Together Seeing Morality in Prosperity or Consequences

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not about us and them, peace and security, land and water or even about religious rights; it is about morality versus injustice. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have allowed Israelis to define the conflict in those terms which benefit Israel. Consequently, Israelis have made a spectacle of the peace process that never ends and continues the occupation.

 

The conflict should not be about how the brutal Israeli occupation should end but that it should end now. After over two decades of submitting to the Israeli demands to recognize the State of Israel, renounce violence and remove the destruction of Israel from the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Charter, the peace talks have not addressed the morality of the conflict, i.e. that the occupation is an antiquated and immoral settlement mentality that must end and end now.

 

Instead of ending the occupation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish State. This is preposterous as it is another way for Israel to divert opinion away from a resolution of the conflict by interjecting a religious twist to forestall the real morality concern, i.e. the illegality of the occupation.

In every agreement Israel always interjects an interim period to end the occupation that will not end. The 1978 Camp David Accords made Palestinians wait 5 years for “autonomy” that never came. The 1993 Oslo Accords gave Palestinians only an “Authority” and a promise of final status talks by 1999 that we are still waiting for. Now right wing radicals in Netanyahu’s coalition are openly stating that it will take decades to conclude a final status talks. Ending the occupation should not be about time, it should be about morality. The occupation must end and end now.

In Israel the feeling of superiority and the greed of its businessmen corrupts the morality of its mindset. For these two reasons, Israel’s morality is blinded and the occupation continues infinitely

Occupation endures because the Israeli system of government gives to its minorities, the radicals in this instance, superiority over the majority. For a clarification on this read my article entitled “Soul Searching Leads to Peace” which can be found atwww.Arabisto.com.

 

The second reason why the occupation endures is because the Israeli entrepreneur is thriving. As long as the Israeli businessman is creating wealth because of the occupation, he has no reason to change the system. For an idea on how to hurt the Israeli economy, read “Hurting Israel Where it Hurts—Economically” at the same website.

Money and racism corrupts morality. Apartheid in South Africa flourished because the Afrikaans (white minority) thrived economically. It was only after an international boycott that crumbled their pocket books did the Afrikaans finally succumb to the pressures of dismantling the apartheid system.

The same needs to be done in Israel. The Israeli businessman needs to be economically hurt before he can see the see the immorality of the occupation.

 

Sometimes, I must admit, economic considerations do not easily move the soul. Racist Southern Americans living in the pre-civil war era could not relinquish their immoral domination of the black man until they were forced by war. I believe in a non-violent approach to ending the occupation, however, the option to resort to taking up our stones again needs to remain on the table.

 

If the stone option is taken off the table, there is no need for Israel to change the status quo, i.e. there is no need to end the occupation. As a result, the Palestinians are not at parity in negotiations and thus Israel can take advantage by giving the Palestinians limited authority in limited areas. If Israel does not see the consequences of failure in peace talks it has no incentive to the talk’s success.

 

Peace negotiations are about prosperity for a successful result—peace; about consequences if they fail—war. Only when the Palestinians understand this concept will they have the strength to demand from the onset that the occupation must end and end now. Palestinians need to assert parity.

 

It will be hard for Israelis to end the occupation. They do not see the immorality of their ways. It is up to the Palestinians and the international community to force Israel to see the injustice of the occupation—or suffer the consequences.

 

The Palestinians need to open their eyes and see their strengths before they can try to open their brother’s eyes to point out his weaknesses. Together they can see the prosperity that peace can bring.

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About Fadi Zanayed

Fadi Zanayed is a moderate Palestinian, an author, poet, community activist and an attorney since 1985. A graduate from Loyola University with a B.S. in Managerial Accounting and a minor in Political Science in 1983, he received his law degree from Loyola School of Law in 1985. A Palestinian American whose family originates from Ramallah, Palestine, Fadi Zanayed is an active and proud member of the Arab American community with a long history of community leadership and service. They include: Founding Member of Arab-American Bar Association of Illinois, Inc.; Former Regional Director & Past President, Chicago Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Past President of the Chicago Chapter of the Palestinian American Congress; Past National Secretary of the Palestinian American Congress; Past President of the Chicago Club of Ramallah, Palestine; Past Member of the Board of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine; Past President of the American Youth Federation of Ramallah, Palestine. He is the author of Cycle of Frustration: A collection of poems about Palestine; and Betrayal, Sorrow and Tomorrow (pen name: Chris F. Wollinks). He attended the September 13, 1993 peace signing ceremony of the Oslo Accords in the White House Rose Garden and was one of the first Palestinians to call for the recognition of Israel as early as 1980. Since then he has been a disillusioned with the never ending peace process.

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