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Rob Kall: Middle East Wiggle Room-- To Be Bought at a High Price, But Not Optional

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The US is solidly supportive of Israel as a country. That's really not negotiable. Where there is wiggle room is how the middle east conflict is handled, how the US leans on Israel, how Iran and other power players lean on the Palestinians, Lebanese and the various "terrorist" groups, how the US works with Israel's other neighbors, how the main issues on the table are dealt with.

I know there are highly divergent opinions here and I'm writing with some ignorance, but probably more knowledge than many. My series of articles on the middle east have been and continue to be an effort to expand the dialogue beyond the usual recriminations-- particularly among progressives, but also among all parties. I expect to continue to be accused by proponents on both sides of being pro-Isreal by some and anti-semitic and anti-Israel by others as I attempt to walk the narrow tightrope, with the aim of increasing the "dimensionality" of the discussion.

Some observations:

The idiotic disaster in Iraq will almost certainly end up costing the USA over a trillion dollars-- in military, rebuilding costs and perhaps most expensive, in paying for the health care of over half a million military personnel over their lifetimes. What a tragic, insane unnecessary waste of money, for which the Bush Administration, virtually all Republicans and many Democrats who supported the war and failed to question the WMD claims are to blame.

But this puts the money on the table-- a trillion dollars. What if we drastically changed the budget for PEACE in the middle east.

What if the US started investing a lot more money, tens, or even hundreds of billions of dollars in good causes-- reaching a settlement with all the Palestinian claimants who are seeking right of return?

What if the US, and its allies, and the moderate Arab states, as a means of competing with the extremist Islamofascist sects that fund madrassas that teach hate, got together and funded billions of dollars in schools, hospitals, cross-cultural sharing, educational exchange programs that built relationships between westerners and Arabs? What if we out-spent the Iranians in helping the Lebanese, the Palestinians...? I fear there would still be a problem-- xenophobic extremist, fundamentalist Islamists who believe that only insulated Muslim societies are acceptable. Just as Americans must face the challenge of sorting through the WAY they support Israel and the Christian fundamentalists who support conflict in the middle east because they gleefully believe it is moving them towards the rapture, Arab cultures MUST face the challenge of dealing with Islamic extremists who would foment conflict to further their goals of removal of western influences from the "pan-Arabic" world, extremists who have their own version of an armageddon with middle east conflict and the return of the messiah.

Give those challenges...

Some of the biggest issues on the table include;
-Palestinian right of return
-Israel returning all land it did not have before 1967
-Recognition of Israel's and Palestine's rights to exist as countries
-end of hostilities by groups like PLO, HAMAS, Hizbollah, Fatah, etc. or elimination of them by the governments of each country
-release of prisoners
-peaceful coexistence

-Palestinian right of return
When we see terrorist enemies of Israel elected democratically in Palestine and Lebanon, it is not difficult to see why Israel would resist having their country flooded with people who would potentially elect terrorists. I just don't see this issue going anywhere. The other side is that Palestinians have family homes, burial grounds, where Israel now keeps them away. I believe this demand is one that is used to kill deals for peace. Throughout the world, people are displaced for reasons of eminent domain-- when dams are built and places flooded, when the government deems that the peoples' land is needed for a bigger cause. In a just situation, those people are reimbursed for their loss and transplanted in a fair way. There are precedents for this. This should be an issue that can be worked out.

-Israel returning all land it did not have before 1967
The US did not give back the land it took from the Native American tribes. Israel will not give up the land it has. My guess is that it is unlikely that Israel will give up any parts of Jerusalem or the Golan Heights for a long time, if ever. The ultra-orthodox Israelis have settled occupied lands as a way to make it more difficult to release what they see as greater Israel, or Samaria. These fundamentalist extremists are part of the problem. Israel must, if necessary, forcefully remove them. While it is at it, Israel should discontinue it's policy of expempting the most warlike hawkish members of its society, these right wing, extremist fundamentalist ultra-orthodox Jews from the draft. Let their sons and daughters be put at the same risk that they are willing to send other Israelis to face. It seems unfair, undemocratic even, that these war hawks are exempted. Since they consider less religious Jews to be "less" Jewish than them, they tend to be bigoted and even racist. The Israeli people need to vote these warhawks out of power, and change their laws so their children are exposed to the same military risks as the rest of the Israeli people. It's pretty similar to here in the US, where we have chickenhawks running their wars, not sending their children. But it's worse in Israel, where they have a draft.

That said, I still don't think that Israel will ever willingly give back Jerusalem. It took Jerusalem from Jordan, not the Palestinians. Of course it could be argued that the Palestinians were living in the part of Jerusalem Israel took from Jordan.

And the way things stand now, with Syria, Israel would be crazy to release the Golan Heights. Syria is still an active enemy of Israel, and it seems that any possibility of return of the Golan Heights would happen gradually, with Syria first showing a few years of consistent peaceful goodwill.

-Recognition of Israel's and Palestine's rights to exist as countries
Most of the world already recognize the right of Palestine to exist as a nation and the right of Israel to exist was acknowledged by the UN almost 60 years ago.

The Arabs who want to see Israel eliminated and the Jews who would have the Palestinians removed from all of the west bank and environs have to be seen as part of the problem.

It is interesting that some see the final solution as one country. It's hard to imagine, but perhaps with two, or three houses of government-- a jewish, a muslim and a third house, some Solomon would figure out would balance things out-- might work. I only mention it because what has been tried so far has not worked, and this wild idea stretches the envelope. We need to go outside the box to find solutions.

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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