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Monday, August 01, 2005 

Martin Peretz: Condi's blurred vision

The EIC of the New Republic talks about how Condi Rice is simply blind to the true nature of the PLO on the Jewish World Review site.

At the same time, there are some things here that he may have gotten wrong:
Ariel Sharon has mainstream Israel solidly behind him, and a parliamentary majority has voted for withdrawal no less than four times. Sharon long ago determined that Gaza was a dead end for the country, what with the particularly daunting demographic ratio (1.3 million Arabs to 9,000 Jews, this number itself being the biggest failure of the settler movement) and the human price the army would have to pay to defend an agrarian idyll that some confused with biblical prophecy and national destiny. Israel would depart whatever the circumstances.
Not so fast, Peretz. You're a decent guy, but...you're off base there to a certain extent.

When it comes to mainstream, the latest polls, as discussed in this older topic, show that support for "disengagement" has dropped below fifty percent. So I'd suggest being more accurate there, please.

And as for having a Knesset majority, not neccasarily, although the Labor and Shinui parties are willing to support him on his tommyrot. As Prof. Paul Eidelberg said in a recent article:
In October 2004 the Knesset, by a vote of 67 to 45 enacted the very plan which an overwhelming majority of the public had rejected the previous year. How was this possible? Simple: by political bribery. By promising ministerial or deputy ministerial positions, Sharon “persuaded” enough MKs to vote for his expulsion and withdrawal plan. Is it any wonder that 87% of the public said NO when asked whether the Knesset represents the citizens of this country?
And, one more thing: 1.3 million of Arabs is not relevant, since for the most part, they don't live together, do they? Israel does have to control the southern borderline from Egypt to Gaza, to prevent the PLO and Hamas from bringing in weapons such as rockets, which they're still trying to do, and sadly, they have.

Now, as he points out next:
Still, even if the reason for her panic was misplaced, Rice's sudden presence was certainly needed if only to prop up the designated receiving end of the disengagement equation. After all, Palestinians were shooting one another on the streets of Gaza, where Hamas has staggering gun-toting superiority. But it is doubtful that her coyly supportive appearance in the Muqata, Yasir Arafat's old haunts far from the historic squalor of the Strip, will do the trick for Mahmoud Abbas for long.
It certainly won't be doing Rice a favor either if she keeps up that act, plus telling Israel that they should be delivering weapons to the PLO, and acting as hostilely as she did when she met with the Israeli government here.

By demanding that Israel give the PLO weapons, in fact, it seems as if she knows that her wishes are for war to break out.

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