VJ, you can't get there from here. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Robert
    • 04.01.12 | 10:34 (IST)

    VirtualJew, you wrote some nice comments, but your conclusion implies that the Palestinians have a sure-fire method for destroying Israel. If indeed the ghetto you foresee is untenable (the demongraphics are not at all a given as you seem to think, but never mind), then why should Palestinian leaders give up their dream of finally destroying Israel? All they have to do is keep up the attrition via terror, and refuse final deals. Israel cannot force the Palestinians to allow Israel to leave the territories permanently and totally. Cf. the failed Gaza Disengagement and the Gaza siege. Olmert's pithy "2 states or Israel is finished" somes up nicely this ironic position, which can be rephrased as "The Palestinians want Israel to be finished, so they'll never agree to 2 states." And if I mentioned Olmert, I might as well mention Livni too and her statement that "ending the occupation is an Israeli interest." The flip side is that maintaining an aggressive, lethal occupation is a Palestinian interest. Think of it this way: You can't seriously go to the Palestinians and say, "Please accept 22% of Palestine, because if you don't, then eventually you'll get 100%." Yet that's what you and all the "Get Out Now or Else" politicians are basically saying. I know that's not your intention, but that's the way the Palestinians perceive this attitude. To get out of the "Catch-22%" (just coined that now!! :-) Israel needs to approach negotiations as a possibility, not a necessity, and tell the Palestinians, "You want a state, but you don't need one. We want to end the occupation, but we don't need to. So we can work together to fulfill each side's preferences, but if you choose not to work with us, we can live with that - indefinitely." If we said that, the Palestinians wouldn't turn down offers like Barak's in 2000 and Olmert in 2007 and 2008. They'd approach us to say their ready to take the deal on the table. I learned this lesson decades ago when I would go shopping in the Arab shuk in Jerusalem. If I stayed in the store and looked longingly at what I wanted, the price didn't budge, but if I said "No thank you" and walked out, 9 times out of 10 the shopkeeper would come out and call me back to buy the product at my price. And the 10% of the time that I didn't coax the owner out, so I lived fine without that product. I know what you're thinking, but remember that Israel has lived with the occupation for over 44 years; it is ugly, but quite sustainable. Israel will continue to thrive no matter how long the occupation lasts. And that's the message the Palestinians need to hear.

    from the article: Thank God for Ron Paul
    First published 11:56 03.01.12 | Last updated 11:56 03.01.12
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