Thursday, November 25, 2010

Former High-Ranking Official: Who Cares What the Deal Is? Just Do It

by Barry Rubin

Sometimes you have to wait until high-ranking officials leave office to find out how truly clueless they are. Such is the case with former National Security Advisor James Jones. Israel-Palestinian peace is easy to obtain, he explained in a lecture. Why? Because the Palestinians are willing to accept a gradual turnover of the West Bank to them over the next ten years.

"I just think their cause would be dramatically enhanced by being a state to start with," said Jones. Yes, having a state would dramatically enhance their cause. But that equally was true in 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. The problem is the cause they want enhanced is wiping out Israel altogether.

Of course, it is always easy to persuade the other side to make peace when they are getting everything and giving up nothing. Indeed, Jones could also make many other such peace agreements:

Russia is willing to accept a gradual turnover of Central Europe over the next ten years.

Iran is willing to accept a gradual turnover of the Middle East over the next ten years.

North Korea is willing to accept a gradual turnover of South Korea over the next ten years.

What world problem couldn't be fixed this way? It doesn't matter whether the solution is stable, lasting, or serves U.S. interests. The only thing that matters is to get a deal! As Jones concludes,"Whatever it is, we have to find a solution to this; failure is not an option here."

Meanwhile there are little details like an official PA
saying that the WesternWall--the holiest site for Jews in the world--has nothing to do with Jewish history and should be part of Palestine. No doubt, though, [sarcasm] the Palestinian leadership would give Israel up to ten years to turn it over to them.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to You can read and subscribe to his blog at

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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