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Monday, May 18, 2009

Saying no to a 'Palestinian state'

There's a great article by Daniel Doron in Saturday's Forbes.com. I am going to give you a teaser and then you should read the whole thing.
The most common approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, held by the well-connected Peace Now camp, holds that the conflict is about nationhood and territory. It blames Israel for the conflict, claiming Israel's reluctance to fully withdraw its settlements from the West Bank (it did from Gaza) denies the Palestinian Arabs a contiguous territory and enough living space to assert their sovereignty.

This must be why the Obama administration seems to believe that pressuring Israel to immediately accept a Palestinian Arab state and to withdraw to the 1967 boundaries will bring about peace. Obama seems determined to take serious risks to pursue what he believes is a strategic imperative and a moral duty. Indeed, the two-state solution seems like the decent and rational solution to the conflict. But there are many serious doubts about its feasibility.

Advocates of the two-state solution consider themselves political realists. But they always stress the historical and judicial justification for establishing a Palestinian state. They see it as not only politically necessary but an absolute moral imperative, doing justice to a dispossessed people.


The chances that the U.S. will be able to assure that the Palestinian Arab state will live in peace with Israel are very small indeed. For powerful historic, political, social and economic reasons, all Arab states have evolved dictatorial regimes and rapacious elites. They rationalize their oppression by fomenting hatred against other nations, especially against non-Muslims. A Palestinian Arab state will not be an exception. (Pakistan and Turkey, which were supposed to be the exceptions, are regressing to the state of the others.)
Read the whole thing.

While Binyamin Netanyahu meets in Washington with Barack Hussein Obama, ministers in his own party are prepared to pressure him to resist the calls to accede to a 'Palestinian' state reichlet.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would not be able to advance the formation of a Palestinian state, due to the wide majority against it in the Likud faction, MKs who oppose a two-state solution said Sunday.

They said that unlike the fight against the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, when only 15 MKs out of 40 dared challenge then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, this time around, two-thirds of the Likud faction would defy a potential effort by Netanyahu to withdraw from parts of Judea and Samaria.

The rebellion against Sharon also suffered from a lack of leadership, because the only Likud minister who actively opposed him was then-minister-without-portfolio Uzi Landau.

This time around, no fewer than seven Likud ministers vocally oppose a Palestinian state: Gideon Sa'ar, Bennie Begin, Moshe Ya'alon, Yuli Edelstein, Gilad Erdan, Yisrael Katz and Moshe Kahlon.

"MKs might be afraid now to say that Bibi doesn't have a majority for two states in the faction or other Likud bodies, but later on they will make their voice heard," said Likud MK Danny Danon, who wrote Netanyahu on Friday warning him against concessions to US President Barack Obama in their Monday meeting.

"In any public campaign against a Palestinian state, Begin and Ya'alon would be at the top," he added.
Begin and Ya'alon have declined to take on that position right now, but I have little doubt that they will be at the forefront when and if the time comes to oppose a 'Palestinian state.'

On the other hand, in the late '70's and early '80's, Menachem Begin (Bennie Begin's father) pushed the Camp David accords with Egypt through the Knesset with the votes of 90 MK's. He did that using opposition MK's. There are currently 57 MK's in opposition, 53 of whom would vote in favor of a 'Palestinian' state (only the four National Union MK's would vote against. All of Labor's 12 MK's would also vote in favor. So I suspect that while there may not be a coalition in favor of a 'Palestinian' state, if Netanyahu would agree to one, it would pass the Knesset, albeit not with a large majority and mostly with opposition votes.

Oh - and look who is getting credit for the Likud standing firm:
Due in part to the efforts of Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, Likud members elected a slate of MKs that was more right-leaning than Netanyahu had wanted. The only MKs in Likud considered relative doves are ministers Silvan Shalom, Dan Meridor, Michael Eitan and Yossi Peled, and MKs Haim Katz and Carmel Shama.
Who says he didn't make a difference?


At 8:13 PM, Blogger Kafir Harby said...


At 8:37 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

when Bibi was PM , Clinton sent Carville and Greenberg over to Israel to destroy him.
Why won't Hussein do the same?

At 9:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The biggest brake on Bibi's agreeing to a Palestinian state is that he wants to remain in power. He is nowhere near as popular in the Likud as Ariel Sharon was and knows that if he committed to the so-called two state solution and a complete settlement freeze, his days as Prime Minister would be numbered. There's Moshe Feiglin waiting in the wings and he is even empathic in saying "NO" to a Palestinian state than Netanyahu, who hypothetically has neither ruled it out or ruled it in.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger LB said...

Norman - you really think that's it? Bibi's early history shows his ideology is actually truly right-wing, but he's swings to the left in order to stay in power. The only real right-wing parties in the Knesset these days are considered almost powerless today. The question is - is Bibi planning to, or will be able to change the language back to the Right?

At 2:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

LB - if Bibi wanted to get good press, all he had to do today was come out in support of the two state solution and pledge a complete settlement freeze. If as you say, the right wing parties are completely powerless, there was nothing to keep him from moving over to the Left. I don't believe his fundamental worldview has really changed but he knows its not enough to resist a Palestinian state. He has to say yes to peace in a way that will leave the onus on Palestinians for rejecting it and that's the approach he plans to follow. Its going to disappoint the US and the Europeans who thought Israel would be a pushover. Moreover, what Israel did today was to signal it intends to pursue its own national interests regardless of how it affects US and European perception of Israel. Israel's relationship with both will remain unaffected in adopting an independent foreign policy - which is about time.

At 4:10 AM, Blogger LB said...

Agreed. But do you really think that if Bibi publicly agreed to a state he would be out of power? Unfortunately, the current makeup of the Knesset would allow him to pull an Ariel Sharon (a la 2005) and remain in power for a long time. I grant this is a theoretical discussion, since I don't see him giving everything up at once unless something gets to him - but who knows, maybe we have a more savvy Shamir in power now?

At 1:33 AM, Blogger ANGRY FOR GOD said...

Hussein is splitting up America at the seams, and he wants to tell Israel what to do now, as well.

How 'bout we get rid of HIM, and this EVIL govt. can leave us alone.

I AM TIRED of hearing about how Israel should be a '2-state,' and when, and IF that DOES happen, Israel will come under siege.

Pretty soon if America doesn't BUTT-OUT of G-ds land, then Americans will be saying:
"AMERICA HAS A RIGHT TO EXIST" And they will be making us give up our land to the ILLEGAL occupiers HERE.

Yes, pretty soon, the illegals will be saying: "This is OUR LAND!" And all of the nations will say how hateful and 'apartied' we are. I can see it happening as they murder and ravage our kids, and terrorize us as they are doing at our border now, just like ISRAEL.

G-d is going to HEAVILY judge America for these actions against tiny Israel.


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