Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Got Your Non-Violence. Now What?

From The Economist:
"FOR many years now, we've heard American commentators bemoan the violence of the Palestinian national movement. If only Palestinians had learned the lessons of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, we hear, they'd have had their state long ago. Surely no Israeli government would have violently suppressed a non-violent Palestinian movement of national liberation seeking only the universally recognised right of self-determination."

Of course, the people of a nation that was born of violence lecturing other to be like Gandhi and King is absurd. As are the expectations of some regarding how Palestinian people should act in the fact of violent repression and occupation. But this article points to something I have sensed for a while now: The possibility that the current Israeli regime has no real interest in peace, and that their rhetoric about what the Palestinians should do is nothing but an moving goal-post.

Clearly, this issue is complex, and hardly all the fault of Israel. No rational person could make such a case. But my frustration lies in the seeming dishonesty and bad faith of the negotiations on Israel's, in which the United States acts as Israel's enabler, not the trust-worthy "objective" mediator I believe it should be.

Just to spell out the obvious, I do not support Palestinian violence, and I do not support the "right of return," which I think, given the formation of a legitimate, reasonably contiguous, self-supporting Palestinian state, needs to be abandoned. But I am sympathetic to the party to this dispute who is clearly at a disadvantage in every meaningful way, and the party against whose interest I believe my country is acting.

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