By Ted Belman
MJ Rosenberg of Israel Policy Forum comments on the events in Gaza and repeats all the Arab propaganda about Israel causing an humanitarian crisis then gives his, not so sage but predictable, advice,
But unilateral withdrawal failed. It failed because unilateralism is no way to solve any international conflict. Had Israel negotiated the Gaza withdrawal with Mahmoud Abbas, as Abbas wanted, there would have been a signed and binding agreement between Israelis and Palestinians governing Gaza’s future. As it was, Israel just picked up and left, handing Hamas the opportunity to increase its support by claiming that it drove Israel out, weakening Abbas and setting the stage for the shelling of Sderot and the ultimate Hamas takeover of Gaza.
Incredible. He believes that an agreement with Abbas would be “binding”. When has Fatah or Abbas ever been bound by an agreement.
The lesson is that we are no longer living in an era in which major powers can dictate to the powerless. Winston Churchill could not, today, dictate that the area east of the Jordan would no longer be Israel/Palestine but rather Transjordan. Nor could France and the United Kingdom draw lines on a map and call this acreage Syria and that one Lebanon.
No, in 2008, the only way to resolve disputes between nations is through direct negotiations. That means that all the problems posed by Hamas in Gaza can only be resolved through negotiations that will end the Israeli occupation, create a West Bank/Gaza Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its shared capital and ensure the security of both Israelis and Palestinians. As the Israelis say over and over again, it needs a partner. In fact, it has one in Mahmoud Abbas. But, being essentially powerless, he is not a partner Israel can hold responsible for very much.
Maybe a major power can’t dictate terms but they don’t have to capitulate either. He believes as a matter of faith, in negotiations. He obviously thinks that the Arabs will accept the existence of Israel. On what evidence. He believes that Abbas is a partner. On what evidence.
moving on President Bush’s goal of establishing a Palestinian state by the end of his term. That state will not be a gift to the Palestinians, nor will it be a reward for good behavior. What it will be is a solution to a problem that plagues Israelis and Palestinians alike (while seriously damaging America’s interests worldwide).
Once again, on what grounds? He also repeats the idea that Israel is hurting American interests if it does fold.
He ends by demanding that Bush do something.