Sunday, June 19, 2005


A Mythical "Peace" in the Middle East

The celebration of the pullout of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip ("Rice Says Both Sides Commit to Cooperation on Gaza Pullout") is one of the biggest fictions in the Middle East "peace process." Yes, it's good that the illegal settlements are being closed down. But it's mostly just a smokescreen, while Israel consolidates its (also illegal) occupation of the West Bank, finishes the "separation wall" that divides Palestinian territory into non-contiguous Bantustans, and generally ensures that a two-state solution -- with a viable Palestine -- is rendered impossible. So much for a "peace" process.

But it's a step, isn't it? I mean, it's farther than it's been in the past, and looking up for this point in the future, so why must we be so cynical?

I mean, I know criticizing the government is fun and all, but there comes a point that we want to ask "Could you really do any better?"

I think the peace process is going slowly, but at least we're making progress and suicide bombers have slowed down considerably. And besides, getting two people to like each other is a big enough burden, much less two different cultures!

Maybe looking on the bright side once and a while might do you some good...
I really agree with you shall cry peace, peace, but there is no peace....
i consider myself a realist, NOT an optimist that has his head up in the clouds and refuses to face facts, brian.
btw, check out my last post on christian discipleship and tell me what you think of it....
I don't really think this is a "glass half full" question. Is this a "first step" toward a just peace? Well, maybe. No question in my mind: Israeli settlers don't belong in Gaza, and I'm glad they're being forced to leave. (I must say that I think it's criminal that they're going to destroy all the houses -- in a land with literally millions of refugees in need of homes.)

But my main concern: Israel continues to consolidate its hold on the Occupied Territories (the West Bank, in particular), carving them into separated enclaves, with the Israeli military controlling all access points, roads, etc. Israel continues to build the separation wall that's slicing up even more of the Palestinian land. (It's not a wall between Israel and Palestine, as much as a wall snaking in and through Palestinian territory.) The point is, Israel is putting things into place that will prevent a just peace with a viable Palestinian state from being possible. So do we applaud them pulling out of Gaza, which the state of Israel doesn't want or need strategically, and call that pullout a "first step"? Or do we demand that Israel -- and its main backer, the U.S. government -- take real steps toward a geniune peace with justice? Obviously, I'm trying to argue the latter. But I'm afraid if the world is fooled into thinking that the Gaza pullout actually contributes in a meaningful way toward peace in the region, we'll never make authentic progress.
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