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Old 03-27-2010, 06:38 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
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Default Re: A Diavlog Not To Be Trifled With (Robert Wright & Robert Kagan)

I actually agree with the view Ibish expresses in the interview. So much so that I encourage readers to consider the following excerpt carefully.

Once you take two-state off the table and put it where it belongs in the "bad-idea-never-happen" pile, the rest of what he says makes sense. It seems to me that Goldberg and Ibish are clinging to the two-state idea -- even though they both know it's ridiculous -- only because they find the alternatives too grotesque and horrifying. Believing in a fairy tale, however, doesn't stave off the horror any more than hanging a clove of garlic around your neck will stave off smallpox.

Quote:
IBISH: I think it's useful for people like (Ehud) Olmert [foreign Israeli Prime Minister] or people like yourself to point out that with the occupation going the way it is, there won't be a Palestinian state, and then Israel will be in a situation where it is neither meaningfully Jewish nor meaningfully democratic. I think you could claim that already, if you talk about the de facto Israeli state rather than Israel in its normally perceived borders, that is already the case and it will be increasingly so. Now here's the thing: The alternative, though, is not going to be a single state in the foreseeable future. It's possible we could get there, but it won't be a solution, it will be an outcome. There's a big difference. An outcome of a horrible, brutal, bloody civil conflict that drags on for generations, because even though this demographic issue and the legitimacy issues are crises for Israel, I don't think they result in the dissolution of the Israeli state

JG: In other words, most Israeli Jews would rather have a Jewish state than a democratic state.

HI: Yes, it's obvious. And I think that what you would get is a protracted civil war that is essentially an intensification of the civil war we've had. So I do say the single state is a potential eventuality, but it would be the outcome of a horrible scenario. Look, the idea that if the current round of talks breaks down and Obama gives up and the U.S. gives up and we all give up, then the alternative is a Gandhian non-violent struggle of sanctions and boycotts that will somehow bring Israel to its knees, that is not the way it's going to go. We know the way it's going to go.

JG: Each intifada is more violent than the last.

HI: And more religious. You'll end up with two sets of bearded fanatics on both sides fighting over holy places and God. It will be a complete disaster. And I think the Israelis will end up ultimately dealing with forces not only beyond its borders, but beyond its comprehension in the long run. This has the possibility of turning into not an ethno-national war but a religious war between the Muslims and the Jews over the holy places with the whole concept of Palestine gone and the Jewish population of Israel in a very unenviable situation, protected in the end only by its nuclear weapons. It's a nightmare.

JG: So you have three scenarios. One, the one-state solution: Somehow the Jews and the Arabs decide, even though their narratives completely contradict each other, that we'll be like Belgium, where we don't have to really like each other but we'll be fine. The second alternative is the one you described of basically endless war. The third is the two-state solution. But, sorry to say it, we don't seem that close right now. You have an Israeli government who seems extremely hesitant to pull down any settlements, you have a Hamas government in Gaza, just for starters.
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