narciso wrote:

This is what he said Sully when he was trying to be diplomatic, when the fires were still burning at ground zero,

What makes you assume that he was "trying to be diplomatic"? He was taking a risk to tell the truth as he saw it - because he's burdened with experiences and understandings that most in the audience have been brought up to repress, ignore, and self-servingly explain away, an MO that worked richly well until one bright day the "downside" temporarily became inescapable and the formerly convenient distance between self and other was closed, violently and criminally.

Then as now, he was in a position to mediate between two antagonistic self-contained understandings of the world, and the reaction of people like you and Sully is to search desperately for every conceivable means of returning to repression, ignorance, and self-serving excuse - entailing constant re-stated and reconfigured de-humanization of the people Rauf stands for - first and foremost by silencing him, in the meantime stopping up your own ears as completely as possible.

Someday, we may find ourselves searching just as desperately for someone just like him, someone who can still walk across to the other side and back again, who hasn't given in to our incidentally humiliating demand to burn all of his bridges. If we're lucky, we'll still be able to find him. If we're luckier than we deserve to be, if, as seems likely, he's a better man than his critics, he won't let a thoroughly justifiable grudge against us get in the way of saving lives and souls.

@ bob:
I'm not one to discount the significance of Israel. In a certain sense, the significance of Israel seems greater than its importance, but that probably means that the latter would always be on the verge of catching up with the former anyway.

I'm also not convinced that the 2-state solution is impossible. I tend to think it's the most likely alternative, even if it came to mean two states in the entire world, Israel and everyone else. On the other hand, it seems to me we're in a de facto 3-state solution, which is also partially a 1-state solution, and if there's an absolute reason why the 1 or 2 or 3 depending on how you look at it situation couldn't last for decades, I'd like someone to demonstrate it to me. Maybe Hamastan and WestBankistan will re-confederate - although in the current situation, you're almost as close in some respects to having WestBankistan confederating with Israelistan. If they all could go 10 - 25 years without a shooting war - as per the Hamas offers - who knows what modes of organization and interaction they might eventually work out, when no one was looking...

Anyway, that's what happens in the nicer version.