Because peace in the Holy Land and peace on Earth are the same thing

For two reasons, I’ve been hanging fire on replying to Jerome Slater’s essay “The Jewish State Controversy: Can Zionism Be Reconciled With Justice to the Palestinians?”  First, I’ve been expecting the essay or at least a substantial excerpt to appear at the MondoWeiss Thunderdome.  Second, a true response to Professor Slater ought to respect the serious thought and long experience he’s put into his work.

Because I substantially agree with Slater, I might see my own contribution to the discussion of his essay as supplementary, but I suspect that my own way of expressing in effect the same position would invite substantial misunderstanding and resistance.  For now, I’ll confine myself to some notes, beginning with the main part of a comment I left at his blog.

On current evidence, the underlying tendency of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be for some version of an Arnon Soffer n-state solution:  Forcible separation resulting in a secure and independently viable Israel next to two independently non-viable Palestinian sub-states, with the international community, in cooperation with willing direct participants, being asked to make the situation as tolerable as possible for the largest possible number of short-end-of-the-stick’d Palestinian Arabs. Sometime in the future – less than a blink of an eye in the history of the region, but perhaps beyond the life horizons of most of today’s decision-makers – a federation of some kind might become practicable. In a certain sense, all other differences in demeanor, sensitivity, and possibly in intention aside, Professor Slater and Professor Soffer agree:  It’s just a question to be worked out by all participants how easy or hard it’s going to go.

A common “fashionable” response among Palestinian solidarity activists is to declare the 2-state-solution (2ss) defunct.  Unfortunately for them and their vision of ideal democratic justice, the possibility that the 2-ss may appear in decline as an alternative does not make any species of 1-state solution easier to implement.

Every argument against the 2ss – especially if centered on hardening Israeli intransigence and illiberalism – is an even stronger argument against the 1ss coming about except by way of one of the two mirror image apocalypses:  Eretz Israel or forced destruction of the Jewish state.

Neither of these “final solutions” seems politically possible, at least on the basis of any evidence I’ve seen anyone present.  Though E.I. seems at least imaginable, because Israel has for a very long time possessed the raw military ability to bring it about, if only for an historical moment, Israelis have generally understood that it would be unsustainable against firm opposition that starts with its neo-imperial patron and includes numerous much larger nations in its immediate vicinity.  Still, we cannot quite exclude an attempt to consolidate E.I. – either as an apartheid state or as an ethnically cleansed one, or some combination.  E.I. may yet be sought, either all at once or piece by piece or both, as a measure of last resort, but the project seems to point to an immensely destructive, even mass suicidal end result.

As for the other 1-state alternative, where is the evidence even of a significant minority of Israeli Jews interested in a new life as hated minority in  “Bi-National Palestine”? Assuming Israeli Jewish refusal, where is the evidence of a world community with the will to destroy a militarized nuclear-armed state in the interest of ideal justice?  Why, in short, would it be more realistic to imagine alteration of the main factors that have made either of the 1-state solutions impossible and highly undesirable, than to imagine removal of the main political impediments to the 2-state solution, even now?

Any 2- or n-state arrangement won’t be ideal or likely even approximately “fair,” but it seems to me that movement toward a bi-national or possibly federated single state will have to proceed through intermediate more or less dramatically un-fair arrangements, including the current ugliness.  “Universal Palestine” is the universal homogeneous state concentrated in a single, embattled region.  It is as likely a candidate to be the last pacified region of the world state of states, of global human justice, as the first.

This observation does not imply that working for and conceiving of Palestine at peace – in one state or in some multi-state state, or in some other as yet undreamt format – but the full implications of this goal explain why progress seems so difficult, why the “reasonable” solution that “everyone understands already” seems so hard to bring about:  The Holy Land is the spiritual and  arguably the historical and geographical fulcrum of the world.  Peace on Earth and Peace in the Holy Land are the same peace.


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61 comments on “Because peace in the Holy Land and peace on Earth are the same thing

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  1. why the great expectation for Weiss?

    one real big reason it’s so hard to bring the 2 to reality is because the Palestinians don’t want to sign an agreement that says that they admit that they lost.

