themselves zionist israelis. Yes we don't feel a need to undo Israel and become Palestinian. So what changed with you that you are anti and filled with so much anger about zionism?
It happened when I began to open my eyes to the cruel and unjust reality in which Palestinians live here because of the Zionist regime. What Zionism did in Palestine is a crime against humanity, and it didn't begin only in 1967, but already in 1948 or even before. In order to establish their state the Zionist Jews had to stole the Palestinian land and to destroy the Palestinian society. A destructive process which is continuing to this day...

Since I am a consequent thinker, who goes to the root of the problem, I can't be satisfied with half-measures. So-called "leftist Zionist" (an oxymoron!) want to have their cake and to eat it, like most of the Israelis.

The "two-states solution" is like if somebody had stolen one million dollars from somebody else and was saying to him "okay, I am ready to give you back 200,000 if you abandon definitively all claims to the other 800,000". A fair solution really! Blatant Israeli hutzpa, yes!

What enraged me the most, it is how the Jews, who were such victims of the most cruel racist persecutions, once becoming Zionists, can persecute another people, without much remorse. Even worse, openly or not, the Holocaust is used to "justify" those crimes. Whatever the Jews can do to the Palestinians, it is not worth to mention, because nothing can be compared to the Holocaust!...

And all this to establish such an unjust, corrupt, savagely capitalist state!.... Who needs really a Jewish state? If you need some Yiddishkeit, you can tranquilly live in Brooklyn, eating kosher schnitzels, speaking Yiddish, etc... You don't have to establish a "Jewish state" on stolen Palestinian land for that!

The only just and lasting solution of this conflict is for the Jews to give back to the Palestinians all their stolen land, to allow all the Palestinian refugees to come back to their former places and properties, and then to see if the Palestinians are ready to forgive the Jews for what they did to them during so many years of unjust suffering and if they are ready to accept some of them in their midst in the frame of a free, democratic and secular Palestinian republic.

Why do you want so much to call yourself a Zionist??... Zionism is a criminal colonialist ideology, based on a chauvinist tribal outdated nationalist conception.
No surprise but I don't agree with your perception of zionism so that's why I have no problem considering myself a zionist. I believe that every person, every group, needs a safe place to call home. Every group needs a way to be self-suffient, self-fulfilled, and have self-determination. This is very difficult in a world where we are all mixed. The problem is that human nature tends to form in-groups and out-groups. I don't actually like this aspect of humanity but I recognize that it exists. So my zionism is that jews as a group should have control over their destiny. I do not relate this to Judaism as a religion or actually don't even care about Judaism or Jewish culture (I joke that if I woke up and everyone converted to Islam but nothing really changed on a cultural level in Israel, I would shrug my shoulders and go on with my life- what personal beliefs people have, how they manifest those in public, what holidays they celebrate, I don't care). What I care about is any minority population being abused at the hands of a majority population. So I speak out about how Jews oppress Palestinians, how Palestinian gays are not free to be who they are, how relgious women (of any religion) don't have the same options men have, and how, in my opinion, in a bi-national state where we Jews are the minority once again, we would be subject to the majority.

The other side of this conversation is that I wonder, if you see zionism as so evil and the majority of Israelis consider themselves zionist, how can you make peace with them? Who is there to make peace with? How can you even live there? I compare your black and white perspective to Jewish Israelis who say they want peace but refuse to even speak to a Palestinian. Who arethey making peace with? What kind of peace is that where one side must be conquered to fulfil your need for peace? Are not your opinions the mirror reflection of what the far right thinks of Arabs and Palestinians?

Maybe zionism is a criminal colonialist ideology but under the same definition so is Islam and Christianity (which conquered the world by the sword), the Americas, Australia, Finland and New Zealand (which marginalizes the indigenous populations), China, Japan, Russia (which has many minority populations not supported by the government), Western Europe (which marginalizes and has oppressive laws that affect its immigrant populations).
Shaul,

quote
"And all this to establish such an unjust, corrupt, savagely capitalist state!.... Who needs really a Jewish state? If you need some Yiddishkeit, you can tranquilly live in Brooklyn, eating kosher schnitzels, speaking Yiddish, etc... You don't have to establish a "Jewish state" on stolen Palestinian land for that!"

I'm sure you have every reason to feel outraged, but I don't think it's appropriate in this forum to put into question the right to a 'proper' Jewish state. Do you really think that peace could be found on the basis of abolishing Israel as a (Jewish) state?

