Friday, September 03, 2010

Here They Go Again

In the words of Ronnie Reagan who put the kibosh on that silly old democrat Carter's stab at middle east peace, "There he goes again!"

The latest silly old democrat in the White House is trying to resuscitate a process started more than twenty years ago. In the meantime a lot of water has flowed under the Allenby Bridge, enough to sink the current process for a long time to come.

To begin with, in the dim days of yore, there hadn't been any antifadas, the Buchenwald of the present, no terrorist bombs at pizzerias or on buses to pose an existentialist threat to Israelis. There have been since, and the current 'boogey' is rockets - ranging from home-made skyrockets to the latest product of Iranian rocket factories (or so we're told).

Iran wasn't a problem back then, either but to-day we're being told it's problem number one - there can't be peace in Palestine with Iran un-chastened. Iran hadn't become Jimmy's nightmare, and Ronnie's election winner,  when Begin met Arafat at Camp David for the kick-off. But Iran is Benny Netanyahu's big 'bug-a-boo' and Iran won't let  Abu Mazen quietly sell-off the 'birthright' of some Palestinians to get a quick deal with Israel.

That 'deal' with Israel has transmogrified too. Whereas, back in the old days, the Israelis might have been inclined to 'give back' most of the west bank and shared access to part of Jerusalem to a Palestinian 'tribal homeland' in return for peace. Now, it has settled most of the high ground in the West bank and any part of Jerusalem is now 'off the table'. Peace isn't the target any more - it's having a nation of pacified 'step'n fetchits' to do the dog work or, preferably, to have them all gone; replaced with Thai workers and Belarussian au pairs. What's being offered to some Palestinians is a ' cash buy out' and some nice property in the Negev. Some Palestinians, because most Palestinians are going to get nothing beside the opportunity to cram into a smaller 'homeland' than they have now. And refugee Palestinians are going to get nothing at all save a future in those squatter camps or emigration to other parts of the world. Hey, look what a diaspora did for the children of Israel, nu?.

Another large 'fly in the oinkum' is the HAMAS organization. When Jimmy met Anwar and Menachem there wasn't any HAMAS. FATAH and Yassir ruled the Palestinian roost and Arafat was on his way to shedding a terrorist image,  much as Menachem had, to reach statesman level. In the interim, after what were seen to be failed exercises in liberation, with a PLO getting fat and sluggish on UN and Israeli money, the Palestinians largely voted them out of office after Arafat died. It was only some timely Israeli police intervention that held the West Bank.Gaza 'went' and, after the settlers had left nothing behind when they were removed , it would take some on-going military action to keep Gaza under control. Even a US-inspired police action went awry when Hamas stole a convoy load of munitions  intended for FATAH security that the Israelis had carelessly allowed into Gaza. Whatever deal AbuMazen buys would have to be sold in Gaza. But as with Iran, Israel and the US will do their darnedest to isolate HAMAS in Gaza. Bottom line, it would have to be an outstanding deal for Abu Mazen to be 'bought' in the west Bank, either - or there's another wave of Palestinian refugees on the way.

Personally, I don't think Netanyahu will risk what his daddy thinks about him, by making peace with anybody. If he's successful it will be at the expense of Iran, which, he will claim, has to be removed as a precondition to any peace settlement. To get FATAH and the US on-side he's apt to say that everything from east Jerusalem to a return of all refugees is 'on the table',  but there'll be no discussion until the mullahs in Teheran have no teeth, or voice.

Obama is just letting himself in for a great disappointment. But he will have a 'Tony Blair opportunity' to 'do the right thing' by blasting Iran first. Then he'll get to see how Mr. Netanyahu works. We all will, too, if we're still here.

Can ya smell  ARMAGEDDON?