Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No Solutions, No Illusions Today, there is no solution. Only illusion.
Is there a solution to the conflict? I would argue, no. Forever? No. But for now, there is no reasonable chance to reach such a solution. Has there been a chance over the past 70 years? No. For the next 70 years? Maybe.
This is a tough thing to admit for someone who’s been devoted to the idea that there is a solution, and has been working for decades toward it. But you have to look reality dead in the face without flinching, and say what you really see. Not what you want to see. The truth is very plain. It’s staring us in the face. We just hate what we see so much we don’t want to admit it.
There are many who still harbor illusions about what’s possible. They still believe in fairy tales of love, peace and understanding. Co-existence. Dialogue, Liberal democracy, Two states., etc. etc. I admit I was once one of them. Back in the day, I thought I was a visionary. I believed in two states when it was still anathema to do so (New Jewish Agenda circa 1981), I believed in negotiations with the PLO and was stoned for it at a Jerusalem protest (1979). As far back as 1969 (age 18) I wrote a paper at Camp Ramah’s American Seminar, comparing Israel’s conquest of the West Bank in the 1967 War to apartheid South Africa.
But there comes a time when you have to give up your dreams and visions when they’re no longer relevant. There’s a trite saying that when reality gives you a lemon, make lemonade. But when Palestinian reality gives you a dead baby, you better admit something’s terribly wrong; and that you will never be able to fix it with good intentions. The Bible says: humans “do not live on bread alone.” Nor do they live on prayers alone.
Too many UN resolutions ignored, too many “expressions of concern” by foreign governments, who will do nothing to stop the latest massacre from happening again. Too many statements like this: “Israel has a right to defend itself from Palestinian rockets.” Too much milquetoast. Too many media appraisals shorn of context. Too many empty promises. It’s time to stop being a sucker. To stop believing in nostrums.
They say: “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” We have been fooled not once, not twice, but a thousand times. Liberal Zionism is a particularly toxic brew in that regard. It offers optimism. It says hope, faith and charity can work miracles. “Believe that love conquers hate,” it declares; thus embracing Dr. Pangloss’ “all is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.”
Such Zionism offers a two-state solution which is really a two-state illusion. It tells a dying patient there is hope for recovery. It is cruel and deceitful. You are not doing anyone any favors by fooling them into believing a lie.
Gaza and the ‘Road to Damascus’
All this was spurred by this month’s Israeli assault on Gaza. To be ghoulish, this one was relatively ‘minor’ as Israeli attacks go. “Only”
44 46 dead Gazans. “Only” 15 dead children. Compared to the 2,300 killed in 2014, Gaza got off relatively ‘easy’ this time.
Some seem to find a way to hope amidst this endless carnage:
Indeed Gaza challenges our propensity to be hopeful. But as someone whose ancestors were sold at the auction block, I believe that however long/filled with setbacks to road to justice/freedom may be, we must stride along, with a deep conviction that we or our kids will get there.
— Mamadou Sow (@MamadouSowICRC) August 8, 2022
I respect that.Really I do. But my ancestors were exterminated in Nazi death camps. I’m less hopeful than you. But would welcome being proven wrong. https://t.co/iminKuZEFP
— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) August 8, 2022
When I read these tweets from a kind, gentle African man in my timeline, in which he quoted Martin Luther King’s “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,” I realized I could not share his faith or MLK’s. Not now. Maybe not ever. Realizing I couldn’t, broke something inside me. Not anything earth-shattering. Not anything life-altering. But it rooted out any tiny reservoir of hope that there can be a solution to this conflict. At least not in my lifetime. Maybe not in my childrens’.
It kills me. I can remember back to when I wrote that essay in 1969. I believed surely if we understood enough. If we protested enough. If we argued enough. If we studied enough, educated enough–surely Israel and the world would eventually understand the folly of its actions. I remember asking myself: how long will that take? Surely in a decade. A decade ago or more I thought: surely in my lifetime. Now, I know that I was not only wrong, I was deluded. Perhaps through no fault of my own. But deluded nevertheless.
Another spark for this essay came from Norman Finkelstein. In his inimitablly polemical way, he too strips away falsity and illusion. He too, so I understand, believes a solution is no longer possible. If my impression is correct of his views, then he too has come far. He repeatedly lectured in the past about the possibility, though never the inevitability, of a real solution. So if you want to glass of ice cold water thrown in your face, read some Finkelstein. The realization that he too was going in this direction was yet another catalyst for my change of heart.
