The only moral and practical answer
April 7, 2002 12:16 PM   Subscribe

The only moral and practical answer that there has ever been to this question: partition, territorial compromise, a two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state in most of the occupied territories with security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and identity arrangements in Jerusalem. An analysis that I can live with from The New Repuclic.
posted by semmi (8 comments total)
The title of this article -- "After Peace" -- is telling. I think almost all rational parties on either side agree that some sort of arrangement along these lines is the only way to ensure that whatever peace is made -- once it is made -- actually lasts.

But the real problem is, how to get there? How do we make peace in the first place? (Until then, alas, this sort of arrangement is untenable for Israel, which would become nearly defenseless against terrorist attacks.)
posted by mattpfeff at 12:24 PM on April 7, 2002

An analysis that I can live with from The New Republic.

Amen. And a well-written one, too.
posted by y2karl at 12:25 PM on April 7, 2002

I posted this on my own blog too. I'm a great admirer of Leon Wieseltier, specially of Kaddish, a book he wrote about mourning his father. I think partition is the only solution. There's far too much hatred on both sides for living together to be possible. Sometimes I feel that the rhetoric of "Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs living side by side", with all its Benetton-like wishful thinking, might be a thorn on both sides and be thoroughly counter-productive. In any case, like semmi, I can live with this analysis too. (I should mention I'm Jewish and a steadfast Zionist as well).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:27 PM on April 7, 2002

I had trouble finding the alleged "answer" in all the rhetoric, but I eventually did and I have some questions.

Who gets partitioned? Where do the Israeli Arabs go, not the ones from the West Bank and Gaza but the ones who have been living in Israel all along? Do they get displaced, starting the cycle all over again? Does Israel become an exclusively Jewish state? Or, if Arabs get to stay in their homes, who determines whether I am a "Palestinian" Arab or an "Israeli" Arab? And if the Arabs get to stay, and Israel remains a secular state, what do the Jews do in a generation when they are outnumbered by Arabs?

I think partitioning states on ethnic lines is folly, and the only long-term, practical, moral answer is peace. Not armed separation but peace, the willingness to live together in one society, no matter how many nations is comprises. (And no, I have no illusions about how likely that is.)
posted by rodii at 12:47 PM on April 7, 2002

As of this writing, 1,229 Palestinians and 408 Israelis have perished in this war. The disparity between those awful numbers is a reflection of the military superiority of Israel, and also of the political folly of the Palestinians. If it is the sovereign state of Palestine that they want, they could have gained it more than once without the tears. The Palestinians are mounting armed resistance against an occupying power that for a quarter of a century has been divesting itself of territories that it is occupying, except not in a manner that will damage it or destroy it.
I find passages like this, in Wieseltier's article, to be exceedingly disingenuous. Since 1967, and in the last decade especially, Israel has been systematically setting up settlements on the West Bank, and grabbing the best land and much of the water. To imply that the only land the Israelis haven't relinquished is land which is essential for their security is nonsense. Rather, by creating the settlements, they have created new "security" needs to justify their holding on to a lot of the West Bank.
There are many reasons for the Palestinians not to have accepted the Camp David plan, which would have left them a semi-state in colonial dependency.
posted by Rebis at 1:36 PM on April 7, 2002

Everyone is right. And so it goes....
posted by Postroad at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2002

Now Syria, Lebanon say they cannot control Hezbollah.
And Arafat says he doesn't control Hamas, et. al.

Perhaps Sharon should declare the IDF an independent organization and claim lack of control, enabling him to play the same BS game as the Arab states.
posted by HTuttle at 3:49 PM on April 7, 2002

This is a rather strange article. The quote that was used on the front page post was completely out of sync with the rest of the article. If you had taken it out of the article, it would read like a justification for continued Israeli occupation and military action.
posted by laz-e-boy at 6:57 PM on April 7, 2002

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