Sunday, June 20, 2010

Existence vs. co-existence

When debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in writing or in person, any number of issues are available for debate: borders, Jerusalem, the two-state solution, the status of West Bank settlements.

These topics are worth discussing among individuals who support the existence of a state of Israel in its current location, with final borders to be determined. Unfortunately, there are far too many partisans who claim to be Palestinian rights or human rights activists who advocate for Israel's destruction.

There are several explanations for this deep-seated anti-Israel, antisemitic sentiment. For some (millions?), it is purely religious. They believe Jews have no right to live in the Middle East, much less run a country on some of the most sacred land on earth. Anti-religion leftists and socialists cannot accept a country that has so successfully wedded religion, democracy and a thriving capitalist economy. And the Jewish anti-Zionists are deeply ashamed, rather than proud, of the beacon of hope and democracy that Israel, the Jewish state, represents.

Just as it is difficult or impossible for a Zionist to have a civil debate with someone who advocates Israel's destruction, one wonders how Israel is expected (demanded?) to negotiate peace with groups that declare her destruction as their solemn reason for being.

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