Heinz Aeschbach, M.D.  
Humane Civilization Andean Vendors
 Humane
 Civilization

  A Draft Manuscript


   humane-civilization.org home

Mexican Street Vendor

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ethics, Economics and the Future of the World

  Middle East Peace

January 11, 2009
The Christian Science Monitor:  Letter to the Editor
regarding "The Long Tunnel to a Gaza Peace", 1/9, p.8

   Your editorial asserts that Israel can't afford a second defeat in Gaza. Israel lost by starting this barbaric offensive. Wars hardly ever solve conflicts. There will be hatred and attempts of revenge as long as the legitimate inhabitants of Palestine live in concentration camp-like conditions. Israel's policy of "collective punishments" is a despicable form of terrorism.
   It is time to find real solutions instead of blaming and rationalizing. The USA must stop its unconditional support of Israel. As Israel populated much of the Palestinian lands, it has forgone a two state solution. What is needed is one democratic, secular state that includes Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel worked closely with South Africa's white regime and cooperatively developed nuclear weapons. South Africa, with its vast African majority, has become a democracy that dismantled its "homelands", apartheid system, and nuclear facilities. It is time for Israel to find a similar solution.
   [this letter was published, shortened, 1/13/2009]

February 21, 2009
   Regarding Israel/Palestine:  In a Christian Science Monitor front page article (2/17/2009), "Window closing for two-state solution in Middle East", staff writer Howart LaFranchi states "some now see a risky 'one-state solution' as the only option in Israeli-Palestinian conflict." and "particularly in the wake of Israel's electoral lurch to the right .... a number of Israelis and Palestinians are warning that the two-state solution is in its death throes."
   It is extremely urgent for the Obama administration to stop defending Israel as a separate Jewish state for many reasons:

  • Israel has not worked towards a two-state solution since the nineties. It has de facto pursued an Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
  • The lack of progress is not due to Bush's lack of initiative, it is due to the USA's support of Jewish West Bank settlements and support of the illegal actions by Israeli police and defense forces. Israel does not accept that their theft of Palestinian lands and building of walls within the West Bank are illegal and must be stopped, but the USA at most reprimanded Israel while giving further assurances of support.
  • At this point, attempts by the Israeli government to dismantle the illegal Jewish cities, suburbs and settlements in the West Bank may lead to a civil war. Pursuing a two-state solution has become very dangerous.
  • We must not support any quasi religious state, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other. We must work towards secular democracies that follow international laws.
  • If a united Palestine is secular, democratic and neutral, Jews do not have to fear a razor-thin Arab majority. Both groups need each other. There are many multiethnic states where at least one group is a minority. Generally the wealthy and, to a lesser degree the well educated, are most influential, not the majority.  We must remember: during the early decades of Israel's existence, racism and terrorist crimes against blacks were common in both South Africa and the USA. There has been much progress without two-state solutions.
  • Additionally, in a democracy, political decisions deal with basic problems of income distribution, priority setting, economic philosophy, etc., not religious beliefs and ethnicities. The USA just decided that a ethnic minority president best represents the people's interests!
  • In Palestine, the ethnic differences are small; Arabs (including Palestinians) are Semitic and have spoken a Semitic language since Antiquity while Judaism represent more a religious affiliation than ethnicity. Jews were often prosecuted because of their roles in society and because of jalousie: for centuries they were not allowed to own land and gravitated to very lucrative jobs in commerce and/or academia. Among Arabs, Jews generally lived in peace.
  • That Hamas does not accept the right for Israel to exist is irrelevant since they have virtually no power.  Many countries did not accept other countries' governments or de facto borders.
  • As long as the USA supports Israel's brutal right-wing government, we continue to lose credibility in the Middle East and the Third World. We will continue to lose respect in the whole world. We have been very hypocritical, condoning Israel's illegal nuclear arsenal and defending the brutal collective punishments of Israeli police and defense forces, while condemning small desperate acts of powerless Arabs. We acknowledged Israel's right to torture suspects and to destroy the lives of families of adolescent Palestinian fighters–this is terrorism. Our hypocrisy drives powerful anti-American sentiments and terrorism. Arab terrorists hardly hate freedom, they hate the excesses of the West, the mistreatment of Arabs in Israel, and the threat Western corporations and media pose to their culture.
  • The USA cannot afford spending billions to support Israel, further billions to repair and rebuild what Israel destroys, while harming our relationship to the rest of the world.

