A Tragedy of Terrors
The Jewish Press Exclusive reported that John McCain who is seeking the GOP nomination in 2008 recently genuflected to the people that really matter in US politics: the Israel Lobby. The entire sordid charade was set in motion by a March 1, Haaretz article which, according to McCain, might leave "several serious misimpressions" on the money behind the man. The JPE article continues:
As reported in the Media Monitor column in last week’s Jewish Press, the May 1 Haaretz article portrayed McCain, the early front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, as someone who, if elected president, would "micromanage" a more even-handed Mideast policy than that of President Bush; envisioned "concessions and sacrifices by both sides"; and expected Israel to eventually retreat, with some modifications, to pre-Six Day War borders.The horror! The horror!* Imagine that. McCain pushing for "a more even-handed Mideast policy," demanding "concessions and sacrifices by both sides," and an Israeli "retreat… to pre-Six Day War borders." Imagine a US President actually forcing Israel to comply with UN Resolutions and International Law. Imagine the US recognizing International Law. I know, I know. It don't snow in hell.
Enter Mr Kurtz, ex-machina, to calm the tsunami in Lake Tiberias and, who knows, prevent the "second holocaust":
McCain said that "in contrast to the impression left by the Haaretz article, I’ve never held the position that Israel should return to 1967 lines, and that is not my position today."Of course not, as that would be political suicide. But happily he has a crunchy and heavy peanut gallery in his amen corner:
The senator further maintained that "in the course of that brief, off-the-cuff conversation, I never discussed settlement blocs, a total withdrawal, or anything of the sort."
"That just didn’t sound like the John McCain everyone in Washington knows," said a political consultant who’s worked with both Democrats and Republicans and who requested anonymity because he doesn’t know who, if anyone, he might sign on with in 2008. "If there’s anyone who doesn’t buy into the State Department, striped-pants view of the Middle East, it’s McCain."All of which reminds me of a site I came across about a week ago. It was a link I found through Haaretz, coincidentally. The site in question promotes what it calls a "Humanitarian regional solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." But first they point out the main hindrance to a political solution, which is, lo, and behold! "Palestinians … are … both unwilling and incapable of achieving and maintaining statehood." No surprise, really. Nothing new from a thief who believes all men are thieves. Trotting out the same old, same old, they reach this endlösung:
The McCain that both supporters and opponents have come to know, said the consultant, is the McCain who in June 2001 told a special AIPAC seminar that "America’s unequivocal support for Israel – not evenhandedness, not moral equivalence, not winking at Palestinian violence – is the best guarantor of peace in the Middle East."
AIPAC spokesperson Jennifer Cannata told The Jewish Press that McCain "has a strong record on behalf of the U.S.-Israel relationship. The senator consistently supports U.S. foreign aid to Israel and is a cosponsor of bills currently under consideration in the Senate that impose sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program and isolate the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority."
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, characterized McCain’s record on Israel-related issues as "excellent."
1. A comprehensive Humanitarian Solution to the Palestinian issue would entail three major elements:
(a) The dissolution of UNRWA – which will end the discriminatory treatment of the Palestinians with regard to their status as refugees;
(b) The termination of ethnic discrimination against Palestinians, living in the Arab world [i.e. not in Israel] - which will end the discriminatory treatment of the Palestinians with regard to their status as residents;
(c) Generous relocation grants to Palestinians living in Israeli administered territories [i.e.the West Bank and Gaza] on an individual basis and not via any official Palestinian organization.
2. UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It is an anomalous organization which exists solely to deal with Palestinian refugees, while all the other refugees on the face of the globe are dealt with by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
3. The organizations not only deal differently with the refugees under their auspices, they each have different definitions for classifying an individual as a "refugee".
4. This difference in definition has far-ranging consequences. For in contrast to the UNHCR definition, which results in a decline in the number of refugees in the number of refugees over time, the UNRWA definition leads to an inflation of the number.
