COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Well, there is peace, and there is peace.
What most of the earth's people instinctively understand as peace is not what most Israelis want, I am convinced, and I am convinced solely by the realities I see, not by beliefs or faith or any other quasi-religious stuff.
They want, as best we can judge, by a long series of leaders and the general behavior of its people, peace on their own terms, and that is not what peace ever really is. Unconditional surrender is not peace.
By "their terms" I mean they want much of the remaining territory they have illegally occupied for half a century, but they want it without the people who live there. Nothing else explains Israelís history. Where are those people to go? Anywhere, who cares, everything from the Sinai to Jordan having been advocated.
Israelís vision of Palestine is a kind of amorphous thing floating out there somewhere in space, a place with almost no rights or initiatives, a place that serves as a vast encampment for a reserve pool of manual labor, pretty much the way they have kept things for half a century.
I don't see how it can be otherwise, judging by actual behavior and leadersí words.
It is either less than honest or rather foolish to say that pressure doesn't help in terrible situations like this. Is the author blind to history?
How was apartheid ended in South Africa? Relentless pressure.
How was the Jim Crow South in the United States brought around? Relentless pressure.
Israel itself is a great believer in pressure and sanctions as we can see from countless examples, the savage situation in Gaza being the most extreme, but this belief extends only so far as the things Israel wants, not to what others want or are entitled. Relentless pressure for whatever it wants, including the Americaís invasion of Iraq, the invasion by a proxy army of Syria, the invasion of Lebanon, regime change in Egypt, and serious threats of attacking Iran, a totally peaceful country. Israel is also in bed with such absolute regimes as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Generalissimo-run Egypt, and others. Thus while it goes on in speeches about democracy, its best friends and workmates in the region are tyrants.
The author only offers one more instance of tiresome special pleading for Israel, as though it were somehow exempt from all the normal expectations and behaviors of human society.
Sadly, being exempt pretty much summarizes Israelís entire brief history: constantly making demands and threats, unleashing extreme violence periodically, treating millions as rather less than human, a long series of black operations and assassinations, and just relentless pressure on everyone, including its chief benefactor, the United States.
But Israel is not exempt. If you want the rule of law, you must yourself abide by the law, the law being our only protection in the long-run against the baser instincts of humanity. If we want Israel to join the ranks of normal countries - instead of continuing as a rather brutal occupying power which stunts and abuses the lives of millions while periodically stealing their property, always mouthing empty platitudes about democracy and human rights - only pressure will achieve it.
The authorís argument is really for the status quo with words dolled up in attractive window dressing.
A comment about Palestinians wanting only to destroy Israel:
Thanks for repeating the official boiler-plate.
We've likely heard that a thousand times in the last half century, and it is no truer now than it was at the beginning.
Now, if you really believe what you say, it follows logically that you might begin to ask, well, if that's the case, was putting Israel where it is a great mistake?
Is Israel's entire future to be nothing but a heavily armed garrison state? And who will want to live there in future? And is it even sustainable?
No matter what slogans you repeat over and over, in the end peace is the only meaningful choice.