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writing for godot

Anatomy of a Stalemate

Written by SandraLLAP   
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:36

A stalemate will occur if either side imposes requirements for peace that are impossible for the other side to comply with.

I’ll start off with the Palestinians: I believe that the “absolutist” terms for the Palestinian right of return, are simply not realistic.  BDS makes the following claim:

As a result of this systematic forced displacement, there are now more than 7.25 million Palestinian refugees. They are denied their right to return to their homes simply because they are not Jewish.

And the total population of Israel, is currently roughly 8.4 million.  So what they’re essentially demanding, is for one of the smallest (in terms of land area, Israel places 150th out of the 196 nations of the world), and most densely populated (coming in at #32 in that ranking), to almost double its population?  This is nigh unto impossible, regardless of the religious persuasion of the entrants.

In a previous article, I had suggested that the Palestinians ought to be more amenable to making concessions, because they should acknowledge a sort of “karmic debt”, from all of the innocent life taken by terrorist violence… but, perhaps you might see a hole in this reasoning: if you believe that “X” number of Palestinians should be allowed to enter Israel under the right of return, whereas I think only “Y” should, where Y < X, then you will naturally feel that (X – Y) people are being deprived of justice.  And why should that be so, when certainly not all of them are guilty of terrorism?  This effectively is a form of collective punishment.

However… it so happens that there will not be perfect justice, no matter which path is chosen.

So suppose you want to insist on an “X” of 7.25 million.  But because the Israelis don’t see this as being at all feasible (as I’ve just explained), they refuse to allow this.

And so since they won’t grant this willingly, then the only way it can happen (if you feel it must happen- to achieve complete justice for the Palestinians), is for the Israelis to be forced to cave in, by inflicting upon them economic distress so severe, that it reaches the point of outweighing all other considerations… And given how compelling those other considerations are, the economic distress would have to get to be rather extreme… to the point of affecting Israelis across the board, children included… So isn’t this also, a form of collective punishment…?

And therefore, if there will not be perfect justice regardless of what X or Y number we go with, then this affords us some latitude, in terms of picking this number…

It can, in one sense, be arbitrary… thus overtly symbolizing the mutual recognition of the fact that perfect justice is unachievable.

But it could also have a very definite significance...

And so now, the specific number that I’d like to propose for “Y”, is (drumroll…)


I imagine this number will indeed strike you as being arbitrary, but perhaps its significance might not be readily apparent, so I’ll just state it: this number is the total population of Jewish settlers currently living in the occupied territories (that I also, as it so happens, would like to be accepted as Palestinian citizens, in a future Palestinian state).

So basically, the meaning of this number is: 70 years is 70 years too much, of this friggin' b.s.

This number entreats us- can we maybe collectively “level up” to “Phase 2” so to speak, in this endeavor?  Which would be to finally reconcile the competing narratives in this highly polarized quagmire, to lead us to commonly acknowledge the basic truth- that both sides forfeited the moral high ground long ago- and so we should just come up with SOMETHING reasonably fair and actually workable, and then agree to implement it, and then, lastly, sit back & reap the benefits of peace??  (Rather than remain locked in the “Phase 1” of eternally volleying the same ol’ tired narratives back & forth, with each side holding out for something that can’t ever really come about…)

Absorbing 800K new Arab citizens, would undoubtedly be a daunting challenge for Israel.  However, I contend that it is at least in the “doable” realm (rather unlike 7.25M).  And I also contend that taking in 800K exuberant & tremendously grateful new citizens, would be a whooooooooole heckuva lot easier, than carrying out the forced mass evacuation of 800K ginormously ticked-off settlers (if it should be the case that the Palestinians would demand their removal, if any less than 800K diaspora Palestinians are to be allowed back into Israel).

But all settlements are illegal under International law, and therefore, all of the settlers must leave the territories, because they have no legal right to remain living there.  And Israel is also obligated by International Law to take in no less than 100% of the exiled Palestinians.

Yes, yes, I know (trust me- this came across loud & clear the first 50 BILLION TIMES that this has been stated), HOWEVER- “the law” doesn’t strip us of our Free Will, and FORCE us to take any particular response to its violation.  We retain the power to choose a reaction based on other (frankly, common sense) considerations, such as- how much faster peace could be achieved, if the terms of the peace were set to be something more realistic, and how much more better off both sides (but most ESPECIALLY, the Palestinians) would end up being, after peace has been established.

And, as to what exactly “peace” should be… To recap from my prior article, I had proposed the following:

  1. Both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, officially renounce terrorist violence, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
  2. The sovereign and independent nation of Palestine is created, comprised of the land that is known today as “the occupied territories”, at the 1967 borders of these territories.
  3. All Jewish settlers residing within Palestine are granted an “amnesty”, and are permitted to remain, as full citizens of Palestine.
  4. The implementation of a right of return and compensation policy, for diaspora Palestinians.
  5. The division of Jerusalem, with East Jerusalem going to Palestine, and West Jerusalem going to Israel.  And all Palestinians and Israelis shall be allowed full, unfettered access to their respective holy sites, throughout the entire city.

(Although I hadn’t pinned down any definite “Y” number associated with #4, but I have now done so, here in this article.)

