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Vision of Hope
file under: PalestineMiddle East PeaceIsraelHamasFatahArab Spring 15 May 2011 5:39 PM
Palestine: How Will She Come Into Being? Posted by Nissim Dahan
The recent agreement in April between Fatah and Hamas has paved the way for Palestinians to act unilaterally, this coming September, to ask the U.N. to declare a Palestinian State on the basis of the 1967 borders. By some estimates, Palestinians will receive 140 votes in favor, when only 128 votes will be needed. The only real question that remains is: Will a Palestinian State come into being unilaterally, or as a result of a last minute negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine?

 

A non-negotiated Palestinian State will pose problems for both Palestinians and Israelis. On the Palestinian side, a state may well be recognized by the international community, but if Israeli settlements remain in place in the West Bank, and if there is an Israeli military presence there, then Palestine will be a state in name only, with no reality or sovereignty to back it up. Palestinians would probably expect that the international community would pressure Israel to dismantle the settlements and to withdraw to the 1967 borders, but such pressure could take years to bring results. In the interim, political tensions between Fatah and Hamas could resurface, as they have in the past, and if a civil war breaks out, then the international community may become far less willing to pressure Israel to comply with U.N. demands.

 

A non-negotiated Palestinian State would be a problem for Israel as well. The U.N. could declare the new state, based on the 1967 borders, without resolving such contentious issues as the status of Jerusalem, the settlement blocks around Jerusalem, the rights of the refugees, and the decision as to whether Palestine will be militarized. Under such circumstances, Israel would be faced with the reality of a Palestinian State, without having resolved any of the vital issues which have divided the parties for so many years. In addition, if Israel maintains the settlements and her military presence in the West Bank, then she will likely be subject to a growing campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions by the international community, in an effort to delegitimize her, and to pressure her to relent to U.N. demands.

 

To a certain extent, the Israel/Palestine issue is a microcosm of the Middle East as a whole. The issues which divide these two people may be unique to this particular conflict, but the ideological barriers that keep these two apart are the same kind of barriers which have kept the Middle East trapped in the past, and which have prevented the Middle East from moving forward. The impasse over borders, Jerusalem, settlements, and refugees is deep-seated, not because an equitable solution can't be found, but because the strength of ideological conviction prevents the parties from making the necessary concession to broker a peace. Is it possible, based on current realities on the ground, including the Arab Spring, that ideological intransigence will finally give way to the need to come together, in Israel and Palestine, and throughout the greater Middle East as a whole?

 

The Middle East, after years of oppressive rule, corruption, and stagnation, is being asked, by the man on the street, to dismantle the old model, in favor of a Vision of Hope, a vision of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom. A transition of this sort is a better pill to swallow for those in power who are used to getting their way. In a similar vein, Palestinians and Israelis are being called upon to weaken the hold, to a certain extent, of ideological conviction, and to embrace the possibility that today is a new day, and that the past may no longer be a harbinger of things to come. Today hints of the possibility of fundamental change, of reaching the next stage of human development, and of becoming more than we ever dreamed possible.

Comments (23)Add Comment
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written by zcardin, May 25, 2011
A real Palestinian State can only come through direct talks and negotiations. The proposal of the the PA to become a state through the United Nations describes one of the roots of the Arab -Israeli conflict that has been continued for far too long. The lack of trust between the Palestinians and the Israeli's have put progress at a stand still. With the Arab Spring, I hope that Palestinians will deeply care about their own democratic state rather than the destruction of the Jewish State. I also hope the Israeli's will trust the Palistians intentions to be a free state. Building this trust is a slow but is an important mission. Trust is the first requirment for a Palestinian State.
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written by zcardin, May 25, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05...middleeast This is an intresting article.
Trust
written by Nissim Dahan, May 25, 2011
Zcardin, thank you for your "polite" comments, as opposed to Gabe's.

I would agree with you that "trust" is the missing ingredient here.

