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Uri Katz
  • Uri Katz
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

How do we make peace between Israel and Palestine?

Lets take it for granted that both sides are to blame in this conflict, and neither is going to disappear off the face of the earth any time soon.
Answers like "make love not war" would without a doubt work, but I am hoping for a little more substance.
If, like me, you think peace is only achievable in a distant future, but we have to begin working on it now, that is something I would like to hear, especially what we should be doing now.
If you know of a faster track to peace, all the better.

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Closing Statement from Uri Katz

I would like to personally thank all the participants in this conversation.
I think we all recognized the immense difficulty this problem poses. At the same time, most people acknowledged that there is plenty that can be done, not all hope is lost.
Here are a few answers I collected. This is not a summary, only a list of the suggestions I think have the greatest potential to lead to peace. Each stands on it own, but together they have the most power. If we start implementing these ideas, sooner or later the reality in the region will change and a more direct path to peace will become apparent:

1. Instead of broadcasting yet another suicide bomber, give peace a chance by trumpeting every peaceful attempt by both sides.

2. Deflate the issue so that people see it not as cultural & religious issue, but as a localized dispute over resources and land. Then we can ask what a just division of these would be.

3. Recruit moderate religious leader.

4. Understand the other side as best as possible. How are they different? How we are they similar? Make sure your education is fact based and not propaganda.

5. Teach and practice forgiveness, which is key to all true conflict resolution
Also practice: Tolerance, Compassion, Acceptance, Appreciation

6. Remove all hate, and all us-them mentality, from school syllabuses.

7. Both side need to stop looking at themselves as victims. They are not victims of each other or of the larger world. They should take responsibility for their lives and actions.

8. The blame game does not help.

9. Historical arguments are usually used to advance one sided justification for violence and war, as such they are ineffective in the struggle toward peace.

10. Create joint projects such as competitive sporting events.

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    Feb 5 2013: Understanding the other side should be the first step I think. As a Muslim, Jewish people has always been a mystery to me.I don't know why certain people hate them without even considering what Judaism is really about. I started to read about Jewish people, their religion, culture, history etc.I was surprised to learn so many similarities between Islam and Judaism.We are practically like siblings.We might differ in certain things but we come from one light I might say.

    I think if people would start to learn about each other backgrounds, we will understand that we are actually all the same.This leads to better understanding and eventually, peace.
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      Feb 5 2013: I like your idea and wonder if there is anyway to utilize the www to this end. Something like a Kahn Academy for history.
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      Feb 7 2013: It is the similarities that account for the hatred of the sons of Hagar for the sons of Sarah. The key to peace between Muslims and Jews does NOT lie in historical similarities. Malaysia is the homeland of virtually zero Jews. Thanks largely to Mahthir Mohamad, your 4th Prime Minister, who was less-than-sympathetic to Jews, to put it mildly. Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" are on prominent display at your capital's airport. If we try to bring peace between Muslims and Jews by calling them siblings we will fail more dramatically than we have up to now. I commend your open-mindedness and your rejection of handed-down hatred. But if you hope to bring understanding of, and compassion for, Jews to the world of Islam it should be on the basis of differences, not similarities. All the best to you!
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    • Feb 11 2013: Interesting idea; how about developing it further? Under the post WW1 Mandate, there was neither Israel nor Palestine. Both were sort of supervised by the British. We could update the Mandate scheme via the UN. Let all the countries with colonial experience volunteer to enter a lottery for who should administer the area.
      The Loser would be honored with the responsibility. Perhaps for a fee, which would surely be less than the cost of the present "War", or whatever it is callled.
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    Feb 11 2013: Peace can only come from the small man looking at his opposite looking back at him with his family aswel. It will not come from the UN or the US or anyone but them.
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    Feb 10 2013: Here's a start on... the right path:

