Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Palestinian Dilemma

I hear a lot of discussion about the Palestinian situation. Although I am Jewish and root for the Jews I never paid much attention to what was really going on. I decided to do a little research. I googled "the truth about Palestine" and turned up 4,500,000 references. It seemed that there was some duplication so I guess there is no more than 2,000,000 separate opinions about what the truth is. I must admit that I did not read 2,000,000 articles. I just spent a little time surfing through a number of viewpoints to try to see if I could zero in on some facts or analysis that seemed objective.

One of the consistent points of every article was that you should not believe any facts or statements from the other articles because they are not trustworthy. Each point of view believes the other side is bending the truth. So no matter what you read, it may or may not be true. Now there are those who would say that this is true, you can't believe what you read or what is being stated as truth, but there are certain statements that can be proved as true. However, these statements that can be proved as true are based on other statements which may or may not be true. If this sounds complicated or circuitous to you then I think you might be heading in the right direction.

Another thing I noticed was that there is an incredible amount of information available about this situation. The information is detailed and documented and much of it probably is true . There are quotes from Golda Meir and the PLO stating that the Palestinian people do not exist. There are numerous examples of cruelty by both sides towards each other. There are historical, legal, and religious facts that make very strong cases for many different and conflicting points of view.

If you came here from another planet without any knowledge or prejudice about the situation and spent a lifetime in research to determine what to do and whose claims were legitimate I don't think you could come up with an answer that would favor the Arabs or the Jews. They both have valid points and historical, legal, and religious data to support their positions.

This is not a situation that is ruled by logic or reason. It is very emotional. I don't think we can look to the past for answers. We need to develop a solution that reflects the reality of the present. The reality that I see consists of these observations.

1-The Arabs and Jews are not getting along.

2-They both believe they are right.

3-There are fanatics on both sides.

4-This conflict is creating pressure in the region and throughout the world.

5-There is a potential for this pressure to erupt into a serious problem that might cause many people to die.

6 The Arabs don't want the Jews in Israel.

7-Whether it takes one year, or five years, or twenty years, or fifty years, the Arabs will develop nuclear weapons.

8-At some point in the future they will use these weapons against Israel.

9-Living in Israel is like living in a small neighborhood in a big city where everyone around you wants to kill you.

10-Although I might admire their courage, conviction, and accomplishments, I would not want my kids living under these conditions.

11- I would ask my kids to come home where it is safe. I would tell them that maybe in the future if things change, or consciousness evolves, or some other unforeseen occurrence creates more favorable circustances they might be able to move back.

Based on these observations, as much as I hate to say it, I think we should give the Jews the state of Montana or Wyoming and let them move there and live in peace. I'm serious about this.
We can't continue to use the Israelis as our first line of defense against Islamic fanaticism. We need to break the chain of violence by removing the targets.


  1. "I think we should give the Jews the state of Montana or Wyoming and let them move there and live in peace."

    My father in law often says this. He also often says, "Just kill them all". We don't take his political views very seriously in the family.

  2. Steve, I appreciate your view here. We need to think in a new way, though. We can't continue to use the Israelis as the first line of defense against Islamic fanaticism. We need to break the chain of violence by removing the target.

  3. Ira,

    As usual, you have a refreshingly clear point of view. I would offer some different thoughts:

    - Those that live in Israel don't see themselves as the first line of defense against fanaticism. Rather, I believe that they see themselves fullfilling a Divine promise and are working to preserve an ideal and a tradition.

    - Much of Jewish history and ritual is based on the city on the rock (Jerusalem). I'm afraid that Devil's Tower won't do it.

    - You state that there are fanatics on both sides. There are also great, broad-minded thinkers on both sides. Golda Meir said that the the cycle of killing would end when our mothers love their children more than hate their enemies. These are the folks that have to be allowed to navigate the murky waters of conciliation.

    - If the world at large chooses to run away rather than confront hatred, we'll all end up in Wyoming or Montana. Who will we push out to make lives for ourselves and our children? There is a balance between compassion and determination. Our only hope is to explore these equal opposites.

  4. Not my views- my father law's. He also has an invisible friend named Fart Masterson.

    I also see the conflict as a near impossible situation and agree that there is too much scar tissue to try to hash out any agreement based on past ideas and events.

    Moving forward somehow is the the only sane option.

    been said and done in the past

  5. Disregard the last line--"been said..."

    I forgot to delete it.