Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Peace in Palestine

If you followed and remember the details of the Oslo so-called Peace Process (most people either didn't or don't), you'll be familiar with Aaron Miller. From the Israeli perspective, he was one of the sterner figures in the American camp of negotiators.

He recently explained why peace won't happen anytime soon between Israel and the Palestinians. He claims neither side is ready; the Palestinians aren't capable of delivering (this seems his main point); and there's no Israeli leadership that could cut a deal.

I beg to differ on the third point. The pattern from Saadat onwards, including Netanyahu in 1996-9, has always been that when an Arab leader appears who is capable of delivering, his Israeli counterpart will rise to the challenge. Especially since the Israeli electorate will always back the move, and given we're such a pro-active electorate, that's the crucial consideration.

There is no scenario in which a Palestinian (or other Arab) leader makes a credible offer of peace and the Israeli electorate turns him down. But I don't see the opposite, either: no Israeli leader can make a real offer unless there's a real Palestinian (or other Arab) leader to make it too.


Anonymous said...


What if you're wrong?

Palestinians got their arses whooped in Lebanon. So, enough of them know the score.

Palestinians, brought in by Saddam, to move the Kurds off their lands, found they were tossed out of Irak. And, some got stuck. Couldn't get into Jordan, were unwanted. And, probably got killed in droves, in Syria. Assad tolerates no headaches. Eschews aspirins.

So, go ahead. Buy into this dumb idea that "all" Palestinians are hopeless nut cases.

Because? Well the road ahead contains Europeans. It also contains the loon from South Korea. And, you shouldn't underestimate the UN. Hate them. Be my guest. But don't underestimate them.

It's true, post Ronald Reagan's quick departure from Beriut, it's hard to make an argument for anyone thinking "peace is at hand."

On the other hand, do you know what keeps Lebanon afloat? DRUGS. Do you know what keeps the 7 families in Tel Aviv "afloat?" Drugs. Its most amazing for a city to have so many mafia types. Beyond the reach of the law.

Of course, Tel Aviv has a waterfront. And, if I had to guess? Since, right now you don't have your roads open to Beriut? The only way to get the drugs INTO Israel is on fishing vessels. I'd bet the Palestinians also ply this trade. Since they have their own customers. And, they also have Eygptians.

Drugs are as profitable as OIL. Believe it. Or not.

Where I worry? Well, I think the reasons that so many Israelis don't want to fight for arab territories; is that they know the costs of this in blood. (The religious lunatics? They want to send in the "schmendricks" who get drafted. But they don't want to train their own youths even for the job market.) You could plotz.

So, when you hear about "shrinkage" ... you should be aware that it's coming at you from the inside.

Yes. Individuals vote. But the extremists vote "in blocks." Knowing that no government gets formed without paying them their ransom, in terms of taxpayer dollars.

And, right now? Bibi will probably be the "big macher." You don't remember him, but he's the jerk, when he was prime minister, who ordered in the Mossad, to assasinate Mashaal. In Jordan. Sending the little king into a frenzy. And, Israel was even pressured in giving up the antidote PLUS terrorists, as the exchange rate needed to placate the midget king of Jordan. You could plotz.

Bring him back. Go ahead. He's just crazy enough to own "territory" to Shas. (And, worse? The education portfolio would go to a group who resents all education that falls outside of rabbinical extremism.) You could plotz.

No one currently running has the popularity Arik Sharon had. Whatever Livni gets ... it's going to be close to what Bibi gets. And, then what? Arm wrestling? You could plotz.

Very sad. And, you could also ask, since Mubarak is an old, old man; how long Eygpt remains "stable?" Here, I don't plotz. And, I don't care.

Here, I'll even bet that the youth of Israel, knowing what they know about their lousy school system. And, knowing that they'll be drafted. Perhaps have an inkling that what the extremists want isn't the best for Israel's future?

What way out?

Oh, and what happens if there's a real shot that the Palestinians, who have laborers who can build, begin building on their own soil?

Per-chance to build skyscrapers?

Per-change to learn lessons from Dubai?

Yup. Dubai imports talent. But that means they also pay enough to create a class of tourism that could "spill" into new ventures?

Wall to wall terrorism? May be a dying business.

Too bad the slack will be picked up by the extremists; who forgot how important having day jobs are.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Minor correction: I think you meant, in the last sentence, "... a real Palestinian (or other Arab) leader to make it to" (not too).

I'll be responding to this post on my blog soon, maybe today.