Annie, you probably won’t believe this, but I am as angry as you are about Israeli behavior. And I’ve probably been angry for a lot longer than you have. But I’ve tried to disentangle your angry, and mostly valid, attacks on Israel to find tactics that make sense, I just can’t find any.
We seem to be looking at the same forest but see a different set of trees, or a different ratio between different kinds of trees. In the forest that I and Wishnitzer are looking at it, of course Palestinian violence is not “responsible for the perpetuation of the conflict. ” He most certainly did NOT imply that. What he clearly knows, as do his Palestinian counterparts, is that Palestinian violence has played A ROLE in the perpetuation of the conflict, and Israelis are not the ONLY people who have agency in this ongoing tragedy.
There are many many examples. Here’s one: More than a 1,000 Israelis were killed in the second Palestinian intifadeh and many more were injured. Of course many more Palestinians were killed and maimed by the horrific military response by Barak and then Sharon, but that doesn’t change the fact that there used to be a much larger “peace camp” in Israel and it was shattered by the intifadeh. Maybe many people in that peace camp did not go as far as you or I would have liked when it came to the nature of a two state solution. But they most certainly did not want to rule over another people. I believe there would have been much more support for a Palestinian state that was not a collection of disconnected Bantustans if the intifadeh had not occurred. The possibility of that support was quashed by many factors, but I don’t see what is gained by denying that Palestinian violence and the fear it created was an important factor.
Later, Israelis who were afraid of Hamas and Hizbollah rockets included anti-Zionists, post-Zionists, BDS supporters, 1-staters, and draft resisters. They included Palestinian citizens of Israel. Trying to figure out how to achieve a future in which they and their neighbors will feel physically safe does not mean ignoring the asymmetry of power, suffering or vulnerability. It means not completely discounting those needs, or carelessly conflating them, as you do. with “this whole obsession with fear and hurt feelings and jewish or israeli emotions (including all those oh so sad pro israel jewish students on campuses having their feelings hurt).” I don’t care about hurt feelings, either. I care about people on both sides of the Green Line believing they can live together. And whether that happens in one state or two, or as a result of global BDS or some other tactic, both sides need to feel safe.
I am breaking a longstanding vow not to weigh in on my old friend Phil Weiss’ web site because I am completely mystified that so many of his fans do not seem to believe, or care about, what I just wrote.
You wrote: “`But what I can do as an Israeli?” — to begin with they could elect leaders who would stop building on palestinian land!” Completely agree. How do you propose to accomplish that? In the last election, Bibi and Bennet based much of their appeal on fear –yes, it was fear tinged with vile racism, but that doesn’t mean everyone who is afraid is a vile racist. Even if you think those fears are completely unjustified, do you honestly think any change is possible if they are completely ignored?