We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Last night, Professor Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Israel, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, author of over 50 books, was the guest of the San Diego Israel Coalition (SDIC).
The SDIC, with about 600 Jewish and Christian members, near packed the large auditorium in La Jolla, and heard good news from Israel. This may have come as a surprise to many, accustomed to the gloomier commentary in the US from supporters and adversaries of Israel.
According to Barry Rubin’s view from Israel, Israel is in the strongest situation in decades.It is the West and Arab states that are in the weakest.
Despite the wails of the far left in Israel who have platforms in academia and the Israeli and Western media, Israelis are more united in a consensus than in decades.This is reflected in the coalition government of the center-right Likud and center-left Labor political parties.
Those whose hopes centered on the Oslo and later accords and the concessions and withdrawals that Israel made to bring peace now realize that it didn’t, and that continual one-sided concessions demanded of Israel by the US and Europe fail to elicit any from the Palestinians. Israelis have not forgotten all the past broken promises of support from the US and Europe.
Those who were skeptical of the promises and Israeli concessions, however, are more open to a two-state solution, but insist along with those who are disillusioned that it rest upon tangible security and lasting measures.It is in this vein that the insistence on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish democratic state is so important, to contravene their repeated demands for terms that would undermine that and lead to more conflict.
The shape of a two-state solution has been evident since Oslo, involving land swaps of several percent of territories, but the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly rejected it.The next generation of Palestinian Authority leaders is even more radical than the current ones, there’s no end in sight to extremist Hamas in Gaza or it opposing Fatah in the West Bank, and even a danger of Hamas gaining control in the West Bank as well and abrogating any agreement the Palestinian Authority might reach with Israel. So, the current US emphasis on the “peace process” is not expected to yield anything except bluster. Prime Minister Netanyahu is skillfully maneuvering to avoid Israel being forced into weakening itself, and in emphasizing the necessity of recognition and lasting security.
Internationally, Rubin says, Israel is also in a stronger than previous position, regardless of the staged calumny from the Islamic Conference and those other nations aligned against the West or who kowtow to it in the United Nations. Israel’s economy is thriving, which also leads to wide trade and cooperation ties elsewhere than the Middle East. Relations with Russia, several of the former Soviet Union states, China and India are better than ever.
The biggest danger to Israel, and to the West and to Arab states, comes from Iran.With its widespread subversion and support for other “revolutionary” Islamists, and the feckless actions of the West to Iran developing nuclear weapons, the revolutionary Islamists have set themselves against the “nationalist” and status quo Arab states, who may see they have to be accommodative. The third force of “reform” democrats in the Middle East are small and weak, and have little purchase between the other two contending forces. The US and the West have to unite in decision to be much more forceful or see the instability and conflict in the Middle East increase. Any type of accord in the Israel-Palestinian conflict will have little if any effect.
For those interested in Barry Rubin’s views, he publishes a blog that contains much useful information, realism and necessary counterweight to Western myopia.You can subscribe at this link.
1) Two states west of the Jordan is DEAD - no Israeli politician proposing or implementing it has a chance.
Israelis have learned the lessons of Lebanon and Gaza. They have all mentally calculated what would happen if the constant missile barrages from those two hot spots were aimed at Israel from the West Bank (which is higher in elevation than the coast).
And as this post points out, we are just 1 or 2 neckties away from towel-headed fanatics in Judea and Samaria. Israelis now that the current Pali leadership are ineffectual and temporary.
Expect Kadimah - a party whose only distinguishing policy feature is support for the 2-state solution - to disappear, or to dispose of that party plank as it morph into the new center-right party.
Despite being attacked by the bien-pensant media, Lieberman and Netanyahu have done a masterful job of closing the Peace festival down, and preparing people for a post-Oslo paradigm.
2) America's retreat from policing the world has helped Israel. A lot of governments that mouth off about Israel now suddenly are VERY interested in what Lieberman and Netanyahu have to say about Islamic terror. Lotsa doors have opened for Lieberman, who has been trotting the globe.