by Vic Rosenthal
Such an ambitious effort to reformulate the conflict will be, by all accounts, tough to sell for two reasons.
First, even though the standard approaches have not yielded success, no alternative has emerged.
Second, the Obama administration has repeatedly backed the two-state solution, as have the Europeans. In other ways, too, this White House has seemed to be closer in outlook to
There's an ambiguity in the concept "two-state solution". One meaning is an outcome, a peaceful Palestinian state alongside
Most Israelis think that a two-state outcome would be acceptable, if the Palestinians actually wanted it and if there were a way to safely obtain it. The Israeli government has been committed to this since
Muslim rejectionism of
Israel's effort to switch the discussion to Iran is likely to be met in Washington and in European capitals with the assertion that it is precisely because of the need to build an alliance to confront Iran that Israel must move ahead vigorously with the Palestinians as well as with the Syrians.
"President Obama views the region as a whole, and trying to isolate each problem does not reflect reality," said a senior American official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the American policy was still in formation. "It will be a lot easier to build a coalition to deal with
This 'linkage theory' — that the presence of
We know that
In the presence of Hamas, Hezbollah and
The Americans and Europeans are proposing that
There are two big problems with this. The first is that it will leave
The second is that a weakened
The Palestinian question is actually much less pressing than the Iranian one, and today the former is clearly dependent on the latter, not the other way around.
Here's is Bronner's summation. Somehow the typical arrogant attitude of the unnamed American official shines through:
Israel says the occupation can be ended most easily once Iran is put in its place because then there will be much less risk of Iranian weapons being used against Israel from neighboring territory. Meanwhile,
The American, European and Arab response is that for
When a senior American official was told that the Israelis did not view the Iranian and Palestinian problems as linked, he replied simply, "Well, we do."
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