Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ban Ki Moon still doesn't get it

Ban Ki Moon still doesn't get it

Ban Ki Moon's speech at Herzliya was not a terrible speech by any means, but it was far from a good one.

Filled with cliches and UN boilerplate, it did not break any new ground.

It is strange that he completely glossed over the most important issue, Iran, and spent the bulk of the speech talking about Palestinian Arab aspirations and frustrations.

And when he did, although he thinks that he tried to take into account Israel's viewpoint, his words show that he misses the point.

A couple of examples:
The United Nations helped bring the State of Israel into this world. It did so in the name of peace, not war. Yet the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is entering its seventh decade.
No, the Israeli-Arab conflict is in its seventh decade. The Zionist-Arab conflict is now in at least its 14th decade. To call it the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict is to completely misunderstand history, and how Arab nations have been using Palestinian Arabs as pawns since 1948.

So has the UN, via UNRWA, since at least 1960, as it has abandoned all pretext of solving the "refugee" problem and instead works to perpetuate it.
The current peace process began in Madrid more than 20 years ago. It raised high hopes - but delivered two decades of delay, mistrust and missed opportunities.
There are two reasons that the peace process has failed.

One is because the Palestinian Arab leadership has made a conscious decision that peace is less important than their pride, and they are unwilling to compromise over what they believe are their "rights" - and the UN is partially to blame, by giving them false hope for decades based on its one-sided resolutions supporting them again and again even when they were responsible for the most heinous crimes.

The other is because of a small thing called the Second Intifada, that was organized and led by Israel's so-called "peace partners." Moon is suggesting that they be rewarded for their reign of terror only a few years ago, and that they should gain more concessions than beforehand from the victims of that terror. The UN is not supposed toreward aggression, but this is what Moon is doing in this speech.
The creation of functioning and well-governed Palestinian institutions is clearly a strategic Israeli interest. Yet these advances are at risk. Why? Because the politics is not keeping pace with developments on the ground.
Here's a key point.

There is no doubt that the PA has made great progress in security and in some institution building. And there is no doubt that this helps Israeli, and Palestinian Arab, interests.

But if those gains are threatened by the lack of progress in negotiations, then that shows that there is a fundamental problem. It means that Palestinian Arab self-interest is not enough to concretize these gains. It means that the underlying Palestinian Arab psyche is not mature enough to build up and keep their own gains on the ground, and are willing to throw it away when they don't get what they demand.

It is not a stretch to say that this indicates that Palestinian Arab hate towards Israel is stronger than their own self-interest.

Failure of negotiations should have nothing to do with whether the PA keeps an effective security force, or creates its own currency, or opens up new markets for goods and services. They have areas that they govern themselves, they have areas that they secure themselves, and how they act within those areas is not affected one bit by the success and failure of negotiations.

Can you imagine Moon saying that Palestinian Arab actions - in refusing to negotiate, or in their continuing incitement against Israel and Jews on their TV programs and school textbooks, or in their disregarding signed agreements - might cause Israelis to turn to violence against them? It is absurd. yet he is saying that Israel is responsible for any possible negative acts that Palestinian Arabs might do!

Moon has bought the biggest lie of all - that Palestinian Arabs are, fundamentally, children whose own actions and decisions are byproducts of outide influence rather than their own, mature choices.
In these circumstances, Israel must think carefully about how to empower those on the other side who wish for peace.
The reverse of this statement is nonsensical - that Moon would tell Palestinian Arabs "how to empower those on the other side who wish for peace." Because every Israeli wishes for real peace.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other side.

The stunts like the UN bid are not meant to create peace, but to avoid negotiations and compromise. They are games. They show that there is no seriousness on the Palestinian Arab side.

If Ban Ki Moon wants peace, he should not be lecturing Israelis. He should be lecturing those who seem to act - as his own words indicate - as if peace is merely a tactic and not a goal.