closeicon

This would make Bibi go D'oh

November 24, 2016 23:01

After Bibi's preaching to the converted yesterday, Thomas Friedman has an excellent piece in today's New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/opinion/25friedman.html?_r=1&ref=opini...

You have to start with the iron law of Israeli-Arab peace: whichever party has the Israeli silent majority on its side wins. Anwar Sadat brought the Israeli majority over to his side when he went to Israel, and he got everything he wanted. Yasir Arafat momentarily did the same with the Oslo peace accords. How could Palestinians do that again today? I can tell you how not to do it. Having the U.N. General Assembly pass a resolution recognizing an independent Palestinian state will only rally Israelis around Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, giving him another excuse not to talk.
May I suggest a Tahrir Square alternative? Announce that every Friday from today forward will be “Peace Day,” and have thousands of West Bank Palestinians march nonviolently to Jerusalem, carrying two things — an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other. The sign should say: “Two states for two peoples. We, the Palestinian people, offer the Jewish people a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders — with mutually agreed adjustments — including Jerusalem, where the Arabs will control their neighborhoods and the Jews theirs.”
If Palestinians peacefully march to Jerusalem by the thousands every Friday with a clear peace message, it would become a global news event. Every network in the world would be there. Trust me, it would stimulate a real peace debate within Israel — especially if Palestinians invited youth delegations from around the Arab world to join the marches, carrying the Saudi peace initiative in Hebrew and Arabic. Israeli Jews and Arabs should be invited to march as well.

And the Israelis? Friedman recognises it for what it is, not for what its PR merchants would have you believe. It isn't a poor Nebbish state that is threatened by people who have nothing (and as Bob Dylan wroite: "When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose." Even the Iranian threat is being played up by those who think occupying territories will stop missiles (hint: Stuxnet)

As for Bibi, his Tahrir lesson is obvious: Sir, you are well on your way to becoming the Hosni Mubarak of the peace process. The time to make big decisions in life is when you have all the leverage on your side. For 30 years, Mubarak had all the leverage on his side to gradually move Egypt toward democracy — and he never used it. Then, when Mubarak’s people rose up, he tried to do it all in six days. But it was too late. No one believed him. So his tenure ended in ruin.
Israel today still has enormous leverage. It is vastly superior militarily and economically to the Palestinians, and it has the U.S. on its side. If Netanyahu actually put a credible, specific two-state peace map on the table — not just the same old vague promises about “painful compromises” — he could get the Americans and Europeans to toss in anything Israel wanted, including the newest weapons, NATO membership, maybe even European Union membership. It could be a security windfall for Israel. Does Bibi have any surprise in him or do the Palestinians have him right: a big faker, hiding a nationalist-religious agenda under a cloak of security?
It may be that Israeli and Palestinian leaders are incapable of surprising anyone anymore, in which case the logic on the ground will prevail: Israel will gradually absorb the whole West Bank, so, together with Israel proper, a Jewish minority will be ruling over an Arab majority. Israel’s enemies will refer to it as “the Jewish apartheid state.” America, Israel’s only true friend, will find itself having to defend an Israel whose policies it does not believe in and whose leaders it does not respect — and the tensions between the U.S. and Israel displayed in Washington last week will seem quaint by comparison.

I'm sure that Israel's founding fathers, Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharet, Moshe Dayan and Yigal Alon, didn't have apartheid in mind when they set up the homeland for the Jewish people, but that's the way it's going under the cynics, fundamentalists and fascists.

November 24, 2016 23:01

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive