Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Donald Trump/Netanyahu Dance

From the Kairos W. Michigan Director’s Desk

Op-ed: The president told the world he personally doesn’t mind if there’s a one-state or a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But a single entity between river and sea means the end of Jewish, democratic Israel. How dare Israel’s PM not point that out? BY DAVID HOROVITZ February 15, 2017, (The Times of Israel, a notable Israeli newspaper)

Did Donald Trump know what he was doing? Did he really cavalierly discard the center-piece of US, European, the Quartette, and Arab League orthodoxy about the Two-State “solution”?

The Jewish settler class is ecstatic. Mainstream Israelis, like David Horovitz, still want to tout the Two-State as a ruse for continuing to establish “facts on the ground”, to the detriment of Arab Palestinians. That sentiment is strongly echoed by many mainstream Jewish groups in the US (think AIPAC).

We in the Kairos movement have long known that the so-called Two-State solution has been dead for decades. At least from the aftermath of the 1967 war when Israel decided to occupy and settle ALL of Palestine.

Well, many Palestinian leaders got all bent out of shape as well, including the highly respected Hanan Ashrawi. Are you abandoning the Two-State? What kind of a One-State entity do you envision?

Indeed! President Trump seems open to “One State” that both the Israelis and Palestinians “can live with”. The US leader perhaps is cleverly asking Israel what that would look like. Will it be a truly pluralistic, democratic State with liberty and justice for all (to include the people of the West Bank and Gaza?) Or do you Israelis think you can maintain an ethno-centric Jewish State at the expense of the downtrodden, dispossessed Palestinian neighbor?

As happened in South Africa, it won’t work in the long run. Palestinians won’t just lie down and take it. They think (rightly) that their lives matter just as much as Jewish lives.

The Kairos movement stands with them, eager to build bridges instead of fences that demean and divide (in the name of “security”). The recent assassination of a Hamas militant signals that the Israeli elite desire warfare to justify their fear-mongering against all those Palestinian "terrorists". The demand by Bibi at this week's AIPAC meeting ("accept the existence of the JEWISH state") is a code phrase for the demand that Arab Palestinians summit to Israel's claim to settle the whole of Palestine, swallowing up land that no longer belongs to the Palestinians. What Palestinian authority (no matter how corrupt) can accept that demand?

Israel cannot have both a Jewish State and a “Democracy”. That’s an oxymoron. Israel may have a “Jewish democracy” but not a “true democracy”. Israel will either continue insisting it is a “Jewish State” (that excludes Palestinians from full rights, and continues to lose international legitimacy); or she will move towards a truly “democratic, pluralistic State with liberty and justice for all”. Will Israel face the consequences of her choices?

Israel has chosen its course. There is no turning back to the “Two State”. It is now one state, eventually diluting its all-Jewish majority for a truly pluralistic society (like most other modern states).

Is this a pipe-dream or what? Jews want to be Jews, at least on one speck of land on the Planet! And Palestinians want their existence and “rights” respected as well. Let’s all pray for a way forward that will take both narratives into account!

Friend, be in prayer for our all-day strategic planning session for our KWM Board and other interested “stakeholders” this Friday, March 31. As many as 15 of us will be focused on how to flesh out our mission statement (“a movement that educates and mobilizes Christians and others in W. MI to promote a ‘just peace’ in Isr/Pal”). Thank you for tracking with us in the past; and now, even more importantly, into our future!

Faithfully yours, John R. Kleinheksel