Posted by: r.m. | August 24, 2011

wanting peace?

I just came back from my talk – organized by NC Peace Action and the Coalition for Peace with Justice – here in Raleigh, North Carolina.

here is the powerpoint of that talk –> raleigh-talk [The title was: ‘Domination or Liberation – or – ‘Arab Spring’: Revolution or Counter-Revolution]

After that talk, I had a discussion with someone who claimed to want peace.  He began by saying he wants a peace that is achievable – something that he envisions the Israeli government would do.

Therein lies the problem.

Anyone who calls for peace should work for what is right, and not what is “achievable.”  We work for justice – most particularly when it is not achievable. We work to change what is achievable. If we live in an unjust system and strive only to do what is achievable, what would we changing exactly? The color of the bandage?

The discussion with him – an Israeli with family in Israel – was painful.

He said he wants peace that is achievable, and that what is achievable – what the Israeli government would allow – is no more than a 2-state solution, an end to the occupation, with no right of return. He said he wants peace and spoke of how peace-loving the israelis he knows are – and how he supported the attack on Gaza in 08/09 because he knows someone whose child went to a kindergarten that was attacked by a katyusha and thus the attacks against Gaza were “self-defense.” He said  he wants peace and opposes occupation but rejects the right of the occupied to resist occupation. He wants peace and opposed discrimination but rejects having a Palestinian live next to him because of “terrorism.”   And throughout  all this, he accused me of presenting Israelis are warmongers and opposing peace.

He doesn’t want peace — he wants his own peace of mind, his own sense of personal security.

He fails to recognize that real peace of mind, even a real sense of personal security, cannot be separated from the peace of a community, the security of all, and thus cannot be achieved without justice.

Quite simple, actually.

And those who claim to want peace in his fashion, by the way, also claim that it is all so complex.

It really is quite simple.

— P.S. He also stated that a suicide bomb is the worst, most horrible action in human history. I told him the pilot of an F-16 is worse, not so? A suicide bomber wouldn’t be a suicide bomber if he had other weapons…



  1. The peace this Israeli individual talk about is reminiscent of the peace that European settlers wanted with native Americans. They wanted them to disappear. There are a lot of coy terms here in North America, that cover up aggressive thinking. Not wanting to grant equal rights to Arabs is aggressive, and racist. Racism is still alive it seems, racists and their sympathizers world-wide just learned to be sneaky about it.

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