Originally posted by Alan Avans:
A High Road to Peace in Israel and Palestine?
A very interesting read.
[ 18 June 2005: Message edited by: Alan Avans ]
Overall, I think the author's perspective - while sunnily optimistic - is a nice start, and certainly a refreshing change from the usual polemics on the matter. That said, we have been down the road of the "One State Solution" debate before and it has lead to a stalemate where proponents are called "antisemites" among other juicy epithets. Moreover, the author goes to great pains to explain the details of this new state and why it will work, but does not address how to table such an idea to those rejectionists who declare a One State Solution to be "racist", or "antisemitic" in principle and regardless of the details. This camp represent a broad range of Israeli and Zionist thought, crossing from one side of the spectrum to the other.
I also think the article suffers from too much wishful theoretical thinking - i.e. it seems that the author figures that as long as certain practices/philosophies (like grassroots 'Jeffersonian' democracy) are encouraged, they will necessarily result in wonderful results, regardless of the tendentious conditions that might appear.
Also, there are a few troubling sentences, including the opening one: "On September 11, 2001, Jihad came to America. A global terrorist network extended its deadly outreach beyond Israelis in the West Bank and Israel..."
This seems to suggest that there is more than just a philosophical bind between certain parts of Palestinian society and the so-called "global terrorist network" and that this network is actually based in Palestine. This might be niggling, but this kind of sloppy language just adds to the conception of some that the entire Palestinian struggle for self-determination is "terrorism".
Also, a little further down, there are some troubling assertions:
The war declared by President Bush is properly aimed at defeating a well-organized network of fanatics and suicide terrorists indoctrinated with a perverted interpretation of Islamic principles of justice and a distorted conspiratorial view of the root causes of their rage.
Is this what Bush's war is really about? Sure, those are the ideological trappings, but this sounds more like parroting State Department circulars than sound analysis of the causal factors (including structural impetuses and motivations) behind the U.S. "War on Terror". Moreover, for a paper supposedly dedicated to reaching beyond "competing frameworks, all of which suffer from faulty assumptions, semantic ambiguities, and poorly defined, often contradictory, objectives" the author seems to leave out that the "frameworks" of the U.S. or Israel also fall into this catagory and are every bit as crucial to the genesis and continuity of this global "war on terror" as the ideology of the "global terrorist network." In other words, while arguing for the necessity of stepping outside of the "competing frameworks" in order to create "more realistic solutions" to conflicts, the author has implicitly justified one of those supposedly "faulty" frameworks. In short, the theoretical grounding of the position presented is contradicted in practice.
Many in the Islamic world, including mothers whose children were turned into human bombs, glorify the “culture of death” that continues to take the lives of innocent Israeli(s)...
I've never liked the phrase "culture of death." I think it paints an overly simplified and ultimately demonic picture of the people who turn to, or support, "terrorism" as a means of struggle against Israel, the U.S., global capitalism, or any other of the supposed targets of 'Jihad'. It also tends - through the old problem of slippage of meaning - to lead to easily to the notion that Palestinian/Arab/Islamic "culture" is a "culture of death".
Anyway, that's enough exegesis for one day. Overall, the idea is interesting, but I tend to disagree with the notion of an Abrahamic Federation strictly because it has shared religious undertones. The problems presented by trying to unify religious interpretation and orthodoxy amongst competing groups like Jews and Muslims is admirable on its face, but might ultimately doom the project to failure. I have thought, for some time, that the way out is a shared notion of civic identity - i.e. a new foundational principle, like the Declaration of Independence, or the Rights of Man is necessary to create a working solution to the problem, to guarantee individual and collective (ethno-religious) rights, and to foster a shared ideology for the present and future.
[ 18 June 2005: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]