Saturday, April 25, 2009

All You Need is 'Democracy'

Steven Dallal of Scarsdale, N.Y., and I think I have met him at my sister's synagogue, had a letter published in today's New York Times which contains a matter I had been thinking about recently. So, first the extract and then my comment:-

An enduring solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may come about when Israel recognizes that the Jews’ secure long-term presence in the Middle East hinges on Israel’s willingness to share its democracy with the Palestinian population in their midst.

The Palestinian leaders, rather than holding out for their own separate religious and ethnic approach to a nation-state, must recognize that they are more likely to achieve the dignity that stems from fundamental human rights if they participate with their adversary in an enlightened democracy.

A good number of the persons I have debated in the past from the Left, representatives of the ideology of Peace Now, Meretz, Labour, et al., have raised the issue of democracy. And they have done so paradoxically.

On the one hand, they bitterly complain that Israel is not acting democratically as regards the disputed territories and their inhabitants, their Arab inhabitants. On the other hand, they coyly suggest that as the Arabs learn democracy from Israel, in their contacts with the country, its institutions and citizens, they will be better able to struggle for their independence. And yet in another fashion, the indicate that if Israel is to be democratic, it must reject the continued administration over the territories for, demographically, we supposedly cannot override their numbers and will be 'drowned' in Arabs and with 'one-person-one-vote' will be out-voted, eventually.

Of course, since they do not want Judea and Samaria for all sorts of other reasons, they never entertain the possibility that once the Arabs become democratic, they will then be more rational, liberal, humanistic, tolerant, and whatnot. And then, they will come to the realization that there is nothing wrong is coming to terms with the fact that Jews have national rights and that these can be fulfilled without negating Arab rights because those Arab rights do not include the exclusion and negation of Jewish rights - out of the entire Middle East, one small corner belongs to the Jewish nation for over 3000 years.

That possibility, it seems, never manages to cross the minds of our concessionists.

They are probably not adequately democratic in ideology, psychology and political outlook.

Too bad.

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