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« The $9 Billion Palestinian Peace Partner | Main | The Law of Unintended Consequences »

July 21, 2005



Imagine what the Kurds or Tibetans would have done with just one historic opportunity to have their own state.


At yesterday's State Department press briefing, there was this exchange:

"QUESTION: On Israel. Can you tell us, since obviously things are not going as smoothly in terms of the Gaza pullout as you might have hoped for. How engaged does the United States want to be, sort of on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, in that engagement, not only with General Ward and Mr. Wolfensohn but, perhaps, Assistant Secretary Welch and others?

"MR. ERELI: Well, we've spoken to this. I think what we've made clear is that this is an historic opportunity. . . ."

Just to avoid any disappointment down the road from the repeated use of hyperbole, perhaps we should just call this "Historic Opportunity No. 8."

Anne Lieberman

Brilliant post. Am feeling now that we could repeat this information til we're blue in the face and nothing would change. It's like we're on one of those people-movers, irretrievably heading for calamity.

Sorry, feeling a bit pessimistic this morning, what with those "incidents" this morning in London. http://bokertov.typepad.com/btb/2005/07/london_incident.html


Anne -- I agree (about the apparent efficacy of repetition).

Here is the usually brilliant Marty Peretz in The New Republic today:

"I will hazard a prophecy: The morning after the Israeli pullout from Gaza, the terrorism against Israel will intensify. Of course, there is still the quite effective fence that kept the suicide bombers within Gaza. But now the mortar shells and the bullets will be dispatched from anywhere within Gaza -- and at the whim of the Gazan warriors."

And yet in the same article, he says he doesn't think the disengagement is mistaken. He must feel it is an historic opportunity.

Isaac B2

Abba Eban once said, "Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."


From an interview with Daniel Ayalon in this week's Jewish Journal (http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=14399 ):

"JJ: Some critics characterize disengagement as a defeat, as a retreat that will just encourage more violence and bring enemies who will never accept Israel’s existence closer to Israel’s doorsteps.

"DA: I don’t think this is the case. We are leaving Gaza quite triumphant. Hamas was on the run. . . ."

Kenneth Levin, call your office. You have a new patient.


The trouble is that people of a certain mindset view EVERYTHING as a victory. Remember Saddam and the 1991 Gulf War? Big victory for him. If you had 100 terrorists and killed 99 of them, it would be a big victory, too, because one survived. We're not dealing with a rational bunch of people here, and we simply can't base our actions on what they'll see as a victory. Our actions have to be taken on their own merit.

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