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Old 09-01-2010, 11:06 PM
soral soral is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
Default Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)

"You'd have a better case if Israel existed on uncontested land in a different part of the world. You'd still have the problem of a nation that grossly discriminates against its ethnic minority (Israeli Arabs), but at least you'd have nation-state legitimacy under international law. Israel, as an occupying power with an unresolved refugee population living in camps, is in gross violation of international law."

The idea of needing a "better case" for a nation of Jews to exist seems anathema to me. It seems that Jews either have a right to a sovereign state and self-determination, or they do not, because a right is not conditional. One may argue the retrospective wisdom of founding the modern state of Israel as it exists today, and this can be an interesting academic exercise. Frankly I am curious as to where a more practical location would have been found. But it is not helpful to Israelis and Palestinians working to grapple daily with the complexities of living and bringing their families to better lives than they have now.

Regarding the gross discrimination practiced against Israeli Arabs, this is totally independent of any question of the legitimacy of the state and simply does not belong in the discussion. In the same vein, as an occupying power with an unresolved refugee problem, in gross violation of international law, Israel's right to exist and legitimacy is fully and wholly intact. A nation's violating international law simply has no bearing on whether that nation and its people have a right to exist. The repeated assertion of a connection between the two in the case of Israel is fundamentally damaging to Israelis and Palestinians because it empowers reactionaries and extremists on both sides. I believe from what I have read that Mr. Ibish could back me up on this.

"Israel has a "right to exist," but it must evolve beyond Jim Crow and toward equal rights for all its citizens. I don't think that's really possible as a "Jewish state," but I certainly welcome reforms that go in the right direction, eg. civil marriage, immigration reform, and so on."

The legal rights of minorities in Israel have exceeded those of African-Americans in the Jim Crow South since its founding, and it has been a self-described Jewish State for all of this time. I too would welcome reform of marriage and immigration laws (though in truth most developed nations allow immigration based on claims of identity or ancestry), and would submit that Israel's task now, apart from ending the occupation, is that of nearly every nation on Earth: promote not just the rights but the welfare of minorities.

"I used to support a two-state solution to the wider conflict. At this point, I don't rule it out entirely, but I'm much more inclined to support one state and doubt very much that two states will ever happen."

Mr. Ibish has written extensively about the possibility of a one-state situation, and so I'll allow him to speak for me here:


You can download it in its entirety for free. Please do. Mr. Ibish seems to be oriented toward the goal of peace for all parties in Israel - Palestine, and I hope more people will start reading his blog at http://www.ibishblog.com/.
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