This was a comment I received from Abu Shuaib to one of my blogs. As I have chosen to address it directly, I have added it onto this site as a page to be referenced.
I’ve come across your blog as I used to work with an Israeli colleague who posted one of your articles on Facebook. We got on well but it is fair to say that he we had little in agreement with regard to the Israeli-Pakestinisn conflict.
I am someone who is critical of Israel and its continued occupation of Palestinian Territory but I guess reading much of what you wrote, you may conflate that with anti-Semitism which I would not accept. And yes I am a Muslim but I do not consider myself as anti Jew.
I suspect many who ready your blogs are like minded but I am interested in genuinely understanding the view point of the other. I recognise that the conflict can be deeply emotive with entrenched views on both sides.
So although you claim that anti-Zionist academics like illan pappe use history to support their pre-conceived views, I’m not sure that the likes of benny Morris are any different in that regard.
In any case, I’m struggling to find a balanced view in your writings either as it seems to be all the fault of the Muslms and Arabs while Israel is entirely innocent. It kind of reminds me of that Golda Meir saying and I’m only paraphrasing here from memory ‘that we can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, but we can never forgive the Arabs for making us kill their children’
Every point in history you seem to suggest is down to Arab rejection and anything contrary to your point of view is Palestinian propaganda. You present statistics to support your claim but I work with data in my job everyday so I know that stats can be presented in such a way to prove anything you want as alleged fact.
And I accept that some of the comments that you have posted From YouTube from pro-Palestinian rallies are deeply offensive. But I can also post similar videos from pro Israeli rallies where the comments are equally offensive to Arabs. What does it really prove other than some ill informed people can let there emotions get the better of them at demonstrations. Is society really that anti-Semitic as I think I face far more criticism and scrutiny as a Muslim particularly after 9/11?
And yes, the killing of Israeli civilians on the street of Israel is a horrendous crime. But settler violence against Palestinian civilians where a teenager is forced to drink petrol and burnt is no less horrendous and shocking.
In any case David, what I am unable to fathom in your posts is what your solution to the conflict is? When Israel conducts a military campaign in Gaza where the sheer destruction and impact on civilians is so severe, most ordinary people with no political affiliations are going to be horrified and protest against Israel.
Israel is losing moral credibility with the masses around the world not because of the Arabs but due to its own violent policies. And people cheering on the hills of sderot having a picnic while bombs are falling on civilians in Gaza is not going to adhere Israelis to the British public. It is the killing that enrages people, not some inherent hatred for Jews.
Now I have in mind what a just solution may be but I’m not sure if it correlates to your solution.
I recognise the state of Israel as a political reality although I may disagree with the Zionist project. And I doubt we will agree on the events of 1948 so let’s deal with the present day. I uphold the right of all people to live in peace and security but not at the expense of another. There is now a generation of Israelis that live in the land and I do not seek to drive them into the sea and I genuinely don’t believe that the Palestinians want this either. They just want peace and security David for their families and children but if that is not forthcoming, it is only human nature to fight back even though they are up against one of the most sophisticated and powerful armies in the world.
I know the one state is not going to be acceptable to you as this will undermine your need for a Jewish state. I’m not sure either how you reconcile the concept of a Jewish state with a secular democracy when 20% of the Israeli population is not Jewish. I do not accept that a Jewish state is your inherent right either but I recognise that is what you have and wish to maintain so let it be if that means peace.
I also accept that Jews have an intimate connection to the land but you would also have to accept the same for Palestinians. You say that Israel has returned land in the past like the Sinai which is true but it’s not like Israel had a legitimate claim to this land anyway. So likewise, if Israel were to disengage from the territories captured in 1967 admittedly with some land swaps but this would have to include the dismantling of some of the settlements deep into Palestinian land to ensure that a future Palestine can be a functioning contiguous state with some link to Gaza by highway or train. Remove the economic blockade and the illegal wall and define your borders with agreement. I understand that the right of return will not be accepted but there needs to be a compensation package for those who were displaced in 1948. That leaves East Jerusalem which I know is going to be contentious. So it will just have to be shared with full access to all holy sites probably enforced by an international peace keeping force. In return, the Arab states have promised as pledged in the past, full recognition of the Israeli state and will consider the conflict ended with establishment of full diplomatic and political ties. Now I know you find Hamas abhorrent, but in any conflict, you must talk to your enemies if you are serious about peace.
Is this a basis for a just resolution to you David? If so, can you please tell me since you do not accept BDS, what strategy should an activist like myself take to work toward this being a reality?
If not, tell me what is a solution that is acceptable in your mind.
Because to be honest, I sincerely doubt that Israel is interested in peace as it continues to expand and build more settlements in the occupied territories. Rather, there appears to be a third solution to this which seems to be the one that Israel is actively pursuing.
Build more settlements and take up the most Arable and water rich land interconnected by Israeli only highways, This cuts of the Palestinians leaving them in Non contiguous enclaves making any future Palestinian state unviable. And then unilaterally annex the territory so it becomes part of an extended Israel.
Please advise David
I responded that I was going to answer the comment in full and he responded thus:
Thank you for your time as I only seek to better understand the other point of view.
I have taken the time to read a number of your blogs but not in their entirety as I only came across it yesterday.
It can be frustrating sometimes engaging with really staunch Zionist supporters especiallly if they are of the zealous right wing type. Having a reasoned discussion with certain people on the topic is extremely difficult. You can’t get passed It’s my land because God gave it to me and you are an anti Jew Muslim.
However, I have hope that this will not be the case with yourself as I do not hate Jews. There are many Israeli Jews that I admire who have the courage to go against the tide and seek peace although these voices seem to be a minority. But they seem to be accused of treachery and being self hating Jews. From the face of it and I don’t know Israeli society well so I can only judge by what I read, Israelis are becoming more right wing which is reflective of the parties that they are increasingly voting for.
And by the way, you have mentioned your opposition to a one state solution which you seem to suggest is a call to destroy the democratic state of Israel. So do you mean by this the destruction of Israel which is certainly not defensible or do you mean the idea of a bi national state for all citizens including the occupied territories. Is that a call for Israels destruction in your view too and therefore not acceptable?
Thanks once again for your time
And apologies for the spelling errors in my previous post. It was late night I’m afraid