Saturday, October 05, 2013

Lustick Replies to Critics and I Comment

Ian Lustick has penned a reply to criticism of his NYTimes essay.

Without too much deliberation, I commented so:

Comments, in no order:

a) "to base Jewish life in the Land of Israel on systematic coercion and permanent oppression."  1. so it is the Land of Israel, not necessarily the State of.  That's a plus;  2. the only reason for that "coercion"/"oppression" (while not arguing it and I disagree) is the Arab refusal to recognize any Jewish geo-political expression anywhere, in any border configuration or administrative form.  3.  self-destruction is not in our vocabulary.

b) "the post-1967 period did open up the spectacularly hopeful prospect of successful partition."  Maybe.  The Allon Plan, the Government's 19 June 1967 decision, Dayan's functional plan, Begin's autonomy - all rejected, refused,  O the Tragedy of "Palestine".

c) "Is statist Zionism the only framework for satisfying Jewish national and cultural ambitions?"  of course.  that's really pretending you don't understand the Arabs.  You do, though.  So...

d) "if Germans and Jews could be close allies within two generations following the Holocaust, and if my own side of the Jewish world has no problem referring to itself as “Ashkenazi” (i.e. German), then why think a changing mix of challenges and opportunities cannot lead Jews from Arab countries to acknowledge their heritage in a parallel fashion."  You're kidding Ian, yes?  You are comparing the fundamental separatist elements of shared history, religion, customs, culture, text-core language, etc. as if parallel to what is required of Jess & Arabs?  Wow.

e)  "My point is that it is not the settlements, per se, that are the problem, but the political constellation of power and purpose that produced them, that grows them, and that will protect them. What I am arguing is that the entrenchment of the forces in Israel that have destroyed every effort to achieve two states is so deep, and so firmly rooted in ideological, cultural, and American institutional political realities, that much bigger forces will be necessary to transform them than operate within the normal course of Israeli or United Nations politics."   Finally, agreement.

He adds there:

The most important message in my article was not that two states are absolutely impossible—indeed I did not say that and do not believe it. Rather, my argument is that paths to political decisions in Israel and the United States that could result in that outcome via negotiations are so implausible that the negotiations themselves end up protecting and deepening oppressive conditions

Why "implausible"?   


The odds were always against the two-state solution’s success, whether because of the crippling hold that a blinkered Israel lobby has on American foreign policy in the region, the Islamicization of politics in the Arab world, or a cultural transformation of the Israeli political landscape driven by decades of siege, Holocaustmania, and triumphalism. 

And if Arab politics were always Islamicized but we didn't know, or want to acknowledge, that and if that has the most great affect on any possible resolution of the 'conflict'?



... if catastrophic scales of destruction can be avoided, ways to do so will not be found by those blinded by faith in an appealingly familiar but no-longer-available path. Why? Because as long as Israelis (and Palestinians) do not feel — immediately and concretely—that their very existence is threatened by the absence of a way to live together, they will not question the assumptions that need to be questioned.

That's a nice suggestion - threaten Israel's existence.  Brilliant.


"Right now, for example, there is no one-state solution. But there is a one-state outcome. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there is one and only one real state—Israel. It has shown repeatedly that it can and will send its military forces into any corner of that territory whenever it deems it necessary. The Palestinian Authority’s nominal administration over some domains and Hamas’s position in Gaza notwithstanding, virtually nothing goes into or out of this entire area that the State of Israel does not authorize" 

Accept for terror attacks, suicide bombers, missiles and rockets, right, Ian?


1 comment:

YMedad said...

From a conversation in Washington, June 10, 1977:

Dr. Brzezinski: Please give Mr. Begin my warm personal greetings.
My visits with him have been most interesting and I have found him a
very engaging and attractive person. The President very much looks
forward to meeting with him. I am pleased to hear your position on
Resolutions 242 and 338, which, among others, set the framework for
an understanding. They spell out the key issues, but that does not mean
that other issues must be excluded. At some point, this has to be understood.
I would like to ask you about your policy on settlements. There
has been some controversy on that. That seems to affect these
Mr. Katz: There has been a difference of opinion between Likud
and the Democratic Movement for Change on this. I am not sure how it
will be resolved. Mr. Begin’s attitude is closely tied to the attitude of the
Likud concerning the basic right of the Jewish people to Western Palestine
as a whole. This view is founded on international law, ever since
the mandate was promulgated. The rejection of the 1947 partition by
the Arabs—and the Jewish Agency then accepted those lines—but the
Arab rejection in the war that followed restored the full legal basis for
our claims to all of Western Palestine. From 1948 to 1967, we consider
that there was an illegal occupation of the West Bank by Jordan. This is
one of the reasons that Mr. Begin objects to the term “annexation” as
applied to the territories. The question of settlements in our view does
not affect Resolution 242. We are still prepared to negotiate without
preliminary preconditions.

Dr. Brzezinski: Could that include the PLO?

Mr. Katz: No, only the Arab states. In such negotiations, if we reach
agreement on withdrawal, including part of the West Bank, and this is
possible even for us, although we would not do it happily, but in a
peace agreement it is possible. Why should Jewish settlements, even if
Jewish sovereignty is not there, constitute a problem?Why can 500,000
Arabs live with us with no difficulty in the 1967 boundaries, if the idea
of Jews living elsewhere in Palestine is unacceptable? In peace, real
peace, this should not be a problem. We do not see any contradiction.
Refraining from settlement would preempt the outcome of negotiations,
which we want to avoid.

Dr. Brzezinski: Would you encourage settlements in areas populated
by the Arabs, as compared to the policy of the previous

Mr. Katz: Yes, this is a subject of controversy. These have not just
been security settlements in the past. Gush Etzion and Hebron are not
security settlements.2 That is not their purpose. We have a deep attachment
to the land. We hope in these negotiations that we can persuade
the Arabs that their best bet is not to have us withdraw. If I can give you
the vision that I have, after forty years of contacts with the Arabs, I
would try to convince the Arabs in Western Palestine that their greatest
chance for security and prosperity, without loss of their cultural identity
and with local autonomy, lies in a unitary state under an Israeli
government, with the right to citizenship for those who want it, or they
can remain Jordanian citizens.
If an Arab entity of any kind is formed west of the Jordan River, it
would be a threat to Israel.
pp. 308 - 311 Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, Volume VIII