I would love to go to Israel. Maybe next year, who knows? I have relatives in Israel. I believe Israel has the right to exist. That said…

I just read a disturbing blog post about a guy named Finkelstein having been denied from entering Israel (for what would have been the 16th time) because of his anti-Israeli rhetoric. He wanted to visit some friends in the Occupied Territories.

People in America are detained from entering on the flimsiest of reasons. Professors who are invited from Switzerland to teach a semester at Notre Dame are denied from entry. A professor from Yale was denied tenure because of his occasional anti-Israeli rhetoric. We call it anti-Israeli rhetoric even when you advocate the forming of a Palestinian State. People in America are often more conservative in their views of Israel than the very people who live in Israel. The majority of people who live in Israel are for talking to Hamas. Even if they are a “terrorist organization”, they are an elected governing body in “fair elections”, the very thing that America demands of countries around the world even though the world has become demonstrably worse with our last major election (2000) when the Supreme Court and not the people who voted decided who would win. Imagine if Pakistan or Indonesia or Venezuela or Turkey had elections that were determined by those countries’ Supreme Courts. We would have denounced them as unfair and undemocratic.

What’s my point? Arguably the largest reason for terrorist activity in the world is because of the disputed Territories around Israel. I don’t think Israel should negotiate with anyone from Palestine who doesn’t first and foremost say that Israel have a right to exist. Of course they shouldn’t. But at what point is Israel being unreasonable. It is surrounded by countries that hate them. That’s okay, they still have the right to exist and flourish as they have for the past 60 years (congratulations by the way) but don’t they want peace? Aren’t they willing to give up some of their settlements for peace? I know, they have to negotiate with people who hate them, who despise them, even just as a matter of historical perspective, but when isn’t negotiating or even “talks” not the wisest decision?

It’s a frustrating venture and it is something most people in the world have an opinion about. By lopping off the most extreme opinions from both sides of the equation, I think you would find enough in the rich, green middle to encourage discussion. Israel has more to lose so they have to be careful. Palestine has nothing to lose and so they can afford to be reckless. What about the rest of us?

is the link to the article I read that made me think about this…


2 Responses to Israel

  1. Roman says:

    It seems to me there must be more to Finklestein than what the article is portraying. If Israel won’t allow him entry, and prestigious US Universities won’t hire him (and he’s been out of work for a long period of time) there must be other reasons besides what the article has mentioned. From what I read, the author of the article only interviewed Finklestein. What about the other side of the issue? Israel does have a lot to lose and have every right to be skeptical with their current situation. Don’t you think?

  2. Howard Brodsly says:

    Wow Jason. As being one of the relatives living in Israel…and maybe the head of the Israeli clan, I was impressed with the article. Israel is an amazing place. s a country we benchmark ourselves to the US and not to the 3rd world, even in 1948, 3rd world was where Israel was.

    Most Israelis want peace, and I think are willing to take chances…but are getting tired of making concessions for promises not lived up to …Israel was forced into a war in 82 with Lebanon…the Christians there supported the war…When Israel left Lebanon, we thought it would be good for Israel…well several Katushas later I am sure. Israel foreceably removed it’s settlements from Gaza hoping for good….and several rockets and missiles later, Israel is not sure. So what do we do next…West Bank or Syria….I know that most of the Palestinians want Peace with Israel…they also want to copy Israel…but it is not the “good guys” that will keep the peace. It needs to be the bad ones..

    Re visiting Israel…HEY MAN….you are always welcome..Come on over.

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