Friday, June 12, 2009

Clear Eyed Cynicism on Settlements

Barry Rubin takes a clear-eyed look at the Obama-Netanyahu-Settlement-Peace quagmire. His thesis: No way will caving in to Obama ever bring peace, but there are fine cynical reasons for doing so never-the-less.

Count me in.


adam d. said...

This strategy contains a risk. Obama takes himself seriously as a peacemaker and will not stupidly press Israel alone for concessions. There are already reports, for example, that Mitchell is talking about land swaps to see what the PA might agree to.

If Israel concedes here, for whatever cynical or strategic reasons, Obama will develop the next round on different grounds and slowly move both parties towards a deal that we all know cannot realistically succeed. He also clearly views Israel as the more culpable party and through the eyes of a left wing critique of western history. So although (I believe) he genuinely thinks he can bring peace to both sides, he'll do so in ways that create vulnerabilities for Israel that he is unable to recognize or acknowledge.

I saw in your profile on normblog that you think a deal that can't succeed is still worth making. Saying Yes now to Obama leads to that - it's not reversible - so I think you may as well start talking about why you think it's the right choice.

Anonymous said...

I wish somebody savvy on how to play Basketball would comment i.e. isn't there a lot of deception involved while you are working towards the position from which you can get the ball into the net? since only the Israelis can be expected to ...

I have the uneasy feeling that this is something like a cat of mine used to do when tenderly positioning the mouse for the final bite the mouse holding quite still probably due to being relieved that it was neither chased nor carried around.