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Archive for the ‘Jewish reflection’ Category

I love the evolved Jewish commitment, that of tikkun olam, which I understand has two respects:

  1. The intimate internal commitment of personal depth, sanctity, integrity, balanced mindfulness, humility before/in relation to God
  2. The external commitment to healing of the world, of social relationships, to help others in their need, “to love thy neighbor as thyself”

All the time, every breath, every day, every week, every month, every year, every generation, every life.

In Jewish thought, there is the concept of the “Jewish soul” as special, even of special obligation, which on the surface seems to be a trivial racial privilege (not earned, but by birth). There is a more expansive way of relating to the concept of a Jewish soul than just that privilege.

In accounting theory (auditing), there is the concept of “substance over form”. In auditing, the concept is an attitude of skepticism that asks specific questions about whether a written lease is really a long-term financing agreement for example, with the consequences that rather than the form of the transaction defining a current expense, the substance of the transaction is the gradual payment down of a long-term debt. The IRS uses the term “facts and circumstances” to describe the same inquiry.

Spiritually though, I ask “what is really occurring?” So, for example, when Jews use the term “adonai” to refer to ONE/God, and Muslims use the term “Allah”, I don’t conclude that Allah is a false god, an idol. If the substance of their relation is the same then they are referring to the same.

Similarly with the term “Jewish soul”. What I call my “Jewish soul” is the part of me that seeks to heal, to maintain and improve relations, health, etc. So, those that express that part of themselves, and beyond what can be thought of an exchange, I describe to myself as having a kindred soul, a member of the “brit”, the conspiracy to transform the world to goodness.

I know people that think that the only scope of that mending the world happens in political relations, say in making peace, or in realizing justice in the world. But, I see the scope of that instinct/obligation to include all facets of life from the most intimate to most remote, of husband to wife, brother to brother, friend to friend, fair business exchange, governance, avoiding war, really literally “all my relations”.

So, I observe that almost everyone that I’ve met in my life has some element, in some degree, of the urge to make things whole, that it is a human characteristic, a native one, an instinct.

(In discussion with my local rabbi, he informs me that Jewish tradition does speak of the 10 lost tribes, that its not just in Indiana Jones movies, which says to me that anyone could be racially a Jew – mother’s mother’s mother’s mother, etc. It reminds me of the story in many traditions of great saints or even messiah hiding in the guise of a simple person, a stranger, a poor person, an ignorant person. An opportunity. A test of our sincerity.)

So, I read shacharit, mincha and maariv daily. Right now in me, the experience fans the flames of my universalistic interpretation of tikkun olam. I am reminded often (three times/day) of my real purpose, the sensitivities that serve that purpose are exercised, and I am made confident that if I sincerely try to do it, that I also land on my feet emotionally and economically.

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Prayer

I’ve started praying regularly, Jewish prayer, three times per day per rabbinic instruction and guidance.

Its changed me, for the good.

It gives scope to my expansive and imaginative side, and at the same time reinforces the sober promise of living well and kindly and confidently in the actual world.

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Chaos theory is a new area of math study that among other things attempts to navigate the areas where systems of logic conflict with one another.

The examples that I’ve been exposed to are physical, like an element reaching the boundary of a phase change, say like ice melting into water. The phase change itself represents the qualitative change from a material that operates under the relationships, rules, algorhythms of solids into a material that operates under the relationships, rules, algorhythms of liquids.

With phase changes, it is an either/or proposition. Either this material is a solid OR a liquid. There are composite/dissolved states, muds, but those separate out into solid components and liquid.

Waves hitting a beach is the other common example sited, in which there is either the presence of energy that maintains a distinct order, rule, algorhythm (waves), then hitting the threshold of the beach and changing to foam (random).

In ecology and more importantly to me, in psychology, collective psychology and social institutions, I consider one telling threshold to be the relationship of two dimensional norms, logics and three dimensional.

I personally see this playing out in political war, particularly presently in Israel/Palestine (that I think and write about frequently).

The two dimensional view is that every critical relationship happens on the ground. People speaking face to face, definition of property, borders, jurisdictions.

Who owns this property? (Two dimensions). What will influence us? (A line of communication in two dimensions, even through the blogosphere).

Most of our human lives are determined in two dimensions. We walk on the earth. Most of our thinking, even with our vanity that we are space age, and periodically fly in airplanes, or even just climb hills, is in two dimensions. Its a good thing. Its what we are largely.

