Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Solution to the Israeli Palestenian Question?

The peace in the middle east seems to be extremely difficult because both Israel and Palestine are locked in a state of mutual recrimination: peace with justice means that the existing paradigm for ordering the relations between the two societies has to be reconsidered. The Ashkenazi elite from eastern Europe and Poland that is essentially the ruling aristocracy of Israel has dominated the politics of Israel since 1949 and given its long association with Zionism is unlikely to support the obvious solution to the problem: A single Palestinian and Israeli state. A decade back even the so called liberals in the State of Israel would have been aghast at this solution but now civil society groups in Israel have begun debating the single state solution. The great Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine has been a long time advocate of this new shift in Israeli perception toward Palestinians.
The central feature of this new solution is the recognition that land for peace has not provided either security to the State of Israel or peace to the Palestinians. It is necessary for those affected by the placement of Israel in the erstwhile land of Palestine to have a chance to lead a life of hope and a normal life as any signatory to the UN Charter of Human Rights will testify. An ethnically pure State of Israel has been of great moment only to the Ashkenazi and the Mizrahim sections of Israeli society with roots in North Africa, Asia and the Ottoman Empire have now willing to consider the possibility of the joint Israeli-Palestine state. This solution recognises the historical injustice of evicting the Palestinians from the land and at the same time recognises that a Jewish homeland, as promised in the Balfour Declaration is a reality. The fact that 4.5 million Palestinians are living in conditions of extreme deprivation is the real cause for terrorism in the region and if USA is sincere about a viable peace in the region it must address this issue.
For more than 2 decades the official US position as reflected in the Camp David accord and later the Oslo Agreement is the 2 state solution. While Israel is in favor of this policy it does everything to undermine the peace accords by making the living and working conditions of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank extremely difficult. These territories are so closely guarded by Israel for fear of suicide attack that both territories have become huge camps where life, to put it mildly, is horrible.
It is time for USA the major backer of Israel to put its weight behind a solution as promised by all American administrations since Richard Nixon

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