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In response to commenter Jacob Carmiel

Reader comment on item: Which Way Will Abbas Go?

Submitted by Ed Melik, Esq. (Kuwait), Jan 29, 2005 at 08:00

I write in response to Mr. Jacob Carmiel's comment about the total military victory over Palestine is the right solution vs. the two state peaceful existence of both the states.

I always wonder why there has been such a prolonged and costly quagmire in this unending Middle East solution? I have lived and worked in many Muslim countries in the last 15 years or so. What I have noticed that people of same language, culture, traditions, and habits seems to congregate together more often and more comfortably than in contrasting or opposite conditions. For discussion's sake, let's assume that about half a million Afghan orthodox Muslims are given a part of, let's say, southern California. To be exact, let's assume we give them Orange County and then by force ask the existing residents of Orange County to leave. Afghans then try to encroach over the given territories of Orange County. Obviously, those living on the other side of the encroaching boundaries would not like it. Now think of these half a million Afghans are allowed to work outside of Orange County and are free to visit Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Pasadena etc. Just by looking at these people one could tell they are definitely not one of us as they behave differently and do not conform to the ways we are used to. We find their social, religious and cultural values disagreeable to a point of distrust resulting in our defensive behavior thus resulting in open discriminations and disgust. Slowly these Afghans start making moves to settle down outside their allocated territory of Orange County. Just think of rest of the implication in this scenario when none of the Afghans are willing to adopt our ways and we certainly aren't willing to adapt to theirs.

This is exactly what has happened in Israel. It is not Jews vs. Arabs. It is European vs. Arabs. The Arab Jews feel comfortable to socialize with the Arab Muslims, yet the same Arab Jews find it conflicting to mingle or socialize with ease with their European counterparts. I strongly believe that the conflict of Jews vs. Arabs is, in my opinion, simply East vs. the West.
After colonizing and occupying India for 200 years English failed to win the hearts and minds of the masses that were different in every way than the British. Again the phenomenon of East vs. the West prevailed and British had to relinquish their "crown in the jewel" India.

After colonizing the United States and almost bringing the natives to an extinct state by butchering them through a game park style hunting and target practicing of annihilation, how many occupiers adopted to the life style and value system of the natives?

The English, the Dutch, French and the Germans occupied and ruled South Africa for more than 300 years without assimilating into the mass culture of the natives. East vs. the West prevailed.

European and the American Jews have failed in reaching to any long lasting understandings toward the peace between the natives of Palestine and the new comers. Only solution to this no-win situation seems is what Mr. Jacob Carmiel commented. A total domination and forced colonization of the other.

"East is east and west is west and two shall never meet" is more appropriate in today's Israel-Palestine quagmire than ever.

The conflict that engulfs the Arabs and the European Jews is less religious and political but deeply rooted in their differing cultural, social and traditional life styles and value system than what is often propagated by the bias media on both sides. Despite the superficially and politically motivated rhetoric by both the sides, it has to do with east against west as the bigger picture is emerging from this phenomenon what we experience everyday in Iraq.

Despite the superficially sanitized and overly glorified ranting of "democracy" and 'freedom of speech" and "human rights" etc., Arabs would never adjust to the western ways of life. You don't have to westernize Iraq or Iran, just look at the Iraqis and Iranis and other Arabs living in France, Germany, England, USA, Canada and Israel. How well have they have assimilated to the life style of the country they adopted as their permanent homes? Do the social scientists of the world need bigger labs in sizes of Iraq and Iran to get to the conclusion? You can't force different cultures, races, and religions to live together. Material prosperity perhaps could unite them for material gratifications superficially as it is evident in Europe and the Americas, but deep inside lives the real ghosts of their psyche that would never let them fully trust the other.

Tolerance could only prevail when an open forms of communication, tolerance to dissentions, and a pursuit of common platform to vent out the differences exists with free willed participants to make up their own minds instead of being dictated by others...


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