Palestine and Israel

A friend, who is strongly progressive, was born in Israel. Her parents moved to the US when she was twelve. Some years ago I asked her about Palestine. She said, “I was twelve. All I knew was they were Palestinians and they were trying to kill us.”

Another friend is Palestinian and was born in Israel. Because she was born in Israel and not the occupied areas, she can travel freely when she goes to Israel. Her relatives who were born in the occupied areas now live in prisons like Gaza. Some have been in the camps for years. She can visit them only with great difficulty, if at all.

Two good people. Both progressives. They’d probably like each other if they met. But if they were back in Israel they would almost certainly be on warring sides.

In my view, hardliner zealots like Hamas and Netanyahu don’t want peace. They benefit from war and are well-protected from its carnage. They aren’t the ones getting maimed.

However, there can not and will not be peace in the Middle East until Palestinians have a place to call home. And Israel’s reaction is, as always, massive and brutal overkill. But did Hamas think Israel would not respond in such a manner when the rockets reached Tel Aviv?


  1. Was it the rockets reaching Tel Aviv that started this latest brutal
    assault on the Palestinian People? This is nothing new, it is all a
    matter of degree, the Palestinians suffer at the hands of the Israeli
    government 24/7, 12 months of the year. sometimes it is low level and
    periodically it is overkill. Check the map of the Palestinian lands from
    1960 and see how it keeps diminishing year after relentless year. If
    this continues, in about forty years or so there will be no Palestinian
    lands , it will have been absorbed into that Zionist vision of a greater
    Israel on the lands that their God is supposed to have given them
    several thousand years ago. It is not politics at the root, it is religion.

  2. I have a friend, an American Jew, who was thrown out of Israel for her humanitarian work for Palestinians. I’m sure she would agree.

    I would merely note that once the cycle of violence gets started, no one in power wants peace. I would suggest that, if the theory holds, you would find that Hamas expects an upside to its own position as a result of Israeli attacks, and Netanyahu would almost certainly find a political upside against internal opponents as well. Thus, the two warring parties both benefit, because the real objective is not to defeat each other.

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