The 8 November issue of the NY Review of books sports a letter
sent by its signers on October 10 to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The statement is a joint initiative of the US/Middle East Project, Inc. (General Brent Scowcroft, chairman, International Board, and Henry Siegman, president), the International Crisis Group (Gareth Evans, president), and the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program (Steven Clemons, director).
The signatories - 'Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman and Co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, Carla Hills, former US Trade Representative under President George H.W. Bush, Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, former Senator, Thomas R. Pickering, former Under-Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser to President Gerald Ford and President George H.W. Bush, Theodore C. Sorensen, former Special Counsel and Adviser to President John F. Kennedy', and 'Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System' - have spent all or part of their careers close to the centre of power.
They are concerned to ensure that President Bush's November Middle East peace conference succeed. But they themselves are best placed to know why that is out of the question. If it were so easy, how did it come to pass that they never managed to persuade the
Of course what they mean by 'succeed' and what justice demands are entirely different things. For one thing, they labour under the misappprehension that the protagonists are 'Israeli and Palestinian leaders', or hope that their readers will do so. The unnamed leaders they refer to are the thoroughly discredited Israeli PM, Ehud Olmert, the man who dreams of approval ratings as high as Dubya's and the terminally corrupt and ineffectual quisling Abu Mazen. One question that it does not occur to them to ask, or that they don't want readers to think about, is who will represent the Israeli Arabs? Presumably, since they are Israeli, Olmert represents their interests. But since they are not Jews, how likely is that? And since they are Palestinian, Abu Mazen must represent them. But they never even got to vote in the Palestinian elections, so that's hardly plausible either. As for the Palestinian diaspora, and the refugees in particular, they've never required representation before, so why should they get a seat at the table now? As a matter of fact, even though the right of return is an individual right that nobody can negotiate on the refugees' behalf, the
If the parties they identify fail to reach an agreement, the Quartet 'should put forward its own outline, based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Clinton parameters of 2000, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and the 2003 Road Map.' They naively or cynically insist on 'A solution to the refugee problem that is consistent with the two-state solution', as if justice for the refugees weren't a direct contradiction of the persistence of a Jewish ethnocracy – necessarily one of the two states. But then all these illuminati need to address is 'the Palestinian refugees' deep sense of injustice'. They understand that they must never allow that an actual injustice occurred – ‘Don’t mention the Nakba’. To hammer home the point, they further insist the solution 'provides them with meaningful financial compensation and resettlement assistance'. That is, meaningful, as opposed to adequate or appropriate, compensation and help to resettle outside of Israel, unless Israel decides it can afford to allow a few to return 'to their homes', in the immortal words of UN General Assembly resolution 194.
The signatories are actually more generous than
As far as I know there are only two basic proposals for what parts of the area of
In any case, Arutz 7's Hillel Fendel reports that 'An unprecedented coalition of American Jewish groups has formed on short notice to ensure that united Jerusalem remains Jewish...Jewish leaders around the world are coalescing around a simple bottom-line position: World Jewry opposes Israeli negotiations which would include any discussion of ceding sovereignty over part or all of Jerusalem.' If world Jewry rejects sharing
Brzezinski et al. also show themselves to be on the outer fringes of acceptable discourse by advocating participation in the 'peace' conference not only of
Nothing could be more obvious than that weapons smuggling is a bad thing. But whose living conditions and security improve if it is effectively prevented?
They further demand dismantling of Israeli 'outposts' - the settlements that have not yet received the endorsement of the Israeli government. It must be a big step to ask that