I picture in my mind the diplomats and politicians sitting around the negotiating table, gripped by the paralysis of ideological inflexibility. Each word that is uttered is measure against an ideological backdrop that doesn't allow even the hint of common sense to filter in.

Talk about Jerusalem, or final borders, or refugees, and you carry the heavy weight of uncompromising positions on your shoulders.

As a result, people either don't talk to one another, or they say things which have no meaning, such as "...we are willing to make difficult compromises..."

The question is: How do you build trust?

The article you site suggests getting a groundswell of public support, such as Palestinians and Israelis marching together with signs that call for a two-state solution.

That would certainly help.

In addition, I see no harm in launching a series of projects which create jobs, and which inspire a sense of hope.

For example, it would be good to see Stef Wertheimer partner up with Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates, along with Saudi, and Palestinian investors, to build an industrial zone in Raffah, between Israel and Gaza, creatining some 200,000 jobs, with the blessings of Hamas, and the West Bank. Some of the jobs could be green jobs focused on environmental problems endemic to the region, such as water purification and the like.

Such a project would no longer be simply an "industrial zone." It would be a manifestation of a Vision of Hope for the Middle East. It would be a new model for the whole world to see and to follow. Pretty soon some serious dollars will be coming in to fund other such projects, thus creating millions of jobs, even Western jobs. A project of this sort would say to the world that a Vision of Hope is possible, and that it is up to us to make it so.

I think that such a project would also address your concern in that it would build a good measure of trust, and create conditions on the ground which speak louder than words. And then, at such time, maybe the diplomats and politicians would have something meaningful to say to one another, for a change.

I greatly appreciate your comments. Please keep up the good work.
BROWNNOSING!!!!!
written by GABE1, May 26, 2011
In the good old tradition of censorship, you are following that old dictum-"IF YOU DISLIKE THE DISAGREEMENT ,THAN JUST ERASE IT"

CRAP BUILT ON CRAP IS STILL CRAP, NO MATTER THE NUMBER OF BLOGS YOU USE TO EMPHASIZE IT.
Argue on the Merits
written by Nissim Dahan, May 26, 2011
I don't mind disagreement. In fact, I enjoy it as a way of getting my point across.

What I'm not going to tolerate is name calling and demonization.

If you disagree with what I'm saying, or what zcardin is saying, then fine, God bless you, you're entitled to that, and you may well be right. But you have to argue your point on the merits, and treat others with some measure of civility, even though you disagree wholeheartedly with what you have to say.

The minute we cannot talk to one another in a civil way is the minutes that communication begins to break down, as it has in large parts of the Middle East. I will not allow this site to succumb to that fate.

You are intelligent, and you know how to make an argument when you want to. Name calling and demonization is what we do when we either can't think of a decent argument, or we'd rather not bother making one. That's not what this site is all about.

I welcome your comments, and in fact, I admire that you are one of the few who even bothers to make them.

But it has to be done in a civil and rational way, for the sake of both of us, and for the sake of moving the Middle East forward in the right direction.
Actions speak louder than words
written by zcardin, May 26, 2011
Alan Paton in Cry the Beloved Country, explains that the society in apartheid South Africa is “it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possessions." Please note I am not saying nor do I believe Israel is an Aparthied state but I am just using this quote to begin my point. People love and support the idea of “2 states for 2 peoples” but they are fearful of change. People are scared of a changing of guard in the middle east and would rather keep things the way they are. To those people I offer this objection.
Justice Louis Brandeis states, “ "If we would be guided by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold." We must take risks and make hard decisions which will eventually lead to peace. Resources to the Palestinian people are of paramount importance to end this conflict. We must give them the ability to help them selves through the economic opportunities. They have the right to a sustainable job. Radicalism and Extremism does not feed well on full stomachs. Economic opportunities will lead to a long lasting peace. People need to come to the plate and invest in the Middle East.
I couldn't agree more.
written by Nissim Dahan, May 27, 2011
Zcardin, you make some excellent point.