I am neither Jew nor Palestinian, so I can argue from a more neutral point of view, and I'm convinced that without mutual efforts to recognition and honest acceptance (of both Israel as a Jewish state and a free, sovereign Palestine) a peace resolution will remain what it has been for such a long time - a mere dream..
It is pretty obvious that abolishing Zionism is a solution (but so is exterminating all extremist/national Palestinians (for the sake of the argument, of course)). It is also a relatively known fact that the definition of Jewish by Israel law (and religious institutions) is pretty much the same as the one the Nazis used (and of course that is no accident, as the logic in forming the law must have been something like "we must protect who they prosecuted").
Once a racist definition is used to define a country (and in the declaration of independence of Israel, it is defined as a Jewish (and democratic) state, which to me sounds like somewhat of a contradiction), the country will be, well, racist by definition. It is even more obvious when one considers the fact that most Jewish Israelis are not even religious (so the term Jewish really doesn't refer to their day-to-day religious routine), only further stressing out the discrimination on a national/racist base. In this respect, I must admit that you are right.
However the question remains how practically to achieve peace. It is a pretty *optimistic* assumption that you can convince all Jewish citizens of Israel to see that in order to really undo/uproot the Holocaust and racist ideas promoted in WW2 what they/we need to do is to become some sort of "citizens of the world" and abandon our "national-Jewish" identity (which, again, has little to do with religion). And then we still have the practical problem of where should we all go (if at all). The fear of re-occurrence of prosecution is a well established one (and for pretty good reasons, after all we have even been able to do something similar ourselves, as you've noted, and atrocities against minorities happen in other places of the world all the time, as Corey points out). Some mechanism for protection and assurance of freedom must be established prior to any massive movement towards change. Personally, I don't know of any real non-national state (they are called "nations" for a reason), besides, maybe, the US (and perhaps Canada), but I'll be happy to be enlightened. Another option is to re-define Israel as a liberal non-nationalist nation, and base the Israeli nationality on some alternative moral code or definition (rather than the racist one). Personally I find this to be the preferred (though still impractical) solution, though it will require all citizens (and Palestinians refugees demanding return, as well as anyone else wishing to immigrate) to agree to this new code/apply this definition to themselves. At this point in time it seems like a far fetched utopia to me, but maybe it's time to start discussing it.
Uri,

every nation-state has its national identity, so I don't see any reason why Israel shouldn't have one. Unfortunately, time is not ripe yet for a 'world government' and an enlightened global society adhering to universally accepted values. Therefore, at least our generation (and most likely the generation that follows, too) will have to live in nation-state environments.

I wouldn't call the Israeli national identity 'racist'. There are people (in Israel and elsewhere) who are racist, but Israel has become, during the last 60 years, an established and working democracy whose constitution explicitly grants generous rights to minorities, e.g. the Druse.

There is however a problem with the term 'Jew' or 'Jewish' in general, as it defines both a people and a religion. As said, the state of Israel accounts for the rights of non-Jewish minorities, so it can't be called 'racist'. As to religion, the majority of Christian and Muslim countries explicitly emphasize their religious traditions and stress the importance of the values derived out of the respective religious faiths. So Israel is not an exception here.
i want to ask you is you are cicked out from your house and al of your family killed in front of your eyes what you will do and your future find it in another contury what you will feel???
I feel the main obstacle is simple just plain "HATE". It is not by you a Palestinian civilian or me a Jewish civilian, but the powers that control the people. There are about 15-20 mil. Jews around the world and they have an interest (what ever it is), and there are 1.2 Bill. Moslems with there interests (what ever it is). And off course when one conflicts with the other there is conflict. Then comes religion and the religious fanatics with there interpretation of there religion. That says if you are not like me you must die. It is hate that fuels this fire but there is no water to put it out. There are leaders that thrive on the flames of useless death.
It seems to me that as long as there are leaders that call out for the death and destruction of Israel. There will not be any peace not though two state solution, not through genocide of the Palestinian people. There can’t be trust so there can’t be peace. We can talk all we want but the leaders with power and there interest will not listen since the hate is too deep.
This seems like a good example: imagine Israel leaves Gaza and there is peace no rockets just hotels popping up money flowing then the world can say “see Israel has been keeping the Palestinian people down give them more land and see how well they will do” that seems so simple and obvious . Why not try it? Simple HATE it is the route of it all. Jewish temples have been burnt though out history every time control has been taken or given to the Arab people. Why? Do Jews burn mosques the same way? Of course not. It does not seem to be the civilians to me. There is much more to it that we don’t know about.
If there were no leaders then I think most of the fighting would stop.
Of cores then there will be other problems.

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