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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wright's wrong

Another day, another piece on the the New York Times opinion page calling bashing Israel. Today's piece comes from Robert [corrected from earlier edition. CiJ] Wright, and I will limit myself to one small part of it.
Sadly, here is the policy Clinton unveiled to avert this catastrophe: America will talk to the two sides about what they might say should they ever talk to each other. As The New York Times headline put it, “Clinton Says U.S. Is Committed to Mideast Peace but Reverting to Old Strategy.” You’re familiar with how well that strategy worked?

There is a strategy that could actually work. It would take boldness on President Obama’s part, but it could win him a place in history and the enduring gratitude of most Jews and Palestinians.

Seizing the opportunity involves first seeing the flaw in one premise of our current policy. As Clinton put that premise on Friday, “The United States and the international community cannot impose a solution. Sometimes I think both parties seem to think we can. We cannot.”

Yes we can.

The United Nations created a Jewish state six decades ago, and it can create a Palestinian state now. It can define the borders, set the timetable and lay down the rules for Palestinian elections (specifying, for example, that the winners must swear allegiance to a constitution that acknowledges Israel’s right to exist).

Establishing such a state would involve more tricky issues than can be addressed in this space. (I take a stab at some of them at www.progressiverealist.org/UN2states.) But, however messy this solution may seem, it looks pretty good when you realize how hopeless the current process is.
The United Nations did not establish the State of Israel. The United Nations voted for a partition plan, which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected. The Arabs unilaterally made war on the Jews in a bid to ensure that the partition plan would never come to pass. The Jews won the war. It was the Jews who won the war (with God's help) who established the State of Israel - not the United Nations.

If anything, the United Nations is less capable of establishing a state today than it was in 1948. The Arabs will use that state as a pretext to once again attack the Jews. And the Jews, with God's help, will hopefully defend themselves. The United Nations will impose nothing, although by trying to impose a 'Palestinian state' it may finally encourage a fight to the finish that will leave both sides bloodied and battered.

Is that what Wright wants?

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At 8:01 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


I agree with all you write, and then some. But just a quick note of clarification: it was Robert Wright, not Robin Wright, who wrote this. I thought at first it was was Sean Penn's wife who wrote such an OpEd!


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