Monday, February 26, 2007

The US's faux peace policy

Saul Singer decries the misguided efforts of Secretary of State Rice and the US for bumbling around the Israel-Palestine "Peace Process." As Singer notes, the US fundamentally misinterprets the Arab perspective.

The assumption is that both sides want the same thing, yet are too hampered by historical baggage to take the other side’s yes for an answer. But what if this assumption is wrong?

This reigning hypothesis is unconsciously based on a misunderstanding of the Arab side. As hard as it is for us to comprehend, we must accept that in the Arab mind, peace with Israel — far from success — still represents capitulation, humiliation and defeat.

The failure to comprehend this most basic fact causes the US, the EU and the Israeli Left to approach the Arabs as if they are rational, logical and reasonable. But the Arabs are none of those. Fueled by an irrational hatred that is encouraged and bolstered by the Palestinian educational system, political system and social constructs, they still hope to push the Jews into the sea. Singer offers some advice, which the US would be wise to consider:

The most pro-peace policy is the one that most convinces the Arabs of Israel’s permanence. Even the U.S. is far from such a policy, since it will not routinely reject the currently favored backdoor means to Israel’s destruction, the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” to Israel.

When it comes to a “political horizon,” the problem is not that the Arabs cannot see a Palestinian state, but that they can see a Jewish one. The Arab world will settle for a Palestinian state only when it is convinced of the permanence of Israel.

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