Monday, October 19, 2009

The End of the "Peace Process"

From GLORIA, October 16, 2009, by Barry Rubin:

The UN Human Rights Council has now endorsed the Goldstone Report ...... the end of the peace process era that began in 1993....

...What does it say about the UN that it condemns Israel but says not a word and does not a deed against Hamas, which is guilty of aggression, terrorism, seizure of power by force, calls for genocide, antisemitism, indoctrination of children to become suicide bombers, oppression of women, systematic use of civilians as human shields, and a range of war crimes.

Trying to present the Goldstone report in a more favorable light, Western media overstated its “evenhandedness,” playing up a few mentions of Hamas to pretend that both sides in the conflict were condemned. The UNRC drops this pretense and only speaks of Israel, totally removing the factors that forced a reluctant Israel to launch an operation on the Gaza Strip.

This is not merely another of the many ritual condemnations of Israel but a demonization. Israel is now accused of massive war crimes on a remarkably flimsy basis. Of course it is all political but this is a step toward delegitimization. The Arabic-speaking, Muslim-majority, and left-wing governments that supported the resolution see this as a step not toward a compromise peace but an elimination of Israel altogether.

...Why should they—including the Palestinian Authority—settle for a stable two-state solution when they believe they can get far more without giving up anything?

...It marks not only the end of the peace process but the end of the peace process era. Arabic-speaking, Muslim-majority, and some states governed by left-wing governments (Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua in Latin America and others) seek a one-state solution in which Israel no longer exists. It marks a return—in thinking but not in military practice—to the pre-1993 period where there is nothing to talk about.

The most important country that voted for passing the Goldstone resolution in the UNHRC, Russia, doesn’t think that way, nor does China. European states also do not support such a development. Loud sectors in intellectual life and media do, though these do not set policy. But the point is that these countries also won’t act to stop it. The many abstentions on the vote is symbolic of the fact that most Western democracies and countries that don’t support directly endorse this campaign are, at best, bystanders, at worst, appeasers...

...Finally, there is the lesson for Israel. Let’s cut away all the obvious points about relying on itself, mistrusting the world, and so on. There is one item of overriding importance:

Israel knows that if it yields territory and is attacked from that territory, no matter how great the provocation, it cannot depend on international support but can rather know it will face international condemnation.

What does this say about a two-state solution? Israel pulls out of the West Bank, a Palestinian state is created (either on the West Bank or that plus the Gaza Strip), that state either attacks Israel or allows (and encourages) terrorists to do so across the border.

Israel has no response to defend itself that isn’t highly costly.

Bottom line: No Israeli government will make such a deal; the Israeli people will not support such a deal.

Along with myriad other reasons, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas can now argue persuasively that they enjoy broad international support for wiping out Israel altogether. They have no incentive--since both are indifferent to the welfare of their people--to make any compromise peace.

Good-bye hope for peace. I now declare the window of opportunity that had seemed to open in the late 1980s, which met and failed the test of the Oslo process, and yet which continues to inspire false hope for many people to be fully and officially closed.
Post a Comment