Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Leftie Against a Settlement Freeze

Regular readers will know the high esteem I have for Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz expert on the Palestinians, in spite of his politics being perhaps somewhat to the left of mine.

Issacharoff has a colleague, Zvi Bar'el, also at Haaretz, whose brief is the rest of the Arab world, perhaps even most of the Muslim world. Bar'el dosn't write much about the Palestinians, that's Issacharoff's job, and Issacharoff doesn't write much about the Arab World, that's Bar'els job. Both work mostly in Arabic, and both know a lot about their field. Bar-el is somewhat to the left of Issacharoff, meaning he's solidly left, but he tries and mostly suceeds to report first and slant things only second. (Just by way of rounding out the picture of the editorial board at Haaretz, Akiva Eldar knows a lot but mostly subordinates his knowledge to his politics, and Gideon Levy can't see any story about anything except through the prisim of his warped politics. So you get all sorts of lefties when you read Haaretz).

Today Bar'el joins his (lefty) colleague Aluf Benn in telling the Americans they've got it all wrong at the moment. Remember, Bar'el couldn't find a good thing to say about the settlements if you threatened him with rotten tomatoes - yet look at this column:
It should be said from the onset: Do not freeze settlement construction, do not stop it in part or periodically, not for six months, not for a single day. As long as the U.S. administration does not present a comprehensive plan that explains its endgame - what the end will look like and what the shape and character of the Palestinian state will look like - the demand for a cessation of construction is pointless. It is a pathetic return to the doctrine of "confidence-building measures," which led nowhere. The demand to freeze settlement construction is like the demand to remove roadblocks or cease razing homes; all these demands and similar ones mean only one thing: making the continuation of the occupation a little more pleasant.

You really ought to read the whole thing. Especially if you work in the White House.


Anonymous said...

I heard Issacharoff and his co-writer in a more than an hour podcast from their book tour
- they did a really really good job as if they were from anywhere in the world critical of Israel but always always in such a reasonable and fair way that they came over to me as really good pro-Israel ambassadors.

Anonymous said...

oops - I am Silke and here is the link to the book

Dimitry Papkov said...

Nice column. now, if he could refrainf from casting Netanyahu and his government as the anti-christ, it'd be even better.