EJ: Much better entry this last time. I agree about blogs. It is extremely difficult to avoid the quick response. I have really tried to make the effort to think through my thoughts before writing an entry. Sadly, I donít always succeed. I think I always believed, and the last few years have only hardened my belief, violence is never justified, ever. Even if you are cornered, even if you have been served an injustice, even if you are not accorded human dignity. Yono and EJ, you make compelling cases. There is validity in your observations. But on the other hand, Israelis would claim that they are backed into a corner, The Spaniards would claim that the Basque country as been a part of Spain since Roman times, why should they give it up. America would claim that 9/11 backed them into a corner and the value of their lives were disrespected by extremist. These debates are endless and, in a way, childish. EJ, I think the way to move on is to merely let go of the past. Given a new slate, given no history, what would we do? What would we desire?
If it were up to me. What would I do? Well in the case of Israel/Palestine, I donít believe the answer lies in carving out territories for this group or that. It is my view that the second Intifada is actually a battle for the sole of Palestine/Israel. The problem is that each side defines the territory between the Jordan and the sea as either a Jewish State or a Muslim State. What if it were neither? What if it were merely a Republic, where both sides had representation in a fully elected legislature. What if no law could be passed without majority approval of both communities. What if Muslims could visit the Wailing Wall and Jews the Dome of the Rock? What if Palestinians could freely move to any neighborhood in Tel Aviv and Jews could freely move to Hebron.
EJ, why is it necessary for Jews and Palestinians to have their own separate countries; isnít that just apartheid by another name? If we all acted like adults and respected the notion that we cannot impose our values on others, we would be better off. Israel/Palestine would be better off. The world would be better off. Why do Jews, Palestinians, Kurds, Corsicans, Basques, East Timorese, Quebecois, Slovenians, Tibetans need states of their own? Instead, why donít we create the political structures that would allow people to live together in peace? It disturbs me, this trend towards apartness, this desire to close ourselves in our own little communities. It is a dangerous trend, and it is not the historical norm.
Let me leave you with this final thought. EJ/Yono you talk about this desire for self determination and the rights of groups to determine their own future. There is merit in that point of view. However, in reading your entries and the entries of other non-Americans. Isnít it true that many of your grievances are based on the fact that Americans see themselves as being apart? Americans are champions of self-determination. Yet isnít it this very apartness, this American desire to do it their way that you find most galling? Self-determination is fine to a point, but in the end, we must all account for our actions, we must all think about how our actions effect others. Isnít that what most disturbs you about America? She is so big, so powerful, every move she makes impacts the world. Yet her people think only of themselves. They seem blind to the impact of their actions on others. Their self-determination takes precedents over all their actions. Americaís great power puts her actions into stark relief, no doubt. But perhaps the world would be a better place if those foreigners impacted by Americaís actions could have a say in what she does. What is true for America is also true of Palestine, Israel, Indonesia, and Canada Ė just on a smaller scale. Every country in the world makes decisions that impact others outside their borders. Maybe we should take that into account the next time we vote.
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