Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Peace Process Is a Game Israel Can’t Win

Daniel Greenfield On July 3, 2014

No matter what terrorist atrocity was committed against Israel yesterday, the call goes out for a return to the peace process today. For two long decades of terror that has never changed.
Diplomacy is a strange twisted business of lies, deceit and badly mixed drinks served at hotel bars that are a year away from being blown up. The motives are so twisted that everyone often ends up doing the opposite of what they set out to do. But even by the standards of international diplomacy where mixed motives and terrible ideas stew in a solid gold pot for years before they explode, the peace process between Israel and the PLO terrorists is in a horrible class of its own.

The one thing that everyone involved in the process, from the PLO terrorists to the Israelis to the international diplomats who arrive with a Bluetooth in one ear and a talking point in the other, can agree on is that it will never work. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not in a million years.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re about to stop.

Israel realized it wasn’t working a few years in after buses began blowing up more often than they were arriving on time. And the PLO can’t reach a final agreement because it’s not an independent actor. From its earliest days, before the Six Day War, it was a puppet of other countries. It’s still a projection of state power by Muslim countries in the region who want to perpetuate a conflict with Israel without spending too much money on bombs and guns.

A peace process that never works involving a terrorist state funded by the US and the EU is the second best thing to happen to Saudi Arabia since those infidel geologists found all that oil.
Even if the Saudis didn’t take their Koran seriously, and except when it comes to their taste for booze, women and young boys they do, they have every reason to go on undermining Israel. Israel was their only real regional diplomatic rival in the West. Now Israel is permanently on the defensive and the Saudis got away with funding a Sunni-Shiite war while telling international diplomats that the region’s problems could only be solved with an Israeli-PLO peace deal.
The PLO isn’t interested in the peace process, but it can’t opt out of it without losing American money. And it can’t follow through on the peace process. Not if it doesn’t want the Saudis sending some local flavor of ISIS its way.
So the PLO has to sabotage peace negotiations each time while blaming Israel.
This isn’t as tricky as it sounds because international diplomats have to find a reason to blame Israel each time or admit that their brilliant idea to give a terrorist group its own country was actually terrible in a really obvious way. And they obviously aren’t about to do that.
This time around the PLO did its best to sabotage the negotiations in every possible way, such as refusing to show up and making demands for concessions before the negotiations even began, but when that didn’t work it formed a unity government with Hamas. Israel threw up its hands and the diplomats blamed everything on it for possibly thinking about building some houses.
Israel is aware that the PLO doesn’t want to negotiate, but due to pressure from the US and the EU it can’t pull out of the negotiations until the PLO comes out and admits that it doesn’t want peace. Israel sets out to prove that the PLO doesn’t want to negotiate by negotiating and agreeing to the PLO’s demands. The PLO escalates its provocations until Israel is forced to drop out.
Israel then gets blamed.
Despite this latest round of Lucy in a burka holding up a halal football, Israeli leaders remain convinced that if they just hold out until the very end of the negotiations, the PLO will finally blink first and admit that it doesn’t want peace. And the Western diplomats will realize it too.
The Israelis have yet to pull this off because you can’t prove to the referees that they’re idiots. And that is what Israel is trying to do.
But American and European diplomats can’t back off the peace process. They think that it’s their best shot at appeasing the Muslim world. The Saudis insist that the “Palestinian” issue is driving all the Muslim conflicts in the world. And the diplomats rush to address the problem with a piece of peace theater that they know by now won’t work.
The real goal of the peace process is a conclusion at which various Western diplomats appease the Muslim world by blaming Israel. It’s a rigged game that can’t be won because the purpose of the game is for Israel to lose. All three corners of the peace triangle know that the negotiations are worthless and will yield no results. Instead it’s all about the positioning.
Israel is trying to prove that it’s the reasonable party. The PLO is trying to sabotage negotiations while blaming Israel. The international diplomats are trying to prove that the whole thing should keep on going because they like running up hotel bills and appeasing Muslims.
They also really hate being proven wrong.
Since the PLO’s tactic is to sabotage negotiations by behaving more disruptively while Israel’s tactic is to make more concessions, a gap arises in which Israel looks reasonable and the terrorists look like… well terrorists.
The diplomats bridge this gap by moving the diplomatic goal posts to maintain the fiction that Israel is the guilty party. The worse the terrorists behave, the more Israel has to be sanctioned. The more concessions Israel offers, the more the terrorists have to be praised.
Whatever the PLO does, the diplomats have to maintain a consistent moral and political distance between it and Israel. If the PLO kills an Israeli, the diplomats have to insist that Israeli houses in a small village somewhere are the real obstacle to peace. If the PLO nukes Tel Aviv, the diplomats have to claim that an Israeli speck of dust near Eilat is making peace impossible.
The worse the PLO behaves, the more the diplomats have to define its deviancy down while defining deviancy up for Israel to maintain a consistent distance between both sides. The longer the peace process goes on, the more extreme the PLO’s actions become and the more diplomats accept the previously unacceptable while denouncing Israel for the formerly unobjectionable.
That is how we got to the point that the State Department is defending a PLO-Hamas unity government and denouncing Israel for “building settlements” in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world.
The peace process is a political game that Israel can’t be allowed to win. The only way for Israel to win is to stop playing. Charles Schulz’s Lucy and the football gag dates back almost to the modern rebirth of Israel. That’s how long the variations of this game have been taking place.
Israel is trying to win a political game whose purpose is to prove that it’s evil. The PLO wins by keeping the game going. The diplomats win by keeping the game going. The Saudis win by keeping the game going. But the Israelis keep losing for as long as the game keeps going.
These aren’t just paper losses. The longer the game runs, the more Israel’s image suffers and the more emboldened its enemies become. If Israel doesn’t end the peace game, the game will end Israel.

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