Sunday, September 25, 2011

Israel-Palestine: Some observations.

Two speeches at the UN, one by each leader. Netanyahu gets 14,500 views on YouTube, Abbas gets 32,000.

Netanyahu is a politician. Those who share his presumptions will love his speech, those, like some of my friends, who don't, will hate it - especially the reference to biblical lands. I like him because, in spite of the transparent shtick, what he says has truth to it - not all of it, but enough. (And he understands how markets work a whole lot better than Bozama does.) The skeptics and the hostiles should look past the shtick and listen to the details of what he says about Israeli security. The speech is remarkable for the detail, the substance that he provides, along with the slogans. Attention to the security needs suggests that some sort of agreement is not impossible if the Abbas faction really wanted it.

His dramatic and impassioned appeals to Abbas to negotiate now, genuinely, will be seen by most as a PR attempt - but, in truth, I believe he would do it if Abbas took him up on it. He must know that there is no chance of that. There is no chance of genuine negotiations on the basis of "you look at me and tell me what you really want, and I will do the same," because what Abbas really wants, what his faction has always wanted is to undo what was done in 1948 when Israel was established. How can you negotiate about that?

If there is any hope it lies not with this ossified Palestinian leadership, but with younger, more pragmatic, leaders who reject the role that the Arab world has condemned the Palestinians to play. Apparently prime minister Fayyad is one such leader (see the link below); and it lies in the quiet business and social connections and partnerships that are developing between private Israelis and Palestinians. Let's hope that the Abbas faction (and their noxious patrons) fail in their attempt to squash such initiatives.

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض, Salām Fayāḍ; born 1952) is a Palestinian politician and one of two disputed Prime Ministers of the Palestinian National Authority, the matter being under political and legal dispute. His first appointment, on 15 June 2007, which was justified by President Mahmoud Ab…
Binyamin Netanyahu addresses UNGA "Palestinians want a state without peace," PM tells UN General Assembly after Palestinians submit UN request to become members ...

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