Thus the essential question comes down to: would the Palestinians agree to #’s 1 & 3, if they were to be offered #’s 2, 4, & 5?

It is an utterly tormenting turn of fate, that at a time when Hamas and Fatah are reconciling, our government should become infested with wretched swamp things… I mean, how absurd have things become, if I can say: “If every member of the current administration were to be replaced by the 12 & 13 year olds in my daughter’s middle school class, it would be an infinite improvement”, and this be the absolute truth?

For I would bet that these children would have the native intelligence to recognize that this is an opportune time to offer the Palestinians the very best deal- something better than anything they’ve ever been offered before- so that what emerges from the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation is more “Fatah-like”, and less “Hamas-like” (in obvious sharp contrast with what is now being done by these walking nightmares that have seized control of our nation, with their gratuitous and entirely counterproductive slights against the Palestinians, such as the much discussed, maddening decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and the less discussed- but equally maddening- recent decision to withhold $65 million from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides desperately needed aid to Palestinians.*  But just bear in mind- they will not ultimately shape the destiny of this conflict, because we WILL prevail over this pack of treasonous monsters…)

It is an unmistakable obstacle, that Hamas is presently not fully “on board” with #1 (as recently as October, their leader reaffirmed their desire to “wipe out Israel”).  However there are signs that in spite of their steadfast hostile demeanor, they can be coaxed in the direction of peace (if, maybe, they were given more positive incentives to do so- which is essentially my gambit here), such as their recognition of the ’67 borders, for the state of Palestine.

And, “dear World”, I’m sorry- but you all can’t “gaslight” me into believing that this is hopelessly impossible- because we have achieved peace before (i.e. between Israel & Egypt, and Israel & Jordan), and, in fact, we’ve also once aaaaaaalmost achieved peace between Israel & Palestine- but it had actually been the Israelis, who had nixed it

And so now, we come to the Israelis- and the question reverses: if they were to be granted 1 & 3, then would they be willing to agree to 2, 4, & 5…?

Or would they see 1 & 3 as being inadequate, because there may be something more that they would like… However, perhaps this “something more”, may not be something that is actually possible for the Palestinians to deliver...

To reiterate my #1 (with some emphasis added)- I specifically state that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas both renounce terrorist violence & recognize Israel’s right to exist.  However I do NOT say anything to the effect of, “all terrorism must come to an end”.  For the former may signify no more than that just enough of the general Palestinian population approve of the overall plan, for the leaders to be influenced into accepting it.  Whereas the latter, requires not only sufficient approval, but unanimous approval- and THAT is impossible (because you can’t get everybody to agree on anything… if you tried to get everyone to agree that water is wet, you wouldn’t be able to.)

It cannot be demanded of the Palestinians, that they have zero crazy people in their population.  And just to be clear- this in no way implies a condoning of terrorism (as I’ve said, I spent the better part of my prior editorial opining over the “karmic debt” owed by the Palestinians on account of terrorist violence).  The one & only reason why this can’t be demanded, is simply that it’s impossible for the Palestinians to ever be able to meet this requirement.  And the following example, provides a “slam-dunk” proof of this…

Dennis Ross, the Middle East envoy during the Clinton administration, gives a heart-wrenching account in his book “The Missing Peace”, of how the delicate peace proceedings in 1994 were fatefully sabotaged by a lone, fanatical Jewish gunman:

Over the course of the next two months, differences were gradually narrowed, albeit, very slowly.  As the end of February approached, I foresaw another trip for us to the area to help them close the deal.

But an American émigré to Israel, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, was about to intervene and shake this fledgling process to its core.

Dr. Goldstein, a settler from Kiryat Arba, just outside of Hebron, saw the peace process with the PLO as a historic mistake, and the prospective turning over of land to the Arabs as sacrilege.  On the morning of February 25, 1994, in the city of Hebron, he entered the Tomb of Abraham in an army uniform, walked into the adjacent Ibrahimi Mosque, and gunned down twenty-nine Arabs while they prayed- an act of murder designed also to kill the Oslo process.

Bob Pelletreau, the Assistant Secretary for the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, called me a little after 3 a.m. to tell me about the catastrophe; nothing could be worse or more incendiary in the Arab and Islamic world than an attack on a mosque and the worshippers there.  Instead of peace, we would hear calls for a holy war, and Arafat would be under pressure to not negotiate with those whose purpose was to attack Islam.

And so it was…

And so, being as the Israelis have shown that can’t satisfy this condition themselves, then this is truly an unrealistic expectation to have of the Palestinians.

And, for the record: if peace should be established, and then some lunatic- unhappy with the terms of the peace- redirects his rage against random innocents, then this would be 100% the fault of the psycho who carries out the senseless attack, and those who pursued & established the peace are in no way responsible.  The specter of terrorism should not inhibit efforts towards peace, and acts of terrorism should not derail progress towards peace, for this would effectively be letting terrorism win out, over peace.


*It so happens that there’s an AFSC petition to Congress, protesting both of these whopping blunders.

And here’s a petition to the governments of 5 other nations that are major funders of UNRWA (Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and The United Kingdom), requesting that they contribute extra to UNRWA to compensate for the U.S.’s cuts, as Belgium and Sweden have already pledged to do. your social media marketing partner
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