Cutting through the bullshit.

Sunday 11 November 2007

Hostile territory

This week’s Forward editorializes,

At press time, Turkey was perilously close to responding with an invasion of Iraq’s Kurdish region. The invasion, if it comes, could prove devastating to America’s hopes for pacifying Iraq and to Israel’s hopes for successful negotiations with its Arab neighbors.

They don’t mention what kind of success Israel might hope for in these ‘negotiations with its Arab neighbors’ – that would be that irksome neighbour, the mighty nation of Palestine, among others. But I’ll stick my neck way out and intimate my suspicion that successful negotiations would comprise, among other things, Israeli control over the borders, airspace, and sea access of the Palestinian state located on the political horizon, somewhere over the rainbow – what is it about the Peace Process that always brings The Wizard of Oz to mind? – that the wall will demarcate the principal outlines of Palestine, that Israel retain sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, that no, or very few, refugees will enjoy the right of return. If there is any compensation for the other refugees, Israel will expect The International Community to come to the party. If Palestine should get any territory in ‘Israel proper’ in exchange for the land annexed for the settlements, it will be barren, or come complete with a concentration of erstwhile Israeli Arabs, or both…

That’s why,

The implications for Israel are sobering. Jerusalem has long known that sooner or later it would have to begin a painful, dangerous negotiating process with the Palestinians and the Arab League. It assumed it could count on the support of its friends in the West and the Muslim world.


If Turkey’s relations with the West enter a crisis period just as those Israeli-Arab negotiations begin, Israel will enter the talks more vulnerable and alone than it anticipated, thanks to the work of its good friends in the White House.

Israel is so friendless. The International Community said such cruel things about their bombing of Lebanon last year and made them stop after killing only 1100 or 1200 Lebanese. And now, if Turkey is estranged because of an adventure in Iraq, there will be nobody to support the modest demands they will bring to the negotiating table. And if the conference in Annapolis ever actually takes place, it will be on such hostile territory.

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