My name is Richard Khuzami, and I am an American of Lebanese extraction. One of my greatest memories goes back to the Oslo accords, when the company I worked for sent me to create a joint venture between ourselves, (an American Logistics Company) with our Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian partners to provide logistics services to Gaza and the West Bank.
Our meetings were full of hope of a bright future, improving everyone’s quality of life and economic well-being. Participants chose to see the bright future we could all have together, instead of revenge and jealousy.
However, in a mirror image of what we are seeing today, just with different characters, violence and extremism derailed what could have been!
In the same way the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a Radical Jew put an end to Oslo, so today has the Radical Arab Hamas, tried to put an end to the Abraham Accords, which looks to unite all the Semitic Nations in common interest!
A few facts:
- The Arabs are Semites. The Jews and Arabs are family!
- The government least empathetic to its citizens needs are Theocracies, no matter the religion. This is because religion is based on faith, but when the religion and government become one, government is also based on faith, and becomes immune to criticism and change. This concept led to one of the main tenets of the American Constitution: the separation of church and state.
Because of this, I am not in favor of the 2-state solution, as it does not address that separation. As a matter of fact, it reinforces it because it does not address the distrust between peoples.
I think the only viable way forward is a single secular democratic state that welcomes all Semites! Freedom of Religion and the separation of religion and state must be sacrosanct, with a strong viable constitution, bill of rights, and independent judiciary (all issues in today’s Israel). While I understand this is a very difficult place to reach, I do feel it is important to express difficult outcomes, for they provide us with a path forward.
While Israel was created as a secular state, it is in fact becoming a more theocratic. Historically the minorities have little influence on policies, and do not share in the success that Israel has enjoyed economically. Established in the middle of Palestine, the western nations have made sure that the overall region stayed weak. The best way to control a people is to create divisions, so they fight amongst themselves, and do not unite to gain their own power. This cannot be allowed to stand, and the two state ‘solution’ could reinforce this.
I truly hope to see the vision, which was being created with the Abraham Accords, of Arab and Jew working together to create a strong vibrant Middle East. And again, interact with each other as during Oslo, looking forward to a bright future: A democratic inclusive country, a safe destination for the Semitic people, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist. A worthy goal for all.
Richard Khuzami is an accomplished percussionist and is also an officer of The Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) and President of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (OANA). His remarks above reflect his personal opinion and do not reflect a positions of any of those organizations.