A More Perfect Peace Movement?

In evacuating settlements in parts of the West Bank and all of Gaza, Israel is taking brave and bold steps both in the interests of its own good and for peace and dignity in the native region of the Jewish and Arab peoples. But right now, only three Arab League member nations recognize Israel’s national legitimacy (perhaps only two, depending how the military coup in Mauritania is going), despite equal status as UN General Assembly member nations.
This is exactly the time for the Arab establishment to abide by the UN Charter, acknowledge Jewish national rights and recognize the state of Israel. Arab states can begin by implementing the Arab League peace initiative submitted by Saudi Arabia and adopted by the 2002 Beirut Arab League Summit. Israel has taken initial but definite steps toward peace with the Arab nations. Arab nations can and should begin initial but definite steps toward peace with the Jewish people. They can begin simply by opening diplomatic and commercial relationships with Israel, exchanging ambassadors and facilitating trade.
Despite the close relationship between the United States — paricularly the Bush administration — and Saudi Arabia, there is little evidence of US diplomatic persuasion for Arab League leaders to begin implementation of the Saudi peace iniative. This leaves it up to a genuine peace and human rights movement to do the right thing that the White House and other Western democracies are otherwise incapable of doing. The Arab establishment is a closed and despotic leadership, but they live in the same world we do and they have embassies and consulates that we can appeal to with firm but respectful demands to recognize Jewish national rights and to open diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.
Let the peace movement henceforth and forever forward be joined with the recognition movement.

37 thoughts on “A More Perfect Peace Movement?

  1. ok lets say the recognition movement is successful. What now? how did that change or improve the situation as far as Israel or the palestinians are concerned?

  2. Zionista – I’d love to see the Saudi Peace plan adopted and implemented.. All Sharon has to do to make that happen is withdraw from the West bank, back to the green line. So when can we start ? If there’s any way for me to help, I’d be happy to go over there and help people pack or something.

  3. does anyone really believe in their deepest heart that the ultimate goal of 60% of the muslim arabs in anything other than the destruction of israel? and that the ultimate goal is the destruction of all non muslims (whether by murder, conversion, or at least reduction to dhimmini status). if you do, let’s do a little experiment – walk into Saudi Arabia wearing a jewish star – report back (if youre alive to do so) exactly what happens.

  4. Israel (with the U.S. supporting) rejected the Saudi peace plan and immediately attacked Jenin and Balat. Then, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed a dozen Jews in Jerusalem. The Saudi initiative is dust, right?

  5. “Israel is taking brave and bold steps both in the interests of its own good and for peace and dignity in the native region of the Jewish and Arab peoples”
    Are u kidding me??? You wasted way to much energy typing such dribble. Israel helped give the terrorists a foothold to launch deeper into the country. They gave the PA (aka Hamas, etc) the opportunity and ability to easily arm themselves to the teeth by land and sea. Israel humilated itself and kowtowed to terrorismand the requests of anti-semitic and corrupt gov’ts. How does Israel exactly have equal status in the UN (besides on cheap paper)? Do you honestly believe the nonsense u just wrote???

  6. One problem here (well not just one, but this one seemed relatively benign). Israel is the only country in the UN that is not entitled to sit on the Security Council. Not exactly equal status. Oh, and Brian…Are you retarded or just ignorant? There are so many things wrong with your statement, but I’ll just spit rhetoric at one: Since when are all Jews white?

  7. I think you’re getting ahead of yourself. There can be no recognition movement of Israel until there’s a recognition of the Jewish people — as a people, with a history, tied to a specific place. As opposed to Jews as a bunch of people with only one thing in common, a set of religious beliefs.
    There is very little evidence that the former view — Jews as a people rooted in the Middle East — is accepted by any great proportion of the “peace camp”. Until racists like Brian come to believe that Jews actually exist as a nation, it is hard to understand why they would support Jews having any national rights.
    The coverage of the withdrawal — here in Canada we’ve had BBC live coverage on CBC, which is itself on strike; don’t know what has been the main source elsewhere — certainly doesn’t acknowledge this. Clearly Gaza and the West Bank are in large part, part of Eretz Yisrael. clearly the State of Israel is not the same thing as Eretz Yisrael. Whether or not the latter should be the case is the disjuncture that is central to this conflict among Jews. The media are unable to acknowledge that, because (following the Jewish-people?-are-you- sure? line) they need to cast the historic Jewish connection to the land as a controversial issue, not as the fairly straightforward factual and emotional backdrop to the conflict.

