By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
Medford (Ore.)–As chronicler starts out (June 23rd) from Southern Oregon, the news coming from the Middle East is principally from Libya. Although the Colonel is maintaining his fasces, the analysis is that Colonel Khadafyâ€™s hold on power is loosening even though the outgoing head of the Arab League has renounced his prior endorsement of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationâ€™s) intervention while Italy has herself, a participant in the assault and the former Colonial power there, asserted that the Libyan contest should be halted. On the other hand the Islamist government of Turkey has called (JuJy.3rd) for the Colonel to step down promising material aid to the Benghazi rebels while the Greek, Ankaraâ€™s traditional â€œenemies,â€œ the Greeks have refused to permit (on the second of this month) the first relief shipâ€™s for Gaza to exit Hellenic waters.
The IDT (Israeli Defense Forceâ€™s )General Sharoni (retired), a supporter of the two-State solution, rejoined, â€œWe should press for solutions by September [when the Palestinians are going to the United Nations â€“ U.N. â€“ for approval for their Statehood]â€¦we have negotiated previously, and we shouldnâ€™t have to start at stage one againâ€¦We should start negotiating [again] because the clock is ticking.â€ The Israeli position â€“ and even their Left â€“ is that Palestinian Statehood should be through bi-lateral agreement â€“ with the help of external actors — rather than an international dictate. (Your authorâ€™s opinion is that Tel Aviv has to make just concessions this summer if there would be any hope of mutual agreement; otherwise, it will be Ramallah who will achieve independence solely on their own terms in league with international acclamation!)
Taras Hassan asserted that â€œâ€¦ [a] third of [the Jewish] Settlers [in the Occupied Territories] can be brought back] to Israel [itself].â€ Hasan believes that â€œâ€¦many Israelis do not support the annexation of the West Bank because they [the Palestinians there] would [receive] protection under Hebrew law, and [would have the right to] vote, and [Tel Aviv would]would cease to be [the capital of] a Jewish State.â€
Sharoni interjected, â€œâ€¦who is the enemy, and who are you [we] defending yourself [ourselves] from?..I am [more] concerned over my nationâ€™s isolationâ€¦In order to survive we have to become part of the community of nations!â€ (It is very true that Israel has become a pariah in most of the civilized world!)
Hassan adds: What would happen if the two-State option fails? Major-General Natan Sharoni replies, we â€œâ€¦canâ€™t have a one-State alternativeâ€¦ [for the General, it] wonâ€™t workâ€¦because there would be two different peoples living within one State. (The example of the U.S., Canada et al. would counter this argument) â€œOne side or the other would dominate.â€ (Curiously, the progressive Israeli argument â€“ and most recently — it appears that most of their upper military commanders – favor a dual-national conclusion, (but the time might have transpired over peace on those terms. Your commentator still stands behind this domestic path, but, if a justful compromise is not made soon, such a one-State route must be explored!)
Hassan exclaims: It would destroy (the ideology of)Israel!
Jeremy Ben Ami from Washington entered his voice to the call, if â€œâ€¦the issues arenâ€™t resolved between the parties involved,..[unfortunately for Jewish Jerusalem]â€¦[and] a U.N. understanding isâ€¦ made before a [bilateral] arrangement is finalized, it will impact Israel as a sectarian Stateâ€ negatively, (and the winners demographically would be the Muslims in a one-State solution).
The general stated that â€œâ€¦Common sense should prevailâ€¦We have to have a regular [regulated] peace!â€ He, further, alleged the Israeli (along with the American) bugaboo over Iran was a mere charade.
Hassan remarked that â€œIt is a very sensitive time for the Arab â€œSpringâ€â€¦ (In fact, your columnist has uttered the success or failure of that â€œSpringâ€ depends upon the reaction within the Israeli nation! That is why your narrator is dedicating so much of his energy looking at the interior â€œsoulâ€ of the Jewish terrain. Hassan noted, â€œâ€¦American Jews canâ€¦influenceâ€¦opinion in Israel.â€ (Your commentator adds that it, also, is important for liberal American Jews and Muslims to establish better communication to solve the dangers within this most dangerous of international theaters.)
â€œWe [the Hebrews] have to be the initiators!â€ (This is a very serious issue, though.) Although the negotiations must not be dominated by one side or the other, here, Ms. Hassan is advocating Israeli dominance without any international diplomatic intervention which would bolster the weakened Palestinian positions. This will not work. The negotiations must be between equals, and that is where the international nations â€“ especially the United States because of its history of enablement for the crisis itself â€“ to create an equal â€œpitch.â€ Taras Hassan declaimed that â€œOtherwise, we [Tel Aviv shall] only be reacting… It is in Israelâ€™s interest to split [divide the land.â€ That is, the liberal Jewsâ€™ position is a two-State solution to save their State as a Jewish dominated one. It is very different than the Arab (or even the mainstream politically liberal American) vision of a two-State outcome.
Ben Ami â€œhits it on the nailâ€™â€™ when he says, the â€œJewishâ€¦State cannot be based on permanent occupation!â€¦â€ This is a refutation to (former) Prime Minister Sharonâ€™s policy of Permanent War which, incidentally, was picked up by the (last U.S.) President George W. Bushâ€™s Neo-Conservative advisors who gave the American Republic the tragedy of the Iraq War!
This five-segmented study has become an important one, for it has established a basis for negotiation. Your investigator has already pointed out this composition to two decision-makers in the American government, and he hopes to get their aides to look at it, for there are people on both sides of the Middle Eastern conundrum who could seriously talk to each other along with their neutral international friends in a constructive manner.
Time is running out, and your author has even proposed a Constitutional framework for a one State Solution should it come to that, but he still holds onto a two-State solution — for different reasons than our Israeli colleagues — for the best outcome.