25 May '11
In Monday's Washington Post, Richard Cohen argues that Binyamin Netanyahu has to make peace, now, with the Palestinian Arabs:
A moderate and pragmatic Palestinian leadership has actually emerged in the West Bank (but not, for sure, in Gaza), terrorism has been denounced, rejected and, in the West Bank, all but disappeared. A Palestinian state in some sort of pupa form is taking shape, even able to police itself. The trumpeted unification of Fatah and Hamas is indeed a problem — the latter being a virulently anti-Semitic terrorist organization — but even here, where there’s a will there’s a way.
I can understand Netanyahu’s reluctance to move off the dime. The Arab world is in flux. Zealots, radicals and anti-Semites are vying for influence. The region’s so-called revolutions are actually counterrevolutions — reversing the policies of the military men who secularized their governments and tempered their hot hate of Israel with cold pragmatism. The region may not be getting ahead of history but returning to it. It could be a swell time to do nothing.
...Time has not only moved on but, as Obama pointed out, it is no longer on Israel’s side. The occupied West Bank is a looming demographic disaster, and the world has embraced the Palestinian cause. Today’s moderate Palestinian leadership may disappear tomorrow, and the 1967 borders are no less defensible than the current ones — missiles and rockets do not pause for barbed wire.
In my talk on Monday night I spent a little time discussing how important it is to dissect anti-Israel arguments to expose their fallacies. Here is a wonderful example that shows the fallacies not only of this specific article but from many liberals who push Israel to make one-sided concessions for "peace."
Cohen builds a case. He states, accurately, that the current PA leadership appears more moderate than any other. His conclusion is that this is therefore the time for Israel to be more pro-active - which means to make more concessions - to break the deadlock. If Israel waits too long, Cohen says, then the current leadership could disappear and be replaced by something worse.
What are Cohen's unstated assumptions and implications?
(Read full "Bursting liberal assumptions about the peace process")
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