ISRAEL & PALESTINE: Smuggling Democracy

I smuggled in Jimmy Carter’s book. I wasn’t sure what scrutiny I might be under coming into Israel, and I didn’t want to chance being denied entry, so I hid the book, hoping it would elude any searches. When I mentioned this to a Jew,

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she was politely offended and assured me the former US president’s book is available here. When I mentioned this to a Palestinian, he shook his head, marveling at the

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chance I took. I haven’t yet read Mr. Carter’s book with the incendiary title Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. But, I am beginning to learn of the insidious ways Palestinians are subtly subjugated, and how ingrained this conflict is. Friday, I observed an all-Jewish group of college students discussing a document of

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moderate Palestinian proposals called “The Future Vision of Arab

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Palestinians of Israel,” which was signed by mainstream Arab leaders and released just 3 months ago. Through a one-way mirror, I eavesdropped on the 16 students’ reporting of their understanding of the document and of their break-out group’s negotiation process to draft principles for future Jewish and Arab relations. “Just the fact that they read this document means they’re far above their peers,” confided Nava Sonnenschein, director of Neve Shalom~Wahat al-Salam’s renowned School for Peace ( The document requested a dedicated budget to fund Palestinian cultural and educational endeavors, such as a university and a national theater. “If we give them a budget, it will give them power,” the students grappled. “We should give (the Palestinians) power,” reported one student, “but we should control it.” “Earlier, the students all agreed Palestinians should be treated fairly,” Sonnenschein said. But, when the discussion turned toward practical ways of making that happen, some students balked. It seemed easier to allow rights for individual Palestinians than for Palestinians as a group. This improbable conflict highlights the School for Peace’s conflict-resolution approach of recognizing the importance of collective rights, not just individual rights. “The (students’) concern is that the Israelis will become a minority,” Sonnenschein said. “That’s why the two-state solution is preferred.” One student concluded: “What is the higher price we pay if we continue this way? Isn’t a democratic state more important that a Jewish state?”

3 Responses to “ISRAEL & PALESTINE: Smuggling Democracy”

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  1. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

    • Khalide says:

      The 4th Geneva Convention does not apply to Gaza or the West Bank since at the time of ratification nhetier territory was under the jurisdiction of any state at the time. I am sure you are aware that Gaza was originally under control by Egypt while the West Bank was under Jordan’s control in which both at one point were invaded and occupied by IDF since the territories were used as platforms to launch attacks against Israel by Muslim states. Israel considers itself an authority in Gaza and West Bank as which is granted to an occupying power, is allowed and specified under the 4th Geneva Convention as well.In terms of the Six Day War that was not started by Israel but started by her neighbors. Prior to the conflict Israel was victim from attacks by terrorists it was discovered were being allowed to migrate through Syria. Egypt at first sent troops to the Sinai Peninsula due to an, admittedly, flase report that Israel was going to invade Jordan. Egypt later closed the Straits of Tiran considered an international water way at the time. Egypt then joined in the engagement due to a pact the country had with Jordan and Syria in which all 3 countries had military agreements with each other. Israel did start the fighting with an airstrike but the aggressions that lead up to the war were initiated by her Muslim neighbors. The reason for a lack of self determination by Gaza and West Bank Palestinians is simple, if they stop supporting terrorists and recognize Israel’s right to exist then the violence will stop. The Muslims not only refuse to but even reject any agreement geared to bringing peace to the region.To begin with I suggest you look up a man named Muhammad Amin al-Husseini. He was Yasser Arafat’s uncle and a Muslim cleric who ended up migrating to Germany and got a personal audience with Adlof Hitler. Husseini helped Hitler implement his Final Solution as well as raise Muslim regiments for the Nazis. When Nazi Germany fell he continued his activities helping to create groups like the PLO and Young Egypt Party which was a pro-Nazi organization. Among Young Egypt’s members were future Egyptian Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat.Nazism did not die with the defeat of Hitler but migrated to the Middle East thanks to Husseini in which you see Nazi influences in groups like Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood (whose founder Hasan al-Banna was a Nazi sympathizer) and Hizbullah.