But, a bird comes along, and drops what birds drop, containing a seed of a plant from another region. Or, a bee flies in with pollen.

Our self-c0ntained thinking is then confused. Even the presence of an influence that could have possibly crossed a land border is confusing.

In Israel/Palestine, I’ve often stated that shifting the theme to “loving the land” rather than “possessing the land” could make chaotic change. It would then have to recognize that others live there too, that two dimensional borders are an ecological imposition, that there are links that extend beyond the flat.

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There is an obvious reciprocal connection between racism that expresses in the form of collective attitudes, prejudices, and individuals. Individuals derive what “everybody” knows from their neighbors, and neighbors derive “what everybody knows” from us. We individually can affect the tenor of prejudicial attitudes, even if only incrementally.

The political signficance occurs when racism changes from prejudice to institutionalization of harms when applied by states or ideological or resistance political movements.

The stimulus for this series on racism was a discussion of Israel and Palestine which is widely described as racialist conflict.

Palestinian solidarity describe the conflict as a result of Israeli racism towards Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims. Many describe Zionism itself as racism, as the institutionalization of privilege based on racial screens, and encouraged through commonly held stereotypes of Palestinians and Arabs. They describe Zionism as racist in design, and amplified racist in application.

While it is painful to acknowledge, it is a truth currently in application, clearly in many areas controlled directly and indirectly by Israel particularly in the West Bank and Gaza, but also in the form of segregation and unequal access to the features of Israeli democracy.

It is difficult to distinguish which of the laws and policies originate in racist thinking and institutional relationships, and which originate in legitimate defense needs.

Sadly, the combination serves the various opportunist forces in the region. The presence and support for militant Palestinian factions, allows the Israeli state and the IDF to exagerate their fears into institutionalized suppression.

It becomes a tragedy, rather than a health.

Ideology institutionalized. Common fears institutionalized, not confronted particularly by any serious self-inquiring movement in Israel.

At the same time, virtually all of the reported Palestinian factions actively promote anti-semitic propaganda that to western eyes is trivially and ignorantly racist and violent.

I personally regard the slogan “Zionism is racism” as itself racist. The Jewish people are a people. Those that choose to assimilate into western society may choose to live and primarily identify elsewhere. Those that choose to settle as Jews with other Jews in Israel are a nation.

Those Jews that are a landed people, deserve to self-govern, rather than be governed by others. Those that identify as primarily civil in orientation, not national, can live successfully as minorities in other countries, or as part of a prospective single state. But, unless that comprises the vast majority of Jews in Israel, then anti-Zionism is also a form of suppression, of racism.

The history of the region, is of attempted ethnic cleansing responded to by attempted ethnic cleansing. It is not surprising that the majority of Palestinians regard the history of intentional settlement, then wars, then expansion as supporting the contention that “Zionism is racism”. And, it is not surprising that the majority of Israelis regard the history of intentional restriction of immigration, attempted ethnic cleansing in 1948 by Arab armies (Syria and Egypt moreso than Jordan), multiple wars, terror and confrontational low-violence agitation (not non-violent) as supporting the contention that “anti-Zionism is racism”

Too many in each community wishes that the other would just go away, and each institutionalize that sentiment in law, policies, actions. Racism opposing racism.

Very very few are seeking to heal the attitudes, to humanize them. There are many Israelis that continue to speak for Palestinian rights, but a small percentage of 15 years ago. There are fewer Palestinians that I’ve been made aware of, that speak in any measure against racism towards Israelis or Jews as Jews.

It is painful to see.

To confound the problem at reconciliation, Israeli and Palestinian communities are not free agents. In too many ways they are pawns or frontier proxies for larger geo-political efforts. Pawns are either expendible or held insenstively. “They can struggle. Better far from us.”

Israel is regarded by many Arabs and Islamics as the intrusion of western, ironically Christian, frontier into what was growing and unbroken chain of Islamic society (North Africa through Middle East, Central Asia, Southern Asia). And, many regard Israel as a proxy state specifically for the US superpower relations. (Shadow of the cold war, morphed into post cold war relations.)

Many Europeans speak of Israel in the “clash of civilizations” terminology also as the frontier for civil democratic states and institutions relative to apparently unsophisticated and/or tyrranical Islamic society. Others speak in more geo-political terms in strategic outposts to secure the supply chain for oil and now capital, now that the oil states are so prominent.

