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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The 'West Bank's 'good reality'

You may recall that back in May, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen told the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl that the 'Palestinians' were in no rush to accept Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer of 'statehood' on 97% of the 'West Bank' (with extra territory from 1949 armistice line Israel making up the other 3%) because the 'Palestinians' enjoy a 'good reality.'

In Thursday's Wall Street Journal, Tom Gross updates us about that 'good reality.' It's worth reading the whole thing. But here's Tom's bottom line.
In June, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl related how Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had told him why he had turned down Ehud Olmert's offer last year to create a Palestinian state on 97% of the West Bank (with 3% of pre-1967 Israeli land being added to make up the shortfall). "In the West Bank we have a good reality," Abbas told Diehl. "The people are living a normal life," he added in a rare moment of candor to a Western journalist.

Nablus stock exchange head Ahmad Aweidah went further in explaining to me why there is no rush to declare statehood, saying ordinary Palestinians need the IDF to help protect them from Hamas, as their own security forces aren't ready to do so by themselves yet.

The truth is that an independent Palestine is now quietly being built, with Israeli assistance. So long as the Obama administration and European politicians don't clumsily meddle as they have in the past and make unrealistic demands for the process to be completed more quickly than it can be, I am confident the outcome will be a positive one. (The last time an American president—Bill Clinton in 2000—tried to hurry things along unrealistically, it merely resulted in blowing up in everybody's faces—literally—and set back hopes for peace by some years.)

Israelis and Palestinians may never agree on borders that will satisfy everyone. But that doesn't mean they won't live in peace. Not all Germans and French agree who should control Alsace Lorraine. Poles and Russians, Slovenes and Croats, Britons and Irish, and peoples all over the world, have border disputes. But that doesn't keep them from coexisting with one another. Nor—so long as partisan journalists and human rights groups don't mislead Western politicians into making bad decisions—will it prevent Israelis and Palestinians from doing so.
So who says the status quo is a bad thing?

Read it all.


At 5:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think the situation will be like that. The Palestinians and Israelis will never be kissing cousins or even good friends but they will get along just like Israel does with Jordan and Egypt and there is never going to be a warm peace. That is the best that can be hoped for in the Middle East in our lifetime.


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