Saturday, November 20, 2010

Demilitarizing Israel-Palestine

Graphic 1

CTA, Chicago's public transportation system, is now hosting an advertizing campaign aimed at demilitarizing the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Of course, I support a campaign that espouses the mission of this blog.
Fifteen years ago, when I was living in Israel, the so-called two state solution was publicly supported by only one political party, the Jewish-Palestinian list, formerly communist, Hadash. This party was beyond the pale of the polite society I belonged to. I could not have voted for Hadash without wading uphill through a lot of social negativity. Hadash was communist. Worse, Hadash was non-Zionist.
Well, that was then, and now, even the racist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Bibi "Terror" Netanyahu support the two-state solution. Now that the two-state proposal is part of standard right wing rhetoric it is clear that it carries no hope. The dream of a viable future for the  Israelis and Palestinians is best served by campaigns such as

The CTA campaign reminds me of Israel circa 1995. An urgent and simple truth, that is ahead of the mainstream curve: we need to find a way for both peoples to share the land.

Many American Jews will argue that Israel is embattled and is in a dangerous neighborhood and Israel needs all the support it can get from its principal ally, the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. should continue to give Israel billions of dollars annually in military aid with access to some of the U.S. premium armaments,
I disagree. If Israel were truly under threat, the U.S. would rush to the rescue. This was true in Israel's traumatic 1973 Yom Kippur war and, it's abundantly clear that this is just as true today.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu                                                       

This campaign will not put a dent in the military aid Israel receives from the U.S. Yet, it will educate Chicagoans as to how our tax dollars give the current Israeli government the confidence to dominate the Palestinians militarily.

The news last week that the Netanyahu government has successfully demanded that the U.S. commit in writing to providing 20 F-35 warplanes, before it was willing to consider a limited 90 day freeze West Bank construction in exchange, illustrates how damaging the current military relationship is.

For a powerful exposition of the scale of U.S. military aid to Israel, please watch this testimony by Josh Ruebner:

Looking forward to seeing this campaign spread to other cities across the United States.

Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish fathers dream of a peaceful future for their daughters


  1. Jenny KastnerDecember 27, 2010

    In my view, as a Jew of conscience, Zionism was always a racist, colonialist ideology hiding behind the skirts of religious myth. European anti-Jewish racism was the cause of the Holocaust, not the people of Palestine. Jews could have continued to find safe haven in Palestine (unlike in the Allied countries which imposed onerous restrictions on Jewish immigration before, during, and for years following, WW2). Zionism must end. A single, secular state is the only path to peace and justice in the Middle East. It is altogether too easy for comfortable American Jews to express their Jewish-ness through Zionism. Just plant a tree in "Israel" and go on about your life, mindless of the damage!

  2. Jenny,
    I agree with almost all your comment.
    Do you feel the same way about Martin Buber's Zionism? I wonder if you have had the chance to read "A Land of Two Peoples" edited and annotated by Paul Mendes-Flohr.