Monday, November 8, 2010

Where is Israel?

The Israeli government just approved new construction plans for 1,300 apartments in East Jerusalem.  And, of course, this happens just as Netanyahu (the prime minister) is in the US to try and have peace talks with the Palestinians.  I've come to the conclusion that the Israeli government does not want peace.  If it did, it would not go through such blatant attempts at antagonizing the Palestinians.  There's this thing called "diplomacy" which involves some give and take on both sides.  From what I can tell, Israel subscribes to the "give it to us or else we'll just take it" group.  They are constantly asking the Palestinians for concessions, but don't want to make any of their own.  And the few times they do promise concessions, they do not follow through on them.  This entire process is a farce.

That said, at least some of the Israeli people want peace.  A new performing arts center opened in Ariel, in the West Bank.  And many Israeli artists are choosing to boycott it.  The West Bank was captured by Israel in 1967 and both Israel and Palestine lay claim to it.  Lieberman is threatening the artists with losing government funding if they insist on the boycott.

edit:  I just found a link to a great article from the New York Review of Books:  The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment.  It's from this past summer, but definitely worth reading.

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