    https://www.facebook.com/IsraelLovesPalestine
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      Feb 10 2013: Already a member, but I encourage others to join as well, even if you are from other parts of the world. Show you support peace!
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    Feb 8 2013: I'm an Australian of Scottish descent and an atheist. I find the behavior of both sides in this conflict disgraceful. But from the point of view of a total outsider I find it very hard to accept the Israeli version of defence where you defend yourself against random rocket fire and stone throwing youths with tanks and jet fighters.
    • Feb 10 2013: So, following your strange reasoning If Israel covered the whole Gaza strip with random rockets it would be OK since that is what Gaza does? I have the feeling that you would have an objection to your scheme too.
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        Feb 10 2013: Essentially yes. If isael returned fire with what would be considered reasonable force in a court of law I would have no objection. If someone threatens to shoot me with a hand gun and I kill him first with my hand gun I can argue self defence. But if I kill him and six of his friends with a machine gun I am in trouble.
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      Feb 10 2013: What would you do if they were firing rockets at you and blowing up in your shopping malls? I ask this not to excuse Israeli aggression, but because a fresh point of view with new ideas is sorely needed.
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        Feb 10 2013: I would return fire proportionately. From an outside perspective I find it hard to accept the fact the there are ten times more casualties on one side than the other. The apparent over reaction by the Isareli forces also does damage to the reputation of all Israelis and gives the Arab world something to bring up in the media.
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          Feb 11 2013: How about not returning fire at all?

          "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head..."
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        Feb 11 2013: Arkady I agree wholeheartedly but when it comes to international relations returning fire seems to be inevitable.
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          Feb 11 2013: ...unfortunately. I think, this is why religion and politics do not mix well. Politicians who practice "turning the other cheek" are truly appreciated only postmortem. Most prefer to crucify rather than be crucified.
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      Feb 7 2013: I love this idea: "Rather than hearing constant broadcast of yet another suicide bomber, give peace a chance by trumpeting every peaceful attempt by both sides."
      However, I do not think all the responsibility lies with Israel. There is no reason why the Palestinians should not be expected to make an effort to change their fate, and why they should not be held accountable when they resort to terrorism. The victim mentality is degrading and harmful. That is not to say Israel is not a guilty party in this ongoing war.
    • Feb 11 2013: Kate: your suggestion is ingenious, but the Israelis have already rejected it, since they are well aware that they would be outvoted in such a state. Indeed, this idea was already tried out , one might say, in the British run "Mandate of Palestine" State set up after WW1, up to 1948. The main protesters of this were Jews; I hope I will not be considered an anti Semite by pointing out that the Haganah , etc. were "Terrorist" organizations then , with such exploits as blowing up a British hotel with a hundred or so civilians in it. But, "History" is written by the winners. The only problem is that the Arabs do not now, and probably never will , admit that the war is over ,, and they have lost. Incidentally, this whole scheme of calling critics of Israel "Anti-Semitic" is silly, since Arabs are just as Semitic as Jews are.
  • Feb 12 2013: get out of the west bank, lift the blockades, and *then* severely punish any palestinians who think they still have a reason to attack.
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    Feb 10 2013: by keeping our noses out of Der businesses.
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    Feb 8 2013: How do WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE WE make peace?
  • Feb 8 2013: We have an opportunity to learn from this conflict. In fact if we don't learn from this we are destined to repeat it. I see this situation as being like a family household. The human mind is made of 3 parts; the parent, the adult and the child egostate. This is actually healthy unless someone is getting hurt. In that case it becomes 'sick'. The rule is 'don't hurt anyone'. It's a very simple rule that should apply to any religion or political background. Both sides see themselves as victims. It is sick to see yourself as a victim because it relives injury. It is masochistic and hurtful. It breaks the rule of 'don't hurt anyone' because victims hurt themselves by wearing their badge of hurt with childlike pride for their parent's approval. The suicide bomber is the ultimate representation of a self-destructive child. It's like when we were children and we wanted our parents ruling as judges in order to win our case. What we forget to teach is forgiveness and that is the key to all true conflict resolution. I would ri-iterate what Kate and Uri said below. I loved the FB page that Kate talks about. It represents the 'loving child' egostate. We need an Arab spring movement along these lines.
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      Feb 10 2013: "The human mind is made of 3 parts; the parent, the adult and the child ego-state. This is actually healthy unless someone is getting hurt. In that case it becomes 'sick'. The rule is 'don't hurt anyone'.

      It is sick to see yourself as a victim because it relives injury. It is masochistic and hurtful. It breaks the rule of 'don't hurt anyone' because victims hurt themselves by wearing their badge of hurt with childlike pride for their parent's approval.

      It's like when we were children and we wanted our parents ruling as judges in order to win our case."

      The only resolution is acting out of "the 'loving child' ego-state."

