by Ed Felien
How many pictures of small children lying dead in the streets, killed by an Israeli or Hamas or Hezbollah bomb, must we see before it is enough?
Violence begets vengeance which begets more violence. The madness spirals out of control.
Did the current round begin when Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier, or did it begin when Israel occupied Palestinian land, or did it begin before that? Or does it matter? The only thing that matters now is that it must end.
There will never be a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem that will
completely satisfy both sides, but perhaps the most sane and balanced proposal
in recent memory comes from Rabbi Michael Lerner writing in Tikkun last Sunday,
July 16. He proposes five points to guide settlement of the conflict:
boundaries for both states that roughly resemble the pre-1967 borders, with
some border adjustments mutually agreed to along lines developed in the Geneva
Accord (Israel incorporating some of the border settlements into Israel, in
exchange for Israel giving equal amounts and quality of land to the Palestinian
Sharing of Jerusalem and its holy sites, with each side entitled to establish
their national capital in Jerusalem, Israel to have control over the Jewish
and Armenian quarters plus the Wall and adjacent territory, and Palestine to
have control over the Temple Mount with its mosques.
All states participating in the International Conference would dedicate one-tenth
of 1% of their GNP toward an international fund for reparations for Palestinians
who lost property, employment or homes in the period 1947-1967, and to Jews
who fled from Arab states in the same period (however, reparations will not
be paid to any Arab or Jewish family with current gross assets of more than
$5 million dollars).
joint Israel/Palestinian/ Internation-al Community police force will be set
up to enforce border security for both sides. The U. S. and NATO will enter
into a mutual security pact for both parties guaranteeing that each side will
be protected by the U. S. and from any assault by the other or by any assault
from any other country in the world.
Creation of an Atonement and Reconciliation Commission which will unveil all
records of both sides, bring to light all violations of human rights on both
sides, bring formal charges against those who do not confess their involvement
in those violations and testify to the details, and supervise a newly created
peace curriculum for all schools and universities aimed at teaching reconciliation
and nonviolence in action and communication. The explicit goal of this Commission
will be to foster the conditions for a reconciliation of the heart and a new
understanding on the part of both peoples that each side has been cruel and
insensitive, and need to repent, and that both sides have a legitimate narrative
that needs to be understood and accepted as a legitimate viewpoint by the other
Felien is publisher of Pulse of the Twin Cities and Southside
See also "Iraqi
Voices: a Minneapolis refugee and a Baghdad blogger" by Lydia
Howell and "Majdi
Wadi and the hope of immigrants" by Ed