The issue here is the question of the Palestinian state, what type of state it will be. It is also the failure of people like Alan Dershowitz to refuse to draw some very obvious lessons from the evidence which is right in front of them (Such as the immediate burning of Jewish synagogues in Gaza just as soon as they entered the area). Look out for the comments by Israpundit editor in brackets. I include the additional Israpundit reader comments which carry many valid points...editor Felix Quigley
This time, peace may be real thing
By Alan M. Dershowitz, Chicago Tribune
There have been many false starts in establishing a two-state solution to the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but this time all the basic elements appear to be in place. Israel's successful evacuation of the Gaza Strip demonstrates the desire and ability of the Israeli government to make and implement tough decisions necessary for a pragmatic peace based on a two-state solution. (On the contrary, a basic element is missing namely the acceptance of the State of Israel)
There still are many barriers to a real peace. Some come from the Israeli side, others from the Palestinian side. The greatest barriers, however, come from outsiders: right-wing American Jews and Christians who are more Israeli than the Israelis, Islamic fundamentalists and left-wing European and American academics, politicians and church leaders who are more Palestinian than the Palestinians.
Those who are more Israeli than most Israelis oppose any territorial compromise. They resisted leaving Gaza and they will resist giving up any of the West Bank, even if such compromise is essential to peace. The notion of compromise has no basis in justice or law and recommends concessions just because the other side demands them). They simply do not trust the Palestinians to make a real peace. They believe that ending the occupation will increase terrorism and weaken Israel. (This sounds quite reasonable to me.)
Those who are more Palestinian than the Palestinians oppose the two-state solution, urging instead one binational state. They know, of course, that because of demographic realities, any such binational state quickly would become another Arab-Muslim state and that Israel would disappear from the map. (Except that this is what the Palestinians themselves want.)
Some opponents of peace, such as Hamas and the current Iranian government, believe the only solution is the military destruction of Israel. The tragedy is that these naysayers and nay-doers are standing in the way of a pragmatic peace whose basic elements have been accepted already, at least in broad principle, (Nonsense. There is no agreement on the "right" of return, Jerusalem or borders. So what elements are there broad agreement on?) by most reasonable Israelis and Palestinians. These elements include the following:
1) Two states based on Israeli withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip and nearly all of the West Bank, with territorial adjustments consistent with UN Security Council resolutions and existing realities on the ground.
2) Some symbolic recognition of the rights of Palestinian refugees, including compensation and some family reunification, but no absolute right of return to Israel for the millions of descendants of those who claim refugee status--a questionable right whose exercise would produce the great wrong of quickly turning the Jewish state into yet another Muslim-Arab state. All Palestinians should have the right to return to what will become the Palestinian state.
3) A division of greater Jerusalem, with the Arab part becoming the capital of the Palestinian state and the Jewish part the recognized capital of Israel.
4) A renunciation of all forms of violence, including terrorism, and an undertaking by the Palestinian state to dismantle terrorist groups and take all reasonable efforts to prevent acts of terrorism, just asIsrael has undertaken to prevent and punish Jewish terrorism against Palestinians.
5) An end to the singling out of Israel for demonization, delegitimation, divestiture, boycotts and the like by international organizations, many academics, religious leaders and media pundits; and the normalization and acceptance of Israel as a full and equal member of the international community.
(This sounds to me like the Saudi Peace Plan. Israel has rejected this out of hand.)
Sometimes it's better to start at the end, when the final resolution seems obvious and widely accepted. The big problem is how to get there, and that journey will take bold compromises on each side.
The writer and philosopher Amos Oz does not expect old enemies "to fall in love" with each other. "Let's not be sentimental." He sees the conflict as a "tragedy in the exact sense of the word"--collision between one very powerful claim and another no less powerful." ( If I wanted to appear reasonable I would never quote an extreme Leftist like Oz. Furthermore I reject the notion of equivalency which Oz puts forward.) Employing a literary analogy, he believes that tragedies "can be resolved in one of two ways: There is the Shakespearean resolution, and there is the Chekhovian one.