  8. Asaf: “ok lets say the recognition movement is successful. What now? how did that change or improve the situation as far as Israel or the palestinians are concerned?”
    History and voting data show that the more confident the Israeli electorate is its security situation the more likely it is to choose a leadership more open to negotiation and reconciliation with Palestinians.
    Look, I’m not fooling myself or anyone else that even a torrent of calls, emails, cards and letters to embassies and consulates of Arab League member nations is likely to subvert the dominant paradigm overnight. But an effective recognition movement stands a better chance at bringing some honesty and consistency to an internationally popular peace movement that has arguably had a significant effect on Israeli policy, as seen in current events. Recognition of Israel by all of its Arab neighboring states is an issue that can and should stand up and grow some hair within the greater (and a more genuine) peace and human rights movement.
    To the freeperlach,
    If the Arab establishment has convinced generations of its constituents, from the Atlantic coast of Africa to the Persian Gulf, that they face an existential threat from five and half million Jews on 20,000 sq kms of Mediterranean coast, then I submit that putting pressure on them, and on our own western leaderships to exert similar pressure, to renounce the radical rejection of Israel would have a positive effect.
    Of course I could be wrong, too. But show us exactly how this idea is less realistic than militant fantasies of shooting and bombing our way out of the problem.

  9. 8opus: “Until racists like Brian come to believe that Jews actually exist as a nation, it is hard to understand why they would support Jews having any national rights.”
    Fuck Brian. Who promoted him from insignificant troll to King of the Peaceniks anyway?
    This is what is meant by a GENUINE peace and human rights movement. Antisemitism will always be ubiquitous, all the way across the poltical spectrum from right to left and back. Nevertheless, conservatives seldom find themselves having to distance themselves from the Pat Buchanans, Dana Roherbachers, Paul Findleys and Grover Norquists. Yet who are these liberal anti-Zionists who are supposed to be so omnipotent? If anyone has seen Susan Blackwell and her boycott lately, please speak up.

  10. I say forget about countries like Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Such countries are ruled by an ideology that won’t even allow for the recognition of peace with Israel. They are untrustworthy. If there’s going to be peace with countries like those as well as Syria, they’re going to have to reform politically and ideologically i.e. secularize a bit. Even so, they are pretty much unable to take such steps under the pressure of Al Qaeda terrorists.
    Despite that, now is the time for more secular, open countries such as Morocco, Tunisia (the most secular Arab country), Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Lebanon to step forward to (re)establish ties with Israel. There is little excuse for them not to now that Israel has taken a big enough step. (Iraq will most likely have relations with Israel. I’ve read that new Iraqi leaders do not deny having made visits to Israel. Both countries are just keeping it on the DL, probably to save the new Iraqi leadership’s credibility and prevent accusations that Iraq is an Israeli puppet.)
    Asaf: No post here is ever complete without an obnoxious, cynical comment from you. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t the only issue that effects Israel. It is just one part of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sure, it must be solved, but I think foreign relations is also a rather pressing issue. With established relations with more Arab countries, Israel can expand its trade and purchase oil more freely from its neighbors. Arab countries that want to democratize may also benefit from relations with Israel. And Israel has good products to offer. It may also improve security for Israel and the new Arab allies. Plus, Israelis want peace. What’s wrong with having opening new diplomatic relations? Interaction between people from different countries can have positive effects on all.

  11. I don’t really understand. This isn’t about Brian or about the BBC, although both are convenient examples of a wider trend.
    It sounds like you’re saying is that most people active in promoting Palestinian rights recognize that Jews are a people rooted in the Middle East — in other words, that that fight is already won. I respectfully disagree
    The problem is not recognizing Israel. The problem is deeper — it’s recognizing the Jews.

  12. Okay, a deeper problem. Americans can only go so far when discussing rightful claims to land. A lot of people were slaughtered over here, and then we roasted weenies over campfires, singing about how this land is my land, this land is your land. I suppse that we did finally put an end to Indian terror, so there was an upside. It’s hard for us to meditate on the truly ancient guilt of the Romans without first confronting a truth that undermines our identity.

  13. The arabs don’t want peace. They will not rest until the Jewish people no longer live in Israel.
    80% of Palestinian Arabs continue to reject Israel’s very existence.
    “Israel has never been in such a state of retreat and weakness as it is today following more than four years of the intifada. Hamas’s heroic attacks exposed the weakness and volatility of the impotent Zionist security establishment. The withdrawal marks the end of the Zionist dream and is a sign of the moral and psychological decline of the Jewish state. We believe that the resistance is the only way to pressure the Jews.” – Ahmed al-Bahar (top hamas figure in Gaza)
    “the withdrawal is due to the Palestinian resistance operations. … and we will continue our resistance.” – Sami Abu Zuhri (A hamas spokesman)
    “Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem.” – about 10,000 Palestinian Arabs dancing, singing and chanting at a mass rally in Gaza City August 4th.
    “We will move our cells to the West Bank” … “The withdrawal will not be complete without the West Bank and Jerusalem.” – Jamal Abu Samhadaneh (commander of Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committees)
    “Our march will stop only in Jerusalem.” – Ahmed Qurei (The Palestinian Authority)
    So lets be realistic with what we are dealing with. The solution I do not claim to have but the problem I can definitely identify.

