I’m glad the Doc/Peace rhetorical war has softened somewhat in recent posts. After all, Peace is what we’re all after.
Just a few simple remarks in response to some of Doc’s assertions in his "Re: Peace" post. First, it isn’t only Hezbollah, Hamas and "terror groups" arguing Israel is occupying Arab land. The United Nations and all governments in the world, even official Washington, have the same opinion. Israel is occupying the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. At the UN, in the language of the International Court of Justice, the world’s highest judicial authority, those territories are referred to as Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel acquired the territories in the 1967 war. All the UN resolutions refer to the illegality and illegitimacy of acquiring territory through war. Israel also illegally occupies the Syrian Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farms in Lebanon. So Israel is occupying Arab land – nobody disputes that. Now, to the question of whether Hamas, etc. consider Israel proper to be occupied Palestinian land. Of course they do. And they do have a compelling historical argument. But it doesn’t matter. Israel exists, it is a recognized state at the United Nations and therefore has all the rights accorded any state in the international system [Israel doesn’t have any declared borders which is unusual but the world considers Israel to exist within its pre-June 1967 borders]. To hit Doc with another analogy he won’t respond to, the Israeli government is comprised of political parties, including Netanyahu’s own Likud Party – the most popular Israeli political party, which consider all of Israel and all of the Occupied Palestinian Territories to be the Land of Israel. So Hamas considers all of Palestine to be Palestinian and Likud and Netanyahu’s other right-wing coalition partners consider all of Palestine to be the Land of Israel. So I ask you, why is Hamas singled out for rejecting the legitimacy of Israel when the leading Israeli parties do not recognize the legitimacy of a Palestinian state and are actively building settlements, annexing territory, and using US protection to carry out the actual wiping of Palestine and its people off the map?
Now if we’re going to be serious, the Palestinian Authority accepts a 2-state settlement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (50-some Muslim nations including Iran) accepts a 2-state settlement, the UN General Assembly votes overwhelmingly every year in support of a 2-state settlement, Hamas has indicated if the Palestinian Authority negotiates a 2-state settlement and a majority of Palestinians support it they will accept a 2-state settlement, Hezbollah has stated if the Palestinians accept a 2-state settlement they will accept it, all the Arab states have offered full recognition of Israel and normalized relations if Israel withdrew from all occupied Arab territories and agreed to a 2-state settlement, and I support a 2-state settlement. The two countries blocking a 2-state settlement are the United States and Israel. Israel refuses to give up the territories it illegally occupies, settles and annexes. So no peace. [And I was totally serious when I wrote it was cool if a Palestinian flag was flying at the Brooklyn Bridge – I’m in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and I don’t apologize for it.]
As far as Doc’s continued assertions that progressives and I support the establishment of an all-powerful government controlling every aspect of people’s lives – that just simply isn’t true. I support a small-d democratic government. I want a government and progressives want a government that functions democratically and performs for the people of the country. Progressives and I argue that the present government is not democratic. The present government is corporate. It is bought by huge corporations, large financial institutions and all sorts of private capitalist concerns. Members of Congress are bought, presidents raise billions of dollars from corporate institutions to fund their campaigns and government is run of, by and for the corporations. Progressives would like the corporate state replaced with a democratic state … and we’re baffled that the rest of the citizens, the so-called conservatives, do not want a democratic government. We can’t comprehend why Doc Bill and Republicans generally want oil companies, military-industry, Wall Street and other concentrations of wealth, power and privilege to run the government for their own benefit against the interests of the people of America and the world.
And I’m not going to apologize for the length of my recent posts. Doc is pretty prolific and sometimes words are necessary. But as I said at the outset I’m glad to see Doc finally acknowledging some of America’s past crimes. If he’s a religious fellow and I’m not that shouldn’t be all that divisive. I’m highlighting America’s Christianity and violence to try and show Americans that we should be more self-critical and see ourselves as part of a human race that isn’t all that different in its devotion to violence and fanaticism. Vilifying Muslims is just a recipe for perpetual war … do conservatives really want that? We should be humble, we should recognize our own responsibility for fueling the conflict and we should take steps towards peace, love and understanding. Thank you.