March 13, 2011
BOOK OF THE WEEK: WEEK ELEVEN, 2011
Sari Nusseibehm What Is a Palestinian State Worth? (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: Harvard U. Press, 2011) ("To reiterate, I believe that there do exist core human values, rooted in the compassionate impulse, which are largely independent of context and thus are universally shared. As it turns out, the two identified in our thought experiment are converse sides of the same coin: freedom is the space necessary to enable human beings to develop in positive ways, and equality is the availability of that space for all" "The universality of these core values applies within societies as well as between them. Yet Palestinians living in Israel or under its occupation are denied both equality and freedom. And, though it may sound paradoxical, the Israelis are not free either: jailers and prisoners inhabit the same jail. The history of our region had bred intense anger and fear on both sides, and these powerful negative emotions strengthen the tendency of both (Jewish) Israelis and Palestinians to view member of the 'opposing' group not as individual human beings with longings similar to their own, but rather as operatives of some larger entity, cogs in some meta-biological machine, If we wish to achieve peace and stability with oppression, it is vital that we focus on the human face--both our own and those of the 'others'--and on the values shared by all." Id. at 122-123. Also see David Shulman, "Israel & Palestine: Breaking the Silence," New York Review of Books, 2/24/11, at 43.).