Israel’s problem – it’s fundamental problem – is its self-declared nature as a Jewish state.
To be clear – I am blaming political Zionism, and not Judaism or the Jewish people.
Israel defines itself as a religious state. A state for the Jewish people. Its borders – the places where it meets non-Jews – will be bloody by its very nature as it tries to maintain its exclusive character.
The ‘separation barrier’ in the West Bank is the most visible example – non-Jews on one side, Jews on the other. But the invasion of Gaza, the occupation of Egypt (now ended), Lebanon (partially ended), and Syria (ongoing) are all part of this ‘bloody-border’ policy.
Internally too, non-Jews are treated like second class citizens. Israel wants to be a theocracy. Israel may claim to be the “only democracy in the Middle East”, but it isn’t. Israel is an ethnocracy.
If you don’t believe me, listen to Nelson Mandela (thanks Cheb):
“Palestinians are not struggling for a “state” but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.
Israel’s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a “Jewish” state.
The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses … shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.”
(Despite the controversial title, I have tried to be very clear that my argument is with Israel as a Jewish state – not with Jews or Judaism. It is the same argument against Taliban-run Afghanistan, or Wahhabi-run Saudi Arabia.
I am aware this is a controversial argument. Feel free to leave a comment if you disagree.
And yes, the logical conclusion of my argument is that the solution is one-state for Jews and Muslims living together under one political and legal system. The two-state solution simply solidifies the status-quo. But that argument is for another time.)