 

March 10, 2009
   The Obama administration continues to promise support and close ties with Israel, trying to pursue peace through a two-state solution.  This in spite of the facts that,

  1. As reported 2/26 (the Christian Science Monitor, p.4) Israel plans to demolish 88 homes in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem (West Bank), supposedly for an archeological park. From the Washington Post, March 4, 2009  By Glenn Kessler:  "Clinton criticizes Israel, Iran...  Israeli plans to demolish Palestinian homes 'unhelpful,' secretary of state says." Approximately 1,500 Palestinians are to be evicted with the justifications that the buildings were built "without permit"
  2. As reported 3/3 (the Christian Science Monitor, p.7) plans for at least 73,000 housing units in the West Bank will be available for Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to act on.
  3. European news media noted that Likud officials carefully avoid mentioning the 'two-state solution', and, as reported on 3/4, the Christian Science Monitor, p.11, Netanyahu, a longtime critic of the Oslo peace process, is not committed to a 'two-state solution' that includes an independent Palestinian state.
  4. Netanyahu's incendiary actions seem designed to foment more desperate acts by Palestinians, so that Jews look like victims. In recent decades, much more Israelis have been maimed or killed by irresponsible Israeli drivers than Palestinian rockets, but Israel used a few desperate violent acts to justify killing hundreds of innocent civilians.

   If we do not work with Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, because they do not accept the existence of Israel, why should we support and work with Israel? Netanyahu does not accept the right of Palestinians to have the freedoms and rights of citizens in their own land?
   An Israel-Palestine 'two-state solution' is manifestly obsolete. The question is: will Israel get away with 'apartheid', treating Palestinians as inferior race, arresting and torturing innocent relatives of fighters, bulldozing anybody's home, building more walls and Israeli cities within Palestinians' lands? Furthermore, if Israel wants the international community to stop Iran's nuclear program, it must be willing to give up its own nuclear arsenal. The USA must stop taking insults and acknowledge that Netanyahu is a dangerous extremist. He wants to use us. The USA must change its language now and start acting, withdrawing all support for Israel, until Israel recognizes the rights of Palestinians and international law.




      H. Aeschbach, M.D.:   About the Principal Author
We may have different talents and temperaments, but we all experience grave inherent and cultural conflicts, and it is our environment, the social institutions of a civilization, which is to bring out the best of human nature.
If we have no vision of more ethical and humane institutions, our civilizations may destroy themselves or drift toward anarchy.
   If we do not trust our government, is this not an indictment of our constitution? Is this not a challenge to rethink the structure of the government?
   A humane civilization promotes small communities that support all inhabitants, individuals and families. Its government is a decentralized democracy. Natural ethics and efficiency are guiding principles of all institutions.
   In a humane, democratic economy, money is allocated by elected representatives of credit unions and development banks, not by profit-driven financial institutions and investors. Bank lending is limited but consistent, thus avoiding business cycles and large fluctuations in the functional money supply. Development banks' primary function is to advance quality of life for present and future generations, rather than material growth. Production and service organizations are decentralized, adapted to local conditions and needs. A function of taxation is to discourage what is recognized as bad for society, ecology and future generations.
   Instead of equal rights and justice, humane conditions for all is the primary goal. Families, schools, communities and service organizations help prevent unethical acts and criminal careers. People who are dangerous to self or others are treated, if necessary, in safe, structured long-term residential facilities. Natural ethics is the guiding principle of all institutions.