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Friday, May 20, 2011

Accept reality: There is no solution

It's time for the world to accept reality: There is no solution to the Israeli - 'Palestinian' dispute - or at least there is no solution with which the parties would live.
For many years it has been the conventional wisdom of Arab-Israeli peace processors that the conflict was, at heart, territorial, and that it could be resolved if only Israel and its neighbors could agree on a proper border. For many years, too, it has been conventional wisdom that if only the conflict could be resolved, other distempers of the Muslim world—from dictatorship to terrorism—would find their own resolution.

If the Arab Spring has done nothing else, it has at least disposed of the latter proposition. From Tehran to Tunis to Tahrir Square, Muslims are rising against their rulers for reasons quite apart from anything happening in Gaza, the West Bank or the Golan Heights. This isn't to say they've abandoned their emotional commitments to Palestinians, or their ideological ones against Israel. It's simply to say that they have their own problems.

But just as the West has consistently misunderstood the Muslim problem, so too has it failed to grasp the Palestinian one. And what it has failed to grasp above all is the centrality of Palestinian refugees to the conflict.

The fiction that is typically offered about the refugees by devotees of the peace process is that Palestinian leaders see them as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with Israel, perhaps in exchange for the re-division of Jerusalem. But listen in on the internal dialogue of Palestinians and you will hear that the "right of return" is an inviolable, inalienable and individual right of every refugee. In other words, a right that can never (and never safely) be bargained away by Palestinian leaders for the sake of a settlement with Israel.

In this belief the Palestinians are sustained by many things.

One is the mythology of 1948, which is long on tales of what Jews did to Arabs but short on what Arabs did to Jews—or to themselves. Another is the text of U.N. resolution 194, written in 1948, which plainly states that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date." A third is UNRWA, the U.N. agency that has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee problem for generations when most other refugees have been successfully repatriated. A fourth is their ill treatment at the hands of their Arab hosts, which has caused them to yearn for the fantasy of a homeland—orchards and all—that modern-day Israel succeeds in looking very much like. A fifth is the incessant drone of Palestinian propaganda whose idea of Palestinian statehood traces the map of Israel itself.

Other things could be mentioned. But the roots of the problem are beside the point. The real point is that a grievance that has been nursed for 63 years and that can move people to acts like those witnessed on Sunday is never going to allow a political accommodation with Israel and would never be satisfied by one anyway.
We here in Israel often hear the claim that those who become Prime Minister see things differently, and therefore even purported hawks (like Netanyahu) have tried to keep the 'peace process' going. There's even a trite phrase that describes it that comes from a popular song: Dvarim she'roim mi'kan lo roim mi'sham (things that one sees from here one cannot see from there). But curiously, the most clarifying statement made by any of our Prime Ministers in recent years was specifically a hawkish statement. On April 23, 2002, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that the fate of Netzarim - a town in Central Gaza that is no more (and which is probably best known know as the town where the death of Mohamed al-Dura was staged) - is the same as the fate of Tel Aviv.

If Prime Minister Netanyahu can find similar clarity in his meeting with President Obama, perhaps he can help prevent the fate of Tel Aviv from becoming the fate of Netzarim.

What could go wrong?


Good comment about this article here.

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, there is a solution. It's in a book we all have forgotten about called the written Torah. Ya, I know it's older then the rabbinical talmud, but you know what, maybe, sure it's a long shot, but maybe it's right. We are loosing the Land because we don't want what God gave us. We don't recognise it because the secular Zionists created it, so how can this be of God. Well, since God gave up on the "Faithless Shephards", He had to use plan "B". Since the "Faithless Shephards" don't see God in all of this, they reject it. So, in all His silliness, God's actions then are giving it to someone who want's it.

Since it's been a long time since most have actually read the Torah, here's the verses we should heed. Numbers 33:53-56 (The JPS is better over the Artscroll for accuracy). Notice the end verse, if we don't, they will.

Sadly, the charade between the Muslim Messiah Obama and Bibi will continue. So now Bibi screams we will never go back to the 67 lines, when in all reality a deal has been done many months ago. Now he will abandon tens of thousands of Jews in order to attempt to save face and keep the major settlement blocks. Most Jews will then cheer on how we only got up the you know what with grease this time. We will have 'peace'. Wrong, wrong and wrong. Don't think this partial 'victory' will lessen our trouble. It will only make them completely unbarrable to the point we will all be crying to God to get us out of this mess.

Shabbat Shalom


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