Thursday, June 19, 2008


Cease Fire

The leftie blogs seem to be pretty silent about it. My $0.02: this cease-fire better result in some rather immediate benefits for the Palestinians. If the Palestinians can feel that, when Hamas is not using their neighborhoods as bases for operations, they don't have to worry about being held up at checkpoints, they don't have to worry about getting strafed by Israelis, and they further benefit economically, then they will move toward peace. Otherwise, Yussef Palestinian is gonna say "so we make peace with these people who stole our land, and what does it help us? we might as well fight".

Of course, the same is true on the Israeli side ... obviously a real cease-fire means Israelis benefit from the lack of attacks. But the cease fire needs to be kept very well and not undermined: if Israelis feel that the Palestinians are not bargaining in good faith, then they have every reason to be concerned about lifting the Israeli thumb from occupied territories (and there is every reason why, out of sheer principles of fairness, Israel should be allowed to exercise that thumb as she sees fit ... although Jewish law might state otherwise). Of course, the problem is that this gives all the power to Hamas and similar radical groups -- whatever they do really determines what happens in Israel/Palestine next. Which leads to the question: what should Israel do to avoid giving Hamas this sort of power (instead of always "responding" to attacks that gives Hamas always the power to goad Israel into doing things that make Israel look bad, etc.)?

Of course, that Olmert did this now is just proof of P.J. O'Rourke's contention about the ME: how much better the region would be if everyone were like, to use O'Rourke's example, Josephus. In general the problem with "why don't those two sides be reasonable" approaches to ME peace is that it is perfectly reasonable for each side to keep on fighting ... but we've been down this discussion path before.

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