Israel

It's a new world, and everything is the same

From Ha’artez:

“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz Wednesday, the day the Annapolis conference ended in an agreement to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008

So now even Olmert is making apartheid allusions? Does this mean he is ready to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state via negotiations, or is this just an attempt to implement the unilateral separation he has been supporting since 2003, which is itself just a recasting of the Allon Plan from ’67, which is basically pockets of ‘autonomous’ Palestinian population surrounded by large settlement blocks?

8 thoughts on “It's a new world, and everything is the same

  1. Can’t wait to see the official Hasbarah’niks explain away this echo of Jimmy Carter’s thesis….

  2. I admit to a political conceit in using “progressive” instead of “liberal” or “left-wing” because it so rightly implies that some political ideas are inevitable — some of us are just more ahead of the curve historically speaking. I rightly see a little presumptuous arrogance in that, but it’s a very small one.
    The instinct to give back land was raised on the Israeli left from the very beginning, as was demographic imperative for peace, fears of becoming a second South Africa, talking with Arab nations and groups formerly regarded as anathema, and so on. And here we are today, after Ariel Sharon (of all people) withdrew from Gaza purportedly for demographic reasons and now Ehud Barak is raising the apartheid allusions, following I might add an acknowledgment of claims that Palestinian violence is only encouraged by Israeli violence.
    For all that people denounce crazy peaceniks, the politicians move the goal posts every 20 years and what was taboo before becomes reality.

  3. Kung Fu Jew writes:
    The instinct to give back land…
    One nitpick: I fully support a two-state solution, but “back” is the wrong word to use here, unless you’re talking about giving the land to Jordan, or Britain, or the Ottoman Empire, etc. etc. etc.

  4. actually the current negotiations have nothing whatever to do with the Allon Plan of‘67.
    the Allon Plan expressly excluded the formation of a Palestinian state. it was, rather, a variation on the “Jordanian Option,” which is often mistakenly assumed to refer to the recognition of Jordan as the state of the Palestinians. the Allon Plan called for Jordanian dominion over most of the W. Bank, which is the real essence of the “Jordanian Option.” Basically, let Hussein deal with these people.
    needless to say it would be totally unacceptable to the world today, not least of all to the Jordanians themselves. they renounced territorial claims over the W. Bank years ago.

  5. BZ, rightly said. “Back” to the Arabs was the implication, be it back to Egypt during the Sinai War, back to Jordan or Syria during the Six Day War, or to the PLO since negotiations began.

  6. BZ writes: “back” is the wrong word
    Give me a break… People lived on that land, irrelevant of what government owned it, people ate and drank from it, grew their food on it and raised their children on it. “back” is exactly the right word.

  7. Yehuda David said: “People lived on that land, irrelevant of what government owned it, people ate and drank from it, grew their food on it and raised their children on it. “back” is exactly the right word.”
    Does that reasoning apply to Jewish life in Hebron? And Gush Etzion? To Yehudah and Shomron? To the entire state of Israel? Well, let’s just call it what it is – a gross oversimplification. There are two people with claims to the same land, whatever happens, someone is bound to be disappointed.
    As to the underlying post, an allusion to apartheid is not exactly an apartheid analogy. There’s no room for apartheid analogies in any reasoned discussion of the situation – these tend to inflame but more importantly, distort.
    Olmert’s a bit off I think. I am a frequent traveler to “Liberal” Ramallah and in my many frank chats with the residents, I have yet to come across a single person willing to accept a two-state solution (I’m not including in this assessment foreign activists/residents). It’s time to come to grips with the fact that a negotiated two-state solution that leads to lasting peace, even based on the green line, is a pipe dream. Even in Fatah controlled Ramallah, the man on the street is more and more likely to express admiration for Hamas and disdain (to say the least) for Abbas. I am less than confident that we will see any effective resolution to this problem any time soon.

  8. Hmm… a couple of things strike me here.
    1) I don’t think it’s fair to say that Olmert is making a direct apartheid allusion. The argument he makes is that there is a danger in a one-state solution of future civil unrest, the creation of a permanent (at least for the forseeable future) block of second-class citizens, and a human rights crisis — along with all the negative international opinion that brings. I think he’s right. At the moment, a lot of nations are holding back from criticizing Israel too vehemently — if only because the status of Palestinians is still up in the air.
    2) Where I disagree with him is that this is necessarily the worst possible outcome, one that means “the State of Israel is finished.” I think human rights struggles are a kind of growing pain that every modern nation deals with; and the exact solution is always different, based on the national character and population makeup of a given nation. Even in a two-state solution, there’s still a lot of progress to be made in terms of women’s rights and immigrant rights in Israel. But coming from the highest official in the country, the declaration that the disintegration of this process spells doom for Israel just sounds like an invitation for Hamas, Hezbollah and everyone else to sabotage the process in any way possible.

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