      Greg, you took the words right out of my head :-) THANK YOU!
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    Feb 11 2013: i am still of the people that have a childish dream that with only the desire of make the peace become real it can be possible. But i know that the world is very complex so i think that the world need leave the male chauvinist think in which is the battle of alpha male destroying the rest of the world, they dont find a solution of his problems that wasnt kill others, like Isabel Allende said in her talk, the world need a circular resolution, a democratical solution, we need put both thinks in order to bring a solution, the messange that i'd send to them is they should avoid kill more people, destroy theirs economys and they should have tolerance with others thoughts. All are humans thinking that we have the better solutions but really in very few cases the violence works. (sorry for my english)
  • Feb 11 2013: Edward : the reason for bringing up England is because it is simply not accurate to say that Arabs have a (longstanding)burning hatred of Jews. They are well aware that the Jews are their cousins, just like the Brits are ours. The vicious conflicts of the present in the Middle East are very recent, Before WW1, they didn't exist. And the reason for the "burning hatred" is that they feel that they have been mightily swindled by the West , for the benefit of Jews, and that they are not in a position to do very much about it, even though we are all dependent on Oil. Which they might be forgiven for considering "theirs".
    As to how knowledge of this might bring Peace, consider the brilliant advice of Pope John Paul: "If you want Peace, work for Justice". Exactly. The Arabs would forget about their burning hatred if they should ever get "Justice" But in the present political scene, no such possibility is even considered by the West and Israel. It is considered that either the Israelis won their war, and seized territory, Fair and Square, or alternatively, that the UN had the right to give away Arab territory without consulting the inhabitants. It is hard to reconcile either idea with the usual ideas of "Justice". So in the meantime, the Arabs are just saying, "the war isn't over yet".
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      Feb 11 2013: Who was behind the Balfour Declaration?
      "The Balfour Declaration may be the most extraordinary document produced by any Government in world history. It took the form of a letter from the Government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, the Government of the largest empire the world has even known, on which -- once upon a time -- the sun never set; a letter to an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild who had been made a peer of the realm.
      Arthur Koestler wrote that in the letter "one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third." More than that, the country was still part of the Empire of a fourth, namely Turkey.

      Support for a "national home" for the Jews in Palestine from the government of the greatest empire in the world was in part a fulfillment of the efforts and scheming of Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), descendant of Sephardim (on his rich father's side) who had published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) in Vienna in l896. It outlined the factors which he believed had created a universal Jewish problem, and offered a program to regulate it through the exodus of unhappy and unwanted Jews to an autonomous territory of their own in a national-socialist setting."
      http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

      http://www.mideastweb.org/mebalfour.htm

      "There are different theories about why the British agreed to issue the Balfour declaration when they issued it. Some of these "theories," such as the claim that "Jewish money interests" were being courted to help float a loan for Britain or bring the United States into the war are racist inventions. Nonetheless the exact circumstances of the declaration are unclear. One possibility is that the declaration was deliberately contrived to allow the British to renege on earlier promises to France and the Arabs regarding Palestine. Lloyd George reportedly said that British control over Palestine would prevent it from falling into the hands of the agnostic atheistic French."
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      Feb 11 2013: In 1922, Churchill tried to hint broadly that a "national home" was not necessarily a state. According to Lloyd George, however, the meaning was clear:

      There has been a good deal of discussion as to the meaning of the words "Jewish National Home" and whether it involved the setting up of a Jewish National State in Palestine. I have already quoted the words actually used by Mr. Balfour when he submitted the declaration to the Cabinet for its approval. They were not challenged at the time by any member present, and there could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in their minds. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a National Home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth. The notion that Jewish immigration would have to be artificially restricted in order to ensure that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the heads of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing. (Memoirs, pp 736-7)
      • Feb 11 2013: Everybody forget the essential item of the Balfour Declaration: It was just a declaration. If I say at this moment it is day light and not night darkness. This is also a declaration but at least it is true and one can go around outside and not walk into a wall by mistake. The Balfour declaration resulted in nothing, nada,
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          Feb 12 2013: It would be correct to say it resulted in very little by itself , but it framed the conversation going forward. The Rothschilds' involvement in a Jewish homeland is evident in many ways from this point forward.

          In the late-19th century, persecution of Jews in Europe followed by the creation of the Zionist movement, led to international support for the establishment in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people on the site of the ancient kingdoms. Following the British conquest of Syria, the Balfour Declaration in World War I and the formation of the Mandate of Palestine, Aliyah (Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel) increased and gave rise to Arab–Jewish tensions and a collision of the Arab and Jewish nationalist movements. Israeli independence in 1948 was marked by massive migration of Jews from both Europe and the Muslim countries to Israel, and of Arabs from Israel leading to the extensive Arab–Israeli conflict.[1] About 42% of the world's Jews live in Israel today.

