Somewhere on A1A...

Monday, September 15, 2003

Oslo's Passing

From Yossi Klein Halevi on the lesson's of Oslo.

The combined consequences of those two insights - the untenability of the occupation and of Oslo's gamble on terrorist peacemakers - have created an Israeli public that is at once pragmatic and hard-line, acknowledging Palestinian aspirations but wary of Palestinian intentions.

Every poll taken in recent months confirms that most Israelis are willing to withdraw for peace but want Sharon to oversee negotiations. Only the hawks, Israelis believe, can safely fulfill the vision of the doves. Still, after three years of terrorist war, few Israelis believe anymore in the possibility of a comprehensive solution. At best, Israelis envision a series of interim solutions that will gradually ease the intensity of the conflict, rather than resolve it.

The Israeli consensus is that this conflict isn't about Palestinian occupation but Israel's existence. However problematic, the West Bank settlements aren't the main problem. The reason there is no peace isn't because Jews live in the West Bank city of Hebron but because they live in Tel Aviv.
...because they live in Tel Aviv.
The spread of pathological Jew-hatred in the Arab world, where Holocaust denial has become mainstream and where schoolchildren are taught that Jews are usurpers with no historical roots or rights in the Holy Land, only reinforces the unlikelihood of achieving peace anytime soon.

Oslo envisioned a Palestinian state emerging after a gradual process of reconciliation. Instead, the opposite has happened. The Palestinian leadership made a strategic decision to create a Palestine not through negotiations but blood.

The Palestinian goal of the last three years has been to demoralize the Israeli people through terrorism and force a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the territories...
Unless the Arabs want peace with Israel, the situation will not change. The Arabs continually demonstrate that peace will only come when Israel is destroyed. More attempts to negotiate will be, as always, futile. Until the Arabs decide that compromise is possible, that peaceful coexistence is desirable, negotiated peace is impossible. In the face of continued Arab intransigence, options for the civilized world are extremely limited.

How do you negotiate with people who refuse to compromise? It’s no wonder more and more people are taking a harder stance on the issue. Nothing is changing on the Arab side. As long as the world, especially the Arab world allow Arafat to pull the strings in the territories, nothing will change. Let me say that again, as long as Arafat is in charge in the territories, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

The US thought they could deal with a Prime Minister… Arafat vetoed it. Until Arafat is out of the picture NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

I’d prefer that he be arrested, tried and jailed like the terrorist he is, but the world wouldn’t stand for it. So what options are there?

Exile him… It didn’t work the last time, why do you think it would work now?
Isolate him… as long as he lives the siege would be headlined all over the world. That might be for months.
Any of the options above mean that Israel will be chastised by most of the world and vilified by the Arabs. Because of that, the only other option may be the best one.
Kill Him. Israel will be vilified, chastised and condemned, but the headlines would shortly shift to the Arab power struggle over leadership in the territories.

Arafat is a true enemy of peace. Peace is impossible with him, whether he lives in Ramallah, Beirut or Tunis. Peace will only be possible when he’s dead.


free hit counter