At the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, the stage is strewn with dead bodies and maybe there's some justice hovering high above. A Chekhov tragedy, on the other hand, ends with everybody disillusioned, embittered, heartbroken, disappointed, absolutely shattered, but still alive. And I want a Chekhovian resolution and not a Shakespearean one for the Israeli-Palestine tragedy."
A Chekhovian compromise is the only true road to peace. (Let me know when the Palestinians or Arabs are ready for such a solution. I won't hold my breath.)
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seem to understand this. The opponents of peace must not be allowed to stand in the way of compromise in this promising season of potential peace.
Posted by Ted Belman at September 11, 2005 08:05 AM
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1. Ed D said:
Mr. Dershovitz is with no doubt a brilliant lawyer. In every other vocation he is more like the Wizard of Oz. How can anyone so brilliant be so stupid? Is it because he is an academic, a leftist, a Jew hater, a dreamer or all of the above? If all of the elitist think like him and had control of Israel's future, then they, the Israelis might as well march in step to the gas chambers or in this case the chopping block. Mr. dershovitz, stick to being a lawyer. You justg might get a lot of Muslim clients.
Posted by: Ed D on September 11, 2005 02:16 AM
2. BobW said:
Alan Dershowitz is a Kapo/Sunderkommando. He avoid discussing the destruction of the eastern Mediterranian Jews no less than he avoids discussing the destruction of the area's Christians. He gives parity to the Arabs - who are also destroying the area's Arab Muslims.
Alan Dershowitz is an instrumentality of Jewish death. He is a Totenjuden.
Posted by: BobW on September 11, 2005 02:53 AM
3. Jack F said:
Not until Hamas can change itself from a terrorist organization to a political one can there be peace between Israel and Palestine. All else is wishful thinking.
Posted by: Jack F on September 11, 2005 02:59 AM
4. Mitch said:
Are you all kidding me? Dershowitz is a "Jew hater" and a "Kapo/Sunderkommando"? He avoids discussing the destruction of the Mediterranian Jews? He gives partity to Arabs?
You clearly haven't read The Case for Israel, let alone The Case for Peace. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised if you did.
Posted by: Mitch on September 11, 2005 03:11 AM
5. Bobzilla said:
Ah, well. Same 'ol Allan. But let's not demonize him; He is a sincere Zionist, just misguided, and one who insists on judging the Arabs by western standards.
Unfortunately, Allan and those that agree with him just had a NASTY shock from the good Mr. Abbas hisself..from the camel's mouth, so to speak.
See, Abbas gave an interview in Al-Quds and it seems he wants MORE land out of the Negev to the East and South of Gaza..in other words,he NOW wants Israel to go back to the original 1948 borders `for peace'!
Funny thing is, Israel officially swapped that land with Egypt in exchange for more land to Gaza as part of the Camp David Accords, and those borders were recognized officially by the UN. And Arafat and the `Palestinians' agreed to honor those borders as part of Oslo.
What Abbas is doing now is setting up the basis for a never-ending conflict. See, the whole basis for the `Palestinian'-Israeli talks is that (A)when Israel and the Arabs have an agreement there is a basis for the and of hostilities and (B) once an agreement is finalized, the negotiations are over and honored by both sides.
Abbas, by throwing these two notions in the dumpster pretty much let anyone with half a brainknow that the Pals have no intention of ending the war. There's a real good reason for that, aside from the fact that the Pals would kill him if he tried. Abbas, like his buddy Yasir before him has belatedly realized that if Israel were magically to disapear tommorow,the Pals, who are an artificial nationality ,would splinter into their many divisions because they have no basis to be a nation other than Jew hatred and a shared feeling of victimization.
If anybody ever wondered why Yasir never ended the war with Israel, there's the reason.
Add this to the fact that `moderate' Abbas has never found a terrorist worthy of being disarmed or jailed and that the drumbeat of Jew hatred continues unabated in the Pal schools, media and mosques and you get the picture.
