Friday, December 07, 2012

Dialogue Between Barry Rubin & a Journalist

Barry is an old friend who worked in CSIS while I was a fellow for a book coming out on Saudi Arabia back in 1980. The book never panned out, but Barry married a nice Muslim Turkish/American girl named Jennifer Noyon which ended up a train wreck a few years later. He then married a nice Jewish girl and moved to Jerusalem where he started the GLORIA institute. I kept vaguely in touch with Barry for about ten years and my wife is still tight with Jennifer, who wrote an excellent book about the Arab world a few years ago.

Here's some of Barry's riposte to the journalist's probing "question:"
In 2000, the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected the offer of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem living in peace alongside Israel.

Instead it launched a war against Israel whose main feature was terrorist attacks on Israel civilians.

A few months later, it rejected an even better offer of peace with a Palestinian state having its capital in east Jerusalem on the exact amount of territory that constituted the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem before 1967.

Ever since then, for 12 years now, Palestinian leaders have repeatedly said they no longer accepted a two-state solution or at least would soon stop doing so.

Israel withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip and dismantled all the settlements there in order to encourage the Palestinians to move toward a two-state solution by developing that area and showing they were willing to live in peace. Instead, Hamas took over, openly declared its rejection of all previous agreements, that it would never accepted the two-state solution, fired rockets and missiles at Israel, put on television programs teaching children that they should grow up to be suicide bombers, and that all Jews in the world be murdered.

Despite these positions of Hamas, the Palestinian Authority has tried endlessly to make a deal bringing Hamas into the government, a government that would have to be based on a platform rejecting any real, lasting two-state solution.

This policy was continued after the 2008-2009 and 2012 Hamas escalations to war with Israel.
Admittedly, the offers by Israeli PM Ehud Barak were generous, but even had Fatah accepted the conditions, it's doubtful the Knesset would have ratified a divided Jerusalem. Or vice versa, Arafat might have demanded even more afterwards just to scuttle the deal. Clinton was desperate to get a Nobel Peace Prize for orchestrating the negotiation & promising a big payday for both, had things been settled.

The Scorpion & the Frog won out again.

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