  2. @ fuster:
    Not a great expectation, just want to avoid duplication of effort and waste of energy.

    Agree with your second point, and it’s easy to underrate. It may not even be solvable. Which is why they may, in their own minds, be holding out for dignity or apocalypse, but what they’re getting on the ground is Soffer.

    • here’s the thread that did it…
      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/libya-yemen-bahrain-and-more.html

      here’s the last comment to me——

      Seham March 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm
      Fuster, I repeat what I said above about the thugs that the Bahraini government is paying to be out in the streets.

      Fuster, my patience with you is wearing thin. I don’t for a second believe that you give a crap about Pakistanis or Bangladeshis or anyone outside of the Zionist usurping entity.——————————-

      ——
      and here’s the lat comment that they refused to publish and decided was too terrible for their sensibilities

      —————–
      Seham, I get your point about the thugs and agree.

      Do you get the point about the Pakistanis being assaulted in Bahrain not being excusable because of some different Pakistanis who are still in Pakistan?

      Your beliefs about me are vastly uninteresting and entirely immaterial. (not to mention wholly bogus and likely a function of your own mind-set)

  3. 8 or 10

    what is there not to get?

    if you don’t agree with the house cup of gall you can be spoken to in any fashion and can not expect to be allowed a reply if it’s one of their pets that’s flinging the mud.

    they’re busy fighting the war against ideas.

  4. well – as I think you know – it’s not my usual style to respond to insults and provocations in kind, plus I have a friend in high places and an open invitation to work up something for them… but their treatment of you does make me feel reticent about further participation there.

    Your (ex-?)gf even treated me politely the other day, though it may just have been an oversight on her part.

  5. @ fuster:
    not yet…

    …if I went and posted there today, even presuming they accepted the post (not a sure thing), I’d step on the Slater discussion and in the best of circumstances put a whole weekend of internet arguing on my agenda… can’t have that…

    Also, Slater has already objected, in an e-mail, to being compared to Soffer, whom he detests – what I meant when I acknowledged my way of expressing myself on these issues leads to friction – said he was busy through Monday – want to see what else has to say, any reply to my reply to his reply to my response to his post…

  6. oh, I didn’t mean to put up your own post. I certainly would not take it upon my own little green back and advise one way or another about being an author over there.

    i meant for you to put up the above Stewart clip.
    just slip into the last Stewart thing that went up a few days back or something. see what happens.

  7. I wouldn’t want you to step on the lively discussion that followed Slater’s post.
    The air there is really humming and Slater’s getting some serious consideration of his thoughts.

  8. @ fuster:
    Nope, definitely no need to step on that lively discussion quite yet. Even the excerpt is a tall swallow, and most earnest Mondoweisspeople are probably still working links 51-55 of Seham’s most recent aggregation.

    I wish the good perfesser had resisted the temptation to respond to annie’s un-Annie-ness. I was surprised to learn that that annie, on her own testimony, ain’t Jewish, esp. after she compared herself to Sarah Silverman.

    Which reminds me I’ve got to go walk the real Annie.

  9. @ CK MacLeod:

    MacLeod, annie has spent some time hanging out in Hama’s Gaza, according to her.
    that pretty much lets you know she wasn’t wearing any shiny, six-pointed jewery.

  10. Hi you guys.
    Again, interesting stuff. Since I read these posts and comments more out writer interest than political interest, it should come as no surprise that I liked the turn on the “final solution” phrase the best.
    And it may be too late for Fuster to be still paying attention, but I have a suggestion. I imagine the person(s) you were dealing with on the other blog just wasn’t getting you in the way you describe. However, if you wanted to make it less difficult for him (them) to not get you, it would help for you to construct your sentences differently. I’ve been waiting to make this point for awhile, and I think you’ve given me the right in here…
    fuster wrote:

    Do you get the point about the Pakistanis being assaulted in Bahrain not being excusable because of some different Pakistanis who are still in Pakistan?

