Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Ground is Shaking!

Dear Friend,

The Ground is Shaking! The battle is being joined. Now it's the Chuck Hegel appointment as the (projected) new head of the Defense Department. All the Israeli heavy-weights (there and here in the US) are lining up against former the former Senator (from Nebraska) mostly because he is not lock-step in favor of any and everything coming out of Jerusalem and AIPAC. Watch this one carefully. Our colleague James Wall is going to tackle this again. Go to his blog, "Wallwritings" for an introductory commentary on this issue.

Hopefully this preferred appointment by our President will go through, indicating a shift in the official stance of our US government toward a more balanced approach.

In addition to this, you have this amazing story. The State Department accused Israel on Tuesday of engaging in a "pattern of provocative action" that runs counter to statements from Israeli leaders that they are committed to peace. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said "We are deeply "disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action. These repeated announcements and plans of new construction run counter to the cause of peace. Israel’s leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal further at risk" [Haaretz, Tuesday, Dec. 18).

At least the US must be consistent. Israel thinks it can be "for" the Two State and proceed with settlements. The US knows better. Enlarging the settlements (especially in E-1) destroys the Two State "solution". Up until this recent State department salvo, we have paid lip service to the Two State idea and tacitly supported Israeli settlement expansion.

You can't have it both ways.

I'm sending you once again, a three-column "VISIONS" sheet that gives the three main visions competing in Isr/Pal right now. Many of us have moved away from the Two-State issue (it's deader than a dinosaur), and are embracing the vision of One State, Pluralistic, and Democratic. We are practicing boycotts, (of Israeli products from Palestinian land), divestment (in companies profiting from the Occupation) and sanctions [BDS] (by our government against Israelis OR Palestinians who by their actions are not leading their people to an equitable solution. The goals must be compensating for confiscated land, allow reasonable "right of return", granting full citizenship rights to Palestinians who live there, and a greater role in governance from the bottom up.

As I am soon to write to a Muslim friend in Kalamazoo, the world has moved on from the UN idea of "two states living side by side in peace and security" of 1947. The One State "solution" will be no easier than the Two State. It will require building trust after decades of betrayal and bloodshed. Moderates must weigh in against extremism on both sides to marginalize them, instead of giving them control of the agenda. More and more people will have to build bridges to each other instead of walls. Nonviolent advocacy against the Occupation will have to increase. More and more people will have to practice BDS (as above) to bring about changes to the current apartheid-like rule of Israeli governments since 1948.

Let me add one other thing. I am not an adversary of those who sincerely wish to work for the "Two-State" solution. The key issue for me is: liberty and justice for all, not just Jews in the State of Israel. Peace . . . justice. . . love, At the High Holy Days. John Kleinheksel