Latest update: November 18th, 2011
It’s that time of year again. Turkey, sweet potato casserole and a harsh lesson in the reality of “land for peace” deals…
America will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24. Tremendous effort has always been focused on portraying this time in a lovely, romanticized light. The reality, however, is quite grim.
The Indians, or Native Americans, were the original “land for peace” advocates. They believed a nation has to negotiate “with its enemies and not with its friends.” They wanted to “give peace a chance.”
The Native Americans gave away their land for worthless treaties. They did not want to be viewed as “intransigent.” For the most part, they acquiesced. They thought two nations could share one land.
There were some who took the white man’s desire for their land as a declaration of war. These tribes fought fiercely to protect their domain. Perhaps they were viewed as misguided right-wing zealots.
The “peace now” contingent believed they could give the interlopers their own state within America’s borders and they would be satisfied. They thought wrong.
Their “peace partners” wanted it all. Their “road map” was called Manifest Destiny. The once proud Indian nation was crushed. They are now an insignificant minority in what once was their homeland. Theirs is a downtrodden culture with a high incidence of alcoholism and other social maladies. For the most part, they live in ghetto-like areas called reservations. The recent acquisition of Indian reservation casinos is a poor exchange for the pride of a viable nation.
We are taught, “Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.” Israel could learn a lesson from the Native Americans, who gave “land for peace” and lived to regret it.
Israel continues making unilateral concessions and handovers. So did the Indians. Hopefully, the Jews will wake up before they wind up living in a small ghetto in Tel Aviv with a casino in Bnai Brak.
About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.
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