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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tom Friedman: Not ready for peace?


In a column that has a whole paragraph that reads like "poor, Bibi", as if Netanyahu didn't have a chance himself to enter coalition with Kadima and forestall the whole internal mess, Tom Friedman cannot quite come out with an endorsement of final settlement talks.

Friedman repeats the dangerous philosophy, once again, that true final settlement talks are far off.

If Israel has made its 'choice for peace', then why are they far off, in some Phase II? All the issues should be on the table, at all times.

Why should the U.S., the Quartet, any Arab neighbor, and even the average Iranian, allow for less? (We understand and do not accept, of course, Palestinian 'unpreparedness' or preconditions).

Moving with all deliberate haste to final settlement talks and to all that can be done to end occupation is a long way toward keeping Iran at bay. Of course it is not "conclusive", but it would strengthen the hand of moderates, if they had economic favors and 'a future' to pass out, in pursuit of a tangible, two-state proposition, not a distant, theoretical "phase II".

Why isn't there sufficient Iranian deterrence, even from the nightmarish scenario of nuclear terrorism? One simply needs to hold "rogue" nuclear states, i.e. those outside IAEA protocols, "accountable", right?

Maureen Dowd has an interesting take, but she is uncharacteristically full of reportage and less deliciously piquant than usual.

Her view is that Obama's team have been caught unprepared and disorganized for the logical outcomes of the Netanyahu coalition, although she buries the lead.