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Israel and the Arabs



     Fay Kanafani knows whereof he speaks:
     "I happen to be a survival who lost everything, and an eye witness to the occupation of Palestine in 1948. In my memoir "Nadia, Captive of Hope", I explained some of what happened in Haifa and the Galilee from 1935 to 1948.
     Siegfried Ramler comments:
     "In dealing with Arab-Israeli issues, it is not productive to look only backwards and engage in recriminations. However one may judge the wisdom of President Truman's recognition of the State of Israel in 1948, its existence after half a century is irreversible short of ongoing war and bloodshed in the Middle East. The hope for the future lies in the peace process, a cause for which Anwar Sadat and Rabin gave their lives. It is a difficult, tortuous path, opposed by radicals on all sides, but the only rational way towards eventual stability in the region.
     Ultimately the foundation for co-existence must be laid through educational experiences at a young age. I just returned from a two-week visit to Israel and Egypt where I explored educational initiatives in schools and communities towards peace and reconciliation. Examples I observed included schools which are jointly administered by Arabs and Jews with a bilingual curriculum in Arabic and Hebrew, an outreach program entitled "School for Peace" which conducts seminars with Arab and Jewish participation, and an Arab-Israeli community center in the port city of Haifa which conducts joint cultural activities.
     To be sure, these are isolated examples, but they do offer a glimmer of hope."


     My comment: Clearly the state of Israel exists. However, for peace it must become a secular state, like the US. The Orthodox rabbis must and their followers must be forced to accept this. Moreover, the role of the Arabs in Jerusalem must be recognized. I would like Jerusalem to become an international city, with the shrines of each religion given separate status. That unfortunately does not seem to be in the cards.

Ronald Hilton - 4/11/00


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