Sunday, November 16, 2008

Haaretz "Interprets" Menachem Begin

...Netanyahu will try to sell Obama a step-by-step and slow arrangement - but before that, Netanyahu will try to attract voters from Kadima based on his anticipated success in his convincing Obama of the same in the future.

First of all, Iran. Next Syria, and only in third and last place come the Palestinians. Even with the two tasks that entail an Israeli withdrawal - as opposed to the elimination of the Iranian threat, which is an Israeli demand - there would be an internal division into intermediate steps of prolonged cease-fire or armistice in return for partial evacuation of occupied territories. The Arab sides would not be asked to give up everything - a full peace; nor would Israel be required to provide it all either - a full evacuation.

If the formula sounds familiar, that is because it has already been tried - and failed. In the mid-1970s, during the Nixon and Ford administrations, Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin preferred to advance the peace negotiations step by step, one side at a time. Every Arab country was dealt with separately, the PLO was an untouchable abomination, and each stage was a small and hesitant jump. There was no single, daring - or possibly foolish - leap.

Jimmy Carter, then as today a Democrat entering office following eight years of Republican rule, threw out the method and strived for a regional agreement at a multi-lateral summit, and speeeded up Anwar Sadat on his journey to Jerusalem. Menachem Begin, an earlier version of Netanyahu, dropped his political platform out of fears of a confrontation with Carter. Netanyahu will be forced to decide which Begin he really is: the father or the son.

blog comments powered by Disqus