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Friday, April 23, 2010

Seize the initiative

The following is a guest post from Michael Fenenbock.
In Los Angeles recently Daphne and I had an opportunity to breakfast with Martin Sherman.

Professor Sherman has proposed a compelling, workable, pragmatic alternative to 2-State. And his proposal has an eye-catching curtain raiser – get rid of UNRWA.

My view is we must forcefully project an alternative vision of the future, a pragmatic option to 2-state. And now more than ever.

The current state-of-play is alarming. The situation is dire. The threat to the Zionist enterprise from the imposition of 2-State is immediate. The unceasing pressure from the Obama Administration on the Jewish State is myopic. The need to respond is urgent.

Very soon the Obama Administration plans to submit a “peace plan” centered on 2-state and calling for a partition of Jerusalem. They have already sent former President Bill Clinton out front to clear the way. Publicizing Senator Kerry’s negotiation with Damascus to halt a missle allocation to Hezbollah is part of the game plan. Spin designed to neutralize Jewish American resistance to the Obama plan. And President Obama’s smarmy letter to Alan Solow, an Obama supporter and chairman of the Conference of Presidents, of is more of the same.

Believe it. The train to 2-state is roaring down the track and its due date is before the November American election. 2-state is the sin qua non of their foreign policy.

Unless we propose – and seriously market to the world - alternatives to 2-state we will continue be labeled by world opinion as obstructionist.

The stakes could not be higher. If we fail to stop the rush to 2-state we will certainly forfeit the central touchstone of our history our culture and our religion – we will lose Jerusalem.

While differing in detail with alternatives to 2-state advanced by Arieh Eldad and Benny Elon, the important fact is Martin Sherman has placed on the table a rational alternative.

Much of this looming tragedy is of our own making. Leaders in Israel and the Diaspora continue to publicly position themselves as in support of a 2-state solution. The Prime Minister finds himself locked in this in this dead-end trap.

And while I applaud Ron Lauder’s recent statement it repeated the party line on 2-state.

This course of action, saying we are for 2-state, must be reversed.

Those of us who oppose 2-state must make our voices heard and if we do friends will join our fight.

Promoting rational, pragmatic alternatives to 2-state arms us with a powerful political weapon in this battle. It allows us to seize the initiative in the debate. It provides an opportunity to reclaim lost momentum. It means we can go on the offensive.

If we call for an alternative view we will have friends who will stand with us in opposition to the imposition of 2-state. Powerful friends.

I recommend Martin Sherman and his work personally. And I strongly associate myself with the need to present to the world a rational 2-state alternative.

Those of us who are of a disposition to fight 2-state and to do our best to see the culmination of the Zionist dream have a responsibility to our history and a duty to future Jewish generations. We can only benefit by uniting our efforts and pooling our resources.

Standing together it is possible to make our voices heard.

Michael Fenenbock

New York

April 22, 2010

And the biggest argument for two-state - which is a lie - is the so called 'demographic threat.' I've done lots of posts about why that's a lie. Search the archives (mostly under the name "Yoram Ettinger" who has done most of the work on that issue).


At 1:28 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Unfortunately, with the Netanyahu government itself committed to the so-called two state solution, its going to be very hard to stop the runaway "peace now" train barreling down the political-diplomatic tracks.

Obama will continue to pile the pressure on Israel to give in soon - he will want a major foreign policy victory in advance of the mid-term elections in November and expects one soon.

While Netanyahu may be able to fend it off for awhile but eventually Israel will have to make a peace deal on America's terms. This is not my position - this is just what a very small country like Israel will have to do. In the end whatever results from such a deal, in my opinion, it will not bring about peace.

At 2:06 AM, Blogger Neshama said...

Why does anyone "assume" that the only way is to cave in to the despot's demands?

What in the world do you think would happen if an entire nation would just keep on saying NO! NO! NO!

Maybe there is another BIG country out there that would be willing to do business with Israel should the USSA were to deprive Israel of whatever they are doing for her?!

At 3:09 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Like I said, its not my position. I don't think a two-state solution will ever work. But its hardened into the orthodox solution to the Israel-Palestinian impasse so its difficult to get people to look at other ideas. And will the Palestinians be satisfied with two mini states split by the big dhimmi Jewish state in the middle? That's not a formula for co-existence. They want it all.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Jennifer Rubin says that in rejecting a "Jerusalem freeze" - Israel has not only rejected the central plank in the Obami effort to bludgeon Israel into submission, the way Israel has communicated to the US reveals an Israeli lack of confidence in Mitchell and his attempts to get the so-called proximity talks restarted:

"U.S. officials said Mr. Netanyahu’s government has been communicating much of its position through the White House’s senior Middle East adviser Dennis Ross, at times bypassing the Obama administration’s special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell."

"That decision has been interpreted by some in the administration as an attempt to sideline Mr. Mitchell in favor of Mr. Ross, who has advocated U.S. cooperation with Mr. Netanyahu, rather than confrontation. Mr. Ross has publicly taken positions in line with Mr. Netanyahu’s government, particularly the centrality of stopping Iran’s nuclear program as a means to underpin Mideast peace efforts.

More here: Read it all

I wouldn't bet much on the Palestinians and Israelis even agreeing to talk to each other any time soon. So one wonders why Mitchell is forcing both sides to go through a pointless charade.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Very nice except that Netanyahu did not reject a Jerusalem freeze. He just limited it to Ramat Shlomo, which gives Obama a precedent and an opening to expand it.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If you mean Israel will be forced to expand it in September, I think you're right. Ramat Shlomo has a few thousand Haredi Jews and they're not really Zionists. But once the precedent is set, its hard to argue construction in the rest of Jewish Jerusalem west and east should not be frozen as well. The fact the Palestinians will not come back to the table no matter now many "red lines" Israel crosses makes no difference to the Israeli government. One would think after 17 years it learned something. It now appears it never will walk away from the chimera of Oslo and the Roadmap. The effects of the deadly drug are just too powerful for any Israeli government to overcome.


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