Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy 62, Israel!

I am sometimes a bit tough on Israel, so on this occasion of the 62nd anniversary of its formation as a nation, I am going to praise her, not try to bury her.

When we talk about exceptional accomplishments in this age, Israel has got to be up there. Its economy is innovative and productive, its military power self-generated and proven, and its politics are vigorous, democratic, and complex.

Israel'a strong bond with the US goes back to its inception as a modern nation; we were there with Israel at its beginning, and Israel proved itself a reliable ally during the Cold War, helping to repel Soviet influence in the critical Middle East region on many occasions. We have fraternal ties, too: Americans and Israelis have links of immigration in both directions that are ongoing.

I have no objection to the Israelis and Palestinians coming together to announce a long-term cessation of hostilities, to agree on a division of territory according to the interests of each people and international law, to allowing more free flow of people and trade between their respective territories. How could I object to any of that?--I could not.

I believe that if Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abu Mazen of the Palestinian Authority made clear their serious intent and confidence that a deal could be concluded, those nay-sayers in their respective camps would give way. Further, a deal between Israel and Palestinians could readily be followed by additional agreements with Syria and Lebanon, which could bring the area, for once, under a more comprehensive peace.

So, yeah, I support the @two-states gig" as a way to move forward.

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