What on earth is the difference between Barak's vision of 2001 and Sharon's vision of 2004? While Barak is viewed as being at the "hawkish" end of the Labor Party, things don't get much better at the "doveish" end. Barak's successor as Labor leader, General Amram Mitzna was one of the architects of the so-called Geneva Initiative — a virtual peace plan signed by Israeli opposition politicians and former PA officials acting with Arafat's blessing. Attempting to sell the virtues of this initiative to a skeptical Israeli public, Mitzna wrote in Ha'aretz last October:For the first time in history, the Palestinians explicitly and officially recognized the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people forever. They gave up the right of return to the state of Israel and a solid, stable Jewish majority was guaranteed. The Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter and David's Tower will all remain in our hands. The suffocating ring was lifted from over Jerusalem and the entire ring of settlements around it - Givat Ze'ev, old and new Givon, Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Neve Yaacov, Pisgat Ze'ev, French Hill, Ramot, Gilo and Armon Hanatziv will be part of the expanded city, forever. None of the settlers in those areas will have to leave their homes. (16 October 2003)Mitzna named more settlements he wants to keep than Sharon!
(Ali Abunimah, "Why All the Fuss about the Bush-Sharon Meeting?" The Electronic Intifada, 14 April 2004)
Saturday, April 17, 2004
Israel and the United States: the Same Tragedy
Israel and the United States have much in common. In both cases, the tragedy is that the political party that is deemed more dovish -- the Labor Party in Israel, the Democratic Party in the United States -- actually has and continues to pursue the same policy as the party that is said to be more hawkish: