An Israeli – Palestinian peace agreement was nearly achieved in 2008

January 29th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

On the front page of the New York Times yesterday there was an article stating that Ehud Olmert, the former Prime Minister of Israel, and Mahmoud Aabbas, the Palestinian president, almost reached a peace deal in 2008 as per new memoirs published earlier this week in an Israeli newspaper.

Some novel and interesting details about the agreement such as an American-Led international security force being stationed on its border and a multi-national committee; handling tough issues regarding perhaps one being the number of Palestinian refugees allowed to work in Israel, another being perhaps redressing the mistreatment of Palestinians and a plethora of other contentious matters were outlined.

I didn’t finish reading the whole article because well I’ve been reading and hearing about peace in the Middle East ever since I was old enough to read and understand that there was an immense and complex world out there; billions of people in fact and a colossal number of diverse cultures outside of Bloomingdale NJ, the town in which I was raised, just like me pursuing life, liberty and happiness.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that there would never be peace between Israel and Palestine, Jew and Arab. Both are referred to as Semites (I learned this back in high school, much to my great surprise, when I believe I said someone was  anti-Semitic and a pal of mine said oh yeah he’s prejudiced against Jews and Arabs; look Semite up in the dictionary) but both could not be more different in terms of RELIGION.

How can there be peace when one’s holy book and guide to living come from two very different texts – the Bible and the Koran. If you eliminated religion from the equation one would expect that reasonable people would be able to come up with a peaceful way of living together. Unfortunately religion is their culture and the dogmatism that goes along with it could not be more rigid and inflexible. Individuals are gladly obligingly willing to kill themselves for God; the sickening action of strapping makeshift bombs to one’s person and killing oneself along with extraordinarily sadly innocent people who have absolutely nothing to do with shaping and determining policy is a painful example of how strong the dogma is.

Millions of pints of ink have been spilled on the chance of a possible peace agreement between Israel and Palestine (and of course the Arabic countries surrounding Israel come into play) that in my opinion will never come. 500 years from now (if the human species has not destroyed itself) there will still be Israeli – Palestinian negotiations. How can there be peaceful coexistence when one side’s motif and mandate is ‘Push’ the Jews into the sea, dead or alive.’

Princess Ave, Jerusalem - 1947

Now WHADAWETHINK ? Is it possible to have peace in the Middle East? Can Jew and Arab get along with one another? Is religion the cause of all this hatred between the two Semites? Let’s open this up; comment with examples and create discussion. Maybe WHADAWETHINK can resolve this most thorny issue (note: tongue firmly placed in cheek)

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