Friday, August 9, 2013

The Case for Peace by Alan Dershowitz: A Reflection

Couverture de l'ouvrage The case for peace : how the arab-israeli conflict can be resolved
Picture from

 "If you are for peace, you are both for Israelis and Palestinians, for the Two-State-Solution"
                                             - Dershowitz in The Case for Peace

I rarely finish a book in one sitting, but when I do, it usually denotes the greatness of a book, and great is this book. This mind-blowing account written by Dershowitz, thanks to his wonderful prose, fair, non-biased, and most importantly for peace, approach we have a resource of hope on a conflict that seems hopeless. He wrote in the book the problem of Non-Israelis being more Israeli than the Israelis, and Non-Palestinians, being more Palestinian than the Palestinians.

He outlined, the brief history and the origins of the conflict, why is there no difference between an Anti-Semite and an Anti-Zionist, albeit, he draws the line differentiating legitimate and fair criticisms of Israel's policies from just being downright Anti-Semitic. He dismissed radicals from both sides of the conflict, those who are in his words "against peace".

Next week, for the first time in 5 years, peace talks will convene again, Israel, Palestine, and the US hope to reach a deal after nine months. With all the media attention on Israel's plan to continue building settlements, I can't help but remember what I've read in the book,

 written by Isabel Kershner August 12, 2013 in the New York Times

But Israeli officials have been blunt in rejecting criticism about their latest announcement. Mark Regev, a government spokesman, said Sunday that the housing “is in areas that will remain part of Israel in any possible future peace agreement. This in no way changes the final map of peace. It changes nothing.”

“This has been the position of all Israeli prime ministers,” Mr. Regev said Monday. He said that every peace plan that had been put on the table included Israel’s retention of major settlement blocs, with varying details. He said the Palestinian negotiators accepted it, too, at least privately, something they deny.

“Does any serious person believe Maale Adumim is not going to remain part of Israel?” Mr. Regev asked, referring to a large settlement in the West Bank, east of Jerusalem, where the Israeli government is marketing plots for nearly 100 new apartments. 

In today's age of slacktivism, with some segments of the internet demography dominated by lazy-gullible-bourgeois-decadent-citizens-of-advance-industrialized-countries for some it is easy to be myopic about certain things, and be overly-generalizing about complex issues,without evaluating the facts first, and setting the context properly. 

Israel is frequently held to different standards, while it is indisputable, that it was/is the one attacked/being attacked, rejected by undemocratic, misogynist, homophobic, despotic, racist, non-modern, states who attacked/attack it. Another indisputable fact is that Arabs (Christian or Muslim) and other minorities in Israel enjoy a much higher standard of living-compared to their non-peaceful neighbors, are represented in the Knesset (parliament) and also in the Supreme Court of Israel, and that given a choice, they would much prefer to live in Israel, and have made that fact and intention clear, that they do not wish to join any possible neighboring Palestinian state in the near future.

It's easy to forget (for others) that there is a reason why there are two official languages in Israel, Hebrew and Arabic, that Ben-Gurion, almost just after becoming Prime Minister ordered the sinking of Altalena for it contained weapons for the far-right Zionist paramilitary group Irgun (known for bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 and committing the Deir Yassin massacre), that Israel in 1994 banned Kach party, a far-right party for inciting racism and terrorism against Arabs, and Palestinians, and the list goes on.

After reading such a wonderfully written book complete with accounts of great cooperation among Israelis and Palestinians in status quo, I highly recommend this book in the words of Dershowitz " to those readers who seek the truth and who want long-lasting peace."


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