Friday, August 31, 2012

Declare diplomatic war on the Two-state Solution

From Martin Sherman, 30 Aug 2012:

...the two-state-solution (TSS) proposal... even if implemented would ...eliminate few of the threats to Israel’s security, and exacerbate many.
.... to sustain itself as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel must address two imperatives:
a. The geographic imperative, which implies it cannot make any significant territorial concessions in Judea and Samaria; and
b. The demographic imperative, which implies it cannot incorporate large segments of the Palestinian Arabs, resident in this area, as enfranchised citizens within its sovereign territory.
This leads to the inescapable deduction that if Israel is to be secured as the permanent Jewish nation-state, the only non-coercive option is the relocation of the Palestinian Arabs, induced primarily by generous economic incentives.
... due to decades of dereliction of diplomatic duty – Israel ... has permitted the TSS-concept to become deeply engrained in the international psyche as the only option available to Israel that will allow it to exist as a Jewish democracy and prevent it from becoming either an undemocratic Jewish ethnocracy ...or a non-Jewish state...
...the currently entrenched (mis)perceptions are that Israel must choose between the risk of becoming geographically unviable, or the certainty of becoming demographically unviable. Intellectual allegiance to this misplaced dichotomy ... has come to dominate not only the content of the international debate, but the cultural codex of its conduct.
To challenge its validity – no matter what the substantive basis for such dissent – is to risk being marginalized professionally and ostracized socially...
It will not be easy to shatter this political reality, which due to a noxious mix of neglect, naïveté and nefariousness has, over more than two decades, hardened into the “received wisdom” ...
...a radical revision of how the nation relates to diplomacy – particularly public diplomacy ... [is] required to sustain Jewish sovereignty in the modern era.
This is a need that apparently has not been evident to the Israeli leadership for decades, including the leadership of the Israeli Right, which for the greater portion of almost four decades since it came to power in 1977, has dominated the ruling coalitions.
Diplomacy has been hopelessly starved of resources, with the total budget for Israeli public diplomacy reportedly less than a medium-to-large corporation spends on promoting fast foods and snacks.
...Conceptually, the function of diplomacy should be perceived as essentially similar to that of the classic role of the air force. For just as the latter was traditionally tasked with creating freedom of action for ground forces to achieve their objectives, so should diplomacy been seen as charged with facilitating freedom of action for the nation’s strategic decision- makers, to allow them to achieve the objectives of strategies they formulate.
However, in Israel over recent decades, this has been completely inverted. Instead of national objectives dictating the conduct of diplomacy, diplomatic pressures have dictated the objectives of national policy! Instead of diplomacy being seen as an instrument of policy, diplomatic difficulties have become a determinant of policy. Instead of being seen as a means for producing political realities, diplomacy has become a product of political realities.
The penchant for the passive over the proactive is largely a reflection of personal and professional preferences of many in the country’s diplomatic corps, drawn from social echelons in Israel’s civil society that often seem more sympathetic to the Palestinian narrative than committed to the Zionist one. They thus have little motivation to robustly confront and counter the manifestly mendacious myths that sustain this narrative and provide much of the rationale for the TSS.
Misconduct of diplomacy
So, underfunded, misdirected and largely unmotivated, it is hardly surprising that those charged with the conduct of Israel’s diplomacy have performed inadequately, and that the country’s diplomatic endeavor is ineffective and frequently counter-productive.
Clearly then, the misperceptions of realities that have been precipitated/facilitated by this appalling diplomatic debacle cannot be taken as engraved in stone.
Neither can prevailing public opinion, derived from these misperceptions, be taken as inflexible constraints on Israel’s strategic options, or as determining the inevitable point of departure or end point of that strategy.
It is crucial to understand that the TSS was until the onset of the 1990s vehemently rejected by the entire Zionist establishment, except for marginal left-wing splinters. It has since has attained its position of dominance largely due to Israeli impotence – even capitulation – on the diplomatic front.
Failing to redress this inexplicable but ruinous fiasco has been one of the greatest sins of successive Likud-led governments, with the current one in the ludicrous position of being forced to adopt – even advocate – TSS-compliant positions it once vigorously denounced.
...one cannot win a diplomatic war without the wherewithal to do so – and the endeavor to formulate, promote and implement a sustainable alternative to the TSS is indeed a diplomatic war. To win it, Israel requires an appropriate diplomatic apparatus.
What it has in place today is clearly inadequate for the challenge. Indeed, it would hardly be an exaggeration to assert that it is one of the principle obstacles to attaining this goal.
Accordingly, without such an induced metamorphosis, there is little reason to believe that Israeli decision-making will not remain hopelessly mired in the syndrome of crippling, self-destructive defeatism...
... Israel [must] adequately address its geographic imperative and its demographic imperative by maintaining control over all of Judea and Samaria without permanently incorporating the resident Palestinian Arab population into its society.
The strategic challenge is therefore to devise methods – one hopes non-coercive ones – to achieve this....
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