Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

The Non-Issue of Settlements

Cohen: The conflict concerns sovereignty and security

Print Email

Roger Cohen published a fabulous op-ed today. It’s extremely useful because Cohen is what you’d call, for lack of a better term, a liberal on matters Israeli-Palestinian, and yet he makes a point that I think a lot of liberals are having trouble with due to their commitments and values (and it’s a point I tried to make yesterday), which is that, even if you believe the settlements are unethical, illiberal, Israel’s Original Sin, and all that, there is no persuasive case that, as of right now, they are even close to the main obstacle to peace—which means that the Obama administration’s unrelenting focus on them has been extremely ill-advised. Argues Cohen:

No U.S. president should invest his personal capital by inaugurating direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders when those talks are set to abort weeks later over an issue—Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank—that’s long been sitting there like a big truck on the road.

Yet that’s what President Barack Obama has just done, allowing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to snub a personal request that a 10-month moratorium on building in the West Bank be extended in the interests of negotiation. Palestine can’t get born if the land for it keeps eroding.

The amateurish air of desperation attending this unseemly sequence has now given way to the outright desperation of American-Israeli horse-trading over what concessions, guarantees, blandishments, military hardware et al. the United States might offer Israel in exchange for a 60-day extension of said moratorium.

Anyway, read the whole thing. I don’t agree with all ten of his points—point eight, that many Gaza residents would go along with a Palestinian Authority-led state in the West Bank, seems spectacularly wrong—but Cohen is an insightful reporter whose heart is in the right place but whose head and eyes are telling him something much more simple: “[Palestinians’] thirst for sovereignty is matched only in intensity by Israel’s insistence on security. Here lies the hinge of peace.”

Going, Going, Gone [IHT]

Print Email

Hi there I am wondering if I can use this article on complete of my blogs if I link endorse to you? Thanks!

Excellent blog you’ve got here. You will see me looking at your stuff often. Saved as a favorite!

Alexander Pope~ Words are like leaves and where they most abound Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

Hello there, I found your blog via Google while looking for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Non-Issue of Settlements

Cohen: The conflict concerns sovereignty and security

More on Tablet:

Elvis Was Our Shabbos Goy

By Vox Tablet — Some people lean on neighbors for a cup of sugar. The Fruchters, of Memphis, Tennessee, needed theirs to help them keep the Sabbath.