18 June 2009

Netanyahu vs Obama

Good take on Netanyahu vs Obama over at Oasis of Peace, snippets below:
Obama came to offer a vision of a new world. Bibi came to throw cold water on that vision. Bibi may have talked about peace, of the creation, under very specific and implausible conditions of a Palestinian state. The sub-text was that this will never happen.

It’s a semblance of reality that appeals to our fears, our anxieties and our greed. Thus, Israel is a Jewish state and will make peace only when Palestinians acknowledge this. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided and eternal capital. Israelis have always sought peace but will never compromise on their security.

Arab citizens of Israel were nowhere to be seen. That Palestinians might also have similar needs to Israelis was barely acknowledged.

While it may be possible for governments to shape the lives of their citizens through law-making and fence-making, human beings require a bit more. Israel may be a Jewish state, but it cannot survive, cannot continue to exist, as a state only for Jews. Not in the pluralistic and multicultural reality of the 21st century. Israelis may want security and justice for themselves, but they cannot get these through force of arms or the practice of injustice towards the other people that inhabits this land. Such policies may work for a time, but we can already perceive where they are leading. The drift is downward and the pace is accelerating.

In order to create a sustainable future for Jews in the Middle East, Israel will need to transform itself into a nation whose presence is seen as beneficial, valuable and integral to the region in which it is situated, rather than as a colonial and discriminatory nation that acts with disdain, guile and arrogance towards part of its citizenry and neighbouring countries.
Read it all here