          Edmond de Rothschild financed two of the original settlements in Israel, Rishon LeZion in Tel-Aviv and Zikhron Ya’akov in Carmel. By 1934, the year of Edmund de Rothschild’s death, 125,000 acres of land and more than 40 settlements were purchased under the auspices of the Rothschild’s Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA). Edmond de Rothschild became known as the “Father of the Yishuv” because of his involvement in early Israeli settlements.
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      Feb 11 2013: "Soon after the Balfour Declaration was issued, it became clear to the British that it was inconvenient to implement a "National Home" for the Jewish people in Palestine. None of the persons who had issued that declaration in 1917 were in power. Britain had meanwhile, reneged on their commitment to give Syria to the Arabs, in favor of their commitment to give Syria to France based on the Sykes Picot agreement. The Hashemites were no longer in power in Saudi Arabia either. The Mandate had created intense resentment, and riots had occurred in Palestine in 1920 and 1921. Motions were raised in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords to repeal the Balfour declaration. The motion was defeated in commons with the help of Churchill, Ormsby Gore and others, but it was felt that a compromise would be necessary. The "as implemented" mandate would be somewhat different from what the Zionists and the framers of the mandate had envisioned. Churchill, possibly with the help of Herbert Samuel, was given the thankless task of reframing the mandate in such a way that it would placate the Arabs, but still give Britain an excuse to keep Palestine from the French in the form of the "homeland for the Jewish people"

      The British government decided to detach Palestine east of the Jordan river, constituting most of the area of Palestine, and form the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, as shown in the map at right."

      http://www.mideastweb.org/1922wp.htm
  • Feb 11 2013: I think it would be better to focus on leaving the world a better place for everyones children.
  • Feb 10 2013: There will never be peace, forget it! Arab states got rid of all the Jews. They are safe absorbed by Israel. The Arab refugees Arab states created are not absorbed because they use them as weapons to destroy Israel. Get used to it. Have you ever heard voices of peace in any Arab state? It is practically unanimous. Yesterday one journalist wrote that they should look at Israel to learn to have states speaking of Israel’s successes. The hate mail he received! Will he continue living? You are a blind man “They have eyes and they won’t see” was written for you. There will never be a time when Arab state do not want to destroy Israel. In fact Arabs regard any land that once was ruled by Islam as a land that must in time return to Islam. Israel is first on the list then comes Spain, Sicily, the Balkans. The rest of the world is targeted to have to “submit” to Islam. Keep dreaming!
    • Feb 11 2013: Albert: Keep calm. Your references to Arab history are seriously mistaken. Arabs are related to Jews , after all,, and the Koran mentions them favorably. The Arab empire treated the Jews very much better than Europe ever did. And your idea about what consitutes "Arab Land" is eerily reminiscent of what the Israeli"s claim about the extent of "Israel Irredenta".
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      Feb 11 2013: I can't stand intolerant people...
      • Feb 11 2013: I quote Arab political scientists when I say that Israel, Sicily and Andalous are lands that have to return to Islamic rule in the future, not me. The land of Israel it is true is the home land of the Jews, not New York or Rome. You probably live where you have way much history than Jews have in Israel. Jews in Arab land had to pay the Jizia, a special tax to be able remain Jews or convert to Islam. A Jew could never win a court of law against a Muslim. You are right it was a bit better than in lands of Christianity but not by much.
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      Feb 11 2013: How is this an answer to the question? Be creative: what would it take to create peace?
      See this link for example of Muslims who do not want to destroy Israel or Spain (admittedly Persians, but we can find some Arabs supporting this cause as well): http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html. Making the mistake of letting Al Qaedai speak for all Muslims is intolerant.
  • Feb 10 2013: It follows that nothing Israel can do since “The Palestinians” have two charters spelling exactly their aim: The destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. Of course, Abbas doesn’t recognize The Jewish State he wants destroyed. So to answer your question let me be very Jewish. Why do you ask me? Ask The Palestinians and the rest of the Arab universe. Israel, in order to get peace gave away land a few time it’s actual size and got what in exchange? Missile rain, terror that includes slicing a baby’s throat for being Jewish. Israel should do what it has done up to now defend itself because as Golda saw it: When Arabs put down their guns there will be peace. If Israel put’s down it’s guns there won’t be an Israel. It is real simple. Now let me ask you something too. Why are you concerned about Israel? Do the Kurds deserve a little bit of your attention? What about the Africans suffering from the Arabs in Darfur? What about the Cypriots cleansed out of north Cyprus and replaced by imported Turks? Tibet? I can go on and on but I won’t. I read “the concern” about “The Poor Palestinians” who in fact relish terror to the point of naming streets in the name of mass murderers and paying them salaries while in Israeli jails while crying that they have no money. So? Uri? Have you got no shame?
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      Feb 10 2013: I am concerned with Israel because my family lives there. When rockets where fired at Jerusalem a few months ago, I had to take shelter. I thought my name would be a dead giveaway, but everybody keeps asking why I am meddling in other people's affairs.
      I know there are plenty of atrocities elsewhere, plenty of holocausts and wars that have nothing to do with Jews. I also know that a conflict is extremely hard to understand from the outside. Darfur, Tibet, Cyprus, etc. are all sensitive issues and if there were 3 or 4 of me I could make a small effort to promote peace there as well.
      To answer a few of your remarks: 1) Israel gave up more that its own size for peace with Egypt that up to this day has proven extremely beneficial to it (only time will tell what the new regime will do); 2) Not all Palestinians are evil terrorist, some of them (the majority I hope) just want to live full productive lives with their loving families. This is a fact so stop arguing about it! 3) Any route towards peace will have to eradicate terrorism, which has no excuse whatsoever, but its better to forgive and love than hate and fight. 4) Israel cannot put down its guns today, but wouldn't it be great if it could tomorrow. 5) My only shame is that it took me this long to start getting involved.
  • Feb 10 2013: I am a big fan of Einstein and I was reading one of his correspondence where he said he was going to visit Palestine. When did the state of Palestine stop existing?
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      Feb 10 2013: When the state of Israel was formed I guess. Forward your complaints to the British :-).
      For my part, I was born long after all that, and I hate to harp on the mistakes of my predecessors, I'd rather focus on leaving the world a better place for my children.
      • Feb 11 2013: Native Americans should forward their complains to the British as well. Liberians should forward their complaints to the Americans. African Americans should forward their complains to governments who benefited from the slave trade. It is easy to consider crimes complaints when some else is the victim. No ones pain as a victim should be forgotten because this is the seeds of violence.

