Wednesday, May 15, 2002
I actually give Ben Eliezer credit for sticking with his old mentor Barak's plan for a Palestinian State, per this article in Ha'aretz. If Labor doesn't run on something like this, they can't run on anything, and might as well run Sharon as the head of their party.
Of course, even running on an honest platform of dividing Jerusalem etc., they'll be massacred at the polls. Sharon's tack is right: Israel does not reject a two-state solution, but it rejects creating a terrorist state as a neighbor. Arafat is a terrorist; he should rightfully be executed. If we can't execute him, we certainly don't have to talk to him, much less negotiate with him. Without Arafat, and with the necessary structures and incentives in place for the P.A. to be reformed, you can talk about creating a state, and then negotiating final border agreements.
That said, if I have to choose between Ben Eliezer and Ramon, I choose Ben Eliezer. I'd rather talk while fighting than run. Israel pulled out of Lebanon unilaterally, and reaped the whirlwind. Israel cannot pull out of any of the territories except as part of (a) an ultimate negotated peace with a Palestinian entity or another Arab state, or (b) as part of an internationally imposed solution that installs another foreign occupying force to control the Palestinians. Anything else is an Israeli battlefield defeat, pure and simple, and that's how everyone on earth will understand it. The result will be a massive intifadeh for control of the Old City of Jerusalem, with Hezbollah launching rockets that hit Haifa and the Tanzim launching missiles that hit Tel Aviv. What, do you think they will be deterred from doing so? By what? When Israel is hit, it hits back a few times and then surrenders. That's what they'll expect if the Lebanon pullout is followed by a surrender of Netzarim, Kiryat Arba, and Ariel.