JERUSALEM POST BLOG 10 – One million voices
I’m a cynical bastard. It’s a self-defense mechanism I guess, a callus on the soul that treads a little softer on the daily carnage spewed out by the newsreel. I’ve long ago given up my belief in any kind of interventionist deity. History is manmade. Every individual, and every aggregate of individuals is driven by the will to live and, whenever possible, live better. That’s all there is to it.
At risk of oversimplifying matters, this, I believe, pretty much sums up the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The winner takes all. Losing is not an option, and every inch given equals defeat, blasphemy. A “Thunderdome” fight to the death of sorts.
And yet, a little voice inside me begs to differ. We split the atom for crying out loud, and I look at this big map I have of this purported Holy land and think; “why, that’s a lot bigger than an atom. Or a whole bunch of atoms for that matter. Shouldn’t be rocket science to find some kind of agreement here, no?”
This little voice, the bird’s eye view of an inside outsider, would be a lonely voice indeed if I didn’t know that a whole bunch of people actually agree with this. Half a million to be exact. One Million Voices, a grassroots organization set up by Israeli and Palestinian citizens, eponymously aims to double that, leading up to a large-scale event on the 18th of October. This people’s summit, taking place simultaneously in Tel Aviv, Jericho, Ottawa, Washington, and London will formulate what opinion polls have been steadily showing for years; a majority of Palestinians and Israelis wants a two-state solution.
At the same time, it’s a deadline, a parallel thumbs down to the political leadership, local and international, and their top-down approach that has so far been unable to solve the riddle. People are fed up with waiting for the next American administration that will be more inclined this way or that, waiting until there’s a so-called partner for peace on the Palestinian side, a stable Israeli government, or a European Union with enough balls to help clean up this mess that in so many ways is a product of its own loony genocidal history. “Imagine there’s no country,” John Lennon sang, “it isn’t hard to do.” Let’s imagine him for a second without the long hair and funny glasses, and imagine, in stead, two countries. Sure, it’s an awful small place to divide, but it’s the only reasonable conveyance away from all-out conflagration.
For forty years Israel has been calling all of Palestine Israel without bestowing Israeli rights on all who dwell within it. Palestinians call all of Israel Palestine. I’ve become almost cynical enough to stop caring about the semantics here. It’s the same frigging map, and no matter what, my words are bound to offend. Likewise, we can diplomatically nuance this thing to death and grind our wheels into the mud before we even get started.
Let’s all get out of the car and push. One Million Voices believes that the Arab Peace Initiative represents a credible opportunity to break the deadlock. So far 262,364 Israeli and 274,757 Palestinian citizens have signed up, in addition to nearly 12.000 international supporters.
Now, we can continue to be fixated by a man like Ahmadinejad who pretends to speak for the Palestinian cause to mask the fact that he’s unable to let Iranians live better. (It’s the economy, stupid.) We can fool ourselves to believe that the Christian right honestly champions the Zionist cause for any other reason than to usher in the Rapture, triggered, if possible, by the aforementioned nuclear Satan.
History is manmade, regardless of the fictions that motivate the gullible. It’s time for the silent majority to speak, and if this is truly an age of democracy, then history should be made by all of us, not the extremists, not the cowards, and certainly not the cynical.
It’s not rocket science. It’s not thát hard to imagine.
