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20 June 2007

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Montag

What gets me is how many otherwise rational people can't understand that allowing Israel to occupy and annex ANY land by force is "appeasement" just as if the action had been taken by Hitler. Once you give up that principle you revert to the law of the jungle, in which you only have security if you are one of the tigers.

Buried in the news is the meeting between the Moroccan government and representatives of the Sahrawi. Morocco unilaterally invaded and annexed the former Spanish Sahara in 1975 and the inhabitants fought a guerrilla war until 1991, when they accepted an Armistice. But since then the Moroccans have stalled any resolution of the issue, insisting that the only possible solution will be to give the Sahwari semi-autonomous status WITHIN Morocco. In any referendum on the future status of the territory the Moroccans insist that independence NOT be an option on the ballot.

The sad thing is that the Sahrawi and their resistance organization Polisario have never resorted to terrorism and have done everything the UN has asked them to. They accept proposals while the Moroccans stonewall them. I guess the Moroccans figure that if the Israelis have gotten away with it they can too. The Sahrawi have become so frustrated that they're considering ending the Armistice. Of course the Israelis keep putting out their same old line that if only the Palestinians would lay down their arms and hold their mouths just right they'd get a state of their own. Sure, that could happen!

buzz meeks

Perhaps all the network pundit pronouncements and editorials of the "leading" newspapers, NY Pravda and Potomac Pravda, should have a leader or trailer advising that "the following message has been bought and paid for by AIPAC and the state of Israel".

Might help some folks make sense of what passes for new s in this country.

Buzz Meeks


david

Well said, Mo. Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but it seems to me that the long-term cost of maintaining Israel's peace with Jordan and Egypt is unsustainable. On the other side of that coin, Israel would seemingly do well for itself by coming to terms with groups like Hamas and Hizbullah, as they do not face a permanent and expensive illegitimacy deficit, a hole that the US seeks to fill with financial, political and military aid.

I believe that we can now say that the US idea that creating and sustaining Israel's uber-deterence over its neighbors as a means towards peace is a failed policy. The only question is, for me, at least, whether that policy will have a hard or soft landing. Similar dynamics are at work in Iraq.

If the economics are not right, and here they are not right, the household will not survive. That being said, it is hard to imagine that any government is capable of long-term strategic planning. Instead it seems that only a crisis of the highest order will bring attention to the need for a new strategy. Of course, at what point is it too late? I know such apocalyptic warnings have a distinct pedigree in the Middle East, but I really think we have begun to see the plates begin to shift.

Ironically, I believe it is only Israel that will be capable of understanding and responding to this shift. In other words, we will know the era of American supremacy in the Middle East is over when Israel begins to break away from its American anchor.

Even more ironically, this break will likely occur when the volume of the champions of the "special relationship" between the US and Israel is at its loudest. That some in Israel are calling for a US-strike on Iran is telling in untold ways, i.e. we are nearing a very serious crisis point in the decades-old strategic relationship.

eaken

no surprise but thought i'd mention.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3415479,00.html

those of us who want change in policy are as helpless as many of those palestinians stuck in the middle

Different Clue

Part of AIPAC's apparent power may be due to a lack of countervailing lobby groups counterpulling in other directions. Is it really so hard to set such groups up? And give them creative catch names?

There are pro Lesser Israel Jews who would like to see a real State of Palestine emerge on par with a State of Israel. Why don't they form an American Lesser Israel Public Affairs Committee (ALIPAC)?

There are Accepters of Lesser Israel from all kinds
of backgrounds who would like to see a State of Palestine as well. They could call themselves Friends of Israel For Palestine (FOIFP) or Friends
of Lesser Israel For Palestine (FOLIFP).

What if American Muslims were to form the American Muslim Public Affairs Committee (AMuslimPAC)? What if supporters of Palestine were to form the American Palestine Public Affairs Committee (APalPAC)?
" Come on, be a pal. Join APalPAC."

I may be sounding silly, but sometimes the right clever acronym can break a conceptual logjam in the minds of many. And these groups, should they emerge, could study AIPAC's methods, and adopt them.

Meanwhile, if any center-to-left Peace Camp Truce Camp Israelis are reading this, they might ask themselves: if Israel extracted zero water from Gaza or the West Bank, and if every inhabitant of Israel Proper used exactly the same amount of water per
capita, how much water would every inhabitant of Israel Proper be using? And
the Peace Camp Israelis could put themselves on a personal per capita water ration of exactly what that amount would be, to demonstrate that it can be done, and try to win over the rest of Israel to a concept of life-on-restricted-water-rations as a trade-off for a longterm Truce or even a Cold Peace.
Envision the material side of life without the territories, and live that way now.

Mo

Different Clue,

The great big elephant never discussed in road maps and peace deals - The Israelis left Gaza because the Aquifer there became polluted. The West Bank and Golan aquifers (as well as the water in the Shebaa farms) supplies a good deal of their water now. Asking them to give them up completely is a showstopper and they are already changing "the facts on the ground" to make sure "the wall" goes into the West Bank to encompass many of the water sources. The amount of water they would be left with would not sustain a nation. In fact, even with all the water they currenty have access to, they are on a precipice and one or two aquifer pollution incidents away from a threat far greater and far more existential than Hamas and Hizballah combined.

Hence, they will never surrender the water and won't sign a treaty until they have a Palestinian leader who is willing to sign that water away (esp. now they know they are not getting their hands on the Litani anytime soon).

Montag

Mo,
Yeah, the Dead Sea is drying up! Of course Jordan and Syria contribute to the lack of water running into it, but Israel has been subsidizing waterhog agriculture in a big way. The Dead Sea has been losing 3 feet of level every year. Now dangerous sinkholes are suddenly appearing in the surrounding land. They're even considering digging a canal from the Gulf of Aqaba to try to save it.

different clue

Good point, Mo.

That is why I suggested that Peace-Wing Israelis practice life on a water diet. If they could model an okay lifestyle on low water inputs, they could bring along the mushy majority, if there is one.

And if Israel could transform the water-hog aspects of its agriculture into water-camel aspects, Israel would enable itself to address the polluted gaza
aquifer by depolluting the aquifer.

How? Well, since the pollution is due to saltwater intrusion into the
aquifer caused bu excessive water extraction from the aquifer, the obvious answer would be to run the process backwards. Bring fresh water to gaza and inject it into key parts of the aquifer while pumping the brackish water out of other key parts of the aquifer. And sending it back to the sea from whence it came. That would de-salinate and refreshen the Gaza aquifer.

Mainstream agriculture is
water-hogish all over the world. It shows up as a problem first in water-restricted regions like Israel, Palestine, etc. first. I have read that some Israeli agriculture is water-frugal. Drip Irrigation was said to have been invented in Israel, though I would be interested
to hear if someone else invented it elsewhere first.
So there is that to build on.

Eventually, the whole Middle East will be so water-short that everyone there will have to address water-hog agriculture. Eventually they may have to stop growing dates, which are one of the water-hoggest
plants there is. Every date
palm pours water into the air almost like an open fire
hydrant.

BG

HAMAS was initially supported by Israel to contain Fatah and now look what they got in hand..
u cannot deny the fact that Palestinian people chose Hamas instead of Fatha, we may have our opinions about Hamas but if u want democracy then u have respect what the people have decided. since US is so addicted to having their way, no wonder the country now supports dictatorship more than ever before..Pakistan, China,Vietnam,Nepal,Saudi Arabia and the list goes on..and u wonder why the editorial was published in WaPo..

bhumika
middle east desk,the newsroom

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