Monday, February 16, 2009

So it's almost like a divorce

Except that it bears no resemblance to a divorce whatsoever.

From Ha'aretz's Elah Alkalay:

. . . The outcome of the elections indicates that Israelis view the "peace process" with the Palestinians as a divorce process. As their unwilling embrace was arranged by global forces, so apparently will be their separation. Think of it as severance of an arranged marriage, and the vote Israelis cast last week was for what they perceive as the roughest, toughest divorce lawyer in town.

In other words, the majority vote was cast for a leadership - the right wing - that the public thinks can end the relationship with the most assets for Israelis and preferably no alimony at all for the spouse. . .
Which sounds really great, until one stops and wonders what exactly this "divorce" will look like. For instance, will there still be settlers in the West Bank? If anyone on the Israeli right has their way, there must be.

Will the Palestinians have control of their water? 1/3 of Israel's water comes from the West Bank, so we can assume that the answer to that question is "no."

How about the Separation Fence/Apartheid Wall that snakes through the West Bank? Is it going anywhere? Don't hold your breath. Or how about the fence around Gaza? Will the crossings be opened? Probably, but only under Israeli control.

What about an army and an air force? Certainly the Palestinian "State" should at least have control over its own borders and air space! Certainly it should, but not if Netanyahu has anything to say about it.

What we are talking about here is, in the end, not a marital separation, because it lacks that characteristic that makes a "separation" what it is: separation. The two parties must, at a minimum, be able to go about their own lives without interruption from the other. In this case, the parties are under one another's skins, and there is no way that any Israeli administration that results from this election will be able to "divorce" them.

Absent a sea-change in Israeli politics, any "peace agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians will not resemble a "divorce." All that will follow is more domestic violence.

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