(Cross-posted at Nontrivial Pursuits)
I am reposting this because I am actually quite proud of the fact that I was able to write an I-P diary that (1) speaks positively about the Palestinians, (2) is sympathetic to the Jewish people's deepest aspirations, (3) is optimistic about the possibilities of a lasting peace, and it does so (4) without generating any HR's. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so.
Once again, we've watched as Israel launched itself into yet another of its periodic efforts to 'defend' itself by seeking to kill all of the Palestinians in Gaza who have either killed Israeli Jews with missile fire, or have helped the militants in their efforts to kill Jews, or have maybe been considering the possibility of killing Jews in the future, or who have simply been hanging out around the missile launchers.
These 'lashing out' responses to Palestinian attacks always provide Israel's civilian population with a certain amount of short-term 'satisfaction', satisfaction that will last for at least another six months or so. But if the Israeli people took some time to think their situation through from a long-term perspective, it might occur to them that the 'gut instinct' response is actually a very stupid approach for them to embrace, as a people, from one generation to the next.
Over the long run, it just hasn't worked. They've embraced the 'muscular' approach for over 60 years and that is how many years it has failed to bring about lasting peace and security. Something else must be done to make the killing stop. Something other than simply preparing for the next 'beatdown' that you fully expect to be delivering again sometime in the future.
One would think that the Israelis might have put some serious thought into imagining what a future Lasting Peace would look like. (By a lasting peace, I am necessarily talking about one that even the hawks in Israel would find acceptable and worthy of trust.)
I suspect that if they were to ponder this question at length, it would occur to them that if they want to achieve a lasting peace, it is essential that they find a way to change the feelings that the Palestinians currently have toward the Israeli population in Palestine, from very negative to very positive.
Feelings of hatred, for example, would need to be replaced with feelings of gratitude and good will. Appreciative smiles must replace the furtive looks that only barely hide feelings of fear and loathing. If this does not happen, how will it ever be possible for the Israeli people to feel secure in their homes?
This is the supreme, ultimate key to constructing a peace agreement that could actually succeed in ending the conflict between Arab and Jew. Any 'agreement' that Palestinian leaders could be coerced into accepting through muscular diplomacy and international pressure is guaranteed to fail if it does not replace the feelings of hatred that the Palestinians currently feel with feelings of gratitude.
Isn't that something that we can all agree on?
What, if anything, could be done to bring about such a wondrous change in the hearts of the Palestinian people? That is THE key question that the Israeli people need to start asking themselves.