Friday, June 05, 2009

A Marty Peretz Pile-On

Marty Peretz piles it on:

...let me make clear that in the 42 years since the Six Day War, the Palestinians haven't shown any serious readiness to make peace with Israel that would encourage Jerusalem to make any more one-sided concessions in advance that experience proves will just be pocketed and not be reciprocated at all...

...the United Nations General Assembly sanctioned and provided for a "Jewish state" in Palestine and an "Arab state" in Palestine already in late 1947. I will make my not-at-all-pedantic little point again: The imagined Arab state was not denoted as Palestinian because no one in their right mind at the U.N. saw a Palestinian people on the horizon. The local Arabs were mostly satraps of the surrounding Arab countries. They defined themselves within tribes and clans, extended families and gangs of ruffians There was no national vision with which to see the lost opportunity.

...Now, the Obama administration is engaged in another try at the peace process, egged on presumably by the preposterous idea that, if Bibi only utters the magic phrase "two-state solution" and halts construction even for natural growth in every single one of the settlements, America's troubles in the world of Islam will not only ease but be transformed. Not surprisingly, Hilary Clinton, our martinet secretary of state, has enthusiastically rushed to formulate these instructions to Israel in the harshest possible terms.

This has been a long detour to coming back to my view of settlements.

From my point of view, there are settlements and then there are settlements. I'll get to the differences soon.

But the idea of stopping all construction in all settlements means that once again the Israelis will be ceding something in advance and for nothing in return. This is a destructive negotiating tactic and will encourage the same kind of intransigence...

In fact, the 2003 "road map" made distinctions among settlements, envisioning that most would be vacated by Israel but that the largest would remain sovereign Israeli territory. The very largest happen to cling to Jerusalem. I wouldn't withdraw from them in a million years. Not even the crankiest peacenik in Israel would pull out from Ma'aleh Adumim...And if I were Netanyahu, I would expect also to be able to increase defensive settlements in the Jordan Valley rift as a protection against Palestinian terror flowing east to west and west to east between the kingdom and the new Palestine...

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