Now that China is becoming more predominant in the world economy, the former favored proxy role relative to the middle east is shifting east. China needs the supply chain of oil currently confidently and is on the fence whether and how to retain relations with both Iranian, Sunni Persian Gulf, and Indonesian sources of oil, however long the oil lasts.

Palestine/Israel is the tip of the pan-Arab society (the pet language/orientation of the Saudi monarchs). Palestine/Israel is the tip of pan-Islamic society.

Israel/Palestine is the tip of European society. Israel/Palestine is the tip of western democratic society.

Some versions of Zionism participate in the pan-democratic expansion enthusiastically. Thats how Netanyahu markets Israel to the world. Some versions of Zionism regard Israel as entirely independant, an island, and distrust both the European and the Islamic world.

All surfaces, compared to getting to know one another. On the ground community should overcome geo-political, if strong.

It would be wonderful if Israelis and Palestinians joined in asserting “We are not your pawns. We are people”.

Neither militant or ideological forms of Zionism or Palestinian nationalism adopt that view. Each are content to be more movement/ideology than person.

Ironically, some of the settlers do, and some of the ultra orthodox (not many). (I spent yesterday evening with a chabad rabbi who described for me his respect for the monotheism of Islam and how close in many ways Islamic theology was to Jewish – to the extent that he was aware, that that differed from the relationship of Christian theology to Jewish – also to the extent that he was aware.)

On a few other blogs that I post, because of my respect for Zionism as a potential, I am called racist. The equation “Zionism is racism”. You support Zionism (even in your own language of it, that differs from the current application). 

In sum, a=b and b=c, therefore a = c.

In contrast, I describe my effort as the OPPOSSITE of racism. Specifically, to adopt accepting views, accepting of my Jewishness and accepting of my participation in the Jewish community and support of Jewish nation (as irritating as that can be often). And, to accept the humanity of individual Palestinians and their collective right to similarly self-govern confidently and healthily in the manner that they find most useful and fulfilling for them.

Live and let live as the antidote to political expression of institutionalized racism. (Anarchy in the form of self-determination and mutual aid. Opposed to anarchy in the form of “smash the state”.)

I’ll do a fourth on my thoughts of the institutionalization of racism relative to other communities tomorrow.

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There are three aspects to racism.

1. Individual – How do I personally interact with individuals from different races and cultures? My personal attitudes are my personal responsibility. I express them. The consequences result from my own actions.

2. Social – What am I a part of? How do collective attitudes affect the experience of members of other communities? To what extent do stereotypes play in the society that I am part of? (Perpetrator, victim, witness, healer).

And what is the interaction of “I” to “we”.

3. Political/institutional – What is institutionalized politically? What attitudes get played out into affecting the decisions of acceptability of say going to war, versus not going to war; or how and whether to introduce a product/service/enterprise globally?

I want to emphasize that there are two+ status’ relative to racism or any social problems in all three spheres.

1. Perpetrator/Victim

2. Healer

In a nutshell, the purpose of inquiry into racism is NOT to justify one’s own prejudice and institutionalization, but to transform it.

“We” contrasts with them. I am part of tribes. I accept that and seek to participate effectively.

In contast there are two universal “we’s”. One is the universal “we” of undifferentiated commercial mush (global economy). The other is of  ideal spiritual humanism, universal citizenship (a potential in attitude, a fantasy objectively. We all associate into families, communities, tribes.)

In a nutshell, I’ve never found a setting where there was an absence of “we”/them.

Socially, I’m part of a few “we’s”. I am Jewish (“we” by my choice as well as external). I am a baby boomer (“we” by common time and context, accepted but not chosen). I’m formerly a hippie, member of the longhair psychelic community (“we” by former choice). I’m originally from the New York area (“we” by circumstance, not of my choosing, comfortable though). I’m college educated, intellectually oriented, prospectively elite (“we” by circumstance also). I’m American (“we” by circumstance). I’m white (“we” by circumstance. Those of color externally often seem to relate to me as “white”.)

The point is that there are some “we”‘s that I chose, and the formation of common attitudes on that basis are our responsibility in origination, continuity and affects on others.

There are some “we’s” that I was just born into, not particularly important to me except by residue. I am responsible for common attitudes in the sense that I don’t attempt to reconstruct them, if harmful to others.

And, there are some “we’s” that I am clearly part of, either by being a beneficiary or accepting, but that are primarily defined by others.

