New non-fiction poses surprising question: Should Israel be moved so a lasting peace can be created?
Quo Vadis, Israel? (Where are you going, Israel?) is a new book by H. Peter Nennhaus. Nennhaus presents us with an in-depth discourse about the continuing crisis between the state of Israel and the Palestinians. There is a comprehensive view of historical Jewish persecution, as well as the roots of Palestinian hatred. Nennhaus writes that peace cannot be created using the paradigm being used now, but that a possible solution may be found by relocating the State of Israel to a geographic area devoid of hostility.
“Experimentally, let us suppose we wanted to create a society in which the irrationality of passionate hate with its associated unimpeded brutality is driven into its maximum.”
“How would we have to go about it? My suggestion is to follow the recipe, which history employed in Israel and Palestine during the past six decades … It is not unreasonable to fear that this mountain of loathing and abomination will be an irremovable fact dividing the Israelis and Palestinians and that in the unlikely event that some day in the future permanent peace between them becomes reality, it would still not extinguish the flames of mutual aversion.”
Nennhaus constructs a three-part treatise, starting with “The Gordian Knot of Israel.” This first part provides readers with a basic understanding of how anti-Semitism was fostered throughout the centuries in Western and Eastern Europe. He walks us through the expulsions, the ghettoization, and the pogroms leveled at the Jews and how these things all led to the liberating idea of Zionism. Yet, he says, the subsequent founding of the State of Israel and its effect on the people of Palestine created a conflict that has proven to be irresolvable.
“For Jews and non-Jews alike,” Nennhaus says, “the State of Israel has become the source of disappointment and concern. The world has witnessed the never-ending tragedy that has befallen the Holy Land with its wars, bombings and intifadas, and the United States, in spite of its unmatched influence, has been unable to resolve the crisis.” Using a number of potential scenarios, he asserts that any future peace-making efforts will prove to be as unsuccessful as they have been in the past.
Part Two, “The Black Hole,” takes us into uncharted territory, examining the possibility of relocating Israel to a section of Russia known as the Kaliningrad Oblast, a piece of land that is bordered by Lithuania and Poland. It has no land connection to Russia and is inhabited by less than one million immigrants. It is an isolated place that has suffered from complete economic collapse and, though owned by Russia, has largely been ignored, abandoned and allowed to fall into the hands of criminal forces.
The book’s third part, “Triple Cure,” outlines how the international community would purchase the land from the Russian Federation and offer it to the Israelis as their new homeland. He points to the immense benefits arising form the transfer for the Israelis, the Palestinians, the European Union, and world stability. He embraces the concept because of its goodwill, feasibility, and, not the least, in view of its financial quid pro quos, its affordability.
Quo Vadis, Israel? is a well-written, thoughtful examination of our world’s most troubling conflict.
About the book:
Quo Vad is, Israel? by H. Peter Nennhaus
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publish date: Nov 2007
About the author:
H. Peter Nennhaus, a retired surgeon and Illinois resident, was raised in Berlin and became a U.S. citizen in 1961. He is the author of Boyhood, The 1930s and World War II: Memories, Comments and Views from the Other Side. Among his various interests, the study of the history of the 20th century, the Holocaust, and anti-Semitism have been a persistent focus.