The Moral Thing to Do

Dear Leonard Nimoy,

I read your statement supporting Americans for Peace Now in their call for an end to “conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.” You say, “It’s the logical thing to do.” I agree that supporting peace sounds eminently logical. However, is supporting any peace wrought by whatever means logical? Moreover, is the peace you support eminently moral?

You are appealing to people based on your name recognition gained primarily from your role in the classic science series Star Trek. I respond as a person who enjoyed the series and its progressivist views.

You state that “there is an end in sight” to “the conflict” between Israelis and Palestinians: “the two-state solution — a secure, democratic Israel as the Jewish State alongside an independent Palestinian state.”

Your wording makes it sound as though it is the only end in sight, but this is not so. There is also the one-state solution: a state wherein all citizens can share the resources equitably and be treated equally as human beings. Is that not a peaceful solution? As an anarchist, I prefer a zero-state solution.

Nonetheless, you have fixated upon your own chosen end point, and you identify the problem as “how to reach that end point.” Reaching that end point has been a problem for an overly long time because the United Nations decided upon that end point back in 1947, but Israel was not content to remain within those designated borders, and Israel, along with the US, has been rejectionist ever since in reaching the two-state end point.

You suggest “that the time for recriminations is over. Assigning blame over all other priorities is self-defeating. Myth can be a snare. The two sides need our help to evade the snare and search for a way to compromise.” Compromise? Mr. Nimoy, I respectfully submit that you seem either ensnared in a myth of your own or beholden to some illogic. If someone steals all your land and agrees to let you have a small percentage, it seems the compromise is wholly on one side. Where is the compromise from the Jewish side (let’s not obscure a fact here by using the term Israeli because the Arab Israelis have no part and share no role in their and their kinsfolk’s dispossession)? Whatever land division takes place in the end, there can be — at best — an agreement from the Zionist side to relinquish some stolen land and cease further dispossession. This is not compromise. What you call for is a contradiction: a one-sided compromise.

You call yourself a strong supporter for Americans for Peace Now, noting that it is “a leading voice for Americans who support Israel and know that a negotiated peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish and democratic state.” What about Americans who support Palestine? Regrettably, it appears, Mr. Nimoy, that you believe that it is morally acceptable for your kinfolk to dispossess an indigenous people from their land and its resources and that such dispossession should be secured from repossession by the legitimate owners of the land.

You buttress your support for the two-state solution by expressing concern over the economic ramifications that affect US citizens from their country’s militarism abroad rather than prioritizing an end to the killing and destruction wrought by the US and its allies in victimized countries.

You also portray the dispossessor/oppressor state of Israel as the victim retaliating against those it occupies and oppresses. Even Israeli historians do not dispute the fact of dispossession. Ask Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe. They differ in their perceptions of the morality of genocide and dispossession.

If you’ve learned something from this letter, Mr. Nimoy, I hope that you will consider that the logical thing to do is not always the moral thing to do.

Dispossession is a monstrous crime against any human beings. I call upon you to join in supporting the human rights of all peoples.

It’s the moral thing to do.

Kim Petersen

Kim Petersen is a former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimohp@gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.