Today the Palestinians present their case for by New York Times
Today the Palestinians present their case for statehood and recognition at the U.N. Security Counsel. It is all about justice long overdue for the Palestinian people.
A majority of Israel's people know and understand the need for a separate Palestinian state and a two state solution to the current crisis. However these voices of reason are overshadowed and overwhelmed by the shrill voices of the Orthodox Jews among them and particularly the 500,000 mostly Orthodox Jewish settlers in the Israeli occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
To the Orthodox mindset the Palestinians have no rights and are no more than squatters on the lands they have lived on for generations. This is so because to the Orthodox believe these lands are part of greater Israel granted to them by God some 3500 years ago. To them, it is their God granted right to take it back. Therefore it is not confiscation of Palestinian lands but the restoration of their land granted to them by God. Such beliefs are set in stone, irrefutable, irreconcilable and immutable. Such beliefs contribute to Israel's duplicity in previous negotiations with the Palestinians because though they say "We want to negotiate", the current Israeli leadership has refused to refute the Orthodox and their beliefs (with many leaders themselves holding similar beliefs), more afraid of setting off an internal feud within Israel if they didn't appease and placate the Orthodox hard liners.
In the U.S., beyond the far right AIPAC led special interest groups and their knee jerk sycophants in Congress are the fundamentalist Christians and their literal religious beliefs that saw ancient Israel resurrected anew apparently by the Israel established by the 1948 U.N. mandate and therefore must be defended at all costs. So along with their fantasy of Armageddon, the apocalypse, inevitable war in the area, the 2nd coming of Christ and the resurrection there has been created this unshakeable alliance of Christian fundamentalists with present day Israel and incongruently with the views and beliefs of the Orthodox Jews.
Now to this secular mind and the current reality being what it is vis-à-vis Israel, the plight of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the Orthodox settlements there, the siege and embargo of Gaza, the abject failure of negotiations for a peaceful settlement, these ancient arguments over religious beliefs is all a bit maddening.
There have been thousands of years of history, much of it unrecorded and in dispute, wars, conquests, invasions, occupations and overthrows, atrocities, tortures et al. But now we live in an age of nation states. This is the time we live in. The ancient feuds, the lore of the Old and New Testaments from stories handed down written hundreds of years later, accounts not from witnesses but by hearsay get interspersed with current reality on the ground and become a basis for resolving disputes in the present.
All ancient wrongs can never be made right. Where would it begin and end? There are too many victims all around. Only recorded, verifiable history can be the context of resolving current disputes. This verifiable historical reality is the only way to move forward.
Our destiny must not be tied to ancient religious texts that are unverifiable and based on religious belief, not verifiable fact. Otherwise we have not advanced beyond the Stone Age or the Dark Ages, burning heretics and blasphemers at the stake, believe the Earth is flat and evolution is in dispute and not a verifiable fact.
The Palestinians have endured occupation by the Israeli's since the 1967 war. That is a verifiable fact. That occupation must not be permitted to continue. Justice for the Palestinians and statehood recognized by the U.N. is the just thing to do.