The unbearable lightness of being [irresponsible]
As always, an insightful article by Barry Rubin: How Can Israel depend on those who have Proven Undependable?
Back in 1993, when the “peace process” began, President Bill Clinton told a press conference that Israel was ready to take risks for peace and he told Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, “If you do that, my role is to minimize those risks.”
One of the most important elements in contemporary Israeli thinking is the irony of those words. Clinton, of course, meant them and his intentions were good. But looking back from 2009, the risks taken by Israel and the concessions it has made have repeatedly plagued the country and cost the lives of thousands of its citizens.
Not only has the United States—and the Europeans who made similar pledges—failed to minimize the costs of this process but in most cases they have not even acknowledged it. Israeli concessions have not, as was expected, led to increasing support and public respect, quite the opposite.
Anyone who wants to deal with the conflict today must acknowledge and deal with this experience but we find that it is not happening. In the statements of Western leaders and in the media, what we usually discover is that such matters are either not mentioned at all or only passed over in ritualistic fashion. There is much talk about Israeli concessions and responsibilities, virtually none about Palestinian ones.
Thus, the two-state solution (TSS) or stopping settlement construction or removing roadblocks are spoken about as if these things alone will bring peace. There is little about a Palestinian Authority (PA) end to incitement to murder Israelis and denial of Israel’s right to exist (which goes on daily) or better security efforts, or agreement to end the conflict or to resettle refugees within a Palestinian state. There is little acknowledgement that Hamas’s control of the Gaza Strip is not just an inconvenience but an almost total roadblock for any hope of peace.
Note well, these are not “hawkish” or “anti-peace” arguments. Anyone who wants to make progress must deal with them very seriously. If these issues are ignored, failure is inevitable.
Read the entire article.
Under normal circumstances, whenever two sides enter into an agreement/contract, there is some kind of “or else” clause and the side that does not uphold its obligations has to pay. Curiously, when it comes to repeatedly failing Mid-East “peace process”, there’s no responsibilities and no consequences.
Hordes of conceit “peacemakers” keep giving promises they do not care to keep, because whatever happens, they still look good: if they can put a positive spin on it, they will take full credit; if the situation gets worse, well, they made an attempt of a noble mission and got a photo-op. Since no one is held responsible for their flawed plans, these plans tend to grow increasingly fanciful and delusional – such as recent Jordan’s Abdullah’s “57 state-solution” which the Arab League quickly rendered stillborn.
So when the next peacemaker pushes Israel to take even more risks while making questionable promises, let’s make sure there is “or else” clause.
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