Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Look at Israel

At first, when I read the headline "Israel's Secret Success," in the New York Times, I thought the op-ed would be a typical New York Sun article: calling for more attention to Israel's horrible plight while ignoring Palestine's problems, and condemning anyone who opposes Israel's views and positions.

But I was mistaken.

The author, Daniel Gavron, an Israeli who had his bar mitzah the same year Israel was created, considers himself a Zionist. Yet, he is able to rationally point out Israel's flaws.

Peter Hirschberg of Israel's Haaretz wrote about Gavron. Back in 2003, Gavron was a big proponent of a one-nation state, as opposed to the popular two-nation state idea. Under the one-nation state, Israelis and Palestinians would live in the same country under one government. One of the major reasons as to why the two-nation state isn't viable is, to him, because of Israeli settlers. He said:

"Many Israelis, and other Jews, will argue that historic justice demands a Jewish state...there should be one place on Earth where the Jews can exercise their natural right to sovereignty. They are absolutely right, but, unfortunately, given the choice between sovereignty and land, we chose land. We have manifestly preferred settlement in the whole Land of Israel to a state of Israel in part of the land. It is irrelevant that the settlers are a small minority. The rest of us have permitted them to do what they wanted."

In Gavron's op-ed yesterday, he calls Israel out on what they've done wrong--something that, it seems, every newspaper has been afraid to do, or at least, publish. He talks about how unfair the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories are. He denounces Israel's restrictions of Gaza's electricity.

He also understands that Israel is, indeed, powerful and this get to their heads in the form of paranoia. After the recent suicide attack, Israel now wants to build a fence along its Egyptian border. (The reason being because of Palestinian terrorists, not Egyptian terrorists, so why is the fence along Egypt?) Instead, why don't they try to work it out some other way, showcase some diplomacy and be the bigger person in the situation (or the bigger country)?

Granted, Hamas, the elected Palestinian government, is considered a terrorist group and their actions do support that, and there are Palestinians and other Muslims that deny Israel's existence. But I'm sure there are those who view Israel in the same, violent light (Testing rockets? Right.) and those who want to eject Muslims from areas completely. But no one focuses on that.

And, trust me, I don't consider myself anti-Israel. (Though, I do agree that American funding should be cut back significantly, something Josh brought up earlier last night, but I'll get to that at a later time.) I believe there should be two states, though, to what borders the states should adhere to, I have no idea yet. And, hey, this is only what I know so far, I don't claim to be overly informed about these matters just yet. I've got more to learn about.

(P.S. The fact that Gavron decided to walk across Israel a la Robert Byron and Rory Stewart, though their's were in Afghanistan, and wrote about it makes him even cooler in my book.)

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Yes, yes, yes.


But I wish it could be one state. I wish.

When we go to Gaza and the West Bank I think we can solve this thing once and for all.