I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Real Conditions For Peace In Israel

1. State Endorsement of One G-d: You can live in Israel and be an atheist, but as religion is integral to the state there should be a basic official support for faith in the Divine. If this exists, I truly don't know about it so maybe Israel should talk about it more.

2. Honor the Sacred: Israel can't impose the beliefs of one form of Judaism on everyone. But there are certain things that should be inviolable. Certain symbols (like the Torah), the definition of who a Jew is - these have to be worked out at a reasonable religious level. It cannot always be a "free for all" nor a nation where the ultra-Orthodox have a stranglehold on official expressions of faith.

3. Religious Integrity: Israel is a Jewish nation - a nation where Jews must be able to live freely as Jews. That is the basic precondition of its existence. There cannot be the false message that everyone is exactly equal. They're not and can never be, even as there should be equal protection under the law.

4. Rule of Law: Everybody, Jewish and not Jewish, is entitled to the same objective fair treatment under a system of law and not personal preference. That should be basic and corruption has to be rooted out wherever and whenever it exists. Israel in particular has got to make itself an example of this.

5. Expulsion of Terrorists: Free speech is one thing but advocating for the destruction of the State is another. So is holding weapons. People who want to destroy Israel should routinely be expelled.

6. Financial Justice: One of the most common anti-Semitic stereotypes is that Jews are money criminals. Therefore Israel has to be extraordinarily careful to carry out financial justice. Where these kinds of crimes occur they have to be followed by actual reparations. In such a small country, there should also be a well-organized system for providing the basic needs of life to all - food, water, housing, and medical care.

7. Education: A very good grounding in critical thinking instills basic understanding of history, of the complexity of multiple cultures living side by side. In such a complicated state education is critical to mutual understanding.

8. Honesty: On both sides there needs to be a straightforward dialogue about what the issues are and how there will be collaboration to resolve them. There should be absolute intolerance for propaganda, the deliberate manipulation of words and images to achieve political aims.

9. Universal Recognition of Israel's Right to Exist: The hidden message behind a lot of anti-Israel criticism is that Israel should somehow "lay down its arms" because the refugees are helpless. And this includes criticism that comes from within. The problem is that Israel going defenseless means its immediate destruction. Any solution has to start with the recognition that Israel is a legitimate state, and proceeding from there.

10. Global Support: Palestinians are refugees for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that they're being used as a collective battering ram to hurl at Israel as a propaganda tool. The world is complicit in this situation and is responsible for helping to resolve it fairly.

* All opinions my own.