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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The fictitious 'peace process'

Writing in Sunday's National Post of Canada, Robert Fulford rips the mask off the Middle East 'peace process' (Hat Tip: Babbazee)
Despite persistent evidence of Palestinian vs. Palestinian warfare, and despite the fact that Israel’s lame-duck Prime Minister lacks the credibility to commit the nation to anything, diplomats and politicians continue to dream of making peace between Israel and the Palestinians sometime soon. This diplomatic project has acquired the quality of a dying cult: It runs on an ideology that few believe in but everyone feels obliged to endorse. One of its most ludicrous documents is the Annapolis Declaration, produced under George W. Bush’s auspices last November, in which leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority promised “vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations” aimed at an agreement before the end of 2008.

Barack Obama recently joined the cult during his tour of the Middle East, arguing that America supports Israel unequivocally and believes profoundly in a better deal for the Palestinians. Not yet officially nominated, much less elected, he nevertheless promised to start work on the peace promise “from the minute I’m sworn into office.”

He knows, of course, that others have been there before. Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak worked long and hard on a peace treaty and believed they had one nailed down until Yasser Arafat, at the last moment, decided it didn’t please him. He chose war over peace and the Second Intifada erupted in 2000, with many dead on both sides.

War is often called a form of madness. But there’s also something crazy in basing diplomacy and politics on a peace that won’t happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Speaking the language of peace in these circumstances amounts to mass hypocrisy. For those innocent citizens who believe their leaders and take their words seriously, it’s also a cruel delusion.

Why pursue a purely fictitious peace? It makes the would-be peacemakers feel righteous, it allows them to believe others admire them and it gives an air of busyness to professionals who may have little else to do. They have attempted it so often, way back into the last century, that they would be ashamed of themselves if they did not talk constantly about peace.

Peace is the desire of the world, but idle and bad-faith talk of peace is the opiate of the diplomatic classes.
Of course, the 'peace process' isn't fictitious just because Bush and Olmert are lame ducks and it's not - as some might read the article as implying - just the Annapolis branch of it that's ludicrous. Someone in the comments to Fulford's article points out that the article could have been written in 1994. I would argue that it could have been written much earlier. The 'Palestinians' have never been after peace. For them, the goal of the 'peace process' has never been peace, nor has it ever even been a 'Palestinian state.' For the 'Palestinians,' the 'peace process' is and always has been (and for the foreseeable future always will be) about the destruction of Israel. After Camp David 2000, I don't see how anyone could even argue otherwise.

Read the whole thing.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Exactly what I said Tuesday afternoon, Carl. The Palestinians rejected an offer of 98.5% from Israel since it did not go far enough - by that Israel agreeing to commit national suicide. This was the best the Palestinians could get from a very friendly and obliging Israeli government. They won't get a better deal in the future. Then again, as you rightly point out, the Palestinian interest has never been in peace or in a Palestinian state. Its always been about Israel's destruction. And that's why there really can be no compromise over that since by definition it involves a question of existential value. The conflict in other words, isn't about territory. It never was and never will be.


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