    You could make it two sentences. I know it’s not the most complicated sentence in the world. It’s not the longest either. But if you really want someone to get you, it would work better to write that like this:
    Do you get the point about it being inexcusable that Pakistanis are being assaulted in Bahrain. It’s inexcusable because some different Pakistanis are still in Pakistan.
    That way not only have you made things clearer to him (them), but you’ve also made it easier for you. The way that new way reads makes it more obvious if you need to elaborate. Maybe you’ve made the point clearer to him in previous comments and there’s no need to elaborate. Maybe you need to explain why Pakistanis still being in Pakistan matters in this context. Either way, you’ll be able to tell by your own writing.
    Now I know you know how to write. Maybe you just forget how most people read. It’s not pretty–especially on the internet. And of course I’m sure that your work as a lawyer makes the kind of writing I’m suggesting less attractive. You want to have fun on the internet. You do have fun. I have fun reading what you write in the way you write it. But if you want people to get you, then you have to help them a bit more than you do.
    Just a suggestion.

  11. You’re welcome. Again, don’t go changing for me. I like the way you write even when it sometimes confuses me a bit. That’s part of the fun.

  12. MacLeod, accept my congratulations. You were right that a semi-reasonable, somewhat reasoned discussion would break put over Slater.

  13. I offered a comment which was immediately vacuumed off.

    That’s the progress.

    Let me ask you how much progress do you expect to see. When MHughes gets back to you (and Hughes is one is the less ignorant folk there) about sovereignty, you’ll have your answer about how far things might go.

    Most of them can’t get past the idea that Israel exists on a legal basis equal to all other nations, refuse to understand that war to prevent Israel’s existence was undertaken and that such a war tarnishes Palestinian claims to moral superiority, and will never grow up to the understanding that the Palestinian’s claim of a right of return is based on an entirely novel (read bogus) interpretation of the usual meaning of same.

    However, I remain impressed by the discussion in that it was conducted mostly on an adult basis.

  14. @ fuster:
    Was your vacuumed comment the above? Are you absolutely sure that your comments are being moderated into the abyss by real human beings because they are deemed evil? You know there are weird glitcheractions between Apple and some WordPress installations.

    I still don’t get it. It’s not like the Israelis don’t get a chance to pipe up, or the much-hated Richard Witty.

    Did you keep a record of the latest un-submitted comment? I’m tempted to put one of your evil comments up under my good name and see if gets yanked, but I still would like a clear explanation from the Weissman or the other guy.

    The points you make would be welcome. One of these years I may have to enter the Israeli history wars. Scary prospect. I almost brought up the Grand Mufti and Nazi collaborators generally receiving pitiless treatment (unless they were rocket scientists). They woulda loved that.

    I think that discussion like this often works on people beneath the surface, shapes how they discuss things, not necessarily changing their positions on the superficial questions.

    MHughes also seems to me like a less ignorant folk… But yes I’m really curious where he found the recipe for that sovereignty argument… You have any idea?

  15. Dude, yer Tsarness, my comments ARE NOT MODERATED. They are instantly gone.

    They are not removed for content because they are not anywhere near controversial.

    If I write that the latest Israeli law discriminates against Palestinians THAT is instantly gone.

    There’s no other story there.

    Hughes is prolly working off social contract as legit basis for government and traditional English belief that fee simple tenancy is not revocable even as sovereignty passes.

    Of course, the problems with that are found in 1)that many, many of the Arabs came to Palestine following the Jews in the 100 years before 1948 and came Because the Jews brought in cash to kick-start a dead economy and 2) all those deeds and keys that they talk about are mostly not ownership documents but are leasehold contracts with the land’s owners drawn under Ottoman rule and literally not worth spit.

  16. @ fuster:
    Why is this so difficult? Other than suspicion, do you have any reason to believe that you Fuster have been proscribed? It IS possible that you’re having a browser/operating system glitcheraction with MW’s verkakte installation. Actual human beings would try 1) clearing their browser cache, 2) switching to a different browser, and 3), independently, contacting the site administrator and asking for an explanation/help/advice.

    Incidentally, I know that there are MWers who claim that the “Arabs followed the Jews for the geld” story is “Zio-BS.”

  17. Is the passage of the Nakbah law, really that hard to understand, Specially, in light of events like Itamar and the Jerusalem bombing.
    Add to that, the deliberate incitement of violence by outfits like Hamas.