As my black friends are only superficially “black” to me personally (I see their faces, the happiness and/or pain and not their skin color.) I hope that I am only superficially “white” to them (again seeing my face, not my skin color).

I know that my black friends have experienced a stronger weight of how they are seen and how that is institutionalized. They have the same mix of “what is that we are, what is it that we are a part of, what do others project on us?”

I don’t spend much time with those that bear conspicuous prejudices, stereotypes, and have really never learned any of the “blacks are…”, or “Jews are …”, or “Chinese are ….”. I ignored it when I encountered it in family or community, all of my life. I’m both less prejudiced than many, and naive.

One exception is that dress does communicate to me. I see black, white, latinos wearing pants at their knees with a crooked cap, I think “drug dealer” or “gang banger”, certainly someone who doesn’t care and has no serious effort.

So, I do have ageism. I tend to wonder about young people. The cues from my youth aren’t there.

I know that prejudices exist though. In foreign countries, I am wary. Mostly that poor people scare me. Not that they are poor, but that I can’t rely on the affluence to indicate that I am free from violence towards me. I can’t tell who is hateful, from who is predatory (seeing me as a commercial mark), from who is friendly and trustable (and in what way).

I also know that what appears as prejudice doesn’t always originate as prejudice, even some generalizations about others. For some, the identification of a common enemy is what forms a community, as sad as that is. We don’t all possess the mature liberty to actually voluntarily form our relationships and communities.

In other situations, respectful identification of what is valued as important to the other community, devolves into prejudice. For example, among Muslim communities, (and orthodox Jewish) I’ve observed a pattern of family being important, even in urban cosmopolitan areas, and women are protected physically and from emotional intrusion. That has morphed into some contempt, some generalization that Muslim women are only subordinated. (Its true in cases, and not in others.)

Prejudices come out in times of stress. At my shul recently, we were victims of a extended embezzlement by a non-Jewish woman. I expected much prejudice against “goys” to be expressed. There definitely was some, but much less than I anticipated.

Among Jews my age, I do hear comments of fears of Arabs of Muslims. Similar to my fears, I believe that the majority of that is fear of the unknown, and fear of the possibility of hatred and violence. Those of us liberal Jews that have gotten involved in Israel/Palestinian peace efforts, have heard racially violent expression from some dissenters directed towards Jews in general, not only criticisms of policies. We don’t know how widespread the attitudes of contempt for Jews are among Arab and Muslim communities, and we often don’t know how to distinguish a threat from a criticism. (In academic settings, hateful rage is dilluted. The speakers hesitate to yell in deference to the setting, and they are a minority.)

“What do they REALLY think?”

I’ve personally been both harrassed at times, scared horribly, and also amazingly surprised and welcomed. I’ve been in very foreign settings, in the West Bank, Egypt and India, some known to be dangerous. I’ve experienced the dangers exagerated in the West Bank by worried Zionists, and some dangers naively dismissed by liberal ideologs.

Between Jews and Arabs, both think of themselves as victims. My sense is that many Arabs and Muslims are very sensitive to being scapegoated for 911 still, and the general tone and set of associations. It is true that the vast majority of Muslims and Arabs are genuinely just civilians, peaceful individuals and families just trying to live their lives, law-abiding.

It is always the dramatic exceptions that evoke the fears that prejudices are constructed.

I am personally a skeptic. I don’t buy what others tell me. I personally don’t look for cues  how to distinguish “them” from “us”, how to get along. That combined with self-inquiry, seems to be the tool that enables me to belong healthily, to not invest in prejudice in my association in the various “groups” that I participate in.

I wish kind skepticism were more universal. Tests of loyalty in times of stress is more the norm, identification of who is “us” vs who is “them”.

Tomorrow on politics.

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I’ve been invited to explore racism. The stimulus for the inquiry was a discussion on another blog, Mondoweiss,  by an old friend (I hope he is still), Philip Weiss, who has opened up a similar inquiry there.

I want to take this time to first explore what racism is, how it plays in my inter-personal relationships and how it gets expressed in collective consciousness and later in political policies.

In all respects, I’ve been a perpetrator or bearer of racist attitudes, a victim of racist attitudes, personally determined to break through racist attitudes, and a healer in some cases of racist attitudes.

I’ve perpetrated racist attitudes almost entirely in the form of keeping emotional distance, originating from a combination of unfamiliarity and fear. I don’t believe that I’ve actively encouraged racism really at any time in my life, towards anyone. I very easily and quickly see past the surface of skin or culture, to face and person.

