How can this be justified?

Paul Prescod
Tue, 02 Oct 2001 13:49:34 -0700

Jeff Bone wrote:
> This only underscores my point:  the notion of segregated homelands is a dangerous
> concept.

No one disagrees. But we have no ability to wish the concept away. All
we can do is try to minimize damage. Now we're stuck with Israel, which
is a relatively culturally-homogenous place, in the middle of the Middle
East which also has some contradictory cutural baggage. Let's talk about
cultures, not ethnicities, or religions, because culture is really what
matters. We know that Catholics and Protestants can get along so the
problems in Northern Ireland are not appropriately termed "religious."
Religion is a proxy for culture.

Now what are we going to do about Israel. 

We could argue that the two people should be able to share the same land
and create a merged, democractic, color/culture-blind
Israeli/Palestinian state. Only that's not what anyone wants. So why
offer it to them?

We could claim that the original idea was bad and thus merely "dissolve"
the state of Israel through a choice not to recognize it as a state. We
could stand back and watch the war that ensues after we give up any
leverage on them, knowing that we did the Right Thing from a principled
point of view. The leaders of surrounding Arab states would love this

Both people want separate states based on their cultural backgrounds.
Maybe 100 years from now they will think this was a silly idea but in
the meantime it is more productive to figure out how we can get from
here to there rather than arguing that they "shouldn't" want what they

 Paul Prescod