Your Brandeis quote is particularly apt, "If we would be guided by the light of reason, we must let our minds be bold."

It takes a great deal of courage to let go of our fears, and even some of our closely held beliefs, in favor of doing the reasonable thing.

Like you say, people in the Middle East have grown accustomed to believing certain things, and acting based on those beliefs.

Israel, for example, may have come to the conclusion that peace is unattainable because the Palestinians are committed to her destruction. And of course, history is replete with facts that seem to support this conclusion. And the Palestinians may have come to similar conclusions based on their interpretations of history.

However, this is a new day, and the Arab Spring is a game changing event as far as I'm concerned. The past is past, and the future remains open to new possibilities.

I believe that for the first time in a long time, the self-interest of some of the key players in the Middle East are coming into alignment with the best interests of the region. We can use that to effectuate positive change.

As an example, is it possible that Hamas has made an agreement with Fatah because of the instability in Damascus, which is Hamas' home base?

And you're perfectly right to say that radicalism and extermism is a much harder sell when people have jobs, food on the table, and a stake in their collective futures.

Let's build a green industrial zone, between Israel and Gaza, which will create 200,000 jobs for Arabs and Jews working together. Let's get Hamas to endorse and protect the project. Let's get Saudi finanacing. Let's solicit the help of Stef Wertheimer, and Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates to put the project together. Let's use Israeli research to purify water and address environmental concerns.

A project of this sort will no longer be a green industrial zone. It will be a symbol of Hope. It will attract worldwide attention and additional investment dollars to fund more such projects. What begins as a single solitary project will blossom into a movement for change, and condition people on both sides for the possibility of peace.

This will require clear-headed thinking, and putting aside some of our fears, and even some of our beliefs, in favor of something we can believe in even more, like peace, prosperity and freedom
Healthy Skepticism vs unhealthy intransigence
written by cardin, May 29, 2011

Often when discussing the idea of peace in the middle east one will encounter the following argument. Israel has again and again given back land with little sucess. Israel disassebled settlements in gaza in 2005 and hamas took over further increasing the instability and terrorism in the region. Why does israel need to give back land? What about having the palesitinans meet preconditions for peace instead of israel? Why can't israel worry about its security instead of being so eager to make "peace" with its arab neighbors. Israel can stand on its own. To the person that makes such an argument i say the following - It is appropriate even neccessary to be skeptical of peace. Thousands of israeli soldiers have died for land that have been discussed in peace talks. and Yes palestininas do not have the best track record. but as Nissim Dahan states the arab spring is a game changer. It is an enlgihtenment in some sorts straying away from religous extremism in hopes of economic and societal sucess. Many times when people analyze an issue they look into the political, and religous causes and effects of the issue but very few people look into culture. The arab people have been living in a very conservative closed society (for the most part) insulated from the larger world with excepetion of oil exports, with autocrat after autocrat falling and a resurgence of democracy and liberalism in the arab culture a wave of freedom both socialy and economicaly has flooded the traditionaly closed societies. While skepticism is healthy in n egotioation it is perfectly reasonable to ensure palestianns are commiteed to peace before doing and y land swaps intransigence is destructive. People change, societies change, ideology change. and people looking into the conflict need to realize that. Similar to how my brother said extremism is hard to sell when people have jobs fuel the economic propserity fue innovation it is in israels best interest to have a thriving palestine and people should not fear it. a green project seems like an apportirate idea. Make it mutualy beneficial for israel and gaza have thm both have in an interest in the sucess of each other. people do not turn to extremism in times of propsperity bring both people prosperity bring both people peace.
Israel?
written by EEW, May 30, 2011
Nissim,
Very insightful blog, I very much enjoy reading them. And, thank you for the energy and time you put into finding a solution to the Mid-East situation.
I wholly agree with you that the narratives of both the Israelis and Palestinians need to be left behind when they attempt to work out their differences. But, Israeli's may find it hard to dismiss a history of betrayal of trust when it comes to "land for peace." After all, it did not work in Gaza or in the unilateral withdrawals from the W. Bank.
Can the Israeli's really expect history not to repeat itself if it does retreat back to the '67 borders.
I agree that the situation right now is wholly unsustainable, but will it really be better than it is now if the Palestinians are able to develop a state. I can imagine many more scary situations for Israelis and Palestinians than the status quo.
Nissim, how do you envision the Israelis working around this psychological block?
Thank you and keep up the good work.
Respectfully,
EW
Very Excellent Points
written by Nissim Dahan, May 30, 2011
Cardin and EEW, you make some very good points.

