Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967 -

Since then, Israel has given back most of the land gained in a defensive war.
All ("all") that remains is West Bank and Golan.  Both could've been resolved
with a more positive Palestinian response
This is an insightful -- at least it seems so to me -- article marking the 50th anniversary of the Six-day war -- "Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967".. And of course just one of many articles on that milestone. Most in the New York Times, at least, are quite sympathetic to Israel. Unusually so. 
Yossi Klein Halevi identifies:

  • "May 1967 moments" --  which demand wariness. 
  • "June 1967 moments" -- which require the self-confidence of victors. 
Halevi further skewers -- correctly -- the international community for failing to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable. Something which continues to this day, with non-stop criticism of Israel and virtually no pressure on Hamas and PA. (my emphasis):
When the Oslo process broke down in 2000, and buses and cafes were routinely exploding in Israeli cities, the public reverted to May 1967. Israelis were especially embittered by the failure of much of the international community to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for rejecting two Israeli offers for Palestinian statehood.
All the Israelis I met on a recent visit to Israel, said they don't want to keep a hold of the West Bank. But when and how to hand it back is the real question as long as handing it back will be an act of national suicide.
It can't be "land for peace", says Halevi. It must be "peace for land" (paraphrasing here). 
That's true. You can hold Land. Whereas Peace is a word, and can evanesce in the wind.
In short, "land for peace" is a sucker's deal, and Israel is not a sucker country.  "peace for land", however may work: as long as the Palestinians really want it, and show they want it, rather than using the lack of progress (which they promote) as yet another stick to beat Israel.
LATER: a friend in Israel says:
"Read NYT article.. he adjusts many of the facts to fit his solution.. not the otherway round.. not a mention of the 2000 intafada.. but NYT has an agenda"