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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Israeli Palestinian peace process- one idea and Congress' non-starter

The Impending Collapse of Israel in Palestine

Don't sign anything; wait for Israel to collapse.

I don't know that I agree, but it is certainly a different take on this issue. I agree in that at least then they'd be on more equal footing and more likely to come to a viable agreement...

The CIA has recently given Israel 20 years before this would happen, if the article’s claim is correct. They’ve all wasted 22 already. Can they wait out another two decades?

Interesting article, though. Not that the US would let Israel collapse without draining our resources this is not really a real option anyway.

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And on that note, we have the most recent unhelpful (and uninformed) move by Congress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue:

Pro-peace Senate letter ( I take issue with this title :) )

It opens like this:

“As steadfast supporters of Israel and the U.S.-Israeli relationship, we are writing to express our support for the start of proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on ending the Israeli-Palestinian dispute with the active participation of U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell.”

Why must everything start this way?? Members of Congress must pledge or demonstrate their state’s undying love and ties to Israel before they can say anything about the region. It must be in the orientation proceedings. It never fails. They must reaffirm Israel’s right to self-defense before saying anything about Palestinians rights to even things like food and water. Is this really where our priorities should be?

The first problematic piece: “It will solidify Israel's identity as a Jewish, democratic state by giving it safe and secure borders.”

Here, we fall right in line with Netanyahu’s and other right wingers’ demands and prejudge or rule out a path to peace. Why should we ignore the one secular democratic state idea? This is the best chance for all to have access to holy sites, freedom and equality. I am sympathetic to the idea of a Jewish homeland as the UN set forth originally. It was, however, never intended for Jews to set up an exclusive state, probably for good reason. In order to keep that majority in this region, there will have to be legalized ethnic cleansing of some sort(s). I am all for having a provision or guarantee in any one state agreement that makes sure that when either Jews or Palestinians are the minority, that they are protected, represented, given rights and guaranteed a certain minimum of land or something like this. Guaranteeing Israel’s Jewish character is as good as campaigning for ethnic cleansing. Or it will be soon.

Attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah are mentioned as obstacles in this letter, but attacks are often in areas not controlled by the PA; they are Israeli controlled. This is often blamed on Abbas, though. Interestingly, Netanyahu's foot dragging isn't alluded to, nor the fact that he chose to embrace such people like Lieberman who are in fact settlers (part of the problem) and terrorists who make public statements that undermine peace and call into question Israel's desire for peace and value placed on human life and rights.

This probably sums up the Congressional mood, bias, and distance from the facts the best:

“We applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu for committing to direct talks and we urge you to press President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to reciprocate. “

It makes no sense, but this is the way the Israeli Palestinian conflict is always depicted in the US and Israel. Israel is the one looking for a partner, always stretching out the hand of peace, always has the men of peace; Palestinians are refusing generous offers, returning good faith with terrorism, always the last ones to the table.

This time it was different. Palestinians have a very pro-US moderate in Abbas, they have been working on institutions of government- as best one can under occupation, they have been ready to come to the table since Obama was elected, if not before. Netanyahu, on the other hand, only recently conceded to the two state solution, if you can call his version (permanent occupation) a real solution. He also chose some very strange allies in Lieberman and others from that end of the spectrum if he is truly looking for peace. They are settlers and terrorists; part of the problem.

If they are part of this, then why not let Hamas in and legitimize them? Israel in many cases is doing what Hamas does to innocent people. The only difference is, Israel’s operations are on a large scale, they are UN members, they have a state, they call it security, and it is anti-Semitic to criticize them. None of these things actually make what they do any more right than Hamas, but I guess they are reasons we can’t call them on it and make them as accountable as Hamas.

For related posts on Avigdor Lieberman and Benjamin Netanyahu, see the right side key words...

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