Israeli-Palestinian Peace is Not Difficult to Achieve


Say
what?
Peace between these two areas
(only one of them is a country) has been at loggerheads for half a century and
the world misunderstands the story as an intractable standoff. There’s good
reason for that, as American presidents from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama have
tried and failed at mediation. The confrontation is insolvable, it would seem.

Which is utter nonsense.

Israel was determined to create a homeland for
worldwide Jews and the world was determined to give them one, no matter the
cost. The Holocaust loomed large over seventy unending years of guilt-ridden
political gutlessness and misdirection, at unimaginable cost, but Israel got their nation. Palestine wanted a
homeland as well and no one gave a damn,
so they have no nation, no hope, no economy and no future. Hamas was born of
that circumstance and our collective international witlessness and ignorance has
brought us to the current Gaza disaster.
Early in my lifetime—and it’s been a
longish life—the Soviet Union and China were America’s big threat. For forty
years we faced one another, armed to the teeth and in mutual fear of a similar
holocaust, this one nuclear. That ignorant period in East-West history might
have taught us something, but we humans are extremely difficult to teach and
slide from disaster to disaster in continuing ignorance. A case in point:
China, an enormous and threatening communist nuclear
opponent, was the scourge of the West until Nixon went there in 1972 to meet
with Chairman Mao. “Nixon going to China” has since become a metaphor
for an unexpected or uncharacteristic action by a politician (Wikipedia). Over
the decades since, it has been illustrated (perhaps even proven) that when
nationalism puts its dick back in its pants, where it belongs, useful and
positive things occur. China and the United States are now significant business
and economic partners and, if all our differences are not yet resolved, the
world is a safer and better place for it.
A second case in point:
The Marshall Plan saved a ravaged Europe from becoming
ravaged all over again within another 20 years, as it had after WWI. General
George C. Marshall knew about war,
having served in WWI and leading the American effort in WWII, both times in
uniform. Europe healed, has not gone to war again and Germany—it’s previous erstwhile
aggressor—is now the financial and ethical platform upon which the continent stands.
Modern day Germany is now looked up to by Europeans and is a model of democracy
and stability. “Oh shit, Germany,” almost
entirely because of the Marshall Plan, is now the respected answer to “What would Germany say?”
So, the ‘not so difficult’ part of my argument comes down to Israel
learning from the more recent history of Germany, whose Holocaust it fled, as
well as America, the nation that rebuilt its conquered foe. If statesmanship
was evident, rather than a big-dick response to fear, Israel would long ago
have devised a Marshall Plan for Palestine and peace between nation and
non-nation would now prevail by opportunity rather than constant acts of mutual
aggression. The present Israeli-Palestinian circumstance is an endless
death-spiral of desperation inspired acts followed by overwhelming retaliatory
response.
There is, as General George Marshall
gambled at the conclusion of another historic moment, simply no other way than a Plan such as he devised.
Read this enlightening (and
heartbreaking)
article by Jodi
Rudoren and Fares Akram in the August 6th issue of The New York Times and
shudder at the ignorance just witnessed in Gaza, all in the name of peace. The Israeli-Palestinian
future course is not cast in stone, but
the choice is only Israel’s to make
.
Statesmanship is always difficult, but never
impossible.

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