If we judge from the past, and from all the betrayals that you mention, there is very little hope that peace could emerge in the near future.

However, if it is true that the Arab Spring is a game changer, then we would be remiss if we judge solely based on the past.

As I've said, to my mind, the Arab Spring is a game changer. When you have people willing to set themselves on fire, as happened in Tunisia, and when you have people willing to get themselves shot to death, as is happening in Syria, then you have to take that very seriously, especially when you know that for decades, the people on the street did not find the courage to act so courageously.

Whe is happening now is due to a combination of a number of factors. For one, the young generation can see who the rest of the world lives, and and communicate with that world. The Mubarak Model is out of step with the will of the people, and with the way that the free world lives. And this has been brought home, and the people on the street feel emboldened to take matters into their own hand.

This doesn't mean that they will necessarily succeed. But at least the will is there. And if we help them, and if we put a new model in place for the Middle East, then the force of the man on the street will be increased to an even greater degree, to the point where it will not be extinguished, even by the most ruthless of dictators.

Therefore, it is incumbent on the West to put a new model in place, one that speaks louder than words, and one that points to the possibility of peace, prosperity and freedom.

A green industrial zone between Gaza and Israel, which creates some 200,000 jobs, is the kind of model that could work, and I will soon write a post about that.

This is doable, and Hamas will buy in, in an attempt to create jobs, to appease the man on the street, and to consolidate its hold on power. Saudi financing is critical, as is the support of people like Gates, and Buffet, and Wertheimer.

Once this model is in place, you will see that the whole world will follow suit, and there will be a flow of money to replicate this project throughout the Middle East, which will create millions of jobs in the West as well. You will provide an answer to our most intractable problems in one fell swoop: the economy, the environment, and extremism.

Once this reality is in place, there will be much more to talk about on the negotiation table, and the curse of the past will no longer haunt us, because it will indeed be a new day.
Green Zone
written by cardin, May 30, 2011
Several times you have mentioned this green zone as a means of creating peace in the middle east. I happen to agree and think these joint projects are vital in creating thriving business in the middle east and using that success to chizle away at the ideological differences. People love to make money so you should pitch this idea to various amounts of people. For the longest time people feared asia as an unstable market which was to risky to invest in. But the few who were ambitious enough to do so maid large profits during the tiger economies of the late 1980's and early 1990's. Similarly, people fear africa as too unstable to risk investing in but no one doubts their is money to be made in a continent with such rich natural resources. Why not pitch the idea as avant-garde? Sell it as a way for individuals to prosper from being disciplined enough to seek out up and coming markets. Gaza will develop. It is just a matter of time when. I think by selling it as a money making opportunity you can spike the interest of ambitious wealthy investors to find the capital necessary for such a project.
What is the Best Sales Pitch?
written by Nissim Dahan, June 01, 2011
Cardin, I agree with you that the promise of profits is at the heart of what it will take to sell these Green Industrial Zones in the short run, and what will be needed to sustain these projects in the long run.

If it makes money, people will buy in, and will keep buying in over the long haul.

However, as you suggest, there will be some measure of risk. And ordinarily, business people seek to minimize risk. So what will make them buy in this time around?

The reason this will sell, aside from the potential for profits to be made, is because there are a whole host of other reasons from people to buy in, reasons which are quicly becoming imperatives, and which will push bring people in who may not ordinarily make such a move.