To some, my epiphany of despair may seem obvious. “About time,” they might say. “What were you waiting for?” To others, it may arouse disagreement. Liberal Zionists will undoubtedly say my “cynicism” only gives in to those on the radical Israel right, whose own corrosive cynicism fuels their hatred, racism and rejectionism. They might accuse me of giving up. Of admitting failure.
That’s not it at all. Anyone who knows me knows I can never do that (though sometimes the urge is quite strong to do so). But once you accept that you or the Palestinians or anyone, are powerless to realize the sort of radical change necessary, you must ask what comes next. How do you accept what no one can change, and still engage with/against this evil sytem in a meaningful way?
Israel: Battleship Invincible
The truth is that Israel refuses any reasonable compromise. Refuses to engage in any serious negotiation. It has done so for years and will continue to do so for years more, if not decades. If Israel was fading and economically vulnerable, like the Soviet Union was in 1989 or like South Africa was in 1992, then Israel too could be forced to accept a similar transformation.
But Israel is strong. It’s army is powerful. And even if wasn’t, it’s fighting an insurgency that cannot begin to match its firepower. Israel’s economy is roaring (despite the enormous gap between rich and poor; and the extremely high poverty rates). Its entrepreneurs and tycoons are bullish.
Some of us argue that increasing level of emigration by young, largely secular professionals, bodes ill for Israel’s future. That it indicates a key demographic sector has grown weary of perpetural war and is deserting like rats, from a sinking ship. That it means that Israel in the long run will, in a generation or two, become a nation of Palestinians and ultra-Orthodox Jews without a professional or middle class. But we must face the fact that this either will not happen, or will not materially change conditions inside Israel.
The Left is Dead
Perhaps if the Left (referring here and below to the Zionist Left) was stronger. If there were political leaders or parties that represented real change; and which challenged the status quo. Back in the day, pundits used to ask plaintively: where is Israel’s DeGaulle? The truth is, Israel doesn’t need DeGaulle, doesn’t want DeGaulle. It wants Bibi or Bibi-Lite, like the current government.
If there was a viable Israeli Left, perhaps there might be some hope for a political earthquake, like when Chileans overthew a brutal military junta after Pinochet’s death. But again, look reality in the face and admit: the Left in Israel has been left for dead. Nearly fifty years of far-right dominance of the political landscape has turned the left into feeble eunuchs (no offense to eunuchs), incapable of offering a vision of what the world could be if it led the country. It is certainly the Left’s fault for its timidity, vacillation, and compromising with what it believed to be the “prevailing consensus.” But the Israeli voters are at fault too. They will not vote for change. They’re reminiscent of the Mad Magazine’s icon, Alfred E. Newman, whose tagline was: “What? Me Worry?” As a teenager, I never understood why anyone thought that was funny. Perhaps because I wasn’t a comics fan. But now I understand it with a vengeance.
Israelis voters may cast a ballot for politicians who promise change. But “change” in the mouths of such charlatans and liars means nothing. Change is a mirage a man dying of thirst sees in the desert. Change, that sort of change, is dead.
The Real Israeli Left Isn’t Dead, Just Powerless
There is another Left in Israel. The Palestinian Left. Though it has none of the weaknesses outlined above, it faces insuperable obstacles limiting its power. Israeli political apartheid has systematically suppressed the Palestinian political voice. There has never been a Palestinian prime minister. Never been a Paletsinian holding a major ministerial portfolio (defense, foreign affairs, interior, finance, etc). There have been very few Palestinians MKs holding even junior portfolios. Until this past election, there has never been a Palestinian party within a governing coalition. So Israel has severely limited Palestinian political agency. Yet another sign that the Israeli system ensures the continuation of the status quo, and suffocates any possibility of radical change.
In some ways, Israel has learned from failed ethnocratic states of the past. It has seen what weaknesses led to the downfall of South African apartheid, for example, and put into place regulations, laws and policies which strangle the baby of real democracy in its bed. Israel is nothing if not innovative and clever at maintaing Judeo-supremacy.
What Is to Be Done?
Lenin’s famous dictum strikes a chord for those who’ve given up a dream, awakened from slumber, and face the frightening question: where do we go from here? We don’t stop agitating. We don’t stop writing. We don’t stop strategizing. We don’t stop building coalitions. We just do so with a different set of expectations. And in a way, that makes our work more powerful. We know that circumstances now beyond our control make the change we envision impossible. But nevertheless, we will persevere.