        There is no forward on a circle of violence and selective issues that should never be forgotten. Everything on a circle is backwards so we must learn and address the issues of the past.
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    Feb 8 2013: "We" cannot "make peace between Israel and Palestine."
    They have to forge the peace between themselves.
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      Feb 10 2013: "WE", as a world community, can and must provide the moral support that any two people (nations) need in order for peace to be conceived and thrive.
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        Feb 10 2013: Haven't we, the US, been at this since forever? Forging a peace with Israel caused Anwar Sadat his life. A peace could be declared today by the leaders, and people would still continue fighting each other.
        The "world community" is who, mostly western corporate interests? Most of the world Africa, India, the Far East, pays little attention to these two groups. And clearly, there are some nations that have no interest in a peaceful settlement to the Middle East conflicts.
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      Feb 10 2013: I'll rephrase the question, how would you make peace if you were a citizen of one of the warring nations? You can answer from the point of view of either or both.
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        Feb 10 2013: I would rope off Gaza and declare it to be a part of New Jersey.
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        Feb 10 2013: Hi Uri,

        There is only one way for peace:

        Tolerance -----> Compassion -----> Acceptance-----> Appreciation

        "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." (Mother Teresa)

        Solution A ) RONNY EDRY SHOULD BE THE PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL.
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          Feb 11 2013: Solution "A" makes as much sense as my joking response. Loving your enemy does not stop them from killing you.
          Maybe Ronny Edry SHOULD be the president of Israel, but why isn't he?
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        Feb 11 2013: Thank you Theodore :-) and what an Excellent question:-)

        ❤Ask yourself and all others this my friend: Maybe it is time to stop making visionary geniuses ride in the back of our bus, while we place myopics in our driver seat.

        http://www.ted.com/talks/martin_seligman_on_the_state_of_psychology.html

        " Man's infinite appetite for distraction will ruin us" (Huxley)....Which appetite do we choose to feed?