Look at the instability on the Arab street. A Saudi prince may say to himself, "Well, ordinarily I wouldn't make this kind of investment, but I will in this case, in order to create jobs, in the hope of quieting the street down. The risk I face from not doing anything along these lines is greater than the risk I face by investing and trying to make a go of it."

Israel may buy in because 250,000 jobs between Israel and Gaza is a much better boundary, then the one we have now where missles are flying overhead. If Gazans have something to lose, they may think twice about throwing it all away. Israel may also conclude that job create will condition poeple for the possibility of peace, and will make a peace deal easier to come by. Working together is a good way to humanize one in the eyes of the other. Business creates its own ideological imperative. When people are making money together, they are less likely to go at each other's throats.

America may buy in as a way of enhancing the peace process, and thereby securing her interests in oil. Also, revitalizing the Middle East could be a good way of creating millions of American jobs, as we create a new market for our goods and services.

The people of the region may also buy in because a green industrial zone could help tackle some of the environmental problems endemic to the region, such as water shortages, foor production, etc, using state of the art green research.

So bottom line, Cardin, there are many ways to sell this, depending on who you're talking to, but as you say, profitability is certainly an important component. If we play our cards right, we will create a New Model for the Middle East, which will inspire a sense of hope, and which will light the way for the whole world to follow. What begins as a single solitary project could well end up as a movement for change, at a time when we're running out of time, and out of options.
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written by zcardin, June 02, 2011
It angers me that people will not start the process of making progress in the Middle East because they do not know the exact end point. If people started the process of peace in itself that would be accomplishing a tremendous amount. Perki Avot statest “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either.” Many people see a better world of the Middle East on the horizons and must have the faith to start when you do not know the end. That would be courage.
REALLY?
written by GABE1, June 02, 2011
It is not the end point which is of concern but rather the staring point.

*Gaza and the Qassams on Sderot and other cities
*The demand to flood Israel with foreign arabs
*The denial of Jewish history in Israel
*Last but not lease the charters of both Fatah and Hamas

The 1948 war of annihilation, the 1967 war with some chilling graphics of the Arabs intentions and the sneak attack in 1973 are the result of the faith to start when you do not know the end


Yes it takes courage to commit Hara-Kiri. Pirkei Avod is not such an act. Jews do not need a repeat of 1939 to be courageous. Let the Arabs for a change show some courage.
Industrial Zones.
written by GABE1, June 02, 2011
This is old socks. It has been tried in 1967-2000 and came to an abrupt end with the Intifada II. Were you not aware that there were no checkpoints and no walls up to 2000 and were you also aware of the number of Industrial Zones run jointly by Jews and Arabs. Were you aware that until 2000 you could shop in any of the Arab cities by Jews and any Israeli city by Arabs? Were you aware that there was hardly any unemployment in Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

So what went wrong? Did the Israelis have a change of heart because they were evil?
Good Points
written by Nissim Dahan, June 03, 2011
Gabe makes some valid points, but so does Zcardin.

What Gabe says is hard to deny. Yes there has been a history of military attacks against the Jewish state. Yes, the so called "right of return" would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Yes the charters of both Fatah and Hamas contain language aimed at destroying Israel. Yes, the Jewish connection to the land is challeneged left and right, even though it is undeniable by any measure of reason. And yes, joint projects were tried before 2000, including allowing thousand of Palestinians to work in Israel, and including industrial zones as well.

And yet, as you know by now, I am inclined to agree with Zcardin, in saying that under the right circumstances, a Green Industrial Zone should be built between Gaza and Israel, even if a peace agreement remains a long way off.

So why do I say this?

It is particularly because the peace process is paralyzed that something should be done to give it a kick start. The Palestinians are shooting for unilateral recognition in September. But this will harden Israelis even more. What is needed is a kick start that will inspire a sense of hope, that will compete for hearts and minds, and that will create new conditions on the ground which make peace more likely than not.

In other words, if you can't reach agreement on all the issues, at least do something which pushes the parties along in the right direction.

