Monday, September 22, 2008

Diehl: No Deal

In the Washington Post, of all places, we read of the expiration of the Bush/Rice peace push on Israel to recognize the need for a Pal. state, refugee return and, ultimately, Israe'l weakening.

Jackson Diehl writes:-

...the Bush administration's attempt to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal has quietly expired. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's 16 trips to the region over the past 21 months; last year's Annapolis peace conference; months of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams -- all have sunk under the weight of the corruption charges against departing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the competition of crises from Georgia to Pakistan.

Nor is the peace process likely to revive anytime soon. The winner of last week's party primary election to replace Olmert, Tzipi Livni, will probably be mired in efforts to form a new government for weeks or even months. To succeed she probably will have to make promises to coalition partners that would make a deal impossible. If she fails, Israel will have an election in which the favorite, for now, is hard-liner Binyamin Netanyahu.

Those are just Israel's hurdles. The Palestinians are still split between Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. And if the presidential campaign is any indication, promoting a Middle East peace won't crack the top 10 on the next administration's list of priorities.

What does he suggest?

...a different approach to an intractable problem, one that focuses on building a foundation for peace from the ground up, rather than pushing fickle and fragile leaders to dictate a settlement from above. The timeline for success would be measured in years, not months. The goal would not be a document that Livni and Abbas could sign but the construction of a healthy and vibrant Palestinian civil society -- that is, independent media, courts, political parties and nongovernmental organizations that could stand behind a settlement with Israel.

Not bad.

First, the onus is on the Pals. Prove you deserve a state.

But that's, I believe, an insurmountable challenge. They'll never do it. Palestinianism is the polar negative to Zionism. Without Zionism and Jewish nationalism, Palestinianism doesn't exist.

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