  14. the solution (which Sharon has begun) is to recognize we are dealing with monstrous members of a death cult; establish the borders we want; put killing fields between ourselves and the death cult; and endure.

  15. Jew Speak, I am still boggled how people ingore the facts!! The writing is on the wall people, hell its their flat out saying it, they only thing they want is our destruction, and we’ve helped achieve their goal that much more. I just can’t understand some of you out there

  16. brian:
    the whole issue assumes some bizzar sense of continuity between people born today and people born hundreds/thousands of years ago.
    these notions, of “being a jew”, or “being a palestinian”, etc., are all so essentially empty. It’s just convenient meanings imposed on arbitrary genological data – not because some god demands it (although i suppose that’s what they’d have us believe), but because these meanings have present-day selfish political utility.

  17. arbitrary: “…because these meanings have present-day selfish political utility.”
    National rights precede human rights. Stateless peoples have no practical recourse to their human rights as individuals. Jews learned this from, among other things, the British White Paper of 1939. Look it up and learn it. It’s easy enough to confuse selfishness with self-preservation, but it’s less clear if arbitrary does it deliberately or out of ideological habit.
    DiGiTaL: “The writing is on the wall people, hell its their flat out saying it, they only thing they want is our destruction, and we’ve helped achieve their goal that much more. I just can’t understand some of you out there”
    So, instead of doing something, anything, to persuade our adversaries of our legitimate national rights, DiGiTaL scolds others for trying. It’s no wonder DiGiTaL just can’t understand.

  18. How many jewish babies have to die before we recognize what we don’t want to realize -THE ARAB MUSLIMS HATE US AND WANT TO MURDER US, and NOTHING we do will change that (other of course than coverting to their religion, moving out of israel, or committing suicide). Since I assume that none of us other than the extreme left amongst us, will contemplate conversion/suicide/movi ng, isnt it clear that the only solution is to determine our borders unilaterally, build defensive barriers on those borders, and let the death cult know that if they approach those barriers, they will be shot to death. end of report. and i think thats exactly what sharon is doing.

  19. Zionista,
    I hope you have a shabbat shalom.
    There is nothing left to say to people who still, after 1000 Jews have been killed and 5000 maimed and injured still believe in ‘peace and recognition’ when the Arabs continue to openly say the three no’s: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it. SO you say that there were negotiations? Tell me one thing that Israel achieved through negotiations. Nothing. They do the talking , we do the a33 licking.
    Again, shabbat shalom.

  20. Zionista,
    I’m so happy that you’re now a regular poster on Jewschool, and I think your current post is a great idea. How would we get something like this started? I would like to help out, and think I might know some people who will be able to give this momentum. Email me at [email protected].

  21. Agreed Josh, I really don’t know what to say. U can’t persaude someone who doesn’t care to listen. ANd I am critical of those wasting time shouting at deaf ears. It’s hard for me to sleep at night while other Jews are wasting their time while it’s open season on Jewish men, women, and children. While your busy “persuading our adversaries”, our adversaries are arming themselves, re grouping, and preparing to bring a whole new wave of terror. THey now brazenly assemble and flaunt their weaponary, while we remove idealist Jews who’ve created something from nothing (Gaza communities). Yet you still sit here spouting such utter nonsense.I honestly don’t get you zionista. Your not stupid, yet u simply seem to disregard history and choose not to acknowledge the current state of affairs. Your statements aren’t based in reality. If aliens landed tomorrow and reviewed the facts, you would appear looney. Even though I often disagree with you, I gave you more credit then this. I have to ask you, do u honestly believe what you are typing?? PErhaps I gave you way too much credit…. Shabbat Shalom. G-d help us all…..

  22. So what if the Arab establishment’s despots are never going to change? Why on Earth would you oppose trying to call out the peace movement on its hypocrisy — or to have a GENUINE peace movement without the usual Middle East blind spots? It doesn’t matter if the corrupt regimes won’t listen. What does matter is that somebody else might.
    “Of Course I’m an optimist – what’s the point of being anything else?” – Sir Winston Churchill

  23. Thanks Adam. It’s amazing how pissed off some people get when anyone refuses to be as terrified of the world as they are.
    DiGiTal and josh and avigreen,
    Maybe one day you’ll appreciate that no one has ever given us anything anyway. We assert national rights, raise our flag, and defend our borders. And build schools, write books, punch clocks, cut checks, crank tunes, eat drink & dance, and generally live life without anyone’s permission. Not Sheikh Nasrallah, not Naturei Karta, not Pat Robertson and not you. We won’t beg for recognition. We’ll insist on it.
    Gut Shabbes everybody.

