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Left-Wing Israeli Site Pours Cold Water on Obama’s ‘Process’

The Obama administration ignores realities in order to push a "process" that even lefty Israelis are beginning to doubt will lead to peace.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

October 18, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Walla! grouses:

When … Yaalon declares there isn’t a single minister out of the seven who believes it’s possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians in the near future, there’s no reason to doubt him. … The prime minister can demur from Lieberman’s statements at the UN [or] Yaalon on the radio … but that’s his government.

Is the editorial, then, just a typical lefty screed? Not quite. Under the subhead “Gaza — Anyone Remember?,” Walla! then turns its sights in the other direction:

The Palestinian side is being just as slick. Abbas can’t bring Gaza to the negotiating table, so Israel is stuck with two Palestinian states, one ruled by Hamas in the service of Iran and the other by Abbas under Israel and Western protection. The reports on the splendid cooperation between the Israeli and the PA security forces conceal a very gloomy reality. Without Israel the PA’s security bodies don’t stand a chance against Hamas. Actually, Abbas is living on borrowed time. … [His] weak status won’t let him agree to any concessions at all, whether on the right of return, territorial swaps, or accepting the [Israeli] settlement blocs. If he does, he’ll be gambling with his life.

Basically, this accurate, coldly realistic passage is remarkable coming from a left-wing source. It’s faulty only in seemingly assuming that Abbas — unlike crafty, malign Netanyahu and his cronies — actually wants peace and is held back by obstacles and dangers. There is much evidence to the contrary, not least previous Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s admission that when he made Abbas an ultra-dovish peace offer, Abbas turned it down flat.

But Walla! has still more surprises in store:

It’s time to put an end to this spectacle. Illusions are a dangerous thing, especially in the Middle East. Unrealistic peace processes, like [former prime minister and current defense minister Ehud] Barak’s Camp David [conference with Arafat and Clinton in 2000], quickly turn into blood in the streets. … You can disagree with Lieberman and Yaalon, but it’s very worth starting to listen to them. Unlike their prime minister, they speak the truth.

So the editorial ends, and one’s jaw drops. Is it saying Netanyahu, Yaalon, and Lieberman are all bad — the latter two just more honest — because they don’t really want peace, or that the latter two are actually pointing to real problems with the Palestinian side? There’s a certain lack of logic, and one can’t say for sure.

One can say, though, that Walla!’s words about Hamas-ruled, Iranian-backed Gaza, and the weakness of the PA, are irrefutable, and the Obama administration appears so determined in its blindness to these realities that it keeps relentlessly pushing a “process” even the Israeli left can’t believe in.

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P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel.
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