9. Tom Kenis: Reading this post is scary in the sense that if the numbers are real that these people can be so dumb as to believe this ranting on. Every person needs to look at two things; One, if there are that many palestinians that actually want Peace with Israel – WHERE are their voices. I ask this question from all the so called moderates and never heard a straight answer yet. They voted in Hamas a TERRORIST Org. to rule over them, that says it all in my opinion. Until I hear such an outcry from the Muslims condeming the atrocities committed by their children, I don’t believe any of it. It is simple, demonstrate through actions first , then maybe will listen. As far as the Palestinians claiming rights to the land of Israel, well thats a whole other story. The biggest problem the Israeli government did was to allow the term “Occupied” into the vocabulary. It is NOT Occupied it IS Conquered. Denise Salamone, USA, Oct 7 2:10AM
8. Sir, If you would remove that extremely silly looking photo of yourself from your blog I may perhaps be more inclined to take you seriously. If you would take the next step and remove the extremely silly words which you have written from your blog then I would certainly take you seriously. Until such a time, I am affraid, you will remain just one of many silly people with no real personal stake in the issue, and very little understanding of the history of the land or the religious, cultural and ideological make up of the people within it, who sees fit to offer up sanctimonious suggestions about how it can all be worked out. You would do better to confine your writings to reviews of nightclubs and strip joints in Brussels, or some other similar dribble, and leave issues such as “Middle East Peace” to those people who will actually have to sacrifice something to achieve it. Shalom. Matthew, California, Oct 5 10:10PM
7. Kenis is just another cog in the Muslim wheel to retake the Jewish homeland, lost to the British and then the Jews. If they succeed, Israel will become a desert again. 262,364 Israeli friers (weaklings) do not impress me.
Dov, USA, Oct 5 3:10PM
6. I understand that the Palestinian’s already have their own land that was given to them by the League of Nations back in 1922 namely Palestine and Trans Jordan … the Jordanians are Palestinian’s. RL, USA, Oct 5 3:10AM
5. Rachel: the only ‘zero sum game’ is in your head. What is the point of sharing land when the land Israel has already given freely (but at great pain and sacrifice) in Lebanon & Gaza has within months been filled with thousands of rockets and terrorists paid for by Iran. Would you share your home with guys that set fires downstairs while you slept? As for Mr Kennis and his million voices – let’s first hear from just 10 Palestinian voices who are willing to remove the annihilation of Israel form their charter. That was promised by the PLO under the Oslo accords but never delivered despite Israel’s full compliance with all its obligations. Z Zalmi, Jerusalem, Oct 4 10:10PM
4. Oh Julie, this is such a dead horse…there are Jews and there are Palestinian nationalists living in the same territory. If the land is not divided it will indeed be a zero sum game to the death of us all..if armageddon is what you seek, keep denying Palestinians the respect they deserve for having created a nation out of Arab tribes…gee sounds just like us! Rachel, California, Oct 4 9:10PM
3. That is an excellent essay. It might better have been titled: “Why I Believe Fervently in Wishful Thinking: It’s My Comfort Zone”. More to the point, it seems to be the reaction of a man who has come to believe (not without good reason) that the conflict is intractible. And the reason for that is plain to see. The “Peace Makers”, being all persons of Western cultural background. keep projecting their own cultural baggage on the principals, and trying to attack the problem on the basis of compromise (aka give-and-take, while Muslim culture does not admit of compromise. The founder of Islam himself decried the very concept, as can be seem by anyone who will take the trouble to delve a bit into the Quran. Thus the Palestinian approach remains in 2007 exactly what it was in 1948, and indeed in 1929 and 1900, which can be expressed as “The Jews have to go”, even while appealing to the Western Peace Makers in terms of reasonable moderation.. No, Mr. Kenis, it is not rocket science; it is called “reality”, which appears to be difficult for you to imagine. yuri sakhar, ukraina, Oct 4 9:10PM
2. I still don’t see how one million voices saying ‘enough!’ will stop the Palestinian terrorism. Every body involved in this movement are such naive fools! It would be better for outside governments to stop maintaining the low-grade war between Israel and the PA with their sales of weapons. Because anybody with a BRAIN knows that’s the real cause of the conflict. It’s all about the sales! ! ! Ann, France, Oct 4 9:10PM
1. Mr. Kenis – you need to study history and the facts. I would suggest you read Joan Peter’s “From time Immemorial”. Your viewpoint does NOTHING except aid the legitimacy of a non -existent “Palestinian” Arab people. Julie, Israel, Oct 4 9:10AM