One story. Two narratives.
The Jews say: “Israel is our ancestral homeland. We were exiled from there when the Romans conquered it thousands of years ago, and we were subsequently scattered throughout many different countries, and we’ve lived in these other countries all this time, and now we’ve come back.”
The skeptics say: “Bullsh*t. You have no ancestral connection to Israel. You’re indigenous to all those other lands you’ve come from, descended from converts from those places.”
As I’ve said, there are some questions that have definite answers, and there are some questions that don’t. This is one of those questions that does have a definite answer… The Jews that are around today, have parents. And those parents had parents, and those parents had parents, and so on and so on and so on, and when you keep on marching further and further back in time, all of those ancestors of today’s Jews were living- somewhere… Where?
And I’ve said before that for some of the questions with definite answers, we know what those answers are, but for other questions with definite answers, we don’t know the answers. Well, this also happens to be one of those questions that we do, in fact, know the answer to.
Behold- from one of the premier scientific journals on the planet,
Well, how about that- turns out both sides have some validity to them: today’s Jews are descended from both ancient Middle Easterners, and converts from elsewhere. Gee, who would have ever guessed? But seriously folks, it really isn’t all that difficult to see the compatibility of the two narratives: it’s like if someone were to say, “I’m Irish and Italian”- this isn’t self-contradictory, because it could be true if say the person’s mother was Irish, and the father was Italian.
<SARCASM>But hey, who needs actual science, when we can just make up stuff, and then believe all the baseless stuff we make up?</SARCASM>
For the sake of argument though, let’s humor the skeptics, and say that Jews are 100% pure, lily-white Europeans, without so much as a molecule of Middle Eastern roots.
Why should this matter? By that logic, the Black and White South Africans ought to be permanently deadlocked in conflict, for if ancestry really mattered that much then this would automatically preclude any peaceful solution for that country.
But I don’t hear of the Black South Africans firing rockets, or bombing, or maniacally stabbing, or car-ramming, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc., against the White South Africans…
But, then again, the White South Africans have also gotten rid of apartheid… and South Africa is one unified country, not two…
So, where I’m at now: I want to be able to use South Africa as an example, because it negates the consideration of ancestry. However the use of South Africa in this way inescapably leads to comparisons regarding some challenging matters, and so these matters must be addressed in order for South Africa to legitimately qualify for my purpose.
First, “apartheid”… this term has rather unsavory overtones, and so should not be bandied about willy-nilly.
Perhaps the following can work as a test, for determining how applicable that term is with respect to the OTs under Israel:
Suppose the Rosenbaum family is living in a Jewish settlement in the OTs, and a UFO came along one day and sucked the entire family into its tractor beam, and whisked them all off to another galaxy. The Mohamed family, living in the OTs outside of the settlements, would love to purchase the now vacant Rosenbaum residence, and they have the money to do so.
Thus, the test: if the Mohameds would be allowed to buy and move into the Rosenbaum home, then everything is hunky-dory. But if they would not be permitted to do so, for no reason other than some restriction that only allows Jews to live within the settlements… well, that sure as anything seems like segregation to me. And so to whatever extent this sort of thing may be going on in the OTs, it must be done away with, just as South Africa did.
And now, item number 2- one state, versus two states…
This discussion really is unavoidable for me, because the “one state solution” is potentially a viable B, in that it could possibly satisfy my 2 requirements for B. This variety of B is the one favored among the hardcore Q2, BDS crowd. There is one thing about this movement that I am OK with, and that is their preference for non-violent methods: I recognize that “Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions”, is a hugely significant step in the right direction, from the ol’ standard, “Kill, Kill, and Kill Some More (and more, and more, and more…)” And moreover, that very same trifecta of economically based, non-violent tactics is what ultimately brought about the end of apartheid in South Africa.
However, I would prefer that the goal of these non-violent protests be limited to simply ending the Israeli policies that could rightfully be considered as segregationist. I am not in favor of their other demand- dismantling Israel, and then combining Israeli and the OTs into a single country… sort of how the now separate Czech Republic and Slovakia were once merged into Czechoslovakia, likewise the BDSers advocate for Israel and Palestine to meld together, into perhaps “Israpal”, or “Palael”, or something like that.
So, why I prefer two states, to one state: I basically feel that there’s too much uncertainty as to how successful a single, unified Israeli-Palestinian state would be. But what is by no means uncertain, is how much Israelis love having their own country: it’s overwhelmingly blatant how over-the-moon, exuberantly ecstatic Israelis are about having Israel as their very own sovereign nation. So based on this, I would anticipate that the Palestinians would also love having a country all of their own, and so the best case scenario that I can foresee is for the Palestinians to also be granted the opportunity to have this same joy that the Israelis now have.
OK, maybe I made that too easy for myself… I mean, isn’t it high time we moved past all this emphasis on race? It isn’t necessary to always couch things in those terms. How about the fact that the Jewish settlements in the OTs, are illegal under international law? And that for repeatedly violating this law, Israel has enough UN resolutions against it to choke a horse? And now here I am saying that the Jewish settlers presently in the OTs, should be allowed to remain living there???
It’s not faaaaaaaaaaiiiiiir…
I had a strong feeling from the very outset, that of all that I’m proposing, this is what would garner the most opposition. So, why should the Palestinians accept the presence of the Jews that are currently on their land?
Because they’re so superbly magnanimous, that’s why. You “talk the talk”, now “walk the walk”.
Butbutbut… butbutbut… the other guy-
I don’t give a good goddamn what “the other guy” is, or isn’t doing. Why not “take the high road”, towards the compromise point, regardless of whether the other side is doing the same?
Ah yes, COMPROMISE– the warm fuzzy underpinning of peace, where both sides agree to give up something, because they reach the understanding that having peace is better than having whatever it is they’re giving up.
Published in 2016 by Sandra Goldstein.