Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Juan points out that Obama just has to use his ruby slippers

One of the hallmarks of worthwhile analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that the word "Hamas" comes up every so often. The "H" word isn't used in Juan Cole's latest:
President Barack Obama says he will be more honest than past presidents with Israel. Israel, a great friend of the United States and a country we like and admire on its merits, has nevertheless dug itself into a very deep hole with its determination to colonize the West Bank and to keep the Palestinians stateless. These policies are what is wrong, not anything essential about Israel or the Palestinians. [...]
See there, everybody's essence is sound. How does that relate to the fact that Palestinian leaders reject land-for-peace either on a categorical basis or on a case-by-case basis? Time to move on to Juan's Modest Proposal Pavillion! First, however, let us pause for a moment at the Grand Metaphor exhibit:
Not only is Israel hurting itself with this reckless drive to colonize others' land and so rob them, but it is deeply harming US interests in the Muslim World. Why would a friend do that to us--harm itself and harm us? Israeli settlement policy is the Amy Winehouse of foreign affairs. [...]
Cute, Juan. As Lenin would put it, what is to be done?
. . . I think Obama should make it clear that by 2011 he will simply recognize as the Palestinian state the government of the Palestine Authority that is elected next January. That would be an excellent way of forcing all the parties to make sure those elections are not handled carelessly. And it will put everyone into over-drive in making sure the transition goes well. I have been saying for some time what Ahmed Qurei recently did, that if the Israeli settlers want to stay in the West Bank, they must accept Palestinian citizenship. A government of Palestine that has Jewish constituents might anyway be a good thing.

Obama has an opportunity, through making sound and wise policy on this issue, to resolve 80 or 90% of the problems the US has with the Middle East. It looks as though he is going to give it his best shot.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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