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A Modest Proposal for Israel-Palestine

A Modest Proposal1 

for ending the cycle of violence in Israel-Palestine

Many supporters of Israel feel threatened by calls for a ceasefire. We do not wish to threaten them. Instead we propose multiple actions that will threaten (a) the people who control most of the money for the media and (b) the merchants of death. 

First, however, we feel a need to state the following: 

  • We are all prisoners of the media we find credible, except for leaders (especially elected officials), who are prisoners of the media their followers find credible.2 

We ask the following:3

  • Station US Navy hospital ships off Gaza to provide emergency health assistance to anyone in Gaza who needs it.4 
  • The US military should manage the ports of Gaza to provide free flow of legitimate commerce with reasonable consideration of Israel’s security concerns. Israel has blocked all access to the sea from Gaza since Hamas won elections there in 2007. This has included denying Gaza fishermen access to 85% of their traditional waters.5
  • Support equal protection of the laws for Palestinians by allowing them to file suit in US federal courts for denial of equal protection by Israel.
  • Fund citizen-directed subsidies for local news nonprofits at 0.15% of the economies (Gross Domestic Product, GDPs) of Palestine and Israel to counter elite control of the major media. Lt. General McMaster, former President Trump’s second National Security Advisor, and others have expressed concern about the increasing polarization of the body politic within and between countries driven by increasing consolidation of ownership and control of the media, including social media. It is in our best interests to help supporters of our bitterest opponents get information they want, because doing so will reduce the risk of them and us being stampeded into counterproductive actions on questionable grounds. 
  • Support training in nonviolence. It is currently a crime to teach nonviolence to anyone designated as a terrorist by the US State Department — “providing material support to terrorism” — under the USA Patriot Act. If the US had supported rather than criminalized such training, Palestinians might have been able to get a redress of grievances without resorting to violence, and the Hamas attacks last fall might not have happened.

Spencer Graves, PhD <spencer.graves@effectivedefense.org>

Secretary, PeaceWorks Kansas City 

4550 Warwick Blvd 508

Kansas City, MO 64111

DISCLAIMER: This is my personal opinion, not an official position of PeaceWorks Kansas City. 

p.s. I am an unindicted co-conspirator in the attack that burned the clothes off of the “napalm girl” 1972-06-08: Between 1970 and 1973 I was an officer in the US Air Force stationed at Richards-Gebaur. I helped manage the manpower portion of the budget for air traffic control, voice and record communications, and electronic maintenance at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, near Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), and a few hundred other US Air Force facilities around the world. The plane that dropped that napalm and burned the clothes off that girl while killing cousins and neighbors probably took off and landed from Tan Son Nhut. I am complicit in that crime to the same extent that any accountant for an organized crime syndicate is complicit in crimes committed by others, documented in financial records managed by said accountant. The current Israel-Hamas war is similar, because both the Vietnam War and the current Israel-Hamas war have been driven by differences in the media that different people find credible.  

__________

  1. Apologies to Jonathan Swift (1729) A Modest Proposal (described in a Wikipedia article by that title): Unlike Swift’s work, the recommendations in this article all seem likely to contribute to the stated goal, offending only those who want to maintain the current system of political corruption.
  2. This claim about the power of the media is supported by substantial research, some of which helped Daniel Kahneman win the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, even though he is not an economist. See the Wikiversity article on, “How might the world be different if the PLO had followed Gandhi?“, accessed 2024-05-11.
  3. These points are made in the description of the episode of “All Souls Forum” on KKFI.org for 2024-05-14. (https://kkfi.org/program-episodes/seven-steps-to-ending-the-cycle-of-violence-in-israel-palestine/).
  4. The US Navy currently has two fully equipped “Mercy-class hospital ships”. President Biden could order that they be stationed off Gaza to serve people in greatest need. Airlifts could be provided to other places if additional capacity is needed.
  5. Wikipedia, “Blockade of the Gaza Strip“. This is collective punishment, a violation of international law.

Copyright 2024 Spencer Graves, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 international license.

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