I did want to make note of one thing before we continue. This is the first paragraph in her article (emphasis mine):
"The Palestine-Israel conflict is no pesky regional skirmish. This century-long battle over territory threatens to draw the entire global community into its bowels if it is not dealt with soon, and the only way out of the current paralysis is to kill the "peace process" once and for all."Have you got that? They are fighting over territory. The issue is not that Israel is a Jewish state, it is that they are controlling land that they Palestinians believe are theirs. Of course, let us not forget Ms. Narwani's own words later in the article when she makes it clear that it is exactly Israel's nature as a Jewish state that she takes issue with. Most of the first third of her article is complaining about how the peace process isn't working (which I don't take issue with) but I did think that this was interesting as well:
"And we threw money at our handpicked Palestinian leadership -- creating graft, corruption and a sense of entitlement the likes of which has not been seen since the CEO of Halliburton became vice president of the United States. In the process, we cordoned off the "opposition" into a hellhole called Gaza, and sought to destroy them by punishing an entire civilian population."Um, what's this "we" business, Sharmine Narwani? You live in Lebanon and you work in Britain, at least according to your own articles. This might seem like a petty gripe but considering the somewhat tenuous grasp Huffington Post bloggers have had with telling the straight truth, it is not entirely unexpected.
Then she gets to her main claim: That the peace process should be killed and everyone should go back to the early 1990s. That means the PA and the Oslo Accords should be dissolved. And here is what she thinks Mahmoud Abbas should do:
"1) Quit; 2) Declare that Palestinians will no longer welcome a US role in peace brokering; 3) Dissolve the Palestinian Authority and fold themselves back into the PLO or a similar umbrella liberation movement; 4) Demand that the UN Security Council enforce all resolutions on the Palestine-Israel conflict within a set timetable [or else]"Interesting. One question: What does this mean for the countries that have already recognized a Palestinian state with the PA as its government? Does that mean the recognition is now invalid since what they recognized no longer exists? What Ms. Narwani also seems to be forgetting is that the United States does a great many things for the Palestinians in addition to helping out with the peace talks, including giving them free money. It's also really funny that she thinks that the Palestinians destroying their own government is somehow going to give them more legitimacy. But the most hilarious part of all is that she says Abbas should do all this after he quits! How can he speak for the Palestinians if he steps down as their President? I guess Ms. Narwani didn't think that through very well.
Her plan also is a very Arab-centric one, in the sense that she expects that the US is just going to sit back and take it. I'm not sure if you have been paying attention very well in the past year, Ms. Narwani, but the peace process basically failed because the PA was too intransigent to negotiate. And the US government didn't ignore that. So now your big plan is that the PA quite literally give the United States the bird and then demand that it vote its way in the UN Security Council! Unless maybe she forgot that America has a veto in the UNSC?
She demands that the UNSC comply with all the Palestinian demands regarding Israel. At face value this is amusing as well: The Palestinians are not China, they don't get to dictate to the UNSC what they can and cannot do. But don't worry, Ms. Narwani has that aspect of the plan figured out too. The Palestinian leadership should do what they have always done in the past: Threaten violence until they get what they want. Seriously.
Here is the other half of that quote:
- "Palestinian leaders representing all factions will form an interim governing body and declare a Palestinian state on all territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
- The Palestinian security forces will be mobilized to protect the independent Palestinian state and its borders.
- Palestinians will stop subsidizing their own occupation by refusing to pay taxes to any non-Palestinian institution, and will immediately halt all work in Jewish settlements.
- Palestinians will demand that the Arab League restore the Middle East-wide boycott on companies doing business with Israel until all IDF troops and Jewish settlers have been removed from territories occupied in 1967. The 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement and various western groups/unions already participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel will be invited to join."
- So I'm not sure if you have been paying attention, but Hamas and Fatah really hate each other, Ms. Narwani. It isn't just a struggle for power, they regularly torture each others soldiers and call each other "Zionists." In other words, I'm not sure that forming an interim government is going to be as easy as you make it sound, and it certainly won't happen without more Palestinians dying. But somehow I don't get the impression that that would bother you very well.
- Since you said that the Palestinians are going to try to "protect their state," what does that mean for the settlers? Are you saying that the Palestinians are going to up and attack hundreds of thousands of people, with the goal of ethnically cleansing them? Though I'm sure Ms. Narwani sees that as a noble goal, it would take everything the Palestinian spin machine has to convince people that they are acting in "self-defense." This is also quite an ironic thing to for her to say, seeing as how the Palestinians claim that Israel was "founded on ethnic cleansing," they would now try to do the exact same thing.
- The only thing this would do is destroy the Palestinian economy and increase the unemployment rate. I guess once again Ms. Narwani sees that as an acceptable loss.
- This is the best part, and it is something I am going to talk about in the second half. Ms. Narwani honestly believes that if the Palestinians snap their fingers not only will the UNSC jump to their will, but so will the Arab League. Guess what, Ms. Narwani, the Palestinians are not as important as you believe them to be! To the Arab nations they have always been a useful club with which to beat Israel but if it means that they lose money from a boycott, that isn't going to happen. In short, good luck with that but I'll believe it when I see it.
"As highly-militarized states do, Israel will reflexively rush to prop up its occupation, inserting IDF troops back into the West Bank to underline its authority. But now they will be facing the US-trained Palestinian security forces who will, if provoked, turn their newfound skills and weapons onto Israeli occupation targets. At that point the IDF could be facing down Hamas soldiers defending Palestinian borders and towns as well...Either way, once the IDF is back on the scene you can expect every Who Down in Whoville to go back into resistance. Ding dong, third intifada."I'm not really sure what I could add to this paragraph to make it seem more messed up than it already is. Let me just say again that it will be hard for the Palestinians to spin their attempted ethnic cleansing of the settlers as defense and Israel's desire to stop them as aggression, warranting a third intifada. Also, it is hilarious that Ms. Narwani really thinks that the only people the Palestinians will be attacking are "Israeli occupation targets." For someone who publishes fawning interviews with Hamas leaders, she clearly doesn't know them very well.
To be totally honest, this scenario doesn't seem all that different from the Second Intifada. The Palestinians had American weapons and training in that situation too. The major difference is that this time Israel is defending itself from a hostile state (the Palestinians declared statehood, remember?) and so the Palestinians can't go running to the United Nations to complain about occupation and the Geneva Conventions and so forth. A hostile state next to Israel is trying to kill Israeli citizens. Anyone else would take action in that scenario, and once again it would be hard for the Palestinians to spin it.
Either way, a lot of people would get killed. Mostly Palestinian. But again, I don't get the impression that that would bother Ms. Narwani very much.
I'm going to break this response into two sections. Stay tuned for the next installment.