Ed. Note: We read these articles and found them insightful, but each was too long to reprint in the Peace Newsletter. So instead, we decided to entice you with a brief description and put the complete article on our website: www.peacecouncil.net Please let us know what you think of this idea. If you don't have internet access we can send you copies for the cost of postage.
Bill Griffen is a long-time peace activist and education professor at SUNY, Cortland who has written many articles for the PNL over the years. Tony Judt is a history professor at NYU and his essay caught PNL committee member John Fitzsimmons' eye. John wrote both of these summaries.
Tony Judt's controversial essay on the conflict in Israel-Palestine is the wisest analysis of that situation I have read. It took me many phone calls and emails over a period of six weeks to gain permission from the New York Review of Books to reprint the article, but I think, when you read it on our website, you will agree the effort was worthwhile.
Tony states that talks leading to a final settlement must begin now, even though the suicide bombings will almost certainly continue until the peace accord is signed. This is contrary to President Bush's position that peace talks should not begin until attacks against Israeli citizens stop, Arafat is gone, and the Palestinians develop a well-functioning democracy. Check out the SPC website to find out what are the provocative steps Tony Judt thinks the United States and Israel must take to pave the way for the final settlement talks to begin.
Bill Griffen states that the media and politicians tell us we must "return to normalcy" (after 9-11) or the terrorists have won. Then they remind us that the "world will never be the same."
"Return to normalcy" means going back to a society that oppresses the poor, degrades the environment, and prizes individual accomplishment over the needs of society. The meaning of "the world will never be the same" is that the same oppressive society we are supposed to return to will bear the burden of a larger military and a much more intrusive security apparatus.
Bill's analysis of our culture's myths and stories that reward the individual and call for our domination over nature instead of cooperation with it, causes me to think more about my lifestyle and the culture in which I live.
Readers of this essay will find it a fascinating examination of our sicker post 9-11 society, how it came to be this way, and some ideas of what we might do about it.