September 30, 2003
Tom Friedman, on the PBS Newshour last week, repeated the same argument that he made in a recent op-ed: Palestinians in the disputed territories are going to ask for a "one-state solution", i.e. equal rights in Israel. (My father dismantled that argument here).
Reading the transcript of the interview, I'm struck by how certain concepts and assumptions about the Middle East have been congealed into the collective unconsciousness. For example, this portion of the exchange between Friedman and Margaret Warner:
FRIEDMAN: ... as the wall began to be built, it wasn't built on the border. It was built inside the West Bank -- in some cases just a few hundred meters, in some cases more.
MARGARET WARNER: By border, you mean the old '67 truce line after the '67 war that separated --
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Israel from the West Bank.
In fact it wasn't the '67 truce line. The '67 truce line was at the Jordan River. The "border" in question was the 1949 armistice line
. As such, it was never really a recognized border, it was merely the line at which the sides agreed to stop fighting at that moment. The so-called border was elevated in status only after
the 1967 war which Israel didn't start, didn't want, tried to avoid, won, and after which it unsuccessfully tried to sue for peace. The very same United Nations -- which stood around with its collective thumb in its tukhes
and watched, silently hopeful, as the Arabs tried to solve the problem of the Zionist entity -- suddenly bestowed unprecedented legitimacy on the old border
only after Israel rendered the old border obsolete.
Meanwhile, real borders are created by facts on the ground. Borders and fences can always be moved when it's to both parties advantage to do so. Maybe the Palestinians should start asking themselves what realistic steps they could take to stop the borders of their prospective state from shrinking?
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 30, 2003 07:00 AM
Friedman nelgects the fact that the Palis have been calling for a "multireligous, pluralistic, democratic, secular state in all of Palestine form the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea" since at least 1968. It is a euphemism for the extermantion ofg the Jewish State. So much for his original thinking. The Palis can call for a one state solution all they want but they are not now, nor will they ever be citizens of Israel so Friedy's facts are bogus. The fence/wall will not only stop bombers, it will finally thankfully start Israel on the process of separating themselves form the Palis who have become animals ever since Israel foolishly allowed Arafat and his thugs to be imported from Tunisia. The Palis hopefully will never be allowed to work in Israel or have access to Israeli social services.
"Maybe the Palestinians should start asking themselves what realistic steps they could take to stop the borders of their prospective state from shrinking?"
YES THEY SHOULD. THEIR TACTICS HAVE HURT THEIR CAUSE TREMENDOUSLY.
1. Declare an end to violence in the Intifada, to be replaced by a commitment to nonviolent resistence.
2. Declare a general strike by all Palestinians working in Israeli owned businesses, until Israel freezes settlements and agrees to sit down to talks with WHOEVER THE PALESTINIANS DEMOCRATICALLY DECIDE SHOULD REPRESENT THEM. Lobby Israeli leftists to join in this strike, and lobby selp-proclaimed allies of the Palestinian cause in Arab countries and the rest of the world to raise funds for a multi-billion strike fund.
3. Put forward a realistic final proposal: some, but not all of East Jerusalem; area of land equivelent but not identical to pre-1967 borders; small scale largely symbolic refugee resettlement in Israel, coupled with a demand that vacated settler housing be used to resettle refugees.
Agree on one point with Mr. Rose: the Ps should give up their violence, particularly against civilians. But 'resistance'? That word frames the violence as the good resisters against the bad resistees - leaving out much of the story.
And according to the great and the good who operate the major journalism organs, the Ps have 'elected' one Y. Arafat to represent them. No faith can be placed in any representative of any Palestinian Arabs until the coercive forces within their population have withered, over time, and been replaced with a collegial spirit that has yet to sprout.
I keep trying to apply a double standard between the good guys and the bad guys, but I'm sorry, I guess at heart I'm just a flaming liberal, and I can't.
I believe that Palestinians have no right to demand that Israelis replace Sharon, and the same principle applies to the Israeli demand that Arafat make himself scarce.
There's a difference: Mr. Sharon had opponents and entire political parties fiercely campaigning against him, and got more votes than his opponents. Mr Arafat took advantage of his priveledged place and his organization of 'fighters', after being gently lowered into place by his unbiased UN and EU supporters, ran a symbolic ceremony controlled by the PA, and announced victory.
That's right, a fairer election might have produced a majority for Hamas.
Sadat was probably even less fairly elected than Arafat was, and nobody cares. This issue is a red herring for most of the people who bring it up (unless those raising it are Palestinian themselves).
Was Hamas even invented in 1993?
I recall reading somewhere that in the eighties Hamas was originally looked upon somewhat favorably by the Israelis as a counterweight to Arafat....but I really don't know.
Truman(D) let British equipped professional Arab armies attack British enforced unarmed Jews in a genocidal war they lost in '48 & '49.
Ike(R) got a pass in '56 when France & the Brits took back the Canal.
LBJ(D) allowed '67 to happen as you described.
Nixon(R) took America through the '73 oil embargo to support Israel materially.
Carter(D) wet himself.
Reagan(R) & Bush(R-41) stood by Israel with American blood and treasure in '82 & '91
Clinton(D) sent Carville to interfere with Israeli elections and ram the failure of Oslo, and the resulting failures that continue to this day... up Israel's ass.
Bush(R-43)... well... a work in progress, Iraq=good, RoadMap=OsloII=bad.
But... why do Jews vote (D) exept to further expose Israel to death and destruction?
Great points - as usual. Especially the Pals (there in fact is no such people) and their supports have been saying untrue things over and over again for some many years with out good refutation so that these things hav become true. PErhaps you need facts in print more than facts on the ground to win. The fancy cosmopolitan Jews like Peres felt that he did not have to lower himself to refute such things (he abolished the PR departmentin the foreign ministry) and look what happend they came true.
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"2. Declare a general strike by all Palestinians working in Israeli owned businesses"
All 5 of them that are left at this point.