    Colin, if this was a one off thing, I would agree, but MW has turned into in a real ‘den of scum and villainy’, look the New York Observer, which is no Zionist redoubt couldn’t stomach him, The ignorance about the late 19th and early 20th century conditions in Europe, notably France and Germany, as well as Late Czarist Russia, that provoked the rise of Zionism and the Aliyah is remarkable.

  18. @ CK MacLeod:

    Dude, I use two different computers, with different op sys and different browsers.

    And well they might claim that it’s BS. I can’t swear that they came for the money. They might have come for the waters.

  19. @ miguel cervantes:
    miggs, it’s easy to understand. it’s just not something that is a good idea. is this any different from what Turkey does with the Kurds? (not even getting to what they try to do with the Armenians)

    The damned Knesset says the Arabs fought, they lost, they gotta be HAPPY about losing.
    Silly Arabs think that they haven’t lost the right to their human emotions.

    How is Israel not emulating this?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32630566/ns/world_news-mideast/n_africa/

  20. @ fuster:
    What about option 3? (Contact ’em and get explanation) You never contact the HotAryans about banning you either, did you, misery frog?

    It’s not just that I’m deeply concerned that you have places other than this Zombie-hole to visit – by the way, do Zombies defecate, and, if they don’t why don’t they? I did enjoy following your fussing and fighting at MW, as I also used to enjoy it at HA (and probably would have enjoyed it at FDL if you’d clued me into it when it was happening). Getting the ideologues to show their cards yields useful intelligence.

    Slightly different things, but the arguments I had with Allahpundit, JED, and a few others around the time of my definitive break with the rightosphere were very helpful in my de-programming.

    Anyway, I’d really like to know how PW explains banning the likes of you, the actual words he uses to explain it – assuming that’s what’s happened, I’m still not fully convinced. I would have enjoyed your putting Morrissey and AP on the spot, too. It might have been revelatory, could anyway have been used against them in the world court of opinion.

  21. @ miguel cervantes:
    I’m not aware of any time that MW wasn’t a den of whatever it’s a den of. For all of its flaws, and for all of odiousness of the various groupthinks, it happens to be one of the few places I know of where a decent range of opinion is articulately expressed – I mean from the Israeli centrist types (eee, wondering jew, hophmi) all the way to the far left anti-Zs, and a seasoning of nutjobs and fools… but whadda u expect? It’s the internet.

    It’s interesting that the soft Zionists get much more vicious treatment than the Izzys, and that the left Izzys and the center Izzys rarely engage with each other….

  22. @ CK MacLeod:

    MacLeod, I have told you more than once, that following your suggestion that I contact them, I have done so more than a dozen times, without reply.

    They are what they are and your line or inquiry suggesting that it’s all a simple mistake based upon my technical incompetence or failure to ask them questions about why my comments were increasingly being refused publication despite their comparatively mild nature has been answered.

    Why don’t you either accept what seems to be the rather obviously overwhelming probability that the thing is what it is or, at the least, accept that I am too witless to possess clarity of a sufficiency to be worth belaboring further about it.

  23. fuster wrote:

    MacLeod, I have told you more than once, that following your suggestion that I contact them, I have done so more than a dozen times, without reply.

    I guess I missed the part where you stated that clearly.

    I find their conduct questionable and disturbing. If you don’t mind, I will make inquiries of my own. If I am warted forever as a fraternizer with frogs, so be it.

    Still wish you’d called out the HotAryans, not that I think participating there is really worth a second thought these days.

  24. fuster wrote:

    Why don’t you either accept what seems to be the rather obviously overwhelming probability that the thing is what it is or, at the least, accept that I an too witless to possess clarity of a sufficiency to be worth belaboring further about it.

    This is an important question, Colin. In a weird way, I think if you really answer it truthfully, what you admit to will go to why you believe me to be a new-age meanie.

  25. @ Scott Miller:
    You offered a proposition: If C thought about x it would result in y. You didn’t explain why C might ought to desire y, as against or in combination with unspecified co-results n1, n2, n3, etc. Since C doesn’t really even understand x or how it relates to y, C had remained silent til now. You can consider this comment a desperate plea for help in the name of… Being.

