Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Reasons Why the Peace Process is a Moral and Strategic Imperative

The only alternative to war is peace. The only road to peace is negotiation. - Golda Meir

I believe however that peace is attainable regardless of the Arabs mentality, society or government.-Yitzhak Rabin

In the last piece I wrote passionately and personally about the moral imperative to seek peace from my liberal, Jewish, Israeli-American perspective. On Thursday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of a strategic imperative to pursue peace talks. He's right. While I can't help be passionate about the peace process I can lay out some practical reasons why it must go forward and why I support the prisoner release which the Israeli cabinet approved.

Before I go on let me say that my heart does go out to the families of these murderers. Not a one of them deserves to be released. I read the accounts of the attacks they perpetrated and I was sickened. It would be so very easy for me to hate the Arabs. I certainly hate things they have done like this. The easy thing is often precisely the wrong thing. As much as it may bother some of the right wingers out there I still believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing the right thing, even though it is both unpopular and difficult.

Israel needs to seize any opportunity to make peace for it's own interests. Even if the process fails, as we all expect it will, at least Israel is seen as making every effort for peace. That is vital for U.S. popular and government support. Indeed, this may be something President Obama needed to get the gulf states to go along (or at least not interfere) with a strike on the Iranian nuclear program. In other words, these peace talks may well be a side show for something that is more important, both to Israel and the U.S.

Then again, maybe the U.S. and Israel really have put a new peace process front and center in their thinking. This may also be the one time in history when the Arab-Israeli conflict is the easiest one in the Middle East to solve. The other conflicts in the region: the Syrian civil war, Egypt on the edge of civil war as well and, of course, the standoff with Iran are all more difficult problems.

Permit me, however, to frame this strictly in terms of the Israelis and Palestinians. If you won't even negotiate with your enemy how will you ever have peace? Must Israel be condemned to endless wars, death and destruction?

I am not "gullible" for supporting a two state (really a multi-state) solution as some people have claimed. I can see clearly enough to know it's a choice between that and the eventual destruction of Israel. The Palestinians will never become Jordanians, they can't be bought off, they will never leave Judea, Samaria and Gaza voluntarily, and, if we include Gaza, there are almost as many of them between the river and the sea as there are of us. Once again, I say us because I have so much family and so many dear friends in Israel, plus, of course, I am planning a move there myself. Whatever happens, it will affect me directly.

If Israel tries to expel or kill the Palestinians, as hardliners online, many of them Americans and Christians, insist Israel should, the U.S. will almost certainly lead the international military against Israel. The Serbs weren't permitted to expel the Albanians, a much smaller number, in Kosovo. Do you really think Israel will get away with it? Insanity!

If you didn't read my very personal blog post and don't understand where I'm coming from, read it. If you did read it and still don't understand... fine.

Let me say this again, for the last time: if you oppose even negotiating for peace you and I have very different moral values and very different beliefs. You may, unwittingly, be an agent of the destruction of Israel. Have a nice life with your delusions of greater Israel or fortress Israel or whatever you think will work. Just please don't expect me to want or to have any part of it. I will continue to pray, as Jews have for centuries, for peace in Jerusalem and all of Israel. I will also work in any way I can to make peace a reality.


Caitlyn Martin said...

One of these right wing Jews just wished me to get blown up by what he called "Arab-Nazi scum". Sweet. These people are every bit as bad as the Islamists.

Anonymous said...

I don't like this horrible blog. A waste of time.

Caitlyn Martin said...

Then why are you reading it and commenting? You also had to post that anonymously? Way to show the courage of your convictions.

Polls show the majority in Israel and of Jews worldwide still support a two state solution and peace. If you think advocating for Israel and advocating for peace is "horrible" then you and the minority of people who agree with you can go elsewhere. Nobody is forcing you to read this.

Caitlyn Martin said...

To those who hate the idea of peace or negotiation or see the need to attack liberals: POST SOMEWHERE ELSE! You dominate the supposedly pro-Israel sites online and give Israel a bad name in the process. Sorry, you are not welcome here. This blog advocates for Israel. It does not showcase the hard right minority who are effectively performing anti-hasbara and make Israel look like what our enemies want to portray us as.

I will be writing a peace about the harm done by the hard right to the defense of Israel very soon now.

jolanda said...

124Hai Caitlin. I am not Jewish, but am living in Israel. In Ashqelon to be precise. Thanks for your blog, don't mind the dumb people. You have a wonderfull expression wich I love: Tikkun Olam... the hateposts come with the territory, but keep up the effort for Tikkun Olam. We are so in need of it.

Warren burstein said...

Are you Jewish? if you are then you are sick self-hater. We in Israel do not want you here. If you want to throw Jews out of their homes you are no better (and in fact if you happen to be Jewish WORSE) then the Nazis.

Caitlyn Martin said...

I published the last comment from Warren Burstein because it doesn't have foul language, though it is foul in the extreme.

Warren: I am Jewish. I am Israeli. I am a citizen of the State of Israel and have been from birth. You do NOT speak for Israel or Israelis, the majority of whom, according to the most recent polls, support a two state solution and peace negotiations. Even if that was not true you can't deny a citizen the right to live in her own country.

I am also the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. How dare you! How dare you compare any Jewish person to the Nazis! Who have I killed? Which genocide have I planned?

Self-hater? Not hardly. I love Israel with all my heart. That is why I want peace and security for the Jewish state. Extremists like you will be her downfall if you ever have power. Fortunately, you have none at all.

I also find it amazing that I get so much hate, more than I have ever gotten from Arabs or antisemites (and I get plenty from them) by advocating for peace. Why does the thought of peace scare you so very much? Why are you so threatened?

rotaryhand said...

I'm one year and 23 days older than Israel. I don't expect peace in my lifetime. I don't expect Islamic terrorists to be defeated in my lifetime. I pray that I am wrong.
If one wishes to immigrate to Israel, don't wait for peace. The Jews that have ancestors that were there for 2000 years will protect the new emigrants.
"Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen."
Golda Meir

Caitlyn Martin said...

The only reason I am waiting has nothing to do with politics or the prospects for peace. I have financial and personal obligations to meet here and they are much easier to meet in the U.S. Once that's done and I'm in a position to be able to make aliya successfully I will.

(Oh, and while I would not be classified as an olah hadashah I would get some, but not all, of the benefits olim get when I move. I still feel better being self-sufficient to the greatest extent possible.)

rotaryhand said...

Israeli group brings 17 Yemeni Jews to Israel
Jews are a tough breed. They survive under the harshest conditions.
There were 100,000 in Iran in 1948. Now, as of 2004, there are 20,000 to 25,000.* There wouldn't be any if Iran would open the gates.
*The Jews of Iran