Cutting through the bullshit.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A broken skateboard

Jeremy Ben-Ami must have missed my last post, because he's sent me another email, claiming 'Secretary of State John Kerry’s tireless efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have created an historic opportunity which must not be missed.'   


congratulates Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on their decision to resume talks and urges them to come to the negotiating table with a serious and solemn intent to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace based on a two-state solution.

Of course he's not alone in his nonchalant reference to the unelected Capo of Area A as 'Palestinian President'. Nor in assuming that 'both sides' must make painful compromises, as if relinquishing 78% of their land wasn't compromise enough for the Palestinians. Nor in the cavalier conceit that a patently unjust and unsustainable partition can 'achieve peace'.

'Such an agreement', he goes on,

is also the only way to secure Israel’s future as both a democracy and a Jewish homeland and would provide Palestinians with a vehicle in which to fulfill their self-determination and national aspirations.

It never ceases to astonish me that otherwise seemingly lucid people can entertain the delusion without embarrassment that Israel can be both 'a democracy' and 'a Jewish homeland', at least the kind of Jewish homeland Israel insists upon. The very same people would be the first to screech with indignation if, say, the US were to declare itself 'a white homeland' and extend rights to white folks in Krakow and Dunedin that they denied to the members of ethnic minorities who actually live there, including, notably, the indigenous people.

The vehicle metaphor Jeremy deploys sparks the imagination. I can just see Bibi telling abu Mazen, 'We'll take this fleet of 747s and you can have this broken skateboard to fulfill your self-determination and national aspirations. And by the way, we don't have room for these 1.2 million extra Arabs, so they can ride with you.'

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