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peace in our time? « Previous | |Next »
February 12, 2005

Given the long cycle of violence on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides this is called progress:


It results from the promises and agreements that were achieved at the recent Sharm el-Sheikh summit. The chance for a total end to the conflict is not great, but there is a chance for a prolonged cease-fire. The hopes for peace need to be tempered with caution, given the history of previous peace plans.

Why am I pessimistic? Is there any reason to be? Yes.

Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories has been censored out of the West's historical narrative of the region. This article by Avi Shlaim rightly says that Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories since 1967 is the underlying problem:

Occupation transformed the Zionist movement from a legitimate national liberation movement for the Jews into a colonial power and an oppressor of the Palestinians.By Zionism today I mean the ideological, ultra-nationalist settlers and their supporters in the Likud-led government. These settlers are a tiny minority but they maintain a stranglehold over the Israeli political system. They represent the unacceptable face of Zionism. Zionism does not equal racism, but many of these hard-line settlers and their leaders are blatant racists.

The settler version of Zionism is problematic. It is this form of Zionism that needs to be questioned.

As Avi observes, there is:

no getting away from the fact that attitudes toward Israel are changing as a result of its own shift towards the Zionism of the extreme right and of the radical rabbis. During the years of the Oslo peace process, Israel was in fact the favorite of the West because it was willing to withdraw from the occupied territories.Israel's image today is negative not because it is a Jewish state but because it habitually transgresses the norms of acceptable international behavior.

The religious Zionist settlers see their actions in terms of God's will. These religious conservatives have rejected the Enlightenment and modernity, and they conflate ther understanding of Judaism with the Israeli nation and state.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:58 AM | | Comments (2)


The Australian government appears to do, and say nothing to help bring peace in the middle east between the Palestinians and the Israelis . after helping the American Israeli coalition to tear apart Iraq , one would expect they would at least be vocal in encouraging both sides in their new efforts . most Muslims, Israelis and Australians agree that a just solution to the disposession of the Palestinians will help stop terrorism and increase the chance of peace . why can't the West direct billion of dollars , not on better weapons for the Israeli army , but on a lasting political solution with compensation where warranted and agreed boundaries policed by the UN. I think our political journalists and commentators [ who can "use" the media ]need to get off their butts, put our Australian politicians in the hot seat and ask them why why they are not pro-active for a just settlement while the climate is right .

As I understand it the offical position of the Australian government is support for Israel.The Howard Government's foreign policy line sees Israel fighting the Palestinian terrorists as part of the global war on terror.

Does it support the expansion of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories?

I agree about the media. It rarely mentions the settler moverment, Zionism or the settlements in the occupied territories.