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Israelis See Their Own Nation As "Neighborhood Bully"


This is an interesting Israeli take on the present war boiling between Israel and Lebanon by Ira Chernus a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of the forthcoming book, "Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror And Sin: Books: Ira Chernus" and "American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea".

"You can see Lebanon from my sister’s backyard. She and her family and thousands of others in northern Israel live with a constant roar of gunfire -- mostly from Israeli cannons aiming to kill Lebanese, occasionally from a Hezbollah shell that might land on them.

But the real threat to Israel doesn’t come from Lebanese rockets. The real threat comes from the Israelis themselves -- and the rest of the world -- forgetting how and why this war started.

Israel does not go to war just to retrieve kidnapped soldiers. In the past, it has been ready to ransom them by returning Palestinian and Lebanese captives that it holds, just as the kidnappers ask. So why war now? For answers I’ve turned to Jewish writers in Israel’s top newspaper, Ha’aretz.

Last month the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, agreed to form a united government and offer Israel a plan for permanent peace. A Ha’aretz columnist observed at the time that the peace offer “should have sparked a wave of positive reactions from Jerusalem … But Jerusalem's ear as usual is blocked to any sound that might advance the peace process.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert still insists on his unilateral “convergence” plan, which is merely “a plan to perpetuate the occupation, only under conditions more convenient for Israel. Moreover, at the end of the plan, if it is ever executed, even more settlers will live in the occupied territories than live there now.”

For the Israeli government, another Ha’aretz columnist wrote, “it is best that the Palestinians remain extremists because then no one will ask the government of Israel to negotiate with them. How do we ensure that the Palestinians remain radical? We simply strike at them, over and over.” So Israel responded to the Palestinian offer of negotiated peace with an allout assault on Gaza. That’s how and why it all began."

For more go to the Common Dreams link below:
Israelis See Their Own Nation As "Neighborhood Bully"
Jacqueline Keeler
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