None of this is to say that the current impasse is permanent. History is long. We humans have roamed this earth for millions of years. Kingdoms have risen and fallen. Pagan worship once fired the faith of millions. Then faded away as quickly as it arose. Only to be replaced by other religions. Wars have been won and lost. Everything changes. Nothing remains the same.
Those cynical Israeli leaders who believe they can maintain this evil charade perpetually are doomed-and their nation is doomed (in its current form). They may die peacefully in their beds assured that they have stayed the course for the sake of their people. But if they had any wisdom at all they would understand that nations may reign for a time. They may rule proudly for a generation, a century or more. But all of them collapse in time. Some through folly. Some through corruption. Pride, as they say, goeth before a fall. When this version of Israel falls, it will inevitably do so amid huge catastrophe, like what befell ancient Judea after it was conquered by the Romans.
Israel in its current state is proud. It is impregnable. So it appears. It may last for a generation, maybe two, maybe ten. But it is unsutainable. In some lucky future, there is a just, honorable outcome. We (or at least I) will not live to see it. And that is a personal tragedy. But someone, somewhere will.
In the final scene of King Lear, the once haughty ruler is a poor old beggar, stripped naked and raging at the howling wind and rain. Once he has peeled away the vanity of power and expectation that his power-hungry daughters will rally to his side and do the right thing; and once he understands that Cordelia, in death, was the only true, pure one of the three, who loved him as they did not; then he becomes a powerful, redemptive and tragic-heroic figure. He no longer has any artifice or vanity. He understands that through his own self-delusion he has lost the things most important to him.
But as a result, he has something that none of his remaining daughters can ever have: he has humility; he has suffering; he has inner wisdom. During a summer spent at the UC Berkeley Greek Worshop, I learned of the Greek philosophical wisdom: ‘learning through suffering.’ This epitomizes the humbled Lear. His suffering will help him expose the evils wrought upon him by his daughters, and overthrow their rule. Thus restoring him to his rightful throne as an older, deeper and wiser man.
This is where we stand with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have freed ourselves of false hopes. Now we can see the present more clearly and start working toward a better future.
There is an old Jewish saying: “So may it be, speedily and in our day.” It refers to the coming of the Messiah, an event Orthodox Jews yearn for. But we are not such Jews. We do not need a Messiah. We need something here on earth. What we yearn for is a Palestine-Israel filled with peace and justice. Will it come speedily? No. In our day? No. But we affirm that while it cannot be now, it will be. We don’t know when. But it will and must come.
We have waited 70 years. Russian Communism lasted for 75 years. Rome fell after centuries. But eventually a house, the house of Israel-Palestine, divided against itself, cannot stand.
26 thoughts on “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: No Solutions, No Illusions – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Hey Richard, i profoundly disagree with your conclusion, but its 1;30 am here and need to go to sleep, where can I reach you by email ? do you read French? I think you will like the reason why I disagree and why there IS hope. Fundamentally no one has considered how to use the new paradigm of democracy to solving this problem, though nearly everyone professes to believe in it. I have done so applying a general method developed years ago, on how to use democracy as a tool to solve political problems. Because in the end, people create problems and people can also create solutions, States are fictions, people are real (well, “realler” at least, even ‘peoples’ are invented but for our purposes, they are more real than States).
Welcome to the light.
I agree that no institution lasts forever. Israel as we know it will fall or transform into something very different if it survives at all.
My reading of history is that the unpredictable occurs with astonishing frequency. And our civilization is headed for chaos that we call global warming that will so strain the system over the next few decades that surely the unexpected will occur. And in chaos no one is in charge; events seem to rule. You will probably live to see global climate chaos. My advice is to stay prepared by being true to yourself.
Your 1st paragraph after the head “Israel” Battlefield Invincible” and last paragraph before the head “What is to be done” are key to understanding why the Palestinian cause is hopeless, and why So. Africa is a poor analog to Isr-Pal. Israel is strong and rich and has lots of friends and Palestine is weak and poor with few friends.
I am in the fight because I must fight Israel committing crimes in my name.
“But my ancestors were exterminated in Nazi death camps”
Our ancestors were exterminated because they hadn’t the means to defend themselves.
