Friday, April 23, 2010

The False Religion of Mideast Peace & Senior NY Senator, Schumer: Obama's Counter-Productive Israel Policy "Has to Stop"

Two important pieces. Aaron David Miller is a veteran intelligence analyst, policy planner, and advisor. Over the last 20 years he's been at the table of Middle East negotiations at the highest levels. When former devout believers like him are disabused of their prior convictions, it means that it's time for serious folks on the Left to reconsider their positions. Miller is no right-wing hardliner. His bona-fides as a left of center player are well established.

Readers should also take note of the senior DEMOCRATIC Senator of N.Y.'s remarks below. Schumer is about as straight a shooter as they come in politics. His advice to the administration is right on: we know your heart is in the right place, but your tactics are counter-productive. As long as the Palestinians see America as forcing Israel's hand, they'll sit back and sip tea, biding their time.

Miller's article is from Foreign Policy and worth reading in its entirety (16 pages). Nice read for a rainy Saturday morning (at least here in Seattle).
david brumer

Sen. Schumer: Obama's "Counter-Productive" Israel Policy "Has to Stop" - Ben Smith
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) harshly criticized the Obama Administration's attempts to exert pressure on Israel Thursday on a New York radio show. "This has to stop," Schumer said of the administration's policy of publicly pressuring Israel to end construction in Jerusalem. "I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk."
"Palestinians don't really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there. If the U.S. says certain things and takes certain stands, the Palestinians say, 'Why should we negotiate?'...You have to show the Palestinians that they are not going to get their way by just sitting back and not giving in." (Politico)

The False Religion of Mideast Peace and Why I'm No Longer a Believer - Aaron David Miller
I can't tell you how many times in the past 20 years, as an intelligence analyst, policy planner, and negotiator, I wrote memos to Very Important People arguing the centrality of the Arab-Israeli issue and why the U.S. needed to fix it. Today, I couldn't write those same memos or anything like them with a clear conscience or a straight face. The notion that there's a single or simple fix to protecting U.S. interests, let alone that Arab-Israeli peace would, like some magic potion, make it all better, is just flat wrong. In a broken, angry region with so many problems, it stretches the bounds of credulity to the breaking point to argue that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most critical issue, or that its resolution would somehow guarantee Middle East stability.
A brilliant, empathetic president has made America the focal point of action and responsibility for the Arab-Israeli issue at a time when the country may be least able to do much about it. The painful truth is that faith in America's capacity to fix the Arab-Israeli issue has always been overrated. It's certainly no coincidence that every breakthrough from the Egypt-Israel treaty to the Oslo accords to the Israel-Jordan peace agreement came initially as a consequence of secret meetings about which the U.S. was the last to know. The writer, an advisor on the Middle East to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, is a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. (Foreign Policy)

1 comment:

George Jochnowitz said...

Schumer understands what most American pundits don't get: One can't approach the situation by saying we need to be balanced and get both sides to make concessions. One of the two sides wants to destroy the other. If there were an independent Palestinian state, it would legitimize Israel's existence. That is why most of the Arab world has been fighting against an independent Palestine that would co-exist with Israel.
The Hamas charter, like the original PLO charter, excludes the possibility of peace or compromise. There has been no serious change since the Three No's of Khartoum in 1967. Sadat tried and promptly was assassinated. King Abdullah of Jordan tried in the early days of Israel's existence. He too was assassinated.