Friday, 29 August 2008

Sanity?? Shurley some mistake???

. Good post by Dave Osler over on Liberal Conspiracy on the Israel-Palestine issue. He opens by bemoaning the general quality of the debate on the issue which frankly he is right to do; left-wingers especially get into a tangle over it. I think the main reason for this is the nagging desire to create some perfect solution from afar which accommodates both sides and, of course, both peoples claim the tag of oppressed people with gusto.

He makes many worthy points about the double-edged nature of the conflict but rather spoils by slipping in at the end that only a "democratic secular state" will work which of course implies a singular such entity. Of course, conditions may arise which make that acceptable to both parties but it is reasonably unlikely because it would challenge the whole foundations of the Israeli state structure. It would require Israeli's to radically rethink their national identity as being defined by Jewishness and that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Osler is on safer ground when he argues that;

"Any solution has to be hacked out round a negotiating table. As I observed above, 7.2m people now live in Israel. They will resist any attempt at conquest, and if push comes to shove, they’ve got nukes. The only circumstance in which they will agree to be driven to the sea is when they happen to fancy a daytrip to the beach and go by taxi."

This directly contradicts his later assertion that only a "democratic secular state will work" for the reasons outlined above. His assertion that "all proposals for a two state solution essentially amount to calls for the establishment of one or more bantustans" is a little facillious to say the least. Maybe it isn't an ideal solution but the whole situation is far from ideal. Two-states is the only viable starting point given the situation on the ground and the heavy entrenchment of the two peoples in their own nationalism's. An Israeli and Palestinian state would always have a symbiotic relationship; each dependant on the other for numerous reasons. It is through that experience of co-dependency that they will most likely grow together and overcome the aforementioned antagonisms. Two-states is not an ideal solution but it is a starting point on the road to lasting peace between the two peoples and thus really is the only solution.

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