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January