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Monday, February 15, 2010

What a difference a day makes

Having just sort-kinda come to the aid/defense of Andrew Sullivan, I find today that I disagree with what looks like yet another attempt perhaps to contextualize his own comments (here, here, and here), which is precisely what Leon was railing about, in high voice and low purpose in his rebuttal. And, while Leon opened the door, it's not clear why one would go there in that way, unless ...

This territory is rough terrain and it comes with bullshit, so I don't sympathize greatly with the guy from Honest Reporting. Even if you have all the facts, it is still hard to organize them into something that isn't biased. The challenges are enormous, and I hope he would realize that and tread with caution.

The reader who wonders about Israel signaling a commitment to peace by accepting 'right of return' is probably well intentioned, but cannot be taken seriously, from any pragmatic assessment of the situation.

The role of good friend and independent broker is not suited to trying to gain cred with the Arab street as a (self-interested?) goal in itself. It's probably more about developing a view of how to get to a final peace settlement and making sure that there is a robust process in place - full, technical sense of the term, "robust". ("Neocons" represent bad tone and policy, not bad Jews - can't someone - Sprung? - just buy Leon's peace by admitting that, calling it "nine words for peace", maybe?)

And, yes, Dershowitz is often alarming, but whatever he says substantively is probably part of the regular political discourse, not deep into the 'forbidden zone'. As a matter of degree, we have far more concern with what the Hammas are saying and DOING. After all, let's not forget that Israel forcibly moved all its settlers out of Gaza, in an internally costly strategic move to pressure the Palestinian leadership.

One can continue to "criticize Israel", but the force concentration for outsiders, for diplomacy, has to be on the Palestinian leadership, not so that they can be pushed to capitulate to an obviously unjust peace, but to stop, in a considered way, the co-opt of the Palestinian people for a hopeless cause, such as the physical or political destruction of Israel.