Peter Beinart shows off his 1990s-era thinking in the Forward, which is eager to publish him. Essentially every paragraph betrays his bias, his inability to grasp reality, and his wishful thinking:
Since the 1970s, and certainly since Bill Clinton got Yitzhak Rabin and Yaser Arafat to shake hands on the White House lawn at the beginning of the Oslo Peace Process in 1993, every American president has practiced “dealism.” Every one has dreamed primarily of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and being remembered as one of history’s great peacemakers.
None has dreamed primarily of being remembered as one of history’s great liberators.
None has described the Israeli-Palestinian conflict primarily as a struggle for rights.
This stands in contrast to the way in which Americans, at least in retrospect, view other conflicts that pitted a population lacking basic freedoms against the state that denied them. Americans don’t generally tell the story of Mahatma Ghandi and Kwame Nkrumah’s struggles against British colonialism, or Martin Luther King’s struggle against white supremacy, or Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid, or the American colonists struggle against “taxation without representation,” as a tale of how the two sides “got to yes.”
The Palestinians aren’t the Founding Father or Ghandi or Martin Luther King. They have a autonomous state which is recognized by most countries in the world, a state that has failed – not because of Israel but because their leaders are not interested in building a state, or in securing rights, or in freedom. If they had wanted those things – things that Beinart believes axiomatically they want – they would have a state now. They would have accepted one of the many peace plans that Israel agreed to. They would have actually rescinded support for terror, which Arafat promised to do back in 1993. Beinart still believes Arafat’s lies and he still pretends that the Intifada never happened.
Why does Beinart not ever want to discuss their failures and pretend that only Israel is to blame?
This isn’t analysis – it is pathology.
Palestinian Arabs do have rights. So do Israelis – the right not to be stabbed, blown up, run over and to live in peace in the Jewish state. That is a right that Peter Beinart doesn’t talk about.
Lacking even the minimal moral scaffolding of previous administrations, Trump and Kushner have taken what seems like the shortest path to a deal: They have demanded that the weaker party cave on virtually everything.
Although the details remain hazy, reporting suggests that the Trump peace plan will not create a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, will not link Gaza and the West Bank, will not require Israeli troops to leave the Jordan Valley (which comprises roughly 25% of the West Bank), will not require Israel to evacuate settlements and will not allow a single Palestinian refugee to return home.
Any how, exactly, is the “right of return” a prerequisite to Palestinian rights to live in a state of their own? How exactly are the 1967 lines a prerequisite to peace? How is their capital being in Jerusalem a prerequisite to peace and their acquisition of actual human rights – the types of human rights that are actually codified somewhere, not what they claim they are?
The Trump administration is cutting out the bull that Palestinians have been claiming for years, lies that Beinart swallows whole. If they want a state they can have one. But their desire for Jerusalem or “return” or the 1967 lines has nothing to do with freedom and rights – every one of those are designed to ensure that their state is not an endgame but a waystation on the way to the ultimate destruction of Israel, as every poll and every map and every honest interview with Palestinians shows.
But the idiot Beinarts and Kerrys and Obamas of the world refuse to believe it. (I think Clinton gets it, because he saw the rejectionism firsthand.)
In late August, the White House announced it was cutting $200 million in aid to the Palestinians. Then it ended funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA mostly provides health and education for Palestinian refugees, some of the poorest and most desperate people on earth. It serves half the people of Gaza, who already live in a territory the UN says may be uninhabitable by 2020.
As a result of Trump’s budget cuts, UNRWA warns that it may soon close more than 700 schools.
Do I have to point out to Beinart that if UNRWA would cut out all Jordanian citizens from its welfare, its budget would be reduced by 40% and there would be no crisis? And that the evil Trump and Kushner want to give Jordan the money directly to educate and provide healthcare to their own citizens, as they should? Or does he pretend that 2 million Jordanian citizens deserve special attention and for the world to fund them, forever – or until Israel is destroyed by “return” which is the very basis of UNRWA’s reason for existence and what it teaches in its schools?
Beinart isn’t stupid. He knows everything I am writing is true. The question is why he prefers to write these lies that his liberal friends love to pretend are the truth, rather than to actually have the guts and admit that his thinking will not result in peace but in perpetual war. Why does he pretend that Israel is to blame for the failure of Oslo? Why does he not mention terrorism or rockets or Hamas or “pay to slay” or Abbas’ rejection of peace plans and frameworks and even direct talks?
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