Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Will the Left Wing Shut Up?

I often am on the left on many issues including Israeli "politics" Being on the left in Israeli politics is Pro-peace, but that doesn't mean that the right is anti-peace of course as some people would like to say. It’s a bit like pro-choice or pro-life. It’s all spin. People underestimate how much people on the right want peace. After a trip to Bethlehem I am inclined to agree with them that peace now or any time soon is untenable in the current situation. I don't care whose fault it is that the Arab street and the Palestinians aren't ready for peace. It’s much to complex and instead of assigning blame on anyone we have to figure out how to fix the problem rather than trying to take apart the situation. However, denying that there is a problem is just as much a sure predictor of failure as discussing blame. We can't treat a problem we deny exists. That said, I still think that it may be possible to talk to the dictators who control the Arab world and may be able to convince the "Arab street" to go along. I normally agree with Sharansky's Open Society vs Closed Society, but we should not close off any option when looking for peace. So why do I say the left should shut up? I have been reading for so long about how Israel needs to offer a comprehensive peace plan to the Arab World. Of course much of it was couched in cynicism about how Israel doesn't really want peace or it would have done so long ago. I don't think being a Zionist means thinking that Israel can do no wrong, and anyone who knows Israel bureaucracy and the way the Gush Katif evacuees were dealt with and the war (yes its officially a war) in Lebanon was conducted and the financial and sex scandals sweeping Israeli leadership, knows that things in Israel aren't handled properly. However being a Zionist should be done through truly believing that you are doing the best for Israel and that even if Israel is imperfect it deserves the benefit of the doubt. I am not saying all the critics of Israeli policy from the left or the right handled themselves inappropriately, but I was disappointed with the number that did. Why all of this? Because Israel finally did extend her hand. My opinion in all of this is that if Israel would have been the first to extend her hand she would not have been taken as seriously and this was a tactical move in the "war for peace."

Well it looks like despite letting the Arab World go first, nothing much was gained.

Basically, the Arab World wants to give Israel an ultimatum, not engage in negotiations. As I learned in Bethlehem, they really think that all they are required to do for Israel to give up everything that she could possibly give up is for the Arab States to say they are willing to meet with Israel, and “recognize Israel.”

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