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Mission A Guide to Perplexed

The conflict is the safest place to be.

by Doreen Said  16.07.2012

I recently went to a lecture to discuss Palestinian rights in Jerusalem. As a Jerusalemite I was very excited. But the lecture started off by giving examples of the Belgium model. And I must say that the Belgium people are crazy! Not in a bad way, and I probably am missing some points- so do not take this as an exact interpretation or analysis of Belgium or its politics. They probably have paid specialists for that and I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them. Anyway, Belgium is divided into 3 major sections, has 7 parliaments, and each municipality is in charge of its region, it’s a bilingual state, so many divisions, so many complications, I can’t believe they live in peace.


These people managed to create a complicated system, (which I think is crazy because how the heck can you manage that without problems?) which preserves everyone’s rights, and which everyone respects and follows.  Utopia? Yes. Why? They are united by loyalty to the whole country.


Loyalty is such a strong word. Relationships based on loyalty usually are healthy and productive because everyone is happy. Even if one side feels that the other is wrong, they will makes compromises, try to work it out before stabbing each other in the backs.


The question I pose: how to convince Belgium to take over Israel and Palestine and impose the same system?  1st, Palestinain and Israeli leaders need brain transplants, 2nd they need to focus on thinking ahead, planning for the future. Realistically, his won’t work. But I think it should. I believe that if the conflict remains ongoing it is because we do not want to think ahead, and the possibility of change. We know how, and we are capable, but we simply prefer to stay in love with our sorrow.


The conflict is the safest place to be.



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1 by Zakria
Doreen One of the major failures of Zionism is the failing attempt to establish a European model on a west Asian reality. You and a lot of well-meaning peace activists making the same mistake. The early Zionists dreamt of making a European Utopia in the New-Israel, with equality, secularism, socialism etc. They did not and could not see the failing points of enlightenment: nationalism, racism, white domination, capitalism etc'. Furthermore, they could not see that secularism and op-down coercion of state mechanisms, breaking down of traditional ways of living were evolved in a long term process in the European peninsula, but are foreign to the people of west Asia. Today, as the coercion of secular, socialist, white burden aspect of Zionism fails, liberal people of both Israeli and Palestinian heritage are become more desperate in looking for the right "Western" model that will save us from the reality of "the Middle East". Belgium, Holland, France are used as models, partitions (which faild in any attempt), and even calls for coercion (BDS, American or UN intervention etc.') sprout with every new NGO. What all these well-meaning people fail to see is the reality of West Asia – the reality of religion, which here is a very strong element – for better or for worse; the reality of strong family ties, even of the larger family (hamula), that can not break under the pressure of failing state institutions, tribalism, etc.'. These are not foul words, only when we set the failing modern experience of the Anglo-Saxon world as model, we judge it mistakenly. These are our reality, and any "solution" that we might think of should sprout from our own experience, from our own trial and error, and from our own people. Looking for a foreign, European model to "save us" is just repeating the same errors of early Zionism.
2 by Jane Wexler
Is Belgium really a good role model for a bi-national state? I would think Switzerland or the USA are better examples. Except for that, I do find your words inspiring. if other countries made it, so could Israel and the Palestinians.
3 by Motty
One can only wish that this kind of a Utopia would exist in Israel-Palestine but in reality there are too many differences to have all people living here united by loyalty. Loyalty to what exactly? There is one side that sees themselves as part of the greater Arab nation and the other as the chosen, better people... Plus this kind of a system would only be possible in a one state, a solution that is unacceptable by many if not the majority of Israelis.