Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rubin Rubs It In

Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at IDC Herzliya and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal, really rubs it in to our peace messianists.

As I've always said, not every problem has a solution. Here's how Rubin says it:-

The Region: Drowning in solutions

...basically the situation we face regarding the absurd belief that the Arab-Israeli, or more immediately, the Israeli-Palestinian, [is that the] conflict can be resolved at this time.

Let me say it again: despite the mountains of speeches, conferences, articles, committees, foundation grants, projects, currencies of every description and policies expended on it, there is no solution in sight for the conflict. It will continue for decades.

Hamas is not about to become moderate. Even Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which few reporters can even mention without inserting the word moderate before their names, isn't anywhere near moderate enough to make peace...

For some it isn't obvious because they know nothing about the region, its history or politics...

...the idea of finding the solution, and a speedy one at that - the holy grail of policymakers - negates not only all of our previous experience but also any sensible analysis of the current situation.

Why is this? Along with the ignorance factor, there is arrogance ("I will make peace"), and opportunism (there's a lot of money, fame, and career advancement in the peace industry). There is also a baffled rationalism - why wouldn't the Palestinian or Arab leaders make peace when it is so much in their interest? (Answer: they don't think peace is in their interest, and also believe it to be unnecessary and immoral.)

Finally, there are just plain old good intentions, which have killed almost as many people in history as bad intentions.

...There is no solution in sight and no gimmick that will bring such an outcome. Let's begin the discussion there.

...But as long as we spend a disproportionate amount of our time pretending there's some imminent Arab-Israeli solution (or attending to the ridiculous notion that the failure is Israel's fault), we won't give enough attention to the real threats, issues and options.

And, yes sir, that's one of the reasons why the Middle East is such a mess, the Western attempt to deal with the region such a shambles, and the effort to understand the area generally such a disaster.

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