The Jewish State of Israel provides Jews with the means to defend themselves.
Why anti-Zionists would want Jews to return to the ‘bad old days’, to the days when Jews lived on the sufferance of other Nations, is beyond my comprehension and ignores history.
Jews aren’t a nation and Zionism did nothing for the Jews who did suffer just as today they do nothing for Jews except identify them as oppressors
Braintree with your “religious strategy” Muslim and Christian nations could (or should) provide Palestinian Muslims and Christians the “means” to destroy their “enemy”. What is “morally” allowed to Jews and Israel should be allowed also to Christians and Muslims and their countries, right or wrong?
This constant declaring Israel as the official/moral guarantor of all Jews’ safety and rights is extremely stupid, because it defines (=claims) the Jews general loyalty order everywhere. First Israel then his/shes own nation. When there are changes in the “world order” then it could happen, that Jews in some countries would be treated like American Japanese in WW2.
The belief that Israel can protect Jews world-wide is a fallacy.
The anger against Israel would mostly disappear if Israel was a state for its population and stopped oppression of Palestinians.
@ Jeff: I think if you probed Braintree just below the surface you’d find he doesn’t give a flying f* about Diaspora Jews. He only care about Israeli Jews. But he considers Israeli Jews the only Jews that matter. And if you protect Israeli Jews, those are the only ones Israel needs to worry about. Anyone else can fend for themselves.
You are my exhibit A.
You mean like in the days of Bar Kochba when we rebelled against the Romans. We had the means to defend ourselves and guess what–we lost. Oh, right–we didn’t have F-35s and Jericho ICBMs. That’s why we lost, right. So if we become a Sparta of the Middle East with guns and missiles bristling frome very silo and window, then you can sleep soundly in your bed. While also mowing down tens of thousands of your neighbors. Sorry, but that’s not an existence I can endorse.
The Judeo-supremacist state of Israel provides ISRAELIS (NOT Jews) with the means to annihilate the Middle East 100 times over. That’s not defense. That’s mass murder.
Not to mention that Judeo-Sparta sparks the worst hate and violence against ALL Jews everywhere. Including terror attacks against Diaspora Jews who have nothing to do with Israel. So thanks for making our lives less safe and more dangerous. Besides, Jews in Israel are 10 or 100 times more endangered than any Diaspora Jew. So your math is whack.
Anti-Zionists want to return Jews to the ‘bad old days’ when we lived in peace with our neighbors for millenia and did pretty well for ourselves. If there is another Holocaust, it will likely be caused by Israel, rather than suffered by Diaspora Jews.
You have once again confused Jews and Israelis. Do NOT use the term “Jew” when you are speaking of Israelis. This is anti-Semitic (cf. David Duke). IF you do this again, I will ban you.
[comment deleted: I reminded you several times you are only permitted a single comment in any thread. You’ve ignored me. You are now moderated. Any future violation will lead to banning.]
‘…Not to mention that Judeo-Sparta sparks the worst hate and violence against ALL Jews everywhere..’
Hear, hear. At the risk of provoking a frothing fit, I will agree that I have become an anti-semite.
I wasn’t born that way. In fact, I spent the first two-thirds of my life simply unconscious of Judaism as a major factor in people’s identity. It wasn’t that I didn’t know any Jews; far from it. I’d say a good third of the people I associated with were Jews. Some people were Jews; but some people liked to go skiing. It just wasn’t an element in anyone’s identity I found significant. The first girl I kissed was Jewish; my first serious girlfriend may have been Jewish. I just never thought about it at the time. Was she? No way of knowing now.
Oh well. But all that started changing when I started noticing Israel around 2000 — and kept noticing it. By 2010 or so, I was joking that Jews would be alright — if only I could think of them without thinking about Israel.
And now? Well, here we are. In this setting, all I can say is that I wish we hadn’t come here, and that the road started with Israel.
I have an absolute no-tolerance rule for either anti-SEmitism, Islamophobia or racism. I don’t care whether your statment was meant as snark, for dramatic effect, or whatever. Too many of my relatives were murdered by forces who proudly declared themselves anti-Semites as well. I will not permit it here.
In my comment, I specifically objected to the conflation of Judaism and Israel because it incited anti-Semitism. And you fell right into the ditch by proving my point and calling yourself an anti-Seimite.
You are now moderated. If you enter this territory again, you will be permanently banned.