But certain conditions would have to be met: Hamas and Fatah would have to donate the land. Jews, Christians and Muslims would have to be allowed to participate together. Saudi money, and money from other oil producers would have to be put on the table as an investment. And all parties, Fatah, Hamas and Israel would have to commit to protect the industrial zone.

Under these circumstances it would be worth it, in my opinion, to give this a try. It would take a lot of hard work, but the capital investment would be Arab. Israel could provide necessary research and expertise, as would the U.S. and perhaps Europe. Environmental issues endemic to the region would be a focus of these jobs. Other areas could be food production, health care, green energy, and other causes which are important in our time, and which Israel has researched thoroughly.

Gabe is right to be skeptical. But at a time when there is turmoil on the streets, when the whole world is looking for answers, and when the prospects for peace are so dim, this is precisely the time to try something new, and perhaps a little crazy, to see if we can create a model that resonates with hope, and that sparks a movement for change. As such, what begins as a single solitary project could well blossom into a movement for change. Stranger things have happened.
ZCARDIN, CARDIN, AND EEW
written by GABE1, June 04, 2011
have put in their "two cents worth" and in typical fashion just disappeared at the first sign of being challenged. This is typical of the anti Israel grouping that we have to contend with.

You keep referring to "we" without saying that it is "them" that must come forward with what they actually want. You may be shocked to learn that your ideas would fall on deaf ears. Have some of your so called "donors" or "would be donors" write an op piece as to the nature of their demands as to what they would bring to the table and the conditions for doing so. Otherwise this is just a sterile discussion among Jews making points that have no validity as they are not answered by the other side.

I don't mind debating among ourselves but at some time we must say that this debate is actually non productive.
Another Point Well Taken
written by Nissim Dahan, June 05, 2011
Gabe makes a good point here as well.

If all this adds up to is bunch of Jews dabating among themselves, then sooner or later we will all have to admit that it's a waste of time.

Sooner or later, Arabs have to reciprocate for it to mean anything.

I've received several hints along the way that this particular idea may resonate in the Arab world.

For example, one of the wealthiest Palestians on earth, a multi-billionaire who employs some 60,000 people, and who may become the next prime minister, has agreed, "in principal" to become part ot this team, Billionaires for Peace, that we're trying to put together.

Also, in the early days of www.mideastyouth.com, some two years ago, our ideas garnered a great many favorable comments from the Arab world, sometimes as many as 70 on one blog.

Recently, I've spoken with some prominent Muslims and they too seem open to such ideas.

However, I have to admit, that progress on this project remains limited and slow.

George Bernard Shaw once said, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

So far I've been a teacher and not a doer. I have to find the courage and the wisdom to actually approach some of the key player, the people who actually have the wealth and power to make something happen along these lines.

Time will tell. The idea is out there, and perhaps one day, if things get bad enough on the street, people in power may actually give this thing a second look, not because I say so, but because it remains the only idea still left standing, the only way to bring a semblance of order to our lives.
AGAIN.........
written by GABE1, June 05, 2011
There is a time limit when the Arab masses enter the 20th century instead of still languishing in the 7th. How long must Israel wait for that "Arab street" to show that they have entered the 20th century and not that they had a momentary flash for democracy that expired a few days after it was lit.

Israel is a thriving democracy with a fairly high standard of living as well as a very high satisfaction of life index, so I take issue with you, Zcardin, Cardin and EEW coming along and saying that we must abandon this and help the Arab annihilate us. WHY?
It the Arabs want to emulate Israel that is fine and well and I would jump on any bandwagon that would speed up that process.But the Arabs are not interested (Your multi-billionaire donors notwithstanding). This wealthy Arabs had 19 years between 1948 and 1967 to make their mark amongst their brethren and they fell down miserably. The wealthy patron of Lebanon was assassinated fro his largesse and the other billionaire (Suha Arafat) is doing quite well in Paris with her Lebanese lover and nary a thought about the so called Palestinians.

