Quote of the Day, Peace Process Division
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Uzi Dayan, a Likud member and former deputy chief of staff of the army, says a preliminary agreement on territorial concessions risks conceding Israel's territorial "strategic depth'' before reaching a full agreement.
"It's like having a negotiation, and saying, 'First, give all your money, and then let's talk about the other issue,' '' he says.
This peace process won't work. It doesn't seem particularly healthy to keep making believe it will. I would like to see Prime Minister Netanyahu go to Ramallah and address the Palestinians directly, and provide them with a vision -- a generous vision, I hope -- of what the future could look like, and then set Israel on a course to achieve that vision. Part of that vision, of course, includes what he thinks the final borders of the unborn state of Palestine should be. Providing this vision will obviate the need to obsess about individual settlements and their rates of growth; the borders will define which settlements stay and which settlements go. But as attractive as it is to me to to believe that negotiations over borders will bear the sort of fruit that negotiations over settlements won't, I still can't imagine Israel withdrawing from significant chunks of the West Bank without understanding just how far the Palestinians will push their claims on Jerusalem and the so-called right of return.
Bernard Avishai is more optimistic about the moment, and it's worth reading why:
This is not to say the actual placement of a border is going to prove all that important in the long run: Israel and Palestine will be two interlocking city-states in any event. Still, it is crucial to have one somewhere, so that each city-state will know where its zoning rights begin and end. Anyway, the debate over the definition of a border will immediately occasion a triangular split in the Israeli government right between Land of Israel fanatics, for whom no settlement is a bridge too far, Orthodox fixers and mere reactionaries, for whom Jerusalem is the main chance and security guarantees actually matter, and globalists, who fear most of all international isolation if the PA collapses and relations with Washington get freighted.