I’m Jewish, and the context of the discussion originated in the inquiry into prospective anti-Arab racism associated with the institutionalization of harms to civilian Palestinians, and also public propaganda of Arabs associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

There is so much racism floating around, that its almost difficult to isolate and analyze. My family had similarly mixed attitudes to mine. My father and my mother had very different approaches. My father was outwardly offended by racist comments (really towards anyone) and would silently rage about it, rarely even talking about it to family (except my mother, whom he felt permission to argue with). In practise, he was kind, assertively so, forgivingly so. He had two experiences of black employees stealing from him. One was a long-time employee who stole $10,000 of merchandise from him annually over at least a ten year period. My mother spoke of him in the worst terms you could imagine.

The other individual was young. My father had grown to trust him to make regular bank deposits. At one point he skipped off with the money and disappeared. It was striking to me to hear the contrast between the language that my parents used referring to the two different individuals. Both my father and mother forgivingly stated that they understood the life-stress that he was under, and that he gave in in moments weakness, in contrast to the rage they felt of betrayal by their long-term employee.

The irony was that the man that stole over an extended period was more outwardly compliant, deferential. The young guy was more assertively black, clothing, outward support for more assertive black leaders.

May father also strongly supported civil rights efforts and legislation very early from my memory. (I don’t remember specifically – I was 5, but heard later that he had contreversially anti-racist opinions about proposed busing in our hometown in New Rochelle in 1960).

My mother was different. She expressed racist comments periodically, but when a real person needed her help, really in any way, she stood up and more vocally than my father (financially, legally, protection from insult). Growing up, a black woman cleaned our house regularly. She was both part of the household and definitively not, a household employee. Another neighbor visiting spoke of her derisively, and was never invited to our home again.

I knew very few non-Jewish people as a child. Fewer blacks. Prejudices broke down fast in the late 60’s, when everyone my age started smoking pot, and also playing music together. Color was nothing. There were some cultural divides, different networks of friends, different ways of speaking, reacting to things. It was new to have black friends, to go to black neighborhoods to hang out sometimes.

Race was a sensitive subject. We never talked through race, neither the liberal Jewish white community, nor with black friends. We mostly avoided the subject.

Still, us liberal Jews were afraid of black neighborhoods. We were afraid of Italian neighborhoods, not so afraid as feeling excluded from wasp neighborhoods, very afraid of the south (the murdered freedom riders – from our hometown, and Easy Rider, each imprinted).

I never met an Arab until much later. My uncle and others hated Arabs (some certainly prejudicial, some confirmed by hard experiences he told about very very briefly of his WW2 service in North Africa).

In the early 70’s and later, more and more of my black acquaintences and tentative-good friends, also became more aware of race, in the form of black pride and identification.

The things that progressively broke the racial hesitancy for me were just spending time, meditation itself and the experience of meditating with others from different communities, and most pronounced was relying on someone from another race or culture to defend me or protect me in ways, and vice-versa. That hastened the breaking through. Ironically, the same time that I was breaking through, my friends and acquaintances were just learning of black pride and identification. I was personally hurt that some of my black friends didn’t keep up contact after high school, but I accepted their growth path.

In the mid-70’s, when I was a zealous food coop advocate, I worked with a black preacher in my hometown to set up buying clubs. I had an agenda beyond social service, to convince everyone to become vegetarians.

I’ve used conspicuous flaunting of my “anti-racism” at times, as almost a form of racism. “One of my best friends is black”. True and also self-advertisment.

I had an Arab part-time study partner in business school. But, he was so refined, cosmopolitan and affluent, that he seemed “white” to me. He lied low entirely. He did not draw attention to his ethnicity, nor to mine. We just worked together on computer code and systems configuration.

Through the yoga/meditation group that I was associated for a long time, I did meet many non-white, non-western trustable individuals. People were encouraged to inter-marry racially (though few Americans did), and a few adopted black, Indian, South Asian children. Accepting people from different genetics or culture into ones home (especially with the deep and intimate trust of childhood) certainly obliterated any residual racial attitudes.

Family, friends, solidarity, spirituality, music, intoxication (pot) broke through racial superficialities for me.

Contact in a word.  Acceptance of skin color, of upbringing (I’m the only person I’ve ever met that had the same history as mine, that’s a joke, but also not), of emotions, of personal history, of social history.

