Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rise and Demise of Palestine

The University Channel Podcast (also known as UChannel) had an issue under the title The Rise and the Demise of the Palestinian Option. (site, download) Efraim Inbar, a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and the Director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies spoke about historic development of the idea for a Palestinian state. How the idea came into existence, was rejected in various forms and has become unworkable.

During the British Mandate the idea of dividing the area between the Jordan and the see into a Jewish and an Arabic autonomy was proposed for the first time. It was rejected by the Arab community. By today, the idea of having two states, one Israel and one Palestine is still alive and many people in the world are awaiting it to become reality. In Inbar's mind this is currently an impossibility. He claims the Palestinians have no political infrastructure that could rule such a state. Palestine is a failed state before even coming into being.

One needs not to agree with Professor Inbar and still learn a lot from this talk. For example the analysis of the stages in the Arab-Zionist conflict from a community conflict to a conflict of states and back to a community conflict. It can also not be denied that there is little Palestine Authority to take control and this involves a serious problem for all doves who believe in a two-state solution. Inbar's proposal is not to engage in such high minded goals, but rather engage in 'conflict management'. Conflict Management, in my ears sounds not really like a solution, but rather a 'let's muddle along until the balances shift again,' which is more of the same, with the continuous suffering involved.

Other posts on Israel:
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,
5 Lessons for Peace,
The greatest threat to Zionism,
Israel, Iran and Terrorism,
The US and the New Middle East.

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