August 21, 2014

Response to Fatalist Gerald Caplan on Peace in #Israel - #Palestine - 21082014

by Diane McLoughlin, August 21, 2014

The best aspect of Gerry Caplan's analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict is his frank acknowledgement of the oppression and ethnic cleansing that Israel continues to perpetrate against the suffering Palestinian people. It is vitally important to share here that Israel's latest assault on Gaza is an act of genocide - not self-defense!

The worst aspect of Gerry Caplan's analysis is his sorrowful shrug that the situation in Israel-Palestine is intractable and that nothing can be done about it. While it may be a tough nut to crack, wherever there is oppression and injustice we should not back away from our moral and ethical duty to denounce it while encouraging healing and repair of relations between parties. It is a gentle irony that Mr. Caplan himself does not shy away from the ethical duty to speak, and it seems obvious that he cares.

So there is what-is on the one hand, while what-should-be stands separate and apart on the other. There is in an immense space in-between that is open to creative and determined and intelligent and dedicated and good people who set themselves to the challenge of changing the parameters of conflict. Such effort is not futile in the furtherance of justice, peace and global stability, even though you will almost certainly not know how your efforts assisted in tipping the scales.

Some of the ways to apply nonviolent pressure to help bring about peaceful change:


As with South African Apartheid, ways to encourage Israeli political direction to change include boycotting Israeli goods, divesting from one's investment portfolios of Israeli companies, and to demand ones' own countries sever political ties with Israel - Boycott, Divest, Sanctions - BDS for short.

Examples: - lots of resources at this website.

- The 'Long live Palestine boycott Israel' buycott app' was begun in April. Once Israel launched its latest military assault on Gaza beginning in July, the numbers of new buycott users exploded. [over 390,000 users and counting.]

  The buycott campaign organizers explain that the boycott,

'will continue until Israel complies with the precepts of international law by

    1. Ending its occupation of Palestine and dismantling the Wall.

    2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel          to full equality.

   3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to               return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.'

Cut military and intelligence ties

Let it be known to your government that you believe it would be the right thing to do to cut all military cooperative ties with Israel - no more donations of bullets, bombs, software or intelligence.

Ban public and private donations that further injustice

Render it illegal for private individuals to donate funds to Israeli institutions that further the aims of stealing Palestinian land.

Ban private business from profiting from oppression

Render it illegal for any company to collude with Israel to extract Palestinian-owned natural resources. In the mix is the recent discovery  that Gaza owns a vast wealth of natural gas off-shore.

Ban citizens from enlisting in foreign militaries which enforce oppression

Render it illegal for citizens to serve in Israel's military.

Ban politicians from accepting gifts including trips

Render it illegal, if it isn't already, for politicians to accept Israel-funded trips. By all means, politicians ought to travel to Israel to witness what's going on. But only if the investigation includes fact-finding in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, meeting with Palestinian authorities, as well.


Mr. Caplan's argument is an important one, in that he may have helped to finally open political debate in Canada on Israel that for too long has been censored and suppressed.

Reponse to, 'No matter what leaders do, there won't be peace in the Middle East'; Gerald Caplan, African scholar, former NDP national director and regular panelist on CBC’s Power and Politics; The Globe and Mail; August 15, 2014.


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