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The unfolding of events in Gaza were close to my worst fears associated with civil disobedience. Nothing went right. Every party reported on, acted in ways that were negligent, inciting, futile.

Specifically,

1. Israel allowed the blockade to both occur at all, and to occur over an extended period (in spite of agreements during the 2008 truce which were kept to a higher degree by Hamas than by Israel, and the unilateral cessation of shelling by Hamas in the past year)

I am extremely critical and distrustful of Hamas. It embarrasses me to say that Hamas acted with more consistency and integrity than Israel.

One primary theme I present consistently is to look at reality from multiple perspectives and time frames. That Israel did not apparently coolly review their practice of maintaining the blockade, at all and the form of it, both from the perspective of effectiveness and morality, is a grave negligence.

There were other options, particularly greatly increasing the allowed transfers over its land routes that could be monitored carefully as a border.  It would have entirely eliminated the need for any flotilla by sea entry, and eliminated the “humanitarian aid” argument.

2. The fiasco of the manner of the confrontation with the Free Gaza flotilla. It will be discussed in Israeli and world press for a very long time.

Specifically, the ships could have been disabled underwater by relatively simple sabotage to the propeller, then towed into port. Instead, a frightening night-time raid with helicopters was undertaken with no element of surprise (consistent with a commando operation), nor advance communication with the dissenters on the boats (consistent with a policing operation).

The negligences led to inhumane and inneffective policies, and now extreme embarrassment to the point where many are challenging Israel’s legitimacy to exist as a state. (It is not just talk by a fanatic few, now.)

3. The hypocrisy of the claims of non-violence, stated by the participants and proponents of the flotilla. There is a horrid video circulating the web in which dissenters clubbed Israeli commandos (absurdly exposed militarily by being dropped by line onto the ship’s deck).

It lends credence (more than credence) to the claims by Israel that shooting occurred only on the basis of the commandos’ fears for their lives.

A perfect storm of negligence and indiscipline.

Its the old game there. Which story gets told? What starting point? All propaganda.

At the risk of sounding vain, I predicted all of this, that the civil disobedience wasn’t in fact non-violent, that the confrontation with the flotilla would be botched, that the engagement of Turkish flagged ships would be construed as a military assault on Turkey, that the event would be seen as parallel to the 1946-48 dramatic Exodus ships arriving in Israel.

I have to apologize for myself not practicing what I preach. Specifically, I (like the Israeli high command) did not review the policy of blockade from multiple perspectives. I was swayed in reaction to the dogmatism of dissent, and allowed myself to form positions in reacton rather than in thought.

But most importantly, there is still no practical proposal offered by dissent, US, EU, Arab League, Israel. There is no clear set of demands that can be conditionally evaluated, negotiated, applied.

There actually are pieces of proposals floating around published and web sources, but you have to dig to find them. The journalists (right-wing, centrist, or left) aren’t articulating them. Its still in the blame phase.

The only feasible proposal that has emerged, that I heard, came from Hamas of all sources, but prior to the confrontation. Saturday, an interview that Charlie Rose conducted with the Hamas leader Meshal (from Syria) was published. Meshal offered to allow a Gaza international port to be developed and managed by international supervision (not by Hamas). It was a surprise to hear.

I don’t hear any viable long-term proposals though. The status of Hamas as alternatively a militia/governance remains. The Palestinians are still not subjects of any sovereign state (neither Gaza, West Bank, refugee camps in Lebanon where even after 60 years residence they are denied citizenship). There is no reliable proposal for Palestinian unity government with any moderation within a two-state setting. Fatah and Hamas are still in a heightened state of conflict, though this will push Fatah towards a more militant stance, and possibly towards a unity government, but not likely a moderate one.

There is much talk even among otherwise sober and less fanatic dissenters for abandoning the goal of two-states for two-people, in favor of a single state from river to sea (but including Gaza). It would appeal to western sensitivities for a democratic civil state like modern western states, but without precedent in the region (maybe Lebanon, not a great precedent). And, it would be the end of Zionism as a state effort, the end of the dream of it (worth preserving), and of the current status of it (worth changing).

I think Zionism is important, Jewish self-governance, in protection from persecution and in its own right. But, if we don’t self-govern in a way that lives and lets live, it will and has devolved to suppression.

Politics born of anger are a car careening down a winding road, successfully moving forward fast, but ignoring exhaust fumes, road kill, bicyclists and pedestrians, and ignoring smelling the roses.

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