Friday, April 23, 2010

Palestinian State 2.0, George, Is That You?

Newt Gingrich
David Brooks
Paul Krugman
Charles Brackett

'Everyone knows if a Republican comes out of the closet and sees a gay shadow, it means six more years of a Democratic administration.' – Jon Stewart
"You see this on the news? Gay and lesbian activists chained themselves to the White House fence to protest the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. And when Republican Party officials saw the lesbians chaining themselves to the fence, out of force of habit, they paid $2,000 to watch." - Jay Leno
David Letterman's Top Ten Goldman Sachs Excuses

10. Huh?
9. You're saying 'fraud' like it's a bad thing
8. Planned on using money to buy everyone in America delicious KFC Double Down sandwich
7. Distraught over George Lopez's move to midnight
6. We were framed by evil menswear company Goldman Slacks
5. Since when are financial institutions not allowed to screw their customers?
4. Hey sport, how much to make these questions go away?
3. America needed a villain both Republicans and Democrats can hate
2. Everyone we ripped off got an 'I Got Cheated By Goldman Sachs' tote bag
1. Uhh, it's Obama's fault?

New York Senator Charles Shumer is unhappy with the Obama administration's policy towards Israel. He wants us to stop beating up on Benjamin Netanyahu, and to keep most of the negotiations behind closed doors, not out in the open the way that Hilary Clinton's State Department is doing.
"You have to show Israel that it’s not going to be forced to do things it doesn’t want to do and can’t do. At the same time you have to show the Palestinians that they are not going to get their way by just sitting back and not giving in, and not recognizing that there is a state of Israel,"
"I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk," Schumer told Segal. "Palestinians don’t really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there.

"If the U.S. says certain things and takes certain stands the Palestinians say, 'Why should we negotiate?'"
What bothers me is the old-school reasoning that we should blindly support Israel no matter what it does or does not do. That is a co-dependent relationship, and we end up making excuses for any bad or antagonistic behavior our unruly child makes. Now that most Israelis believe in a two-state system, they have to make it happen. They can even do this without the participation of any Palestinian groups if need be, and it can be done over the weekend. Then, both sides will rush to sit down and negotiate the details. What keeps the Palestinians away from negotiating isn't some bullshit definition of Israel as a state, it's the constant offerings of something and never producing anything substantial. It's like Charlie Brown having the football removed by Lucy every time he goes to kick the football; how many times do you make a pratfall before you refuse to make another attempt, despite her constant promises not to take it away.

As Shimon Peres told George Mitchell today, no-one doubts that Israel wants peace, but the Israeli right wing doesn't want to give the Palestinians any land, they don't want to have to remove any illegal settlers from the West Bank, and they also feel that the best solution is if all Palestinians left Israel and immigrated to neighboring lands like Jordan and Lebanon. Having Netanyahu in charge when such historic events are in the making is like Nixon in China. Nixon, a fervent anti-Communist, has been hailed and revered in China for visiting and helping to normalize relations. Similarly, Netanyahu may be lionized and revered by Palestinians for actually creating the Palestinian state, one of the ironies of history.

For his part, Benjamin Netanyahu tried to calm emotions and repair some relations with neighbor Syria, who has been accused of supplying some SCUD missiles to Hezbollah.
"In my estimate, there is Iranian agitation, both direct and indirect, via Hezbollah. With this agitation Iran is trying to persuade Syria, mainly, that Israel is about to attack Syria. This is a lie, and, as you know, if you repeat a lie enough times, even good people and good leaders repeat the mistake ... Israel wants peace. Israel does not want war."
Of course, Israel had bombed a site in Syria a few years ago, where it said that Syria was building a nuclear bomb, so we'll see if any relations can be repaired.

Netanyahu also proposed this morning creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders and leaving the problem of Jerusalem as the last item to ever be discussed, and it was immediately rejected by the Palestinian Authority. This was dissected in the newspaper Haaretz: "The Palestinian Authority finds the idea completely unacceptable. Palestinian officials were quick to protest that possibility anytime anyone on the Israeli side toyed with the thought of a Palestinian state in temporary borders, clarifying that the Palestinians would not accept it. That is also expected to be the reaction in this case, and possibly the reaction Netanyahu was going for: to divert the fire from Israel while focusing international public opinion on the Palestinians refusal to negotiate and even to declare statehood. It is as if Netanyahu is saying: "Gentlemen, Israel agrees to a Palestinian state," taking the sting out of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to declare a Palestinian state along 1967 borders by August 2011. Netanyahu could then point his finger at PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides, saying "You see, I told you. It's their fault. They're not interested, and continue to miss out on chances for peace."

It's understandable why the Palestinians would reject a Palestinian state within temporary borders. They have witnessed the Jewish population in East Jerusalem and the West Bank triple itself since 1993, despite signing the Oslo Accords. As far as they're concerned, that which begins as temporary could quickly become permanent, especially in the face of Israel's settlement policies. But with such an erudite argument at hand, Netanyahu succeeds in creating at least the semblance of a desire to reach a diplomatic breakthrough, while painting the Palestinians as peace deniers. Again."

So, the game continues to be played. The US will continue to play good cop- bad cop, we send our envoy to try and take baby steps towards any semblance of negotiations, the Arab world grows more cynical, and Israel itself becomes a schizophrenic state. I don't see how someone like Martin Indyk, who was our ambassador to Israel twice, and involved in the peace negotiations for over twenty years, could live and work in such an environment, it would drive me crazy... The creation of the Palestinian state, with real borders, will not solve all of the problems in the Middle East, but it would relieve a lot of pressure, and who knows? Maybe people will travel to this region for pleasure and the culture instead of solely for business...

Oh yeah, Iran is applying to be on the UN Human Rights Commission so that they can get the US tried for human rights abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. This, after we got rid of their two greatest enemies, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. That's gratitude for ya...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...