Friday, January 05, 2007

Don Does Denial

Whenever I've debated the necessity of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue, one of the points I've consistently made is that we cannot address the situation solely on the basis of historical claims and grievances, for example, whether the Jews have always had a presence on the ground here, or whether there is actually such an entity as the Palestinian people. I happen to agree with both the former and the latter, but sadly, there are many people who attempt to reach a solution of the current issues simply by denying the right, even the very existence of the other group and their claims. In order to move forward, we must address the issues as they stand today. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are going anywhere. We're all here to stay, and we all have a valid right to be here. Denial will get us nowhere.

Don has written a brilliant assessment of the issue of denial and the toll it's taking on our region in a variety of ways. I'd strongly recommend taking a look.

12 comments:

Arik said...

... :(

Are we here to stay?

Looking at what is on the news, I can only see dark clouds of corruption which has spread into every niche of our state. Is there hope? or just contionous degeneration till too many pieces will fall apart and the whole thing will crumble.

rami said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rami said...

Chomsky says the Israeli government uses the phrase "right to exist" in negotiations to make them impossible.

Israel should have a "right to exist", but no one says anything about a Palestine's "right to exist."

He says recognizing one state is one thing, but this term, has never been heard of in political doctorine or literature before.

More on this here: http://ramiswall.blogspot.com/2006/12/my-notes-on-noam-chomskys-seminar-today.html

I think one can only 'be' if they let others 'be'. Both Israelis and Palestinians EXIST in a sad reality, but governments are still denying the existance of the other, how stupid is that.

Whether that should be a right or not, is a really ridiculous argument.

Anonymous said...

As to the ability of the Palestinians ever being able to govern themselves,Paul Sheehan reports in Sydney Morning Herald on Jan 1 2007 that "rhetoric has taken precedence over pragmatism in the Arab world" .Khaled Abu Toameh (Jpost)"Fatah is the mafia," Abu Toameh told me. "It is responsible for most of the anarchy on the West Bank. Fatah is a monster." Nor does he think much of Hamas, though he thinks it is much less corrupt, much more competent, and more pragmatic. He believes the West erred shockingly in trusting and subsiding Fatah and has now mishandled the transition to Hamas.
"But on the Muslim side, the message has always been 'No', and 'No', and 'No'. They quote the Koran: God is on the side of the patient . . .

interesting article at:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/a-sovereign-palestine-no-chance/2006/12/31/1167500013390.html?page=fullpage

nrg said...

Have to agree with you there, Rami.
Both do exist. I don't see the point of discussing whether this is a right or not. It's reality, and I think the issue is how to make it a liveable, peaceful reality.

Perhaps it could be a joint state and we could simply call it Denial... (yes, I know, bad pun...it's friday afternoon...)

lisoosh said...

Already commented on Dons post.

Rami - You just met a lefty that isn't a fan of Chomsky - me. I think he just complicates things unnessesarily and has a tendancy to analyse Israel from the point of view of an insider without actually being one.

Israel uses the term "right to exist" in place of just saying "we exist, get over it" (which I think would be wiser and more to the point.) Unfortunately there are plenty of stupid people in the world who go to great lengths to "prove" that Israel shouldn't exist/doesn't have the right rather than just deal with the fact that there is a pretty solid little country there with a few million inhabitants, the majority born there. At what point does a country become "real"?

As Don's article says, one of the biggest blocks to moving forward in this region is peoples attachment to narratives, and that goes for both groups.

Anonymous said...

One thing that you are in denial about is that the Palestinians think the way you do and deep down want peace.

They want to destroy you with every last fiber in their being.

You must remember while you might live in the 21st century, they still pretty much live in the 6th century so you need to read your history books to find out how people treated people back then.

Liza said...

Anonymous #2: For the sake of argument, let's say you're right. The fact still remains though, that we have two peoples here, vying for this same area of land, and neither group is going anywhere. So, do we continue to squabble about whose narrative is more correct, whose claims have greater validity, or do we try to work with the facts as they are today and try to reach a compromise that will be the most rewarding and the least painful for both sides?

I believe that there are people on both sides of this equation who realize this, even if we're not currently at a point in time where it is possible to remedy the situation.

Oh, and by the way, I'd really appreciate it if in the future, you didn't try to tell me what I "must" remember, or what I "need" to do. The people who know me will tell you that I don't generally respond well when ordered to do something. You are more than welcome to disagree with me or other commenters here, and I pride myself on maintaining a forum where all sorts of people feel comfortable leaving comments. Indeed, we have had some pretty amazing exchanges around here. I do not, however, tolerate insults or patronizing attitudes, so I'd be grateful if you didn't resort to either when making comments in the future.

Liza said...

Arik,

You're absolutely right about all the corruption, and it's positively sickening. It is destroying the moral and ethical fibers of the country, but I don't think that it will destroy the country itself. There are too many good people (not politicians, obviously) who won't let that happen. We're definitely here to stay.

Rami,

It is a ridiculous argument, but it's the sad reality of the region in which we live, indeed, the reality of the world, as there are now people everywhere who are questioning whether or not Israel has a right to exist, despite the fact that it already does! As for Chomsky, I'm in agreement with Lisoosh on that one.

Anonymous #1,

When it comes right down to it, whether or not the Palestinians can govern themselves should not have to be my problem, in that Israel should not be the ones to govern them. The occupation is ugly, and the sooner that we can get out of there, the better, in my opinion.

nrg,

It is true, but the fact is that people are indeed discussing these "rights", so it's not something that we can just ignore. A joint state would never, ever work here, because there is just too much hatred and distrust on both sides. Two states side by side can work, and would work well. It's the only viable option, really.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Israel is in the same situation that the United States found itself in 200 years ago.

Where's smallpox when you need it?

rami said...

At what point does a country become "real"?

I think we agree on the fact that everyone knows its real, whether they accept it or not. That's the point, it is there, so I think its wise to stop dealing with the rhetorics complicating any form of negotiations, and move on to making realistic deals.

I am sure there are people out there who think timbuktu or germany shouldn't exist, I know for a fact i disapprove of my neighbour's cat's existance - but I won't go all over the media talking about how it shouldn't be, I'll go to my neighbour and make a settlement. This cat's all over the place, making everything messy.

Arik said...

Liza,

"...There are too many good people (not politicians, obviously) who won't let that happen. We're definitely here to stay..."

Hope you are right - I used to think the same but lately I feel less and less sure about it. I have this bad gut feeling about it... and it is not related to my political views (as you are aware of them...)