Israeli security begins with a reconciled Fatah and Hamas committing irrevocably to nonviolence, with Palestinian acquiescence to a nonmilitarized state, and with Palestinian acceptance that a two-state peace ends all territorial claims. Palestinian sovereignty begins with what Obama called “the full and phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces” — including from the Jordan River border area — and with the removal of all settlements not on land covered by “mutually agreed swaps.”If Cohen would spend fifteen minutes actually reading Hamas' words, he would know that the idea of a nonviolent Hamas is an oxymoron. Instead he substitutes his own fantasy world onto the real one - and keeps writing as is his fantasies are real.
And what is Cohen's evidence that a nine-mile wide state, where the capital is surrounded on three sides by the enemy, is defensible?
This is difficult but doable. The 1967 lines are not “indefensible,” as Netanyahu declared in his immediate response to Obama’s speech. What is “indefensible” over time for Israel is colonizing another people. That process has continued with settlements expanding in defiance of Obama’s urging. The president was therefore right to pull back from President George W. Bush’s acceptance of “already existing major Israeli population centers” beyond the 1967 lines.
Palestinians have been making ominous wrong moves. The unilateralist temptation embodied in the quest for recognition of statehood at the United Nations in September must be resisted: It represents a return to useless symbolism and the narrative of victimhood. Such recognition — and of course the United States would not give it — would not change a single fact on the ground or improve the lot of Palestinians.But the Europeans are considering it. And the South Americans already gave it. To dismiss this move as wrong but unimportant is, again, missing the point.
What has improved their lot is the patient institution-building of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on the West Bank, his embrace of nonviolence, and his refusal to allow the grievances of the past to halt the building of a future. To all of this Netanyahu has offered only the old refrain: Israel has no partner with which to build peace.Earth to Roger: Fayyad is out, and it wasn't Israel that has forced him out. It was that "reconciled Fatah and Hamas" that you love so much.
It does — if it would only see and reinforce that partner. Beyond siege lies someone.
Completely, predictably, utterly clueless.