Why I Changed My Mind on the Israeli / Palestinian Conflict
by Lee Edward Enochs
The Libertarian Shaman,
Princeton, New Jersey
As a Libertarian I am very skeptical of giving foreign aid to other countries. I especially believe the American government should not give one penny to any nation that is hostile to the United States in the slightest degree.
America is not the personal piggy-bank of the world. The United States needs to radically reduce foreign aid in general to deal with our own catastrophic national debt and do not have the monetary resources to keep giving out money to foreign nations at the current level.
I am especially concerned about how much foreign aid we give the nation of Israel. Current estimates indicate that we give Israel close to three billion dollars a year.
This is disconcerting to me because the crisis in Israel with the Palestinians just never ends.
As a Christian who has spent most of my life in conservative Evangelical churches, seminaries, colleges and ministries, I have been preconditioned to maintain the Dispensationalist / Zionist understanding of the present state of Israel.
This view argues that the current land of Palestine is the rightful ancestral homeland of the Jewish people that was promised to their patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that the formation of the modern Jewish state in 1948 was the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and shows conclusively that the Jews are God’s chosen people and have brought them back into their ancient land before the end of the world and the return of Christ.
This view of Israel has been drilled into me since I was a young and precocious child trying to make sense of the world in which I live.
However, it has been my personal experience after decades of involvement in Evangelical circles, that little thought is rendered by conservative Christian brethren as to the plight of the Palestinian people.
This is no longer acceptable to me and I have changed my mind on the matter of Israel and the Palestinian situation.
In a radical shift in foreign policy for me, I wanted to announce to my readers that I have changed my mind on the crisis in Israel regarding the Palestinian conflict. After considerable thought, study and prayer, I now advocate a two-state solution as the only way forward in human rights issue that has global ramifications.
The two-state solution refers to a solution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict currently under discussion, which calls for “two states for two groups of people.” The two-state solution envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River.
The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation, with Palestinian and Arab leadership insisting on the “1967 borders,” which is not accepted by Israel. The territory of the former Mandate Palestine which shall not form part of the Palestinian State, shall be part of Israeli territory.
The framework of the solution is set out in UN resolutions on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,” going back to 1974.
The resolution calls for “two States, Israel and Palestine … side by side within secure and recognized borders” together with “a just resolution of the refugee question in conformity with UN resolution 194.”
I used to believe that Israel could do no wrong in its dispute with the Palestinians, but after personally looking into the situation, do not believe enough is being done by Benjamin Netanyahu and the State of Israel to rectify the situation and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.
I want to be clear that I do not support anti-semitism of any kind but believe the only way forward in this conflict is to give the Palestinians their own sovereign homeland.
Presently the Israeli government maintains a questionable system of control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including the ID system, Israeli settlements, separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens around many of these settlements, military checkpoints, marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheaper labour, Palestinian West Bank exclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories have are all issues that restrict the free mobility of the Palestinians in the living space. Such conditions call for immediate rectification.
I believe the two-state solution is the only answer to the current crisis in Israel and some sort of time table needs to be set if we are to continue to give Israel such massive economic aid for its defense.