Sunday, August 20, 2006

Next year in Jerusalem.

1) Leon Wieseltier, the editor of the New Republic whom I had a chance to meet while at university, once said "A bi-national state is not the alternative for Israel. It is an alternative to Israel."

2) Amos Oz, Israeli author and an advocate for peace whom I heard speak while at university, said
"There are no sweet compromises. Every compromise entails renouncing certain dreams and longings, limiting some appetites, giving up the fulfillment of certain aspirations, but only a fanatic finds compromise more bitter than death. This is why uncompromising fanaticism always and everywhere exudes the stench of death. Whereas compromise is in the essence of life itself.
The Torah says:
'Thou shalt opt for life.'
Let us opt for life."

Two brilliant men with a depth of knowledge on Israel, the history, the constant crisis. Two very, very brilliant points. I'm currently reading "The Case for Peace" by the author of "The Case for Israel," Alan Dershowitz. This book is inspiring, hopeful, positive, full of history as it needs to be told.

It's frustrating to recollect all the chances. The many, many chances that the Grand Muffti and Yasser Arafat turned down because -- as Palestinians seeking peace know -- they cared more about decimating Israel than about building a state for their people. The two-state solution at first favored Arabs, and ever since, the area has gotten smaller, and smaller. As Dershowitz points out, had the Palestinians agreed to the initial plan, they'd be sitting pretty.

But of course, the real question is Jerusalem. Should it be an international space? Should it be split as it already is, with jurisdiction going to the proper nation state? And what about the kotel? Is it POSSIBLE for two Monotheistic religions to set aside their claim for RIGHTS (which Dershowitz also does a great job dissecting) for the sake of opting for life?

If Mahmoud Abbas can set aside the demand of rights of history, and people can stop throwing in "Muhammad wasn't even ON the temple mount when they say he was!" and "Solomon's temple wasn't even IN Jerusalem" ... maybe something can be compromised. Either way, it's clear that a bi-national state is a suicidal compromise and opting for life is the only path of logic.

Why is a bi-national state suicidal? A bi-national state would rid the world of the Jewish people slowly, but surely. The nation would become quickly Muslim and Syria/Iran would quickly do away with the Jewish nation. While I feel firmly that the Jewish people is a people of prevailing all circumstances (Shoah, Inquisition, expulsions, wandering, antiSemitism), I also don't truly worry about a bi-national state ever being truly considered by Israel. It's the most illogical proposition ever. Luckily, only crazy, blindly antiSemitic folks and Noam Chomsky even discuss it anymore.

I feel confident in a 2-state nation. But Jerusalem. What DO we do about Jerusalem?