Money, jobs are not the problem in the Middle East and I would like to see you actually post a blog on what actually ails the Middle East but realistically this time. This idea in not still standing : it has been demolished on a number of occasions.

I would like to hear either the millionaires, billionaires or paupers on the Arab side.
What is wrong in the Arab world, and the world at large?
written by Nissim Dahan, June 06, 2011
If you ask me what is wrong in the Arab world, in all fairness, I would also have to mention what is wrong in the world at large. Because to a great extent, its the same problem, even though it manifests itself in different ways.

What is wrong in the world is wrong-headed thinking and misplaced belief. We don't think straight and we come to believe the wrong things.

So, for example, in the Arab world, greed and corruption seems to be the name of the game among top leadership, and it seems OK to keep the masses impoverished and oppressed. There is a strong disconnect between the aspirations of the people, and the way things are. And if people even attempt to voice their concerns, they are quickly put down, as is happening in Syria and the like. Women are marginalized in much of the Arab world. And Holy Scripture is interpreted by the extremist to condone violence, in a bid to consolidate political power. Education and therefore innovation are stifled, which makes it almost impossible for that part of the world to join the 21st century. And scapegoating is often resorted to instead of facing the internal problems head on.

So there is plenty wrong in the Arab world, but in all fairness, we in the West have much to answer for as well, and it all stems from wrong-headed thinking and false belief. For example, the idea, motivated by sheer greed, that you can lend mortgage money to people who can't afford it, and lump those securities together, and use these to raise money on false pretenses, and thereby bring the world's economy into a state of turmoil, that nonsense is something we have no right to be proud of.

The idea that it is OK to run our economies on fossil fuels, even if it destroys the earth, is an idea that may well end up looking a lot more stupid than anything happening in the Arab world.

The idea that it is a normal part of life to have 15,000 homicides a year in the U.S. also doesn't speak well of some of our thinking.

So I guess, Gabe, there is plenty of nonsense to go around.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, the next stage of human development will require a new framework for ideological belief, based on some very simply common sense principles. I talk about that in the first third of my book, which I would be happy to send you.

The only way out of this mess, is to begin thinking sensibly, and to use that to come to what is worth believing. Instead of believing what we want to believe, it's time to believe in what makes sense. Instead of jumping to false belief and rationalizing why we're right, why not use rationality in the first place to arrive at what is worth believing in. In a more perfect world, common sense, the collective wisdom born of shared experience, will inspire our thinking and inform our speech. In our fractured world, common sense is the common denominator.

And by the way, I am working to finding Muslims and Arab who may wish to comment.
LOOKING
written by GABE1, June 06, 2011
Should be quite interesting if you manage to find them.

I am quite taken by your cataloging of the various maladies in the world with an emphasis on the USA. I do find this interesting as you do not make these comments in the context of the Arabs but rather as a equivalent setting. The USA does not covet some one else's land not does it export terror in that quest. We have courts that deal with societies' lapses. Any one breaking the law is subject to penalties as set by this law. NO we are not perfect and sorely lacking but we at least try. So a comparison is very ill advised.

Let me suggest that your abundant energies should perhaps be harnessed to fight these injustices in our society as well as many others that you did not even point out, and they do exist. Our aboriginals are mistreated and so are the peoples of colour even though in one case it is government inspired and in another by individuals.

In my travels throughout the USA I have seen the decay in the inner cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore and even Miami and it reminded me of that saying that "charity begins at home" and yes we Jews have two homes one the USA(Canada(France etc) and the other our spiritual home-Israel. In view that Jews in the Middle East have not had a single day of peace between 1947 and today speak volumes about what we must do before we make our enemies our priority.

But lets see what our Muslims and Arabs have to say on that subject and lets listen politely to their grievances but be firm in our replies if these grievances encroach on the security of Israel.
...
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Lacoste Shoes Canada on sale with high quality and low price, free shipping on purchase 3 pairs or more,fast delivery. Welcome to
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written by yushumei, June 17, 2011
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