He is a good writer.But in reality, this proposal is neither easy nor straight-forward. In fact, this proposal is too seriously flawed to work: once Israel surrenders land and goes back to pre-1967 lines—before negotiations even begin-- the negotiations will be over. Period. Having won those borders without yielding anything in return, the PA will be tempted to stonewall; for once Israel retreats to ‘Auschwitz’ borders and the leadership of the new Palestine tours their new military high ground above Israel’s population centers, they may conclude that negotiation is no longer necessary to address their grievances against Israel. Why? As recently as May, 2011, local Arab TV viewers were reminded (in Arabic) that Jews have been ingathered into Israel as part of a divine plan that would give the Arab people the honor of annihilating Jews in a great massacre —and when Arab leaders can finally look down on Israel from the mountain range above our coastal plain, where app 80% of our population lives, they could easily remember those words and have no interest in further negotiation.
Indeed, I would suggest that, given Hamas’ dedication to Israel’s destruction—and given the omnipresent hatred of Israel in Arab media and mosque— this is exactly how we should expect Hamas/Fatah to react upon standing on their new military high ground. Anyone who does not understand this should watch Arab TV for the next 60 days.The Baskin peace proposal, like all two-state proposals, reminds me of something Yehuda Avner wrote in his book, The Prime Ministers (The Toby Press, 2010) about a speech he had crafted for Golda Meir in September 1973, to address contemporary European interest in creating peaceful co-existence between Arab and Jew in the Middle East (Avner quotes from European statesman Jean Monnet):
Peace depends not only on treaties and promises. It depends essentially upon the creation of conditions which, if they do not change the nature of men, at least guide their behaviour towards each other in a peaceful direction (p.220).All of the two-state proposals I have seen are not only built on promises, they absolutely ignore the conditions Avner references—conditions that must be created if two nations are to live together in peace. If the Left truly wishes to propose a viable peace for Arab and Jew, they would be wise to spend their time discussing what these conditions should look like; because right now, the only ‘conditions’ we see the Arab creating for Israel have nothing to do with peace and everything to do with killing Jews.
The Left seems obsessed with ‘peace’ but appears to think of peace primarily as an abstract that is not affected by hate. As Avner reminds us, peace is not simply a piece of paper filled with promises. Peace is how people think about each other, talk about one another and treat each other. For anyone to claim that peace will be ours if only we retreat to pre-1967 borders before negotiations even begin, and before these conditions of peace have been implemented, is being disingenuous at best. Such peace would be an empty peace built upon empty promises. Once Israel pulls back to those borders, the only thing we might be able to negotiate at that point will not be a final peace, but land swaps which, essentially, means that Israel could be asking Hamas/Fatah to give back to us some of the land we have just given away to them.This is what the Left calls ‘negotiations’ for peace? We surrender land to an enemy who swears to kill us and then negotiate with them to get some of the land back?
It would appear that the Left is either cunningly anti-Israel or they need to go back to the drawing board.Which is it?