Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harvard's MESH Mush

Harvard has a site called MESH.

MESH?

Middle East Strategy at Harvard (MESH) is a project of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. MESH is a community of scholars and practitioners who are interested in the formulation of U.S. strategic options for the Middle East.

In a post by one Robert O. Freedman, Avigdor Lieberman's policy vis a vis Israel's Arabs is discussed, inter alia.

I have a problem with these formulations:

a.

Lieberman’s call for a transfer of territory inhabited by those Israeli Arabs who won’t pledge loyalty to Israel, to a new Palestinian state, in return for Israel maintaining some of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.


and

b.

Lieberman’s plan to deal with the Israeli Arabs, which some commentators both in Israel and abroad have called “racist,” involves giving the Israeli Arabs a choice. Either they can pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish State, or they can leave Israel—with their land. What Lieberman suggests is the transfer of Israeli Arab cities like Umm al-Fahm and towns in the Arab triangle in the Galilee, to a new Palestinian state, in return for Israel’s annexation of Jewish settlement areas on the West Bank such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.


and

c.

The outspoken Lieberman says aloud what many Jewish Israelis increasingly believe—that it is impossible for Jews and Arabs to live together in a single state.


All these are poorly written. They are convoluted and thereby misleading.

Lieberman, as far as I know, doesn't support transfer. People will stay where they live. The border will be redrawn. Israel didn't ask the agreement or permission of the Arabs who stayed in Israel in 1949 whether they wanted to be citizens. Does it have to ask their permission to place them in a "Palestine"? In fact, they could maybe even retain Israeli citizenship in some circumstances.

You can read his official presentation here. And in this interview.

I don't agree and you don't have to agree. But a proper presentation

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's misleading? Freedman says Lieberman proposes "a transfer of territory." What isn't clear about that?

YMedad said...

Dear Anon,

Not quite. When the term "transfer" is used, the connotation as in Greece-Turkey and India-Pakistan, is the large movement of persons from one place to another. Like in Gaza during Disengaement. Like what Arabs did to Gush Etzion and the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem in 1948.

Lieberman doesn't want, as far as I can tell, to physically move people, destroy their homes, cause them to start life and business all over again but simply redraw political borders. There is a big difference.

galia said...

"Lieberman also said that, unlike left-wing activists who back the People's Voice and Geneva Initiative, he is not seeking peace but security. Nor is he seeking a partner for the creation of a Palestinian state, but rather a partner for the resolution of what he called "the problem of Arabs in the Land of Israel."

How about that? Explicit... No peace, security. Can you have security without peace?
"The problem of Arabs in the Land of Israel"? Doesn't it remind you of another definition of a problem of people of another religion from other territories? And what was a solution?

"I don't want to be part of the 'New Middle East,' I want to be a representative of Europe in this region. I am not excited by eating hummus in Damascus; rather, I prefer walking around in Paris and London," he said"

Haha, "prefer walking around in Paris?" Go to Paris.