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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Debate on a Palestinian State- the Time article

This article inspired the title of my last post because I intended to include it, but I kept remembering stuff and it went longer and longer, much like this sentence, so I didn't include it...

On FB:
The Debate on a Palestinian State- Time Magazine- Having only read the title, I say the only thing to actually debate is one binational state or two. The fact that Palestinians deserve and need a state should not be up for debate at all- it is a given and too long overlooked. If statehood is the debate, then to be fair, we should also debate whether Israel's statehood should be revoked or not.

On FB, after reading it:
An Israeli minister (Yossi Beilin), president of the Council on Foreign Relations (Richard Haass), a Palestinian journalist (Daoud Kuttab), and Uzi Landau (of the extremist Yisrael Beiteinu party of all things!). Not exactly variety. If we were talking about Israeli politics, this would be a panel. Wow. There is a range of opinion among just Palestinians and they didn't even go there. And to include the party of the extremist settler Foreign Minister Lieberman! Settlers are illegal, so until there is one state or they move back to Israel, they shouldn't even be allowed in office, print, etc. I mean, if you're going to listen to and seriously consider these guys, there is no reason not to get Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad in on the action. But, then they couldn't get another Palestinian opinion, so the chances of that are nil.

Beilin- To his credit, he thinks Israel should vote yes the a Palestinian state... but likens it to jumping on the train headed for the train wreck to steer it properly and save the day. Israel can avoid disaster (whatever that means- keeping the occupation, run the show, renounce any claim/ownership to/of any land outside the W Bank and Gaza??) and look like the hero for restarting dead negotiations, shocking the world, and graciously letting Palestinians have some of the same rights God apparently gave Israel and the US. He does believe the bid will not preclude negotiations. I agree.

Haass- Our Bush-era Jewish official. Of course he's on team negotiations only. He thinks the bid is a desperation move. It doesn't matter what Abbas' (or Arafat's before him, for that matter) motivation is. The Palestinian people deserve this. It is long overdue. Too much is made of the leaders' motivations when there is no state. He also thinks rightly that Israel would make life unbearable, but wrongly that this is reason to abandon statehood via the UN. Another "reason" to abandon the bid is it would make America look bad to Arabs (and cause an anti-American govt in Egypt which causes instability) since we would have to veto. That just makes me laugh. So do the right thing- don't veto! Also humorous was, " talks, the only proven method of advancing peace in the region." Since I'm quoting, I'll add one I actually believe: "There can not be peace without justice."

Kuttab- Basically says what I'm thinking. Palestinians have no choice. This is the right move and right time. Negotiations have led nowhere despite cooperation, patience and promises. He is not naive- he knows the UN bid won't end the occupation and negotiations are necessary. The goal is to have 2 states negotiate, rather than the occupied and the occupier. A valid point no one ever brings up.

Landau- Where to begin! I can't possibly list every falsehood, wild accusation and myth because I'd be retyping the whole section. If you can think of a misconception, he said it. And Iran's in there at the end. Palestinians are trying to get a free lunch and are abandoning Oslo with this move. Riiight. Abbas' "flaunting past agreements." Check. Auschwitz mention. Check. (And it was in talking about the internationally recognized 1967 borders, not anyone wanting to push Israel into the sea.) Framing of discussion (explicitly) as not about equality, but about how fragile the state with the 4th largest army is. Palestinians have walked away from offers for a state in the hopes of gaining more and destroying Israel (decoded- Palestinians want equality and sovereignty, not institutionalized occupation). (???) Abbas is a Holocaust denier, has made up with Hamas (uuhhh...hello...unity govt...and you include Yisrael Beiteinu, so what's your problem??) and has never reciprocated any of Israel's good faith measures. Whaaa? Good faith measures. Now that's a good one. He wants a Palestinian Sadat. Not possible. Sadat dropped Palestinian issues in order to make a very profitable deal with Israel. I won't say it couldn't happen, but he probably wouldn't live long. He says Abbas is inciting violence by encouraging a state and UN bid because it's only going to cause frustration. And he brings it home with an Iran is "waiting to reap the prize" scare. 

At least we ended lighter with a little fiction writing for the 4th and final section. It was almost funny. Almost.

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