Saturday, March 08, 2014

Promoting a Kurtzer Peace

In a "TAKING NOTE" column from March 7, What an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Framework Might Look Like, Carol Giacomo (who seems to specialize in Middle East matters, a former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters, she's now also Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University - which means she teaches one of their seminars in journalism on editorials: how they are conceived and constructed and how they aim to shape national debate on important issues, and whose official title is "foreign affairs and defense policy editor"),

promotes Daniel Kurtzer's "6-page model framework" for peace (no, not these six points).  Kurzter, to point out a possible conflict of interest, is Lecturer and S. Daniel Abraham Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at ... Princeton.

Kurtzer, we should recall, was angry about "a very bad ideathat "the United States [was] poised to reward Israel for its bad behavior" back in 2010, a "deal [that] will shake the foundation of the U.S.-Israeli strategic partnership".  that was the construction moratorium. Truly an objective commentator on the issue.

She really appreciates his "way to settle [sic] the dispute over Mr. Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel not just as a state but as a Jewish state" with this formula:

“Israel will recognize Palestine as the home of the Palestinian people and all its citizens and Palestine will recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people and all its citizens.”


Palestinian refugees should have the right of return to the state of Palestine while Israel should “offer a program of family reunification, including citizenship, for a limited number of refugees.” 

and, as for the issue of the city of Jerusalem, 

Kurtzer proposes that it become “the capital of the two states...undivided...”...[and] envisions an international administrator appointed by the two parties.

Giacomo finishes up writing

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have usually not encouraged an open dialogue on the specifics. Rather, they have spent their time talking to their own communities, reinforcing maximalist demands and the perfidies of the other, not advocating areas of compromise.

I left this comment (with additions):

"Maximalist demands"? First of all, permitting an unchecked 'return' of refugees into Judea & Samaria will only exacerbate the security danger facing Israel if the retention of the hills of that region is not a part of a peace arrangement.   Second, any so-called internationalization of Jerusalem ("a special regime to administer the Old City under an international administrator appointed by them"), even if limited to the "holy sites" will not procure for Jews adequate freedom of religion (despite his belief that "The parties will agree to act in accordance with the dignity and sanctity of the city.") because the rocks will come down on worshippers at the Western Wall if Israeli police are not stationed on the Temple Mount, not to mention the demand that Jews be allowed to respect in a spiritual fashion the Temple Mount.
Those are actually "minimal" requirements. But Kurtzer's suggestion - and he is a former ambassador in Israel and should know better - that the Pals. must refrain from threats is laughable given the conflict's history. If, until now, they cannot even recognize Jewish national ethos, can we trust any such pledge?

I wonder if Ms. Giacomo would permit an opposing view to grace the Opinion pages of her newspaper?

Or would she provide a curt negative?



My comment is up.


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