  24. John Brown: “All Sharon has to do to make that happen is withdraw from the West bank, back to the green line. So when can we start ? If there’s any way for me to help, I’d be happy to go over there and help people pack or something.”

  25. josh: “SO you say that there were negotiations? Tell me one thing that Israel achieved through negotiations.”
    More of an open border than not, the EU as Israel’s largest trade partner, diplomatic and commercial contacts with Gulf states, lots of the US foreign aid budget (a mixed blessing sometimes). Feel free to pick one.

  26. Many more Palestinians have died at the hands of the Jews than the other way around. Look what happens when you just try to move 8000 people off of an illegal settlement, one Jew opens fire (on Christian men) on a bus and another snatches a gun a blows away innocent bystanders. And these people were being asked to move where? A few miles away! They were compensated for their “facts on the ground,” fairly compensated, and then we all watched images showing their suffering. You think that if this withdrawal was protracted, and that more settlers were involved, that these violent “exceptions” wouldn’t coalesce into an organized, violent movement?
    Look, it might as well be illegal to mention Palestinian suffering or show images that show them in a sympathetic, or even realistic, light. The worst strategic problem for the Jews in pulling out of Gaza is that it became a news event that highlighted an issue that many people don’t know about, i.e., the settlements. And then they search out the story; they find facts. Think most people know about the where that wall is in relation to the green line? Think people know how densely settled the West Bank is, that there is such a phenomena as Arab Christians, and that they’re being pushed around?

  27. They are starting to…
    Anyway, my main point was to point out a little comedy. Come on, you have to admit, isn’t just a little bit funny to see so many White people whining about their entitlement to Middleastern Land? A little bit funny?

  28. Er, no, Brian, we were talking about the Jews’ role in the Middle East. If you’re looking for White Empowerment, you’re probably in the wrong spot…

  29. Jesus, Brian, do we need to go through this again SLOWLY? No. It’s. not. funny. to. suggest. that. all. Jews. are. white. It’s ignorant, and reveals your lack of education. (By the way, the black president of my synagogue would take offence. Jackass!)
    “it might as well be illegal to mention Palestinian suffering” You don’t know what you’re talking about. Read Haaretz if you want to find self-criticism in an Israeli newspaper. Brian, show me the Palestinian Ha’aretz.

  30. Zionista,
    We won’t beg for recognition. We’ll insist on it.
    Sorry, no. Even you are talking in the future as in ‘it’s a possibility’. If you haven’t noticed already, Israelis have a massive inferiority complex. If after several bloody wars, over 20 000 war and terror dead, we still act subservient to the world who we know can’t stand us, then don’t expect any retreats to suddenly give us a backbone to demand recognition and peace. We think that this has to be negotiated. No, I think it is the starting point.
    We’re being raped this very instant, do you really think that after it’s over we’ll discover some national self-esteem? I don’t see that happening. Our national self-esteem is being severaly beaten this week and it won’t recover soon, IMO. Well, except for one sector. I can tell you that the ‘religious zionist’ sector is feeling somwhat betrayed right now. Over this past shabbat, many decided to not stand up for the ‘prayer for the welfare of the state of Israel’ or the soldiers prayer either. Others, current reservists, religious and non-religious, are now seeing the army as the ‘operating arm of the government’, like some sort of private militia of ‘our leaders’. Actually, the entire media is saying this, reminding us of the importance to ‘follow orders’ given by the government.
    One of the ideas of the ‘disengagement’ was to bring the settlers home, to strengthen unity. But the opposite is happening. The ‘religious zionists’ are having their backs put up against the wall. First the government scerews aound with kashrut, then shabbat, and now them too. If there are ever any elections in Israel in the future (there is growing skepticism), expect a major polarization of the religious from the ‘centre’.
    Anyone know where I can get a copy of the after-school special ‘the Wave’?

  31. The Israeli peace movement does need to demand recognition. It should not do this through unilateral demands, but rather by working with moderate Palestinians and Arabs. Self-critical people on both sides need to make a united program. This was tried in the Geneva Accords, and can be done again in different ways, and plans for action can be made. There’s Awad, Rabo and likely a bunch others. I would suspect that more Jews would fall into that peace camp if only because so many of the Palestinians are beaten down by poverty into politically unconscious people just worried about paying the bills and not having their property destroyed. If the economic and educational disparities were heavily targetted for reduction (maybe by Jewish charities) I would bet that there would be many more Palestinians active in the peace movement with Israelis (not to say that there aren’t many already).

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