Thursday, January 21, 2010


The "partner for peace"

Over the years we've heard a lot about how the Israelis have no "partner for peace." More recently the idea of a "settlement freeze" (very loosely defined) has been in the news. With both of these things in mind, the following will be of great interest. It's from an article in The Nation by Henry Seigman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress, one of the major American Jewish organizations:
The Jewish settlements and their supporting infrastructure, which span the West Bank from east to west and north to south, are not a wild growth, like weeds in a garden. They have been carefully planned, financed and protected by successive Israeli governments and Israel's military. Their purpose has been to deny the Palestinian people independence and statehood--or to put it more precisely, to retain Israeli control of Palestine "from the river to the sea," an objective that precludes the existence of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state east of Israel's pre-1967 border.

A vivid recollection from the time I headed the American Jewish Congress is a helicopter trip over the West Bank on which I was taken by Ariel Sharon. With large, worn maps in hand, he pointed out to me strategic locations of present and future settlements on east-west and north-south axes that, Sharon assured me, would rule out a future Palestinian state.

Just one year after the 1967 war, Moshe Dayan, then defense minister, described Israel's plan for the future of the territories as "the current reality." "The plan is being implemented in actual fact," he said. "What exists today must remain as a permanent arrangement in the West Bank." Ten years later, at a conference in Tel Aviv whose theme was finding a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Dayan said: "The question is not, What is the solution? but, How do we live without a solution?"
Who is not a "partner for peace"? The answer is obvious.

Why stop here? There's more...

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