Monday, October 11, 2010

Aaron David Miller Is Getting Serious

Aaron David Miller, Jewish and former big gun at the State Department, penned an op-ed on Five Middle East Myths about Peace myths about Arab-Israeli peacemaking that cause the Obama administration's mediating role to be even more difficult. ("Middle East"? but he only deals with Israel)

and #3 is

Settlements are the main obstacle to peacemaking

and it goes like this:

On the Israeli side, there is indeed no greater obstacle. For more than four decades, the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank has reshaped Israeli politics for the worse, humiliated Palestinians and made an already complex process even more complicated. And Israel's recent refusal to extend a moratorium on settlement construction has threatened to undermine the negotiations before they have a chance to get serious.

Successive American administrations have not taken the settlement issue as seriously as needed. The U.S. line has always been the same: Getting to the negotiations is the only way Palestinians can address the settlement issue. Even then-Secretary of State James Baker -- who took a tough line with the Israelis on settlements and occupation -- believed that negotiation was the only way to resolve this issue, saying to the Palestinians in 1991: "If you're asking that we send in the 82nd Airborne, forget it."

But even if the settlement issue were resolved today, negotiations would still confront another galactic challenge: a crisis within the Palestinian national movement, with two authorities governing two discreet areas with two different security services, two different patrons and two different visions of the Palestinian future. The upshot of the battle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is that without a monopoly over the forces of violence in Palestinian society -- without one authority to silence the guns and rockets -- no agreement can be implemented.

Let's deconstruct that:

On the Israeli side, there is indeed no greater obstacle.

Excuse me, why should Jews residing in the area be an obstacle? Are Arabs living in Israel an obstacle?

For more than four decades, the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank has reshaped Israeli politics for the worse, humiliated Palestinians and made an already complex process even more complicated.

And prior to those four decades, when there were no communities or construction of same, everything was fine? There was peace. There wasn't any terror? The PLO didn't exist?

Or was there terror, first the fedayeen and then the Fatah of the PLO founded in 1964?

And why should Arabs be "humiliated"? That they tried to prevent the establishment of a Jewish National Home between 1920 and 1947? That they launched a war of extinction, there term, against the UN recommendation to establish a Jewish state between 1947-1949? That they terrorized it between 1949-1967? That they triggered the 1967 war?

And Israel's recent refusal to extend a moratorium on settlement construction has threatened to undermine the negotiations before they have a chance to get serious.

ADM, sir. The Arabs had almost 10 months to get serious. Are you serious?

Successive American administrations have not taken the settlement issue as seriously as needed. The U.S. line has always been the same: Getting to the negotiations is the only way Palestinians can address the settlement issue.

Like Jimmy Carter wasn't serious. Get serious ADM.

Even then-Secretary of State James Baker -- who took a tough line with the Israelis on settlements and occupation -- believed that negotiation was the only way to resolve this issue, saying to the Palestinians in 1991: "If you're asking that we send in the 82nd Airborne, forget it."

Ah, so ADM wants to use military force against Israel over the issue of civilian Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria? Well, yes, that would be serious.

But even if the settlement issue were resolved today, negotiations would still confront another galactic challenge: a crisis within the Palestinian national movement, with two authorities governing two discreet areas with two different security services, two different patrons and two different visions of the Palestinian future.

Gee, don't you feel sorry for this "people" who can't get their act together? ADM, with whom should Israel sit down?

The upshot of the battle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is that without a monopoly over the forces of violence in Palestinian society -- without one authority to silence the guns and rockets -- no agreement can be implemented.

So, maybe America sghould invade the Palestinain Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip?

Is ADMiller serious or plain crazy?


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you partly misread him. Miller's big thing now is that the peace process won't work which is a refreshing truth. he wants to blame both sides s he exaggerates on Settlements. that is what is really going on here. by DC standards he is relatively sane.

Juniper in the Desert said...

Lets deconstruct THAT: the Jews are the problem!

As Pam Geller says, another "jewicidal"!

Why does he have to drag us into it? these kapos are more dangerous than any muslim, as they are the enablers.

Did this happen in Germany in the 1930's???

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

the Western powers, besides the Arabs, Russians, OIC, etc, encourage palestinian Arab belligerence. The US, EU, Japan, etc donate huge sums every year to wealthy and successful begging enterprise called the "palestinian authority."

To Anon, "he exaggerates on settlements," presumably to protect his back in DC. That proves that DC has a Judeophobic climate of opinion which is rather intolerant. Otherwise, ADM wouldn't have to exaggerate. That means that no real peace can ensue from USA "good offices," such as they are.

Anonymous said...

Aaron now says it was a mistake to go to Camp David in 2000 and argues that the US was too eager to please Israel's position.

He also says the US shouldn't have pushed for Camp David in 2000 is that it was clear Arafat wasn't ever going to make peace. Now, he "admits" that the US doesn't need an Israel-Palestinian agreement while he has been the main advocate on this very important point in his surroundings. This is the single most significant argument that should be made to US policymakers now.

Moreover, he is saying that the Palestinian side is incapable of making peace. That is the second most important argument that should be made now.

Anonymous said...

last year, in February 2009, Miller contradicted his first point about "Direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are the key to reaching an accord"

Here's the relevant part of that article, from Voice of America:

Experts Dampen Expectations of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal

Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center who has served as an adviser to six secretaries of state, said the Middle East peace process has been stalled for nearly two decades, and advised the Obama administration not to pursue what he called "big, transformative diplomacy".

"This region, as best I can understand it, hates big ideas. Particularly those big ideas imposed, crafted or orchestrated from outside. And frankly, transformative diplomacy was the essence of the previous administration's approach to this region. Regime change, democratization, grand bargains, grand rhetoric, one-size-fits-all," he said.

Instead, Miller called for "transactional diplomacy" based on small, pragmatic steps like getting Israel to open up Gaza for reconstruction efforts. Miller said President Obama should save his "big ideas" for dealing with the economic crisis in the United States, and take small, incremental steps in the Middle East.