‘…Our ancestors were exterminated because they hadn’t the means to defend themselves.
The Jewish State of Israel provides Jews with the means to defend themselves..’
I’ve always found this old nostrum morbidly comic.
Your survival plan is to pack the Jewish people into a strip of semi-desert half the size of San Bernardino County and make yourself hated by all your neighbors?
[comment deleted: you have once again conflated “Israel” with “Jewish” after I warned you several times against doing it. You also continue to use multiple IP addresses after I warned you against this practice. You are now banned.]
I am not so pessimistic because I believe that we will eventually triumph.
the point is to analyse the specifics of why there seems to be no progress.
Unlike Black South Africans Palestinians possess far less power. Primarily because there is no equivalent to the Black working class. The Whites in South Africa primarily sought to exploit not exclude the Blacks.
Israel is the guardian or watchdog of imperialism’s interests in t he Middle East i.e. it guards over the Arab states and that is why the US supports them. The key then lies in revolution in the Arab East
Welcome aboard Richard. I am getting ready to disembark though!
Professor Norman Finkelstein has come out in support of Putin’s war to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine and Finkelstein also has an odd disdain for President Zelensky.
@ Clancy: The notion that if I agree with Norman Finkelstein in one thing that I must embrace everything he believes is foolish.
‘Professor Norman Finkelstein has come out in support of Putin’s war to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine and Finkelstein also has an odd disdain for President Zelensky.’
I read Finkelstein with interest, and I certainly respect his intellect; but he’s a compulsive contrarian. If we all started baking at home, he’d come out in favor of store-bought bread.
This is in response to Ian Lustick’s contribution in an email chain
As long as capitalism and imperialism exists there will never be a solution to the problem of achieving human liberation.
In the case of Israel the real question is how can Zionism end, how can the Zionist state be dismantled, because as long as the goal is a Jewish settler state then what happens now will continue in one form or another.
The real problem is that in South Africa the tide turned against the Whites for a number of people. The Black working class could not be suppressed. Its neighbours had turned hostile with the liberation of the Portuguese colonies and South Africa had just lost a war in Angola. It was that, not Western munificence, that spelt the end for Apartheid. Of course the West started falling in line (Israel excepted of course) but Apartheid did not end because the West developed a moral backbone.
In Israel the settlers are as strong today as they have ever been. The Palestine solidarity movement is stronger too but Western leaders ignore their own populations in queuing up to support Israel. That is our problem. Western imperialism has no morality worthy of the name. We see that now in the US war agenda with China and Russia.
So yes, no ‘solution’ will work for one simple reason. Israel won’t accept any solution. How then to overcome this?
I think we have to apply a certain logic, which is difficult when it comes to Palestine because people allow wishful thinking to replace logical thought. I ask the question:
Why does the United States and the West support Israel so wholeheartedly?
Answer this question and you are on the route to a solution. For me it is quite simple. The US supports Israel, not out of a kindly sentiment for Jews, not because of what happened in the Holocaust but because Israel serves US imperialist interests in the Middle East. It is hostile to any revolutionary struggle such as during the Lebanese civil war, it is hostile to radical Arab nationalism as with Nasser and it watches over the whole region. Today it is in bed with the Gulf states openly. Its hostility to Iran is primarily because it doesn’t want any form of opposition to its hegemony.
The answer therefore lies with the Arab masses. The overthrow of the Arab regimes is the condition for the overthrow of Zionism. Meanwhile we have to do what we can do to give solidarity to the Palestinians and counter the Zionist narrative, which of course is depressing.
I don’t believe that. The US supports Israel for many reasons. The US supports Israel unconditionally and traditionally. This is the problem. We can’t seem to make Israel do the right thing either… and have stopped trying. This compromises and handicaps us on the world stage but it seems to work for politics at home… both parties. The liberals on the left here, like the liberals in Israel, have learned to submerge and attend to their “larger” issues until that is- an uprising from the Palestinians. A final reckoning of the situation (apparently postponement forever is what Israel of the right ever wanted) is partly our fault for not withdrawing support, placing conditions, when it would matter. We help postpone the alleviation of suffering and inequality.
This keeps the status quo creeping towards the present defacto one state and keeps inequality cemented in time. Israel has been allowed this by us and the Euros. No price. This state makes violent uprising, more repression, a cycle assured. Israel’s deals with Arabs keeps them subdued as well- it seems.
