I question everything, especially when I see widespread assumptions becoming the basis for political policy. Now that the vote for [[Palestine statehood]] is the big question everyone is talking about, here are the questions people are NOT talking about.
Why does [[Israel]] have a right to exist?
I don’t mean why the people have a right to live, and will argue that once a nation is there, people ought to — for the most part — acknowledge it’s there and get on with life. However, by what right was it created? The traditional argument has been to give the Jewish people (an ethnic-religious group) a “place of their own”, and with the subtext of necessity for survival in a post [[Holocaust]] world.
But why give a religious ethnicity their own country? Perhaps it was the means toward peace between religious ethnicities who apparently could not maturely co-exist, comparable to India and Pakistan. But to award a “people” a country based on their ethnic and/or religious identity, if not questionable in itself, seems almost arbitrary. Why not award the [[Romani people]], another victim of near extermination, their own European state? Why not have an African-American nation carved out of the Southern United States? Why not make a Pagan-controlled city of Salem, Massachusetts? And not to be morose, but would not a people be shielded from genocide by integrating with the world rather than settling in one place?
Why should there be any objection to a two-state solution?
Ironically, a two-state solution was proposed at the time of Israel’s creation and it was the Palestinians who opposed it. That didn’t work out well for them, for sure. Jerusalem was even supposed to be an Internationally-run city, something people propose from time to time as if it was a novel idea. But the fact that Israel was created, enforced, and supported since by Western powers has been a constant cause of global conflict, Arabic militancy, Islamic extremism, and terrorism itself. Tony Bennet wasn’t being “un-American” for pointing out our part in the tragedy of 9-11 — he was being an honest observer.
The only ‘problem’ with recognizing Palestine would be putting it one step closer to having Israel’s actions formally recognized as unlawful. Foreign occupation. Interference with the affairs of a sovereign nation. Accountability on Israel’s part and long-deferred recourse of the Palestinian people. Or is this more about collective egos or supposedly being an end that would justify Palestinian terrorism, at least in message to other oppressed peoples? Maybe we should look at the Ireland and the IRA as well if we are to be fair, but I think it’s all irrelevant. We need to deal in the here and now, as no historical tit-for-tat tally is going to make anyone look justified for anything.
Why does Israel need our military and financial aid?
The United States gives a hugely disproportionate amount of aid to Israel compared to much larger populations in Africa and elsewhere that are actually NEEDY. I have heard no rational argument for this, and would like to hear one if anyone reading this has one.
The [[Six-Day War]] and other conflicts have proven that all its Arabic neighbors combined are no match for teenie, tiny Israel. They are made out to be the David among Goliaths, and rightfully so. But it’s not an argument in favor of David, remembering he killed Goliath with a single pebble. And the stone used today is the [[Israeli Air Force]], the most formidable in the world, even above the United States and the former USSR.
Why does Israel need to occupy the [[West Bank]], [[Golan Heights]], and [[Gaza Strip]]?
Same answer. They don’t. The argument is that it is a strategic imperative to occupy these lands because it leaves them less defensible if in the hands of an enemy. And yet they took control of them with little problem. Enough said.
How can a nation be considered part of the [[Free World]] ideologically if it is based on a specific religious ethnicity?
This causes innumerable problems with the Palestinian question, since Israel is occupying their lands yet not giving them political involvement. Can someone not Jewish even vote as a citizen in Israel? But it goes even farther than that. Non-Jewish settlements in Israeli controlled lands don’t even have formal recognition, and so do not qualify for public works. They are refugees even living in their own land.
And if Israel gives up what could be described as institutionalized racism, can they afford to be outvoted by non-Jews and maintain the alleged purpose of the founding of their nation? It is no wonder Israel and South Africa during Apartheid voted in lockstep (with the United States) in most UN resolutions.
Lastly, why does the United States REALLY support Israel?
The argument is that Israel is a foothold — nay, a stronghold — for Western interests in the Middle East. I’ll buy that. We’ve supported many other regimes with horrible human rights records for the same reason. But that doesn’t make it right.
An associate of mine shared what I thought was an odd concern, namely that “If Israel falls, the United States is next.” I don’t buy that. Yet it’s some sort of sacred cow of foreign policy. There’s almost something visceral about many American’s allegiance to Israel, Conservative Christians in particular. Since the Holocaust, Muslims have become far-right Christianity’s whipping boy. But to be fair, Zionism became a serious aim near the end of the 19th Century, and by Christians nonetheless. Is it because the prophesy of the [[Second Coming]] cannot be fulfilled until the Temple is rebuilt? A [[Freemason]] friend of mine brought that to my attention, as the Temple is a matter of much discussion because of their historical symbolism. I have to wonder if he may be dead right.
I was speaking earlier this year with a young Christian Orthodox woman of Lebanese descent, whose family once lived in Israel. When I expressed my wish to see Jerusalem some day, she said I better do it before I lose my chance. Asking what she meant, it is apparently rumored that the Temple WILL be rebuilt, starting with the demolition of the [[Dome of the Rock]]. And if that occurs, I would not be surprised if the Apocalypse is upon us.
I only hope it is not too late to ask these questions and demand more honest answers. Great strides are bing made in Israel and Palestine with their respective peaceful Solidarity movements — the final question is if it will overcome the violence and injustice before it’s too late.