Monday, June 11, 2007

No peace

In Ha'aretz, Carlo Strenger asks: why have the Israelis ignored the 2002 Saudi initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The standard answer is that the refugees are simply too hot to touch for any Israeli politician, but practically speaking that is not an insurmountable barrier, since Palestinians would mostly want lip service on the issue. Still, Strenger says it presents another, more fundamental problem: it would require recognition of the Nakba, something Israel is unwilling or incapable of doing.

A fair point, but I'd argue that the real reason why "peace" is not pursued is because the Israeli establishment is still hung up about the right-wing Zionist dream of incorporating all of "Judea & Samaria" into Israel. Alas, the only way to go about accomplishing this is through a campaign of relentless ethnic cleansing -- albeit mostly a slow, grinding one, a la Kimmerling's "politicide" (RIP, btw) -- which is, to anyone with eyes, exactly what you see if you peer at the West Bank (or Gaza, where conditions are noticeably worse).

Thankfully for Israel, hardly anyone in the global centers of power is willing to admit that is what's going on. Indeed, these players often do an excellent job of deliberately trying to obscure that reality.