Monday, March 07, 2011

Occupation Has Its Price


No one should doubt that Israel is militarily and economically able to hold on to the occupied territories for years into the foreseeable future - to maintain the status quo or even to increase the settlement enterprise. But nevertheless the occupation has its price. It is internally corrosive - slowly eating away at the the cohesiveness of Israeli society and what is left of its western democratic values. It decreases Israel's standing in the world, slowly isolating it more and more each year. And it has, and will, provoke outbreaks of violence against Israel and Israelis.
Of course, Israel can withstand all of this if it chooses to. North Korea has been an international pariah for 60 years - even the Chinese, once their ally, can't stand them any more - but still no one can predict when that regime will change its ways. It could hang on for many decades yet.
But then again even the strongest rock is eventually worn away by relentless waters - even if they are just a trickle. The best guarantee of the long existence of any group or country is to live in harmony with its neighbors and its environment. In Israel's case this involves actively seeking a path that provides a modicum of justice, respect, and equality for the Palestinians.

Two of todays headlines:
and
are just two signs of things to come unless their is progress to equality and justice for Palestinians under Israeli control.

Drip.
Drip.
Drip ...

* * *
(Perhaps I was particularly struck by Roger Waters support for a boycott, because "The Wall" was the unofficial theme song of my platoon in basic training in the Israeli army (1982.) Perfect song to sing under your breath on a forced march, and generally expressed our attitude to the whole experience.)

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