Thursday, November 20, 2008

PLO Advertisement in Israeli Papers

The "Negotiations Department" of the PLO today published a full-page advertisement in the four largest Israeli newspapers. Haaretz writes about the story, though its English language version garbles the tale, and if you want the full story you need to go to the Hebrew side.

(I don't know why Haaretz is so unprofessional with its website. It's not so hard to run a newspaper website: a few hundred pages each day, at very most. Unless it's a conspiracy to trip up all those folks who avidly search through Haaretz-English for dirt on Israel, by having them use unreliable sources. But I don't think Haaretz is that sophisticated. More likely, they're simply inept. But it is a bit surprising how inept).

So I carefully read the announcement, which tells us uninformed Israelis about the decision of the Arab League and of the Organization of Islamic Conference to live with us in peace and harmony if only we'll do a few things, and the list is helpfully provided. The original resolution, by the way, was discussed in Beirut the day before the mass murder in Netanya that sparked Operation Defensive Shield, in Spring 2002. A week later all these peace-seeking Arab states were braying for our blood because of that massacre in Jenin which never happened.

What can I say? I wouldn't reserve any hotel rooms in Washington for the day of the festive signing. Not yet. True, the statements are a far cry from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and perhaps even 1980s when the Arab policy was to get rid of Israel. (Remember how Egypt was banned from the Arab world and boycotted, at the end of the 1970s, for daring to make peace with Israel)? On that level, we've moved forward and things are better now. But there still are various nagging questions:

1. Israel must officially announce that she wants peace. Huh?
2. Israel must return to the lines of June 4th 1967, including on the Golan, and retreat from conquered Lebanese territories. There are tricks built into this sentence on three different points. See if you can find them. (As long-term readers of mine will know, I'm actually in favor of our moving out of most of the so-called occupied territories, so don't jump down my throat on that one). Any reasonably informed Israeli will spot the tricks immediately.
3. There must be a reasonable solution to the refugee problem, based upon GA resolution 194. Uh huh.
4. No Arab states will be required to enfranchise Palestinian refugees (paragraph 4. The formulation is opaque and confusing, but that's what it seems to be saying). A fine foundation for peace, isn't it?

All the rest I can live with, and most Israelis can too. Partitioning the land between two sovereign states: that's something Israeli voters have already accepted and essentially authorized, no matter whether Netanyahu wins the upcoming elections or not. Offhand, I'd say we're about 60% of the way towards peace. So if after 90 years of conflict we've come 60% of the way, we can reasonably expect to make it in another 50 years or so. Given that my personal estimation expects at least another 150 years of conflict, I'd sign on the 50-year version immediately.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You can project 150 years of conflicts? Well, it's one of those opinions you can never check out.

And, as far as crystal ball gazing goes ... accuracy diminishes with the passage of time.

I have no idea where "lines will be drawn." Israelis have learned that capturing ARABS while capturing land, has led to a problem where the arabs don't cooperate; and the expenses aren't worth having, either.

If Jerusalem didn't become what it is; and entrenched European modeled ghetto ... with men who refuse to work ... You could look back and see that, well, yes. In Europe, Jews stayed within the ghetto walls. And, men didn't venture out to work. They "studied." And, were poor.

This is what got imported into Jerusalem, after the 6 Day War. (Though before the 6 Day War the arabs lived with the trash. And, weren't into "modernizing" either.)

Were there missed opportunties? YOU BET!

In other words? There was "something" about Jerusalem that attracted the age-old extremists.

Of course, this isn't taught!

You have to have curiosity, to look back and see that nations came. And, nations went. And, democracy did blossom. Before it came under threat.

ANd, it's still under threat!

Yes, Dubya is close to the saud's. And, yes, the saud's have been dreaming about "hosting" all of Islam.

But if you learned anything from the "adventure in Irak," you'd know that the saud's, and their cousins, the kuwaiti's, are just not liked all that much.

Can the UN dictate "new borders?"

For some reasons, I think once lawyers get involved ... you won't have simple solutions. And, maybe you won't get any? What's 150 years; when the crux of the problem grew for 2000 years. Outside the "borders." But within European communities.

You know, of course, that gaza had been Eygptian territory. And, the West Bank, with Jerusalem, was the private reserve of the Jordanian king.

Can you hide the anamosities between these counties? REALLY?

One thing about these "ads" is that they're not selling. But they gain traction because they're published. And, then you get to see them, again, and again, showing up like so much flotsam and jetsom.

Hot topic now?

Believe it or not the sauds are trying to say Obama's bought this. (Dennis Ross says this isn't true.)

And, if anything the saud's could lose a lot ... Even if you can't figure out how. All you have to see is what the somali pirates did to their "crude" ship. 140 miles off shore. Quite a grab.

Sometimes, you just can't throw money at problems.

And, sometimes? Your charity money dries up.

Does anyone want to talk about how the palestinians are also dependent on charity?

Seems there are sources that are drying up. Not just a problem for the Jerusalem kottels anymore.

Maybe, the ads are a waste of time?

But what can you do? The arabs don't want to leave.

Though in Irak? Well, there you got lots of arabs to leave a "zone." It wasn't healthy to stay.

And, the hatred is very, very old stuff. There may be no great cures?