Monday, November 19, 2007

Rare realism from a Palestinian

For Sari Nusseibeh, true peace between his own people and Israel won't come from canny manoeuvres at the negotiating table. Ultimately, the Palestinian philosopher and humanist argued in a recent lecture at McGill University, peace will result from the mutual realization and acceptance of the fact that neither side will get everything it wants. For Palestinians, peace will mean giving up on the long-held dream that they will return one day to land they left almost 60 years ago. For Israelis, peace has to mean giving up on the dream that it can hold on to occupied land or that Jerusalem will never be the capital of two nations.

"On both ends, I believe a new paradigm has to be created based on an equitable settlement," the 58-year-old Nusseibeh, the president of Al-Quds University in the West Bank, said in a relatively brief, 20-minute address to a crowd of about 600 in the Stephen Leacock Building. "In the final analysis, a peaceful future and a positive future are not impossible to achieve. The distance is not arduous - it is the distance between one side of a pane of glass and another," he said. The glass is transparent, but it must be "cracked," he added. "The Israelis and Palestinians have the power to change. If we don't, it is not because we were powerless, but because we could not see through the pane."

At McGill, Nusseibeh, who recently released his memoirs, Once Upon a Country: a Palestinian Life, appeared to live up to his reputation as a voice of moderation, humanism, and intellectual rigour regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nusseibeh recalled how, in 1986, he witnessed the "horrible" stabbing of a 90-year-old pious Jew and decided to condemn the crime in writing - an act that was looked upon suspiciously by Israelis and got him into trouble with his own community. "It is easier to say things that please people, but I say exactly what I believe. If I condemn acts of terror, it is because of my humanity," he said. "It has been a constant fight.

Nusseibeh, referring to the fact that he has been called brave for speaking out, said, "I speak not because I'm courageous, but because of my fear about the future." For Palestinians, he said a two-state solution will have to entail trading their "right of return" for their "right to freedom." "These are impossible to implement together," he said, although it has always been "taboo" for Palestinians to say as much.

Similarly, Israelis must be prepared to give up some of their own dreams, too. Jerusalem, he said, is destined to be the capital of two states, and occupied territories will have to be abandoned.

Asked about the continued level of violence in the area, Nusseibeh seemed to regret that Palestinians have not "reached a consensus" on the use of non-violence. Recalling the first intifadah in the late 1980s - in which he played an active role - Nusseibeh said Palestinians were once "very creative" in resisting Israel without violence. In reply to another question, Nusseibeh said the last five years have been "unfortunately" violent, with Hamas operating under a completely "different paradigm" in which the group's means don't necessarily appear to be related to appropriate ends, which should be a two-state solution. "Do the people who voted for Hamas support violence against Israel?" he asked. Not necessarily, he answered. "My sense is that the majority of Palestinians who voted for Hamas would also accept a peace solution that is tangible."

More here

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ELSEWHERE

So much for government "security": "Investigators with bomb-making components in their luggage and on their person were able to pass through security checkpoints at 19 U.S. airports without detection, according to the Government Accountability Office. GAO officials are expected to testify about the investigation Thursday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform."

SC: Thompson urges million-member ground force for military: "Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson called yesterday for a million-member military ground force and more funding to equip and care for service members and veterans. Thompson said he wants a military ground force of 775,000 in the Army and 225,000 Marines, 23,000 more Marines than the Pentagon is seeking. 'Some would say this plan is too much and too big,' Thompson said at The Citadel, a military college. 'I don't believe that's the case, not at all.' Thompson didn't say how he would pay for the increase, but added that military spending should be set at 4.5 percent of the value of the goods and services the nation creates. His campaign said that would be the equivalent of increasing military spending by as much as $150 billion a year, but that those increases would be phased in and depend on economic growth."

California: Eminent domain state ballot measure takes aim at rent control: "Property rights activists are once again pushing a ballot measure aimed at restricting government's use of eminent domain, but this time there's a secondary target - rent-control ordinances. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation and various property owner groups are expected in the coming weeks to submit more than a million signatures to qualify the measure for the June 3 ballot. Similar to Proposition 90, which state voters narrowly rejected last year, the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act would seek to ban the ability of state or local government to condemn privately owned land to assist private developers. Proponents of the Jarvis measure said it also would prohibit government officials from imposing price restrictions on the sale or lease of private property - a provision that would phase out rent controls including San Francisco's ordinance."

Germany to protect Israel? How?: "German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said she felt a moral duty to protect Israel and would stand firm in the face of Iran's nuclear ambitions and its threats to wipe the Jewish state off the map. After receiving a prestigious award from the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Merkel said the prize gave her a responsibility to fight racism and to foster close ties between Germans and the Jewish community. "It means intervening to protect the safety of Israel today and in the future, as well as our common values of democracy and the rule of law."

Canada: US Army cowards lose appeal for asylum: "Two U.S. Army deserters who fled to Canada and sought refugee status on grounds of their opposition to the war in Iraq have lost their bids to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear their cases. The court refused Thursday to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, who were rejected by Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board in 2005. ... Hinzman and Hughey deserted the U.S. Army in 2004 after learning their units were to be deployed to Iraq to fight in a war they have called immoral and illegal. The men argue that serving in Iraq would force them to commit crimes against civilians, and that they would be persecuted if forced to return to the United States."

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.

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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

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1 comment:

Cricket said...

I just discovered your blog...I will be back. On the story about Germany defending Israel, I am floored. Not that I think the Germans will renege or that they have been anti-semitic since the war, but because for so long their stance has been pro-Arab.

Could unrestricted immigration from the Middle East have something
to do with their stand?