Yasir himself said it best,on Jordanian TV the week after he signed the Oslo accords with Mr. Bill and Rabin. After referring to the Peace of Hubidiyeh (one of Mohammed's `treaties' with his enemies the Quaraysh that lasted until he had enough military power to massacre them) "This is a war, and either we will push the Jews into the sea or they will push us into the sea."
I like that quote, BTW. It's honest and direct, and it's not Yasir's fault if certain people on the Left wouldn't take him at his word. Liike the Prophet Mohammed said: "War is deception."
The fact is, there IS no case for `peace' between Israel and the Pals, in the way most of us would understand the word. The Pals cannot make peace and survive as a cohesive group.Even Peres is starting to understand this, saying in today's JP that if Abbas refuses to disarm Hamas and Jihad Islami, there's no basis for any more negotiations.
For those who still cling to the idea that `peace' is possible with these folks based on Israeli concessions..well and good. I hope you're right and I'm wrong. But I don't think I am, and the Israelis are much more likely to settle their problem with the Pals the way King Hussein did in 1970 than by `negotiating ' their way out of it.
For those who've forgotten, King Hussein's Arab legion klled at least 10,000 Pals when Arafat tried to depose him and take over the country in `Black September', and drove the PLO over the border into Lebanon. He never had a problem with them after that.
Posted by: Bobzilla on September 11, 2005 04:13 AM
6. Steve said:
Peace will break out when Israel declares the Palestinian Authority a criminal organization. There are Palestinians genuinely interested in a peace with Israel based on the principle of compromise, but they no more exist in the PA than in Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Their voices are not heard because they risk their lives to raise them. Abbas is a good example of what the PA puts forth as a "moderate". His goal is the extinction of Israel, but he prefers the constant drip of international pressure for Israeli concessions to the inevitable failure of a terror war. Sharon, by leaving the Palestinians in internecine disarray in Gaza, and by building the security barrier and more settlements near Jerusalem, has taken the strategic advantage from the Palestinians. The status quo (at least for now) allows Israel to put the burden on the PA (awaiting the PA's fulfillment of its Road Map obligations) rather than the reverse, while providing a measure of security for Israelis. Of course, Iran and its terrorist clients have other ideas, and the PA will always be there to front for them.
Posted by: Steve on September 11, 2005 07:56 AM
7. burt said:
Mr. Dershowitz is a lawyer who makes a handsome living in the United States. Hence, his solution will be one that reflects his interests- mainly non-zionist, pro- (legal) system where he makes his living. He is Jewish and sees himself as a spokesman for "American Jewry" so his conscience tells him to throw a few crumbs to average Jews whose lives depend upon the existence of the State of Israel. To give him his due, in his TV appearances he does occasionally angrily denounce Israel haters, breaking out of his "good-guy/our-interests-are-your-interests" type Jew.However, this piece is as fawning as it gets.
Since he is seen as a "Jewish spokesman," his views get published and propogate, which is a bad thing. His comment about "right-wing American Jews...who are more Israeli than the Israelis" is part of his "I'm an American" sychophancy. On this point, public comment about Americans who are more Spanish than the Spaniards, more Greek than the Greeks, more Irish than the Irish more Chinese than the Chinese, etc., are rarely heard.
It is only Jews who are called on this and on the peanuts that the US gives to Israel in exchange for priceless Jewish blood taken by terrorists whose fascist states are kept afloat by the US, and whose states deflect the rage of their subjects against Jews who never once did them any harm and do nothing to exploit them in any way.
We hear more in a month about the $2+ billion a year for Israel than we did in 50 years of $3 trillion in aid to Europe and scores of billions to "Arab" "states."
Posted by: burt on September 11, 2005 11:38 AM
8. lignaeus said:
It seems to me that many are viewing the withdrawal from Gaza as an attempted incentive for the Palis to make peace which they rightly say if that is the case that it is doomed to failure on that count and anyway a retrograde step.Seen as a preparation for war it make sense.
Posted by: lignaeus on September 11, 2005 12:53 PM