MARCH 20 2012
Where are we?
Israel: Regional Identity
1. Intro: Region and Identity
2. Israel’s identity of place
3. Israel’s regional alternatives
(1) Rethinking Israel in the Middle East
(2) Rethinking the Middle East: S. Penes
(3) Rethinking the Mediterranean: A Mediterranean Region
4. Israel in the world
(1) Can’t live with it, can’t live without it
(2) Israel’s mistrust of the world
(3) Global Israel
(4) The world vs Israel
(5) Of causes and consequences
Comments about the papers: there were very few papers actively dealt with and
answered what the question was about, while most developed the narrative of particular
institution’s identity. Some papers were very well researched, but what was really
missing was the application of the knowledge to the general questions posed.
If ethnic cleansing were to occur it would be end of Israel, whether it is the Jewish,
Palestinians or the diaspora. Demographics are very hard to change. The two
communities will not become one under one state, and they will fight physically or
civically. Unless the two communities reconcile with each other. State of the Jews is
different from Jewish state, the latter is more religious.
There are many alternatives that are different from one state citizenship. Rather they
are arrangements that follow the model of European union, where two countries get
together on an economic level. A two state solution is his preferred option. It can
happen if they are able to win over radicals from each other’s sides. Only a two state
solution can be a fair solution, because that way each state can get partly what each
other wants, but not all.
One ingredient for two state solution is that both sides needs to see themselves as
normal. Israel is seen as a fortified garrison state, full of Zionist…etc. because it is a
settled country, it does not have boundaries. It contradicts the original belief that PAGE 2
Zionism wants a state of Israel with boundaries. There is also another problem of
uniqueness for the countries, Israelis are unique.
Fear of peace and the fear of the world. It comes down to that the world is always
against Israel, we are alone and that we should always rely on ourselves. Fear of the
world, thus fear of peace.
As long as Palestinians and Israel live in the past, nothing would move on.
Unfortunately there are a 100yrs of mistrust between two in history. They need to have
abstract ideas of justice and peace. Both sides needs to stop portraying themselves as
Israel cannot be