"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals.
We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues"

( JM Keynes, "Economic Possibilities for our Granchildren" 1930 )

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Show Must Go On

The Israeli government has recently decided to “temporally freeze” any new construction in the settlements in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli press praised the decision labeling it as a brave concession toward the Palestinians done by a right wing Government. Is it a real step forward for Peace ? Or alternatively should we consider that decsion as another needless chapter in the drama we have being watching for decades in the Mid East?.

Lets face it from the outset: The Israeli Palestinian conflict does not lie behind freezing permits for new balconies or schools , THE issue is the vast israeli colonization on Palestinians lands during more than 3 decades . The “Strategic” objective of such a colonization process is self evident: To obstruct the viability of any possible Palestinian sovereignty thus ensuring the Israeli control of these territories. The "security" argument is more than questionable as the security of the State of Israel was never based upon isolated settlements in the midst of Arab population. The outcome is a 42 years old Israeli occupation (with a nuance since the creation of the PNA) and the denial of human civil and political rights from millions of human beings. Therefore , any temporal freeze does not deal with any real issue and should be considered as an empty gesture. Nevertheless, that sort of development fits perfectly the key players short term strategies in the play. Lets see how that decision serves them .

Actual US President is a Master of gestures and speeches. Since the unprecedented decision is the outcome of US administration pressures, it can be considered as a political victory . This observation is partially right as it fails to recognize the fact that as long as core issues remained unsolved, hard liners got another break to “buy time” to create more obstacles for a reasonable solution. These sorts of empty gestures could be sufficient to receive the Noble Prize .....but in real life they are irrelevant.

Prime Minister Netanyahu fits into the tragic character of the play : the man who must face his destiny , forced to choose between political pragmatism and his lifetime beliefs (Israeli sovereignty on Eretz Israel). Recent media spinoffs confirm that description about the endless dilemma PM went through before having that decision.

The settlers are supposed to play trouble makers. Their expected resistance to any freezing will be the evidence that any change in the Status Quo or real concession in the future might bring to heavy internal conflicts in Israel. That behavior will put the Israeli Government under a more positive light as it dares to confront hard liners.

Israeli Left will maintain its ambigious position toward the conflict: The Israeli “generosity” is expected to become, once again, the perfect alibi for the Israeli “Left” to remain under the (Hard Line) consensus toward Palestinians. That consensus could also includes any future possible violent (even disproportionate) Israeli response to any hostility from the Palestinians.

Extremist Palestinians: The limited achievement cannot satisfy hard liners and in certain way not even more pragmatist factions. As a matter of fact, more than 15 years of Oslo process and negotiation with Israel achieved too little for the palestinian people . If palestinians feel that this is all they can get throigh negotiations they can be tempted to go back to the hostilities field.

It seems that the anonymous script writer insists on maintaining that horrible tragedy with no real happy end in sight and that sort of temporal freezing is another evidence of the short sight persepctive of the main players. We should alway rememeber that real life theater is a bit different : The real players which bear the burden of their leaders failures are the Israeli and Palestinians . There are no spectators but very real players.

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