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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/17/10

Can the Ticking Middle East Conflict Be Defused?

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Message Bernard Weiner

That, in very brief summary, is my reaction to Hart's powerful piece of writing. Let's see if we can achieve any solid resting spot both of us can stand on in discussing this constantly volatile topic.


Her reply:

[My response] must be pretty obvious by my newsletter postings and the facts of the numerous international violations by Israel (in the hundreds), the disproportionate amount of daily aggression against the Palestinians, stealing land that doesn't belong to them, murdering and imprisoning children. What are the Palestinians supposed to do: bend over and say "thank you for killing my relatives and family? I'll never send another crude rocket into Israel again? Thank you for taking what the international community tells you does not belong to you? Thank you for stealing not only our land, but our water as well? Thank you for bombing our schools and hospitals? Thank you for cutting off crucial food and medical supplies," and so on and so on.

I cannot imagine anyone over here in the U.S. allowing anyone to do a tenth of what the Israelis do to the Palestinians without retaliating. There's not a scintilla of equality going on in Israel, or here, since the Zionists now have control over our country in not just foreign policy, media, education, Wall Street, banking, every branch of government and military, you name it, and why things are getting progressively worse, because of our partnership and collusion with this mother of all monsters.

Now ask me how I really feel.

It's the injustice of it all, and even worse, that no one is doing a thing about it above lip service....


I replied:

[Without responding to your over-the-top language about Zionist influence], I share much of your and Hart's righteous anger. But, in a certain sense, it doesn't matter any more who is more "right." These two peoples -- who are linked by their Semitic heritage and DNA -- are locked, and have been locked for more than 60 years, in a battle from which they cannot extricate themselves, even if they wanted to. And neither side wants to; each thinks that with a bit more violence, the Other will give up and slink off into the byways of history.

So I come at this from a different perspective, trying to figure out a way to stop the slaughter, to give future generations of kids and grandkids, on both sides, something other than permanent war and permanent hatred.

Yes, I know that disproportionate violence has been meted out by Israel -- even to the point where an international commission determined that Israel had committed gross war crimes in Gaza. That commission likewise determined that the Palestinians had committed war crimes as well, but of a far less deadly variety, by firing rockets into civilian towns in Israel. That slaughter wheel keeps turning and the two parties seem incapable of stopping it. Some outside agent, with some clout, will have to step in and help shepherd the parties to the negotiating table.

...If I'm correct that no amount of violence/injustice from Israel directed at the Palestinians will make the Palestinians give up the fight and vanish, and that no amount of Palestinian retaliatory bombing and rockets will make the Israelis call it quits and disappear, what options are there? Do those of us who support the right of Palestinians to a nation-state all their own say "just keep fighting, maybe 60 years from now you'll achieve your victory?" That is an invitation to a continued regimen of slaughter, with entire generations of young men lost on both sides, not to mention the civilians who will die. What, in PRACTICAL terms, can and should be done?

There has got to be some way out of this horrific ongoing slaughter. Using what both sides have agreed to in principle over the past decade or so, I've proposed a scenario that seems to make sense. I'd love to hear, beyond the anger and denunciations (valid though they may be), what your position is about finding a way to peace in the region through that scenario or another you might propose.


Her response:

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Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (more...)
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