Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Glennwatch 2

In the week or so I've been regularly visiting Glenn Greenwald's blog I've noticed he's a very wordy fellow. I'm one, too, but he far outstrips me. He also uses parenthesis in parenthesis, not a sign of a fine writer.

Today he has posted on Israel, or actually, on the hope the Obama administration will put lots of pressure on, and distance itself from, Israel. Personally, I think if Israel ends up with a coalition dominated by our far right, Netanyahu will deserve a modicum of pressure, and for that matter, so will we, so as to force us to decide if settlements are important enough to face down our American friends over. But there are various "ifs" in that scenario. And either way, it has little to do with peace, since our war with the Palestinians isn't about settlements, of which there are none in Gaza.

In the meantime, Greenwald's main thesis, it seems to me, is that the Obamaites must put lots of pressure on Israel; the Palestinians, if I read correctly, don't even get mentioned. The implication being that the lack of peace is mostly the fault of Israel, and marginally the fault of the Bush administration for allowing this.
it's hard to believe that George Mitchell was willing to take on this assignment unless he has the authority to apply the pressure on Israel which is an absolute pre-requisite for any hope of success. For now, those who desire a serious change in U.S. policy towards Israel should welcome any signs -- even limited and preliminary ones -- that the U.S. is willing to forcefully and, when necessary, publicly oppose and condemn Israeli actions (as we do with all other foreign countries).

1 comment:

Philo-Semite said...

Yaacov, for quite a long time, I have thought your blog very intelligent. However, for the first time today I see something absolutely idiotic - the notion of inviting or desiring external pressure.

The idea of external intervention to over-ride Israeli democracy (however messy) is repulsive, an offense both to the concept of democracy and to the concept of the inherent self-determination rights of the Jewish people. You (and J-Street and others) should be ashamed of yourselves.

Desiring such intervention is also unwise as a practical matter. (1) It establishes a bad precedent, inviting such intervention in the future. (2) It results in bad outcomes as often as not, since the external forces are neither altruistic nor familiar with the Mideast. (3) It encourages the Palestinians in their century-long conviction that they need not come to terms with Israeli/Jewish Mideasterners, and can instead wait for a deus ex machina from the exterior.

I think you should re-think this nonsense of external intervention. Yes, everybody has intervened, from the USA to the EU to the USSR to diaspora Jewry to .... But that doesn't mean more of the same is wise.

Peace will come when the Palestinians realise that only the Israeli electorate can give the Palestinians a state, and that the Palestinians need to convince the Israeli electorate (not the USA or EU or ....) of their bona fide intent to compromise for peace, to restrain their own (Palestinian) rejectionists, to eject Iranian arms and influence, etc. That will never happen so long as the Palestinians can continue to look to outside intervention to force Israel to submit.