Palestine Time To Stop Pretending - Terrell E. Arnold
All the major players concerned with the Israeli/Palestinian mess profess profusely that they want to engineer an effective resolution of that problem and to bring lasting peace to the region. Terry Arnold in this penetrating 6¼-page examination details how they can bring off this very commendable result. But some major changes in respective national postures have to come front-and-center immediately.
QUOTED EXCERPT: Israel's long-term goal, as any honest observer knows full well, is to make life so intolerable for the Palestinians that they will leave. Then there will be no barrier to realization of a Jewish state. . . . Gaza has become the acid demonstration of what the outside world will tolerate. Only after Israel threatened to turn off all electric power was there any real international resistance to their [Israel's] treatment of the people in Gaza. . . . US and Israeli pressures have worked so far to make life miserable for the people in Gaza, but the people have not given up, and they have not rejected Hamas. . . . The solutions are not as obscure or difficult as the US and Israel pretend. Sensible people everywhere would like to find ways to transit dissident groups out of the volatile fringes into the mainstream. The first step toward that is inviting/enticing them into the political process. Granted, from the US and Israeli viewpoints, inviting Hamas into the 2006 Palestinian elections was unintentional. That election demonstrated the political skills of a group that already was moving out of terrorism. Since then, Hamas has shown more skills in governance than Fatah; it particularly has shown more capacity to serve its constituents than Fatah. That, indeed, is why Hamas won. This result should have been applauded, not ignored and suppressed. Over the past several months, Hamas has demonstrated the ability to govern, even with a shrinking pool of resources. Given a little room, what it could do would probably please everyone except the Israeli hardliners who want any Palestinian governance to fail, particularly any Palestinian leadership that supports the real Palestinian interests. US support for Israel in this matter simply plays to that Israeli strategy. In both Middle East policy and the War on Terrorism, the United States needs a new start. Both are in jeopardy because they consist of short-term tactical maneuvers that lack strategic design. Policies in the Middle East must serve the real interests of all the players, not a preferred set. In fact, terrorism is a guaranteed product of present US bias. US policy toward Israel has sustained the largest terrorism generator in the region for decades. The present US role as post-Annapolis peacemaker will not alter that pattern, unless the US becomes the genuine honest broker that it never has been. US support of Israeli repression in Gaza only emphasizes that defect. . . . There is a practical refusal of Bush team leadership to concede that the Palestinians are people with genuine rights and interests, and that their insurgent attacks are attempts to gain US, Israeli and world attention. By dismissing those attacks as "terrorism" US officials choose not to look at reasons or think about talking to the Palestinians. Israeli fears are that Hamas actually articulates and will defend true Palestinian interests. That would mean genuine negotiations, not the prolonged standoff the Israelis have sustained up to now. Thus, the aim of both is to kill or confine the messenger. . . . Stop trying to fight and win the war on terrorism in Gaza. The war is not there, but a million and a half miserable people are being pushed to do desperate things. . . . Replace the IDF as soon as possible with a neutral peacekeeping force. END QUOTE
'Neversink River Catskill Mountains