Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pal. Moderation (Not Really)

Rami Khoury writes:

The emergence of Zionist-Jewish colonialism - otherwise euphemistically called "Israeli settlements" - as the litmus test of relations between Israel and the United States...[but where are those "settlements"? Elder of Ziyon has an example:

in case you have difficulty, that map is of all Israel, pre- and post-1967]

...The freezing of modern Zionist colonialism in occupied Arab lands is now a priority of American foreign policy. Three significant dimensions of this dynamic should be appreciated.

The first is the apparent change in US policy...

The second significant dimension of events these days is the battle of wills between the US and Israel on the issue of freezing settlements completely, and what this might mean for domestic politics in both countries...

The third and most important dimension in the medium and long term is about how the settlements issue fits into the wider demands of a comprehensive, negotiated peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Freezing settlements is seen in Washington as critical to kick-starting an Arab-Israeli negotiating process; but any negotiations that hope to succeed will have to tackle the much more difficult issue of the status and rights of the Palestinian refugees. The danger is that so much political muscle and negotiating time will be expended on achieving a settlement freeze that prospects for getting the concessions needed on the refugees issue will lessen significantly.

...The emphasis on immediately freezing Israeli settlements is heartening, and it is reasonable to ask the Arabs to make a reciprocal gesture of equal magnitude on criminal activity from our side, such as clamping down hard on terrorism against civilians. If the US pursues a truly even-handed approach that recognizes that crimes by Israeli and Arabs must be condemned and stopped simultaneously, it will increase the likelihood that the rights of both sides can then be addressed in a more credible and fruitful manner.

As Barry Rubin notes:

It just shows how pushing on the settlements will not "moderate" the Palestinians. As I wrote in the article, they just go on to their next demand.


NormanF said...

There are no "moderate" Palestinians. They are not interested in negotiating with Israel. They want Israel to surrender to their demands. If Israel doesn't, its the justifiable excuse for the next war.

gilipollas said...

It cannot have effect as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I suppose.