“Two peoples, Two states!

This (or something like this) is far more unifying, politically realistic, and less likely to be misinterpreted than many of the other slogans that I have seen in recent weeks. The purpose of a slogan isn’t to litigate the past or feel righteous in the present. It is, instead, to suggest a way forward that is, given current realities, unifying, just, and winnable.

A chimera

There’s only one way to protect hospitals in Gaza. It’s called a permanent ceasefire, negotiations, and a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. We should know from past experience that a military solution is a chimera and a pause in present circumstances is no more than a coffee break for Israeli ground troops and pilots before they resume their brutal attack.

Personal inventory

All of us bear some responsibility for the war and bloodshed, first in Israel and now in Gaza. The prewar situation in Gaza and the West Bank should have told all of us that it wasn’t sustainable. But most of us and the world didn’t pay attention to it, including the Biden administration that was anxious to turn its attention to China and Asia. What Hamas did finds no justification – politically or morally – but even now and when the worst of the fighting stops each of us should take some personal inventory and ask ourselves what did we do to address this unsustainable situation.

Hostage release

What Hamas did on October 7 has no justification, including the taking of innocent hostages. In demanding their release though we should bear in mind that 14,500 Palestinians languish in Israeli prisons – some of whom have never been formally charged with any crime.

Polling and a ceasefire

The poll supporting a ceasefire, it is said, is only a snapshot of public sentiment and doesn’t capture the complexity of public sentiments and thus its results should be taken with a grain of salt. Even if that is true, (and it is likely the case) it doesn’t lessen in any way the political and moral imperative of a ceasefire.

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