        You don't have to be a minority to Be kind Dear Sir.
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          Feb 11 2013: Even Seligman has back away from "positive psychology." But that's not the topic here.

          I envy you your innocent view of the human kind and the world.
          No one is "making visionary (so call) geniuses ride the back of the bus" as you have put it.
          The reason Ronny Edry is not the president of Israel is because he never ran for the office.
          Similarly, we do not place "myopics in our driver seat," they get elected by others that do not share your views.

          Please don't take this the wrong way. I am a strong supporter of Karen Armstrong's call for a more compassionate world. Visit the "Charter for Compassion." It is a great concept that TED help to fund. How many have signed the charter, inform us?
          http://charterforcompassion.org/

          I am realistic to accept that I am in the minority.
          You are in the minority as well.

          **on a personal note: My name is "Theodore" not Ted. Let's be respectful and not condescending.
    • Feb 11 2013: Theodore : the problem about what you propose is that the two "themselves" that you are talking about , Israel, and Palestine, are quite artificial, short lived entities dreamed up by foreigners for their own advantage. The present day residents of both areas have more or less missed out on the 500 year experience of "being a nation". The Arabs because of the Turks, and the Jews because of the Europeans.
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        Feb 11 2013: Re: entities dreamed up by foreigners for their own advantage.

        Please explain the perceived advantages.
        • Feb 11 2013: theodore: I would not be the right person to explain the attractiveness of being an empire to people., but it is attractive to many, clearly . We have much experience , and relationships , with the British Empire. Once the ruler of 25% of the world,(which its members could feel proud of, even if they were impoverished themselves), it proceeded to implode, because of arrogance and blunders. In my view, Americans were kind of unconsciously wishing to do the same, only better. Dating from Teddy Roosevelts' time, or even much earlier. So we have succeeded: we are now bankrupting ourselves exactly as the British did, even in the same places. Perceived advantages: the sense of superiority one gets from helping "backward" natives to straighten out their religions, their economies, and their politics. Much to the supposed financial benefit of the Empire, but actually to small groups of clever people who succeeded in bamboozling their neighbors. I would not characterize it as a success, though it was certainly dramatic and interesting. IOh, by the way, the basic Imperial idea of "Divide and Conquer" gives the Empire the ability to get the natives fighting against each other, making it much easier to pacify any resistors. In our day, we have created the Puppet State of "South Vietnam" hoping that they would be able to contain Vietnamese Nationalism, Later on, it was much the same with "Iraq" and "afghanistan" The Russians have always done the same thing with Poles, Chechens, in fact the whole Soviet Bloc. I don't see it as any kind of improvement.
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        Feb 11 2013: So in other words, you have little knowledge of the history of Palestine.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Israel

        What is the Balfour Declaration? Who was behind it?

