It is interesting that you ask about society and not the political set-up of the state. Also, we need to ask, what is the necessary change, before we ask how likely it is is that it will come about. Wouldn't you agree?
I think that society represent a higher level of complexity then the political system, the culture content as economic advantages and disadvantages and religious orientations are part of society and you usually cannot change the political system without updating economic leagal systems and the cultural understanding.
for instance, changing the Jewish "law of return" is not political, rather it is a cultural change. revising the religious political involvement is a cultural and not political.
but I think it is good to add your discussion topics too:
what is the necessary change?
How likely it is is that it will come about?
and I also add Spiral Dynamics Integral classical question
"IF it is time for change, then change FROM what TO what?
And IF it is time for change, then which of the Seven Variations of Change is appropriate?
How should Who Manage (lead, teach, etc.) Whom to do What, and When?
Thanks for the response. You are right, of course, but only half right: the changes you mark as cultural are indeed cultural - but they are also political. "Cultural" and "political" are not mutually exclusive. Also, you are right in noting that the social is more complex than the political: Still the interrelations between them render them both so important, that any discussion of either without the discussion of the other is lacking. Indeed it is my view that politics cannot be seriously engaged without an eye to sociology, and vice-versa.
I have only one question. Are we all human beings? Implying, do we have the same basic needs? Yes?
The struggle to achieve an understanding on this issue is in the UN declaration? Right?
Whereelse to search for an understanding?
These are topics I'd suggest for calm and rational discussion.
I'd be willing to lead any of them, either by myself or with help.
1. Building a civil society and human rights culture in Palestine from the grassroots up. How can we help?
2. Education: What can we do to stop the indoctrination of children into hate ideologies in Palestinian schools?
.....in Arab-Israeli schools?
3. Education: How can we best explain to religious fundamentalists of all stripes that it is only secular civil society and
human rights concepts (on a social level) that will defend and protect their ability to behave as religiously as they desire
(on a personal level)?
4. What steps can we take to improve civil society and the provision of services and institutions in Israel? In Palestine?
5. What are real human rights groups, as opposed to partisan advocacy groups?
6. What is the true definition of democracy, beyond the tyranny of the majority?
7. The fundamental freedoms are: religion, speech, press, due process, equal protection, assembly, redress, and mobility. What must be their parameters and inherent limits, even under the most democratic system, to prevent their abuse?
8. Do rights belong to individuals or to groups? or to a government?
(I say to individuals...)
9. Just for the sake of this discussion: have Israelis and Jews criticize Israel, and Palestinians and Muslims criticize Palestine. (Everyone else - please try hard to view this from the opposite point of view from your usual one.)
10. Recipe collections. Yummmm....
11. Common narrative project. Basically we blame everyone else for most of the problems, and move on from there...
(I will be especially glad to lead that discussion...it could be extremely funny and serious at the same time...)
Please suggest new topic
Any new topic should take into account the lessons form the current one, and I hope in such way we improve with time
1. Who are the group members
2. Is the topic is controversial, but still lone can discuss without stepping on some land mine
3 .Do we have good and willing leader
4. Does it touch on Israel/Palestine or the whole Middle east (we have active members from neighbouring countries)
Let me try to help this preliminary discussion along. (If this is good and willing leadership, I volunteer). The question on our agenda right now is: what should be the question on our agenda? Below is a list of the questions proposed thus far, minus the ones that seem to be not meant for discussion, plus comments of my own:
1. How can we create conditions for under-privileged groups to access more of what we all deserve? (Neri)
2. What can be an Israeli future that supports a Palestinian future? (Neri)
[Comment: I suggest this question is a logical equivalent to the question, how can we end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Or: How can we attain peace between Israel and Palestine?]
3. Are we all human beings? (Lennart)
4. Do we all have the same basic needs? (Lennart)
[Comment: Lennart suggested these as two equivalent formulations]
5. Building a civil society and human rights culture in Palestine from the grassroots up. How can we help? (Yigal)
6. What can we do to stop the indoctrination of children into hate ideologies in Palestinian schools? .....in Arab-Israeli schools? (Yigal)
7. How can we best explain to religious fundamentalists of all stripes that it is only secular civil society and human rights concepts (on a social level) that will defend and protect their ability to behave as religiously as they desire (on a personal level)? (Yigal)
8. I suggest replacing “social” with “national” and “personal” with “social” (or “communal”).
9. The above also seems close to a previous question asked by Mazin: How to confront racist settlers?
10. I suggest two alternative (more general) formulations:
a. How do we deal with anti-peace / anti-human-rights ideologies?
b. How do we deal with anti-peace / anti-human-rights activists?
11. What steps can we take to improve civil society and the provision of services and institutions in Israel? In Palestine? (Yigal)
12. What are real human rights groups, as opposed to partisan advocacy groups? (Yigal)
13. What is the true definition of democracy, beyond the tyranny of the majority? (Yigal)
[Comment: I suggest the following reformulation: What is it that gives democracy its advantage over all the alternatives?]
14. What must be the parameters and the inherent limits of the fundamental freedoms even under the most democratic system, to prevent their abuse? (Yigal)
[Comment: this is the classical question of the limits of tolerance / freedom / etc.]
15. Do rights belong to individuals or to groups? Or to a government? (Yigal)
[comment: I suggest: which rights belong to each of these?].
• Question Nr. 3 can be dropped, for I believe that it may be agreed that the answer is in the affirmative.
• Questions 7, 8, 9 and 10 are intimately related.
• Question Nr. 12 is a question of distinction between the real and the fake. It thus seems to me of relatively small import for discussion.
• Question nr. 13 is a question of definition. It is thus a question of convention, unless one is an essentialist. It is for this reason that I proposed a reformulation thereto. It might be worthy to note that Karl Popper and his followers suggested an answer to this question more than a half of a century ago: the advantage of democracy lies in the fact that in democracy alone we have inbuilt mechanisms for criticism, for trial and error, and for open dispute. The only challenge ever made against this view of democracy is that democracy has no advantage to begin with, thus the question is misplaced. thus
• Let us not propose additional topics for now.
• Let us note that such a preliminary discussion as the present can be extremely fruitful.
• Finally, in the vein of Yigal’s last remark – let us always be prepared to attack our own views and to defend those of our adversaries. Let us, in other words, practice good sportsmanship.