Giuliani’s Palestinian Policy Opens New Vistas


The leading Republican contender for the presidency, Mayor Giuliani, is turning heads with a new magazine article in which he appears to come out against a two-state solution in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.

“Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel,” Mr. Giuliani writes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. After expressing his full support for Israel – a subject on which all the presidential candidates agree – the former New York mayor writes that it is “far too early” to tackle the issue of Palestinian Arab statehood. He does not say when, if ever, it can be dealt with. What a liberating view. Think of the new vistas this opens, most of all for the desperate Palestinian Arabs who now have nowhere to go.

Should his handlers leave him alone to develop this position further, Mr. Giuliani could singlehandedly move the debate on the Middle East to a place where it makes sense. And should that position hold, it would be liberating in so many ways for American policy-making in the Middle East, as well as for Israelis and Arabs.

Under such circumstances, a far more humane and realistic discussion could begin to be explored for the nearly 2 million Palestinian Arabs under direct or indirect Israeli control and the estimated 3 million to 4 million spread throughout Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt as refugees. Among the options are permanent residency, substantial financial help, and the management of these societies beyond the current bankrupt edicts of the United Nations. A greater benefit of the former mayor’s stance would be to push other American presidential candidates to match a new level of play, one that is closer to responsibility and further from meaningless platitudes.

The only other presidential contender to tackle the issue thus far, albeit from an isolationist perspective, is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, not a Republican front-runner but an interesting candidate who is pushing for America to end its “meddling” in the 50-year-old Arab-Israeli conflict and stop pumping money into the Middle East. While attractive, this view will never see the light of day, given the enormous lobbies and financial interests representing various Middle East constituencies in Washington inveighing for even more American involvement.

To date, Mitt Romney and Senator McCain of Arizona, along with virtually all the Democrats, are dancing in a no man’s land, sticking to the safe haven of supporting Israel while promising nirvana to the Palestinian Arabs maybe, someday, only after an impossible set of things happen that includes internal reforms, renunciation of terror, and the introduction of civil society. Every responsible person knows these goals are unattainable among all the Arabs, let alone the Palestinians.

Holding out false hopes is duplicitous and condescending to the Palestinian Arabs, who are in need of urgent real-time help.

The levels of irresponsibility rise perceptibly among some Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Dodd of Connecticut and Governor Richardson of New Mexico, whose idea of a solution is to send President Clinton to the region to work it out, permanently “for now,” as Mr. Dodd put it.

We are at a point where the broken Palestinian Arabs can only benefit by having the world community take over their decision-making process from the hooligans now in charge, be they secular or Islamic.

The immediate objective is not nationhood for these millions, who are sinking into a culture of suicide bombing, eternal struggle, hopeless poverty, and ignorance. Needed are fundamentally new education, health, and community services, to be managed by a new team of Western technocrats that would replace the tired, bankrupt supervision of the United Nations, which has handled Palestinian affairs since 1948. The new team will not offer democracy but expertise in population management, schooling, health care, and civil society building.

None of this can begin to happen before we formally declare what Mr. Giuliani is coming close to saying to the Palestinian Arabs: Folks, forget about independence for now. Let’s get you better first.

August 20, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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  1. “Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel,” Mr. Giuliani writes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

    Hmmm. So Giuliani’s a member of the CFR along with all the anti-Israel operatives – many of whom pretend to be pro-Israel?

    That would at least partly explain his use of Orwellianisms –

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