        "Although coming under the sway of various empires and home to a variety of ethnicities, the area of ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish until the Jewish–Roman wars after which Jews became a minority in most regions, except Galilee. The area became increasingly Christian after the 3rd century and then largely Muslim from the 7th century conquest up until at least the middle of the 20th century. After the Roman conquest, the area of ancient Israel became known as the Holy Land or Palestine. It was a focal point of conflict between Christianity and Islam between 1096 and 1291, and from the end of the Crusades until the British conquest in 1917 was part of the Syrian province of first the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and then (from 1517) the Ottoman Empire.
        In the late-19th century, persecution of Jews in Europe followed by the creation of the Zionist movement led to international support for the establishment in Palestine of a homeland for the Jewish people on the site of the ancient kingdoms. Following the British conquest of Syria, the Balfour Declaration in World War I and the formation of the Mandate of Palestine, Aliyah (Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel) increased and gave rise to Arab–Jewish tensions and a collision of the Arab and Jewish nationalist movements."
        • Feb 11 2013: Theodore: Were you actually referring to me, about being unaware of "Palestine" history? I do not dispute any of your statements about the history of the area. But the "Balfour Declaration"?! That was nothing more than a weasel worded SpIn version of a British bid for Jewish support , at a most desperate time in WW1 , when it seemed like Britain might lose . Cleverly worded , to be sure, but a diplomatic memo and nothing more. It had no authority to dispose of some foreigners' lands. I'm pretty sure it was not publicized, as the Arab guerrilla fighters at the time were actively helping the British win the war; I do not think that they would be happy to hear that the British were planning to sell them out.
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    Feb 6 2013: I believe that the begining of a long-term solution starts with the education of a new generation of Israeli children like the Galil Arab-Israeli school in Jerusalem. I don't believe that a Palestinian state is a peacefull answer in the long-term. I think a future-facing, liberal, intergrated Israel is a more realistic solution. If Israel looked at giving citizen-ship opportunities to palestinian refugees and started negotiating with the people more directly, everyone will be a lot happier. - the changes have to come from within, and it is Israel that has to take the ultimate responsibility for implamenting those changes. DC
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    Feb 5 2013: Thirty or forty years from now when the US is only the third or fourth biggest economy in the world, Israel may be forced to make peace. Without US support in the UN the balance in the middle east will be entirely different. Hopefully Israel and Palastine will start the process bfore it becomes critical as I think the very existance of Israel will in future rely on their ability to negotiate with other middle eastern states without US help.
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      Feb 7 2013: RE: "Conquer by passive occupation. . . "
      So Israel did not not add real estate by deafeating an enemy in battle and claiming the spoils of war? I do not know the history of this very well. Again I favor the rule of law. If Israel did not take the disputed land by force why didn't the owners protest? It just seems that the land in question was won in war. No?
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        Feb 8 2013: At the end of the conflict there was a clear line seperating Israel from the West Bank. Since then Israel have occupied areas within the west bank and built houses on them for Israeli settlers. If some one knocked your back fence down and started bulding a house on your land I expect you would take action as well. Now that the UN recognises Palistine there is a forum in which to have the case heard. That is why Israel were so against recognising palistine.
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          Feb 8 2013: Thank you Mr. Lindsay. So the UN is hearing Palestine's complaint and a ruling is forthcoming? Does that not answer the OP? (I still say there is an elephant in the room, namely Arabs want to rid the middle -East, if not the planet, of Jews. I am really trying to be impartial, but it seems to me that Israel would like to live in peace in their ancient homeland, but is not able to because of perpetual hostility from her neighbors. If true, what is the source of the malice?).
      • Feb 11 2013: Edward: When has there been a day in the last 50 years when the former owners did not "protest"?! What are all these stone throwing teenagers, suicide bombers , rocket shooters, etc . doing if not "protesting.?! The source of the malice, if you want to know, is British Imperialism, which had the constant principle of "Divide and Conguer". They set up these phony Arab "States" (Puppet States)staffed with medieval fanatics , at the end of WW1. They merely failed to notice that their own Empire was collapsing. Leaving the whole world with this problem.
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          Feb 11 2013: I yield on the historical side of this. I know a bit about where we are, but little about how we got here. When I speak of protesting I certainly do not mean rock throwing or spurious acts of cowardly terrorism. I mean following the rule of law. If, and when, the U.N. rules on Palestine's complaint the matter will be concluded. Until then Palestine needs to wait, or she needs to take her chances on engaging Israel in a war. One is wisdom, the other folly. But we are ignoring the elephant in the room again... Islam stands bitterly and militantly against Judaism. The fuel in this issue is deep-seated hatred.
      • Feb 11 2013: Edward : good point about the "Spoils of War", but remember that WW2 was barely over when Israel was formed, and the whole point of the war, supposedly, was that the Germans were incredibly evil for believing that winning territory in war was OK, so it would be terribly embarrassing for Zionists to claim the territory by conquest. That was the real reason for the UN charade. It could not be said that "The World" give that land to Israel. There was not then, or now, any World Government authorized to confiscate land. The victors of WW2 did so, and everyone who counted was overcome with emotional feelings, Arabs were not considered people, so they were ignored.
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          Feb 11 2013: No, actually winning real estate by war is as old as human history To the victor go the spoils. If Hitler had been able to hold his conquests we would all be speaking German today. Or if Khruschev had been able to make JFK back down we would be speaking Russian. Conquest was not what made Hitler evil. History often records conquerors as brave heroes and virtuous leaders. I think all the sons of Ishmael have always been considered people, are you sure about that?
  • Feb 11 2013: Israel wastes a lot of money on defence and diplomacy with the US and the world at large, how if the allow UN troops at the border while they remain at least a kilometre away to cater to their insecure environment. Accept free trade for the Palestine's and if need be through their traders at fair and subsidised prices for them to improve living standards.

    This will keep both occupied more constructively and nurture human values. The "trading" will allow MOSSAD to be active too and offer a different perspective. Palestine will deter their own to live a more better and peaceful life and focus on opportunities to source, create and self employ.

