|Professor Richard Landes
Writing in Tablet Magazine, historian Richard Landes argues that listening to Arab (and Palestinian) narratives about the creation of the State of Israel only fosters the acceptability of rejecting Israel’s existence.
Paul Scham — co-director of Israel Studies at the University of Maryland, member of the P.P.I. board and frequent contributor to this blog — responded to Landes in an essay that was initially posted on our blog, and that Tablet published on Aug. 5.
Paul is very thoughtful and articulate, while Landes is aggressive and repetitive. Landes’s response is dripping with naive realism, asserting ‘you’re not in touch with reality’ in several different forms throughout. Landes’s suggestion is, simply put, the pursuit of more war; fight them until they get it.
|Professor Paul Scham
Looking past Landes’s obvious frustration with the left, I wonder how he can so blatantly ignore Arab attempts to resolve the conflict such as the Arab Peace Initiative and Abbas’s adherence to non-violent resistance.
Landes also writes: “The problem is not ‘how much territory is Israel willing to concede to satisfy the Palestinians?’ but ‘how do Arab Muslims overcome the humiliation that is Israel, and find their dignity in the global community?'”
He fails to see that self-determination answers both problems: statehood is not just claiming territory within set borders, it’s the revitalization of a people. An independent State of Palestine is the only constructive path to rectify the Palestinian humiliation.