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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The lesser of two evils?

Sorry about the last couple posts and the rather long break. I had a splitting headache and there was no choice.

Jonathan Tobin claims that Prime Minister Netanyahu's choice to play along with the Obama administration on the 'settlement freeze' extension is the lesser of two evils.
Netanyahu must live with a situation where his only ally-state is led by a man who is still uncomfortable with Israel and unwilling to abandon his hubristic belief that he can succeed in making peace where all who have gone before him have failed. Obama has another two years left in his current term and 12 months or so before the requirements of his quest for re-election may serve to deter him from further putting the screws to Israel. During this period, Netanyahu may face a decision about whether Israel will strike at Iran’s nuclear project. Another war with Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza may also be forced upon the Jewish state during this time frame.

There are no guarantees that this concession, like all those made by Israel before this, will strengthen Israel’s hand in gaining support for its right of self-defense, but doing so will surely make it easier for Israel to make its case before the American people, especially at a time when the White House must be considered essentially unfriendly to Jerusalem. Under the circumstances, Netanyahu cannot be blamed for deciding that giving in on the freeze — when it is obvious that the Palestinians will not take advantage of the opening — is the lesser of two evils.
I disagree. I believe that we gain nothing by acceding to Obama's request. We don't take the Security Council out of the 'Palestinians' hands as a weapon. We don't force Obama to openly and publicly commit to our long-term security - that wasn't even on the table. We don't gain the release of Jonathan Pollard - possibly the only justification for this kind of move (I would have done Pollard for the three-month extension as a straight-up trade).

Instead, we have done many things that will hurt our long-term interests. We are endorsing the 'Palestinian' view that the issue is 'settlements' when they are not and never were the issue. We have reframed the negotiations to negotiate borders - an issue on which we can only give and not receive - as the first and only issue on the table for the next three months. We have placed an expiration date on Obama's commitment to our security. We have shown that we won't keep our word and that we can be forced into making more and more concessions even after we have reached our 'red lines.' We have endorsed the salami method. We have proven that actions (by the 'Palestinians' at least) have no consequences.

Remember those first few days after the Why Why Wye summit in 1998, when it seemed like Netanyahu had no idea what he had signed and why he had signed it? That's what this seems like.

And at the end of the day, the 'Palestinians' don't seek a final status agreement with us. They seek a 'state' - from the River to the Sea.

Did Hillary Clinton seduce Prime Minister Netanyahu last Thursday?

If not, how did she get everything she wanted out of him?

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At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, imo there are two gains notwithstanding the perils ahead with this President (and disagreements re: the immutable dangers of Palestinian revanchism, core security needs, or whether Likud should renounce a two-state solution) and Gaza sort of being just out there: 1) Jerusalem being excluded is a positive marker 2) formulations of refugees being compensated and not resettled in Israel, if true, are helpful. Likud might move to the next stage and fight it out not on the proxy question of the freeze but on one state-two state and territorial questions & see where everyone is.

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw--the Palestinians continue to insist on a two Palestinian state solution--a Judenrein one now and a dhimmi binational one later---Obama's seat of the pants mishandling moves down-the-road breakups into snafus in supposed preliminaries--the circle can't be squared as the Palis won't give up:

""Peace, as far as we are concerned, does not include giving up on any rights. It will be based on the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders – in addition to the return of refugees and the release of all prisoners. Israel must think twice before it builds a strategy supporting leaving the situation as is. We won't take part in such a move."

At 11:28 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The only way that could happen is if Israel accedes to demands to commit national suicide.

Ironically enough, the one people on earth throwing up obstacles to it are you guessed it - the Palestinians!

And this so-called "lesser of two evils" revanant freeze extension is still evil.


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