    UN too will be less exploited by the US & allies and optimize to do the real work.
  • Feb 11 2013: Uri: To get down to basics, if you really want Peace between " Nations", there is only one way to get it. It is not through "making nice" , but through a "Rule of Law, not Men", with all the troublesome machinery that goes with it: Agreed-on Law codes, Police, Courts, etc. Just such as have been implemented in all the many great cities of the world (Many of them more populous than some "Countries" of the UN) It is simply unrealistic to believe that a collection of Nations could ever be Stable, or "Law- Abiding " in the absence of any Law. When I was about 15, I remember thinking , as WW2 ended, now we have had two world wars, with something like 160 MILLION mostly innocent people slaughtered for no very clear reasons, and without being able to clearly show who was to" blame", so now we have a chance , with the UN to set up a real world law, and they would no doubt finally make murder illegal. But no, it didn't happen. In fact, we heard stories about how, in the last days of the war, some German soldiers , and pilots, would come over to surrender to the western Allies, under the impression they would be welcomed, re-armed, and sent East again to fight the Soviets as allies. Laughable at the time, but only three years later, it came to pass.
    Anyway, if you want a fast track to peace, world government is it. Otherwise, we can continue to drift from one "Crisis" to another, until finally one nation conquers all. That will be, in effect , the same thing. The Chinese have had this experience, totally , 2000 years ago, before the First Empire.
  • Feb 11 2013: Arabs who write in the official Arab media, yes.
  • Feb 11 2013: You must have a problem with yourself since you can’t accept the fact as they are not as you would like them to be. I am a realist who read what is said by Arabs, not by people who mistakenly think they know what is without any foundation to their belief.
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      Feb 11 2013: I've posted this quote from Talmud before and it is applicable again - it's one of my favorite. "We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are."

      Re: "I am a realist who read what is said by Arabs..."

      All Arabs?
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    Feb 11 2013: Uri,

    What do you think of views like this: http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=282661 ? Do they have public support in Israel?
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      Feb 11 2013: Sadly yes, but not a majority I believe. The recent elections gave 59 out of 120 mandates to parties who openly declare their willingness and desire to return to the negotiation table. Out the remaining 61, the biggest part, with 31 mandates, is not entirely opposed to the idea.
      There will always be those who hate, and who use self-righteous arguments to support their hate. We need to focus on the moderates, and make sure their voice and actions speak louder!
      Check this out:
      http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html
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        Feb 11 2013: Re: "We need to focus on the moderates, and make sure their voice and actions speak louder!"

        Interesting idea... Moderates need to speak louder... Moderation is an enigmatic concept. "Extreme moderation" is, obviously, and oxymoron :-)

        Often, solutions to our problems lies in those self-refuting ideas like "moderation", "love your enemy" and "turn the other cheek". But it seems to be impossible to get them right.
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    Feb 11 2013: I personally like the quote from Noam Chomsky: "Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."

    I have a feeling, this other quote may have a solution in it: "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." But I do not understand myself how this is supposed to work in real world.
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    Feb 11 2013: This discussion remained educative for me. I shall prefer to add some humor here. This is from an email that an Israeli friend had send me.

    TO WHOM DOES THE LAND OF ISRAEL BELONG??
    An Israeli Sense of Humor at the United Nations set the record straight.

    An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.

    A representative from Israel began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses:
    When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought, "What a good opportunity to have a bath!"
    Moses removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had stolen them.

    The Palestinian representative at the UN jumped up furiously and shouted, "What are you talking about?
    The Palestinians weren't there then."

    The Israeli representative smiled and said, "And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech."
  • Feb 11 2013: A two-state solution is the only viable solution to
    the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and therefore
    negotiators must take a close look at the land
    swaps necessary for a negotiated settlement.
    These maps outline three possible land-swap scenarios, followed by a map of the Geneva Initiative for comparison. The core principle of
    these swaps is to reconcile the Palestinian
    demand for a return to the pre-1967 lines with
    Israel’s desire to include as many of the West
    Bank’s 300,000 settlers in Israel proper as
    possible. Any feasible scenario must include Israel's granting Palestinians arable land from
    within Israel’s pre-1967 border in exchange for
    annexed settlement blocs (clusters of
    settlements). It is essential that, for any land
    annexed by Israel as part of a deal, Palestinians
    receive equal amounts of land.