Monday, August 07, 2006


The Root Cause

Tikkun published a very reasonable and well-intentioned ad in the L.A. Times on Sunday. It called for "an International Peace Conference to impose a fair and lasting solution to all aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the conflict between Israel and other states in the region." I wish them all the best with this. If only it were possible.

Shortly after 9/11, I interviewed the Muslim Student Union at U.C. Irvine on KUCI. (You can stream the interview here or download it here.) Toward the end of the interview (at about 33 minutes) they were very clear that Israel had no right to exist. They longed for the day, "before 1948, when the Jews, Christians, and Muslims were in harmony" (a day that never was). But they were clear that their gripe was with the creation of Israel in 1948, not the additional territory or people it acquired in 1967. (This would be like wishing the U.S. was as it was before 1776, i.e., not at all. At least they were consistent. They also seemed to say that it was unfortunate that the U.S. exists.)

So as Charles Krauthammer notes "the fighting is about 'the ... 1948 issues, rather than the 1967 [issues]' " Sadly, this is the issue for some American Muslims as well, but I thank the MSU at UCI for making this clear to me.

So may Tikkun's dream of a real peaceful future (rather than a fictional past) soon come to pass. But I do not see how this is possible when one side nurses a grudge about the very existence of the other side.
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