  26. @ CK MacLeod:
    You’re right about the proposition and I did think that silence was an appropriate response. Being a meanie, I just didn’t admit that. So no need for desperation. I wash just fishing. It’s okay not to bite.
    Fuster could post a C-C Rider YouTube as a response.

  27. Once I useta like the novels of Jim Thompson.

    Read all about Bobo Justis.

    Never did hear none bout a shirttail cousin name a Perfect.

  28. @ Scott Miller:

    Some Pots tosser was demanding perfect justice come to Earth and fall upon the Jews for using their privileged position in 1948 to oppress the pure.

    Not sure if it makes for a torch song.

  29. Of course, Ry cooder, reminds me of Streets of fire, and one of the first villain roles of Willem Defoe

  30. CK,
    the whole CC Rider thing is actually so you in respect to word play. After bringing the song up here myself, as a connection to you referring to yourself as C, I did some research. C C actually refers to See See, which relates to Easy. An Easy Rider is a skilled prostitute. “You made me love you and than your man done come.” The man is the woman’s pimp.

  31. Well, this discussion has strayed so far from the top post, I’d have to write a book to bring them together. On the other hand, purely for anthropological interest, I can submit the following, which I ran across at a truly foul web site last night:

    Human nature is quite something. As for how this might apply to the post… you may have to await that book…

  32. @ CK MacLeod:
    That is kind of perfect. If you write the book, I think you should change your moniker to C.C. MacLeod.
    fuster wrote:

    thought an easy rider was the guy living off the pros.

    Like Phil Jackson?

  33. @ fuster:
    No. Where I was going with that is that he lived off Jordan and now Bryant. I’ve never thought he was much of a spiritualist, and his whole rep rubs me the wrong way, especially since he’s very caught up in ideology. Like his no timeouts bit. He believes in not calling timeouts. He holds on to the idea as a fundamentalist mentality. How about just reading each moment for what it is and doing what’s needed according to present moment engagements? If it hadn’t been for Jordan and Bryant, his reliance on ideas would have failed. Ideology always fails. Sports teach us that unless your karma sucks like Phil’s and you end up being too lucky to learn what you need to learn. That’s just an idea, of course, and I don’t care if it fails.

  34. Jackson was brought up heavily religious in NowhereMuch, Dakota, and came to NYC a dope-smoking, acid-dropping player who busted his ass every second on the court.

    He knows the game(s), Scott. and he has a nassty sense of humor. Don’t believe half the stuff you read about him.

    I have to admit that you’re right about him never amounting to much as a coach. I never thought that the gig with the Albany Patroons was gonna work out and lost track of him after that.

    I hear he’s dating a rich woman and living off her money these days.

  35. Scott Miller wrote:

    Like his no timeouts bit. He believes in not calling timeouts. He holds on to the idea as a fundamentalist mentality. How about just reading each moment for what it is and doing what’s needed according to present moment engagements?

    I think you’ve completely inverted his intention. The reluctance to call timeouts fits organically within his entire approach, which also happens to be about developing an organic philosophy of the game and involving the players in it. I think that if you weren’t such a New Age meanie Clippers fan, you’d be sympathetic to the concept. I think you’re rebelling against it because you know you’re supposed to like it, just like you’re rebelling against him because you don’t like someone else stepping on your turf. I think that you in fact know all of the very good reasons he’s reluctant to call timeouts, what it teaches the players, how it fits within his philosophy of the game, how it doesn’t interfere with being in the moment at all, though it may offer a different perspective on the moment. I think all of this because you are a basketball demi-god to me, and I refuse to believe that you don’t know all of this backwards and forwards in your sleep.

    I’m very sorry that the Clippers aren’t closing out their season with a bang. Griffin may have hit the wall, and they’re not playing for anything. Maybe next year. Maybe the South will rise again.

  36. fuster wrote:

    Jackson was brought up heavily religious in NowhereMuch, Dakota, and came to NYC a dope-smoking, acid-dropping player who busted his ass every second on the court.

    I love him for all that. I don’t know where he went wrong.
    @ CK MacLeod:
    I wish I could use your C doesn’t understand x because y geometrical defense. I wish I could but I can’t. The slash through NA m is really funny. Since you are a logic demi-god to me, I will bow to your insights.

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