Friday, April 13, 2012

Threatening Opinions

Ladies and gentlemen, look at the calendar. It is Friday the 13th. Now that the sun is down, Passover is also over (at least in Israel - in other countries it continues for an 8th day). It is time to take out the bread and cakes, and think about all the things we find scary. The first thing that comes to mind is people's views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This isn't just a difference of opinions. Opinions that are very different from our own would become existential threats if implemented - that's how we see it.

Take me, for example. I'm a moderate left-winger who supports the two state solution. People to the far right and far left of me support things that I believe will destroy my country. Right-wingers who oppose the establishment the of the State of Palestine will lead to a country in constant war with its neighbors, and quite possibly one that is no longer democratic. Far left-wingers who support a one-state solution would destroy the Jewish State, bring in our enemies into our country, and create a state united in name only, and which would erupt into civil war in no time.

These two groups, on the other hand, see my own views as a threat. The right wing thinks a free State of Palestine would be able to fight Israel and try to take over the rest of what they lost in 1948. I can't blame them. I worry about that myself sometimes. Some of them even think my solution threatens religious salvation (a concern to which I am much less sympathetic). The far left is afraid that the two-state solution would just be another step in the subjugation of Arabs, both inside Israel and in the new state (not a baseless concern, but one that can be alleviated with certain measures to guarantee minority rights, true Palestinian independence, etc).

So, what does this tell us? Well, nothing positive. It just tells us that internal Israeli negotiations are just as difficult as negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and perhaps just as fruitless. I assume that internal Palestinian negotiations are the same.

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