The pro-Israel dogmatists here in the U.S. like to invoke the idea that if the Palestinians would just lay down their arms, they would have the peace they ostensibly want- but this notion is an inaccurate one- it way overestimates the good intent of the Israeli leadership and possibly the majority in the Israeli society. If we just look at the time period after the Oslo Accords- that lengthy time between Intifadas- the number of Israeli settlers doubled in the Occupied Territories. The facts on the ground convinced the Palestinians that the Israeli leadership was just using the time to entrench, and make it less likely that the 1967 borders (that were internationally indicated as offering the best chance for a boundary between Israel and a new Palestinian State) would still be a possibility as the years wore on. This was the primary root cause of the Second Intifada which was incredibly more violent all around than the first. The Palestinians are usually seen by the majority of Americans as the bad guys, the ones who just refuse to seek peace with the Israelis- the ones who refuse even to recognize the right of Israel to exist- but it is the Palestinian situation that is so much more desperate, and their right to exist as a viable, contiguous State has hardly been one respected by Israeli and American leaders over the years- not in real terms, even if the rhetoric and official statements sometimes indicates such an acknowledgment. Read the rest of this entry »
Some Information You Should Know About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (From Jewish Voice For Peace)Wednesday, June 2, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.
It is always time to step back and review the record whenever a discussion starts up on “what’s the deal with that crazy Israel/Palestine conflict?”. It is tiresome to be on the losing end of the political fight in shaping American policies regarding the Middle East- It is maddening to have to always be on the defense against the charges of anti-Semitism when one is highly critical of the policies of the State of Israel- especially when being anti-Semitic as in being anti-Arab is all the rage today, while being anti-Jewish is one of the worst things any American could be accused of. I am bold in my own words and deeds on this issue because I have nothing to hide, no shameful anti-Semitism, no axe to grind, no family connections- just a strong desire to see the Holy Land be a place that is humane and just, and to see to it that my own nation is a contributor to a positive outcome for the peoples of the Middle East. That’s it- that’s my storyline- that’s my truth.
I don’t hate America, I hate the sin but love the sinner. I love my nation but I hate when my nation does something in my name as an American citizen that I believe is really evil, really stupid, or both. It is a glaring fact that America has been the #1 ally and supporter of the State of Israel- both in economic and political terms. This fact of life is not missed by those who believe that the State of Israel has been the primary agent of violence and injustice in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Iagree with this perspective, and I want to change the reality because it is the right thing to do, and many lives all over the region, and even here in the U.S. are in present or potential harm’s way due to some really bad, one-sided, and misguided policies emanating from Tel Aviv and Washington D.C.
I am not going to run over my own story of the time I spent with Archbishop Elias Chacour of Ibillin, Galilee many years ago- and what I saw in Hebron at that time. And I am not going to run down the list of books I have read to get additional background to the Conflict which has shaped and emboldened my position on this important Catholic and American issue. I am not going to take the chance of being charged with any sort of anti-Semitism with this blog entry because I am going to use a source that is decidedly Jewish. I want an elevated discussion to get going and I don’t want my Catholicism to get into the way- one could (I suppose) make the charge that the organization Jewish Voice For Peace is full of self-loathing Jews, who hate Israel, hate themselves- whatever. But I think they can manage such charges for themselves- I met some of them when I used to visit San Francisco frequently- they seemed pretty secure in themselves. I think they are a good source of information and here they provide a primer on the Israel-Palestine Conflict 101 (from Jewishvoiceforpeace.org):
I’ve set up a special blog devoted to the Papal Pilgrimage as a vehicle for rounding up news, coverage and commentary, and where I’ll be posting from now until the duration of the Holy Father’s journey (upon which time I’ll resume blogging here at American Catholic).
Following are some interviews and links which will set the tone for the papal journey: