By Geoffrey Cook, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
Berkeley–This article comes from a panel made up of the Palestinian, Fahed-Abu-Akel; Mitchell Plitnick — from the Jewish Voice for Peace, and Stephen Zunes, an American scholar on the Middle East.
Fahed Abu-Akel began by stating that in 1948 there were 500 Palestinian villagesâ€“both Christian and Muslim–over the old British Mandate of Palestine. There has been a belief by the Palestinian community that resistance will lead to a sort of national â€œsalvationâ€ while the Israelis and Americans assume that a military â€œvictoryâ€ is the only solution.
Zionism is rooted within the reality of the Settlements! To the Fundamentalist (mostly Orthodox) Jews, Godâ€™s will is the overthrow of the Palestinians.
The developmental policy of Tel Aviv lies within these Communities. â€œ[The] Oslo [Agreement] didnâ€™t dismantle the Cooperatives at all, but expanded them!â€ Israeli Settlements are now permanent. They cover 42% of the promised future Palestine. The indigenous people cannot even travel over the roads built on top of their own territory! The locations of these Secondary amlets were carefully placed throughout the nation of Palestine. Their sewage even flows out onto Arabic fields!
Mitchell Plitnick has stood for justice with the people who share the geography with Israel.
He clearly sees the difference between the Jewish and Arab versions of their common histories since their simultaneous mid-Twentieth Century independence. He, as a liberal Jew, feels he must work towards resolution or better yet a solution to the nagging crisis within the Middle East. For him, that is a two State remedy.
To eradicate each side from the dilemma, as was intimated above, we have to understand the meaning of each of their verging histories to find how they might converge, and, thus solve their differences. In 1948, the Jewish population in Palestine was a mere 1%. Yet, there was a massive loss of Arab homes at that time. This was the proof required for the other surrounding States to attack, and attempt to drive the Hebrew invaders into the sea. Well, this was a grand failure, as have all the Wars (except the most recent conflict during the summer of last year in which Hizbollah was able to employ Iranian military technology against the IDFâ€™s American arms.
The Arab world felt that the Palestinians were made to suffer for the crimes of the Europeans against the Jewish people during the Second World. (In other words, the West dumped their â€œJewish Problemâ€ upon the Levant, and, thus, created Settler Colonialism there.)
To reach any kind of reconciliation, if that is even possible, we have to respect both their diverging history.
In truth, 1967 was an Israeli War of aggression. After Camp David, with the Egyptians out of the scene, the Israeli Defense Force was applied directly against the Palestinians themselves. Curiously, the Agreement, also, destroyed Jerusalemâ€™s vigorous Peace Movement.
Unfortunately, the Israeli mainstream psychologically cannot accept a Palestinian entity living in peace upon their borders.
The Role of the United States
Stephen Zunes, a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at a San Francisco University, pointed out that the U.S.A. was the first country to recognize Israel as a State. American support created a disparity in the Fertile Crescent that only increased after the â€™67 hostilities. The U.S. has shown a keen prejudice for the stronger party in the Holy Land. The â€œPaxâ€ Americana does not wish peace there, for it does not serve our purpose. Aid to Tel Aviv has a deeper significance than meager assistance alone because it is overwhelmingly military. The primary enemy is against Palestine and its Arab neighbors, and the superior side is Israel. Thus, Washington refused to recognize the PLO (Palestine Liberation Army). In fact, the US subsidizes the Settlements indirectly through monetary and military support.