Ross And Jerusalem, Ctd

Andrew Exum's thoughts:

One of the criticisms you often hear of U.S. policy-makers in the Oslo era is not so much that they were too sensitive to Israeli concerns but that they were hyper-sensitive to Israeli politics while not paying anything resembling the same level of attention to Palestinian politics. So they were conscious of how the decisions of an Israeli prime minister might play on the streets of Tel Aviv but not as aware how a decision by Arafat might play out on the streets of Ramallah. I heard Rob Malley make this point at a talk at AUB in 2008, in fact. (A lecture which, miracle of the internets, you can watch here.) Being sensitive to the political realities facing an Israeli prime minister, as Ross allegedly is, is no bad thing in and of itself. But one should remember that another people, with an entirely separate political reality, live on the other side of the Green Line. And a lesson learned from the 1990s is that you should pay close to equal attention to the dynamics of their political discourse if you hope to create an enduring peace.