Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Mideast peace, Israel needs to own up to Palestinian pain

Look what a few hundred demonstrators can do in a day: 1948 is on the agenda. The breach of the fence in the Golan Heights was enough to breach a far older and more complex fence, bringing 1948 to center stage in the political discussion.

We're still screwing things up and babbling ourselves to death about 1967 - will or won't Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu utter the words "1967 borders," as if it makes a difference what he says. We're still babbling that the evil from the north, which may actually be good, is approaching, and the discussion has suddenly changed direction. Netanyahu, who is well aware of the situation, is playing dumb: He bears responsibility for the state of affairs, along with all his predecessors.

That's how it is when you drag things out, make a mockery of things and deceive, when you think that inactivity is the solution, when you keep putting off the decision to end the occupation. After 44 years of military rule whose end is not in sight, after a handful of Oslo crumbs that didn't improve the Palestinians' situation, peace plans that are collecting dust in the drawers and innumerable empty speeches, without undertaking a single courageous act except for the evacuation of the Gaza Strip, the genie is out of the bottle.

Anyone who didn't want 1967 is now getting 1947. Anyone who didn't want to evacuate the settlement of Ariel will now be forced to discuss Carmiel. Anyone who didn't want a historic compromise is now getting the 1948 portfolio on his doorstep. The right is rejoicing, it's not clear about what, the left has long been dead and the caravan is galloping forward, leaving Israel in a situation that is deteriorating by the day.



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