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Thursday, November 12, 2009




Dispelling Illusions

Last updated: November 12, 2009

November 9, 2009


My response to David 2000 on BloggersBase...

david

You are trying again to think for other people. This is a mistake. You may think that this is what the West should think. I can think that the West should think something else. But the views prevalent in the West and in particular in Europe are very different and not favorable to us.

The last war in Gaza was a tremendous PR disaster. What's left of our PR was destroyed by Lieberman and the Bibi vs Obama settlements row. The perception in the West is that it's us who are intransigent and slapped Obama in the face and not the Palestinians. The perception in the West is that we got a coalition government packed with religious hardliners and right wingers. We got a foreign minister who is virtually a persona non grata just about everywhere. Even when it comes to the US, Bibi prefers to go there in person or send Barak but to keep Lieberman at home.

The majority of Westerners, in particular in Europe, are not interested to go into details about the settlements natural growth or to hear that some parts of the West Bank will be part of Israel anyway. What they got from Bibi's quarreling with Obama over the settlements is that we are bent on settling the West Bank. The only plausible in the eyes of the Western public explanation of why we are in the West Bank is that this was imposed on us by the Arab hostility. Now we have undermined this argument by our own hands by defying Obama on the settlements growth. Once again, you may think that the Western public should be more sensitive to the nuances of our situation, and I may even agree with you, but the Western public will never be ready to go that far to understand our predicament here. Never mind, and lets be honest about it, we have more than enough people in the current coalition who think that we are in the West Bank not as a kind of preventive measure like stopping suicide bombers but because we are indeed intending to settle it.

Meanwhile the Palestinians are about to make a brilliant move by abandoning support for the two state solution and insisting instead on a binational state. This is the ultimate PR killer. There is nothing the Western public except fundamentalist Christians would love more than this. If the Palestinians are smart enough to formulate their position correctly, they will say that there is already a binational state and it cannot be split into two. The only thing that's missing is to abolish this apartheid and grant everybody equal rights.

And if this happens, then it's just a matter of time before the international consensus will be like: You seem to love this West Bank so much that you can't even stop settling it. No problem. Just be sure to provide citizenship to all counterparties involved and you can keep this piece of wasteland to yourselves. At this point even Bibi's oratory skills may fail to stop sanctions from being put in place. And that's the situation. Deal with it!

As to Jordan, nobody is going to order the king to commit suicide in the West Bank. How do you imagine this happening? That the US tells him: Go get your Vietnam in the West Bank or we'll punish you with sanctions?



November 12, 2009

Lessons from South Africa

Another post from BoggersBase. Highly recommended

. . .

Today, Israel (like White South Africa in the 80s) appears to be living under the illusion that she has all the time in the world. The illusion that with her economy, the IDF, support from the US and Diaspora communities, she has no need to set her borders, find- rather than just seek – peace, and come to an accommodation with the other inhabitants of Palestine. There are far too many dangerous illusions at work here. The illusion of brave little Israel, alone against the world. The illusion that we don’t need peace; that we can survive in a state of low-intensity conflict forever. The illusion that we only need one ally, and that we are free to thumb our noses at her views when they don’t suit us. The illusion that the only outpost of democracy in the region would never be abandoned. The illusion that we can’t be replaced as America’s most dependable ally in the region. The illusion that we contribute too much to the world to be cast aside. The illusion that we are right and the rest of the world is wrong. The illusion that we are protected by the lessons and guilt of the Holocaust. And, perhaps most dangerous of all, the illusion that the God of Israel would not allow her be destroyed again.

. . .

Source: Last days of Apartheid South Africa – Lessons for Israel


PS

I decided to rename this post into Dispelling Illusions.

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