He has a laundry list of incorrect claims about the Palestinians! Ready for some classic fisking? Here we go:
"The arguments are (1) that the Palestinians do not accept Israel's right to live in peace and security(they have since 1993),"Rosenberg's link is to the Oslo Declaration of Principles, signed by the PLO. That same PLO which launched the Second Intifada less than a decade later. Apparently in Rosenberg's mind words speak much, much louder than actions. If that wasn't enough for you, let's not forget that the PLO lost the elections and the representatives of the Palestinian people are Hamas, who definitely don't want peace, though Rosenberg has tried to hoe that row as well.
No matter which way you slice it, the Palestinians do not accept Israel's right to live in peace and security. If Rosenberg would like to say the PLO does, it would still be wrong but his argument would make more sense. For now it fails.
"(2) that they are terrorists (the Palestinian Authority which governs the West Bank not only opposes terrorism, it works with the Israeli authorities to thwart it,"You know, for people who always try to separate the Palestinians from their government when their government is Hamas, it's very ironic for Rosenberg to now claim the opposite. The Palestinian Authority is not the Palestinian people, 88% of whom support violence against Israeli civilians. If that statistic were true of the Israeli people, "terrorist" would be the kindest label that Rosenberg and his fellow bloggers would stick on them.
I do think it's funny that Rosenberg uses the PA's work against terrorists to prove that the Palestinians aren't terrorists. Presumably these terrorists are Martians who just happen to work out of the West Bank.
"3) that Palestinian schools teach their children to hate Jews (which has been proven false),"One incomplete study can't overcome the facts. Sorry Rosenberg. Child suicide bombers don't indoctrinate themselves you know. This is also a partial strawman: the Palestinians can and do teach their children to hate Jews through other mediums than just schools and textbooks, which is what his study is about. Loot at Palestinian Media Watch for all the indoctrination that takes place through television.
"(4) that Israel has no Palestinian partner with whom to negotiate (Mahmoud Abbas is so friendly to Israel that many Palestinians consider him an Israeli puppet)"Another contradiction in terms. If Abbas can't speak for the Palestinians, which he can't, then Israel would be making peace with Mahmoud Abbas, not the Palestinian people. Besides, as Abbas himself admits, there is no difference between his groups and Hamas. I guess one can't rely on MJ Rosenberg to actually read newspapers though.
"(5) that the Palestinians have rejected Israeli offers to remove the settlements and exchange the occupied territories (it has, in fact, never been offered)."Another strawman! This must be the record for an MJ Rosenberg column. He is correct. Israel did not offer to "remove the settlements." They offered to remove most of the settlements and exchange the rest, and his article demonstrates.
(This is now the second article from the New York Times, which you may recall Rosenberg saying is either "balanced" or "slavishly supportive of the Israeli party line." I guess hate really can fry your brain.)
What isn't a strawman is that the Palestinians always have and always will reject any offer or deal that involves Israel existing in peace as a free and Jewish state. Because they don't want peace, and no amount of weaseling by MJ Rosenberg can hide that very simple fact. And that is why the occupation will continue, because the alternative is more fighting and more people dying. You'd think that would make MJ Rosenberg happy, it means he still has something to whine about in the Huffington Post.
Having finished his list of mistakes, Rosenberg then tries to teach us a history lesson:
"[It should be noted that in the first years of the occupation, it was defended as strategically necessary to defend Israel itself. But that was disproven [sic] in 1973 when Israel, holding all the territories it does now plus the Sinai Peninsula, was attacked by the combined forces of Egypt and Syria and only prevailed after three weeks of fighting and the loss of 2,688 soldiers in contrast to the 776 it lost in the 1967 war, when it held none of the occupied territories and defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in six days.]"There is actually a lot to talk about in this paragraph, and it's the last we will fisk so please stay patient with me.
Most notably is he is making the correlation fallacy here. Israel did well in the 1967 war because they launched a surprise attack and caught their enemies with their pants down. They did less well in 1973 because they were the ones surprised and without pants. There is insufficient evidence in these two examples that "occupation" leads to more Israeli soldiers being killed.
Next, this is a strawman argument because we are talking about the occupation of the West Bank, not the Sinai Peninsula. Rosenberg surely knows this because he has been talking about the West Bank this entire time, so he is fooling nobody but himself. This article will explain Israel's very valid security concerns in the West Bank better than I can.
Finally, his historical examples actually work against MJ Rosenberg. If the same surprise attack that was launched in 1973 had been against Israeli positions in the Negev rather than the Sinai, Israel would not have had time to call up their reserves and could easily have been wiped out. Rosenberg would probably say the only reason the Arabs fought in 1973 was because of "occupation," but that is for greater minds than either of us to figure.
If anything the history seems to indicate that Israel shouldn't give up territory and shouldn't end any "occupations."
Egypt? Bought a thirty year peace, but with the rise of new Egyptian governments could easily to the situation resetting back to what it was in the 1950s.
Syria? Right now Israeli cities would be getting sniped and mortared by both the government and the rebels. That's assuming that they hadn't been for decades now.
Gaza and Lebanon? I think that speaks for itself.
MJ Rosenberg decided to jump into the comments section, and in so doing showed us a perfect example of selective amnesia:
Right. In the late '90s the Palestinians cracked down on terror and there was peace. The same thing is happening today. But what happened in between, MJ Rosenberg? Hundreds of suicide bombings? Thousands of shooting attacks? Thousands of people killed on both sides? Does that sound at all familiar?
During the Second Intifada those same Palestinian security forces literally turned their guns on their Israeli counterparts and let the dogs of terror loose, and it was one of the worst cases of violence between the two sides ever. And yes, it was the PLO and the Palestinian Authority who were the cause of it, as we have discussed.
This also undermines Rosenberg's own argument. Right now, "under the occupation," there is peace because the Palestinian Authority and Israel are cooperating. So should Israel "end the occupation," as Rosenberg has constantly been demanding that they do (and is the subject of the article), the PA won't be able to do their job as effectively and the delicate balance can collapse.
Of course that's assuming that the PA doesn't just repeat what they did in the past and intentionally start killing Israelis to gain political and financial support. What a maroon.
Although it is true that "ending the occupation," has led to peace...once, and even then it is looking shaky, that hardly proves that Israel should do it right now, which is exactly what MJ Rosenberg is demanding. Fortunately the world, and especially Israel, has stopped listening to him.