5. In fact, if the UNHCR's otherwise universal definition were applied to the Palestinian case, the number of refugees would decline from 4-5 million to 200-300,000 i.e. by over 90%!!
6. It thus appears that UNWRA is perpetuating the very problem it was designed to eliminate.
7. Accordingly, the dissolution of UNRWA is an essential prerequisite for any comprehensive, durable solution of the Palestinian issue.
8. With the dissolution of UNWRA, the remaining, and drastically reduced, number of Palestinian refugees, should be placed under the auspices of UNHCR - in accordance with the accepted practice for all other refugee groups on the face of the globe.
9. Those Palestinians no longer classed as refugees under the new arrangements, must be offered all the privileges afforded all other peoples resident in their current countries of domicile in the Arab world - including the right to acquire citizenship.
10. In order to do this, a vigorous diplomatic and media campaign must be mounted to induce Arab governments to end their harsh discriminatory behavior towards the millions of Palestinians domiciled in their countries and absorb them into their societies as fully fledged citizens. After all, even the Palestinians assert (in the opening paragraph of their National Covenant) that they are “part of the Arab Nation”.
11. As for the Palestinians resident in Israeli administered territory [i.e. Gaza and the West Bank], there is only one reasonable and feasible alternative that will facilitate:In short, besides ethnic cleansing, theft of land and wholesale massacres, Palestinians are now presented with a fourth "opportunity" they might wish to miss: forced emigration.
(a) extricating them from their dire humanitarian plight;
(b) free them from the yoke of generations of misrule by their leadership;
(c) ensure the survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.
12. This is a generous relocation and resettlement package to allow them to build a new life for themselves and their families in countries preferably, but not necessarily exclusively, with similar religious and socio-cultural conditions.
13. In order to minimize the ability of organized Palestinian interest groups to impede the success of such an effort, the offer of financial inducement to emigrate must be "atomized" – i.e. made to individual Palestinian breadwinners on a one-to one personal level and not on a communal level via some formal Palestinian entity.
14. A survey conducted among the Palestinians in Nov. 2004 indicates that only about 15% of the Palestinian population resident in Israeli administered areas would reject such an offer outright. By contrast, over 70% would accept some form of material compensation as an inducement to emigrate permanently from the areas currently under Israeli administration (see http://www.jerusalemsummit.org/eng/news.php?news=102)
15. The economic cost of such a policy of generously financed humanitarian relocation and resettlement would be eminently affordable and would compare favorably with almost all other settlement proposals on the table today. Indeed, its total cost would be around 50% of the present total US outlay on the War in Iraq!!
16. Indeed, given Israel's present level of GDP, it is an initiative that it could well undertake on its own over the next decade to a decade and a half. It should be realized that this is the period that has elapsed since the initiation of the Oslo process – which has brought nothing but failure and tragedy at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives.
17. Of course, if the US, the EU and other developed nations were to contribute to this effort, it could be implemented in a far shorter space of time and with almost no burden on the world economy.
18. Quite the opposite, the Palestinians arriving in their new countries of domicile will not be impoverished refugees but reasonably affluent émigrés. The funds that they would be bringing with them would provide a considerable boost for the economies of these nations – most of which would be developing countries with a pressing need for such a substantial influx of funds.
I'm happy to say that the converse has also been proposed. Commenting on yet another Haaretz report on an Israeli "solution" gone to heck: Neo-Nazis in Israel, superb blogger xymphora wrote: "France should send some officials to Israel to encourage the beleaguered Jewish minority in Israel to emigrate to a country that is much safer for Jews, like France."
I second that motion and, "Of course, if the US, the EU and other developed nations were to contribute to this effort, it could be implemented in a far shorter space of time and with almost no burden on the world economy."
* Note re Joseph Conrad: It may be due to the life I've lived and the things I've seen, but ever since I read it the first time at eighteen I've believed that the Heart of Darkness was most assuredly NOT a locale in "darkest" Africa, but a sick and blackened Colonial import of a murderous thumper shipped up the river. Things change, some things remain the same.