The horror of the Holocaust, the history of persecution is always present. It’s the uncle in the closet of every Jew that keeps coming out to remind us all.. now with the Russian war on Ukraine. Without the Holocaust I doubt Israel would have happened. Without past and continued repression and persecution of Jews there would not be an Israel of Jewish immigrants still seeking protection in an Israel that cannot offer it.. It cannot offer protection because Israel cannot get beyond the mistrust, a communal PTSD that keeps getting triggered. Israel had to happen. I am disappointed in THIS Israel, unable to overcome, unable to grow, evolve on the emotional level especially with each new influx. I could not live there, not be proud to be an Israeli today. Israeli is a different Jew. I know because I love my Israelis. They are not the Jews in “diaspora” (so to speak). But I said this already
Egypt and Israel signed a peace agreement forty (40) years ago that still holds.
No one anticipated the events that led to this historic achievement.
There were two leaders that decided that it is time to change directions, and managed to convince “Hawkish” Israeli prime minister Begin. Many mothers appreciate those three who saved so many lives.
So yes, I do believe in a peace agreement between the Palestinian and Israelis once the right leaders will decide to do the right thing for their nations.
I gave up on the Israel that isn’t,the one should be, after years of arguing with relatives and strangers.
Israel has a PTSD to contend with, down from the generations made worse by the Holocaust. A personality evolved, a world view- bred or inbred, a culture formed in families, groups, including traumatized immigrants, those who have been or had been living under repression, those who are forever fearful. People come to Israel to escape into security, the feeling of being finally at home, protected, protected by a strong military, where Jews rule. Palestinians are the threat to their existence, not vice versa.Israelis react to the world from this base.You can’t say it’s without cause given anti-Semitism. But your can’t say either that it is not caused somewhat by Israels own behavior over the years which is why this Israel is unsustainable. It’s disappointing; it does not work.. as Richard says. The Likud, Sharon and Netanyahu, took advantage of it for power. Over the years the situation in which there was hope congealed to despair; the peace movement died.
Those who are open and embracing who aspire to equality and liberal democratic values, those who know and believe differently, are in retreat, stay silently opposed, compromised or have convinced themselves of that which they were opposed. It’s “the situation”, useless, “what we have to live with”.
Of the Israel of the pioneers, many had that latter idealistic world view, that expansive embracing knowledge that we are all in this world together, brethren ultimately. One wanted to be a part of this Jewish experiment back then.That was defeated or it morphed into this. I don’t believe that this will change in my lifetime or ever, back to that vision.
Having accepted that at present, there appears to be no solution, you finish up by rather vaguely hoping for a future in which the dilemma has somehow vanished. This is a bit like me resolving the problem of the eternally slowly-draining upstairs bathtub by hoping something changes: it’s a tad unrealistic.
I submit that there’s another way of looking at it, and that in fact there are two solutions.
The first solution is one in which Israel continues to control the global hegemon of the day, and so is able to continue to grind her boot into the face of the Palestinians. For all time — Orwell’s vision of the future, if not on a global scale.
Not for that? Okay: work for the other solution: the destruction of Israel as we know it.
Sometimes you have to accept that a sore tooth is not going to get better; and you have to pull it.
As another commentator observes, nothing lasts forever. Rome isn’t around any more; neither are the Manchus.
However, with wisdom, one can defer the inevitable; and wise leaders have always chosen their moment of strength — not weakness — to make peace. Bismarck established the Germany he wanted, then spent the rest of his career arranging alliances and presiding over conferences to keep it. He was eventually succeeded by other, less gifted figures; but that’s another story.
Ataturk triumphed over the Greeks, faced down the great powers over Istanbul — and then picked that moment to make peace.
I don’t like Israel, and I don’t want it to endure. I only say this because I am confident she will ignore the advice.
She should make peace now.
This piece is so very dark – and I feel it in my soul as true. I’ve ‘only’ been working for peace in the region since 1984, not quite as long as you, and I wouldn’t allow myself to say these words out loud since I believe I don’t have the right to release hope. I can’t. But I also believe that one has to acknowledge the reality to truly ameliorate a situation and you’ve pretty clearly laid it out. And you also reaffirm your commitment to continue fighting – only with this new acknowledgement. I can do that too. I DO think progress has been made at the grassroots and public awareness, but until there’s political will by those in power … the fight continues.