Sunday, January 11, 2009

On Offer

A number of people have regretted the fact that the Israelis turned down the Arab peace offer of 2002.

Only after several costly wars did Egypt and later the PLO conclude that, since Israel could not be vanquished, they had better cut a deal. In Beirut in 2002 all the Arab states followed suit, offering Israel normal relations in return for its withdrawal from all the occupied territories, an opening which Israel was foolish to neglect.
But what folks fail to realize is that although the there was no official acceptance of the Arab Peace Plan, Gaza is a test case. If the Arabs decide to make Gaza work, other steps can be taken. What the Arabs will not get is a return to the '67 borders. At least not for a long time. What they can get is movement their direction and an integration of the Israeli and Arab economies, which was well under way when Yasser Arafat started the Second Intifada - or as I prefer the Stupifada. Unemployment among the Philistines had gone from about 35% to about 15% in the four years before the Stupidfada. Now it is estimated to be well above 50%.

Now you have to ask yourself - in whose interest is the disconnect between the Israeli and Philistine economies? The PLO for one. You know - the guys that started the Second Stupidfada. Hamas for another - the rocket people. Because a people with jobs is not a people interested in war. The wave of suicide bombers was a tactic specifically designed to get Israel to sever all connections with the Philistines and get the Israelis to impose a blockade on them. It worked. It will take a generation or two to undo that stupidity or brilliant move - depending on your perspective.

H/T Fred Lapides whose blog Good Shit features naked ladies. You will have to look it up. Although I must admit the naked ladies are most attractive. And he has some interesting links as well.


Susan's Husband said...

I think you should use the term "'48 borders" instead of "'67 borders", because that the year in which those borders were established. After all, the 1967 war ended in 1967, so '67 border could just as well refer to the borders after the war.

M. Simon said...

You are correct. However, the Arab proposal refers to the '67 borders.