Magazine article Tikkun

Strategies for Middle East Peace

Magazine article Tikkun

Strategies for Middle East Peace

Article excerpt

Strategies for Middle East Peace

Stop the violence! We deplore the Hamas terror attack on Israeli civilians at a nightclub in Tel Aviv(and we are glad the PLO and Arafat also immediately condemned them). We deplore the killing of Israeli settlers. We send our love and care to all the families of the victims. We beg the Palestinians to stop these attacks, just as we beg the Israeli government to stop its daily acts of violence and degradation against the Palestinian people (newly documented in a B'Tselem report which you can find on our website, www.tikkun.org).

We've long advocated that the Palestinian people explicitly renounce violence, condemn those Hamas terrorists who have a religious commitment to it, and follow instead the path of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. We believe that the Israeli people still retain sufficient moral decency to change their ways once they feel secure, and a proven record of nonviolence would develop that sense of security. But as long as the institutionalized violence of the Occupation persists, and daily acts of humiliation against the Palestinian people are matched with acts of IDF-protected violence from the settlers, the Palestinian people are not going to be convinced to turn to nonviolence.

Don't be confused by the public relations jockeying going on in the media. All the talk about the Mitchell Commission being implemented or not is irrelevant. We support an end to the violence, but an end to the violence that would leave the settlements in place, a few million Palestinian refugees with no way to get compensation, and an Occupation continuing in all its vicious brutality would not really be a solution to anything. We have to recognize that the Occupation and the settlements are in their essence institutionalized violence, so it makes no sense to ask one side, the Palestinians, to stop their struggle while the occupiers remain in place.

For the time being, both sides are locked in place and nothing is going to change. We are going to face a cycle of violence that will condition fears and hatreds for the next generation.

The only real hope in this context is for some outside force to intervene. If the United States were to use its political and economic muscle, it could stop the fighting, force an end to the Occupation, and a settlement of the Palestinian refugee problem in a way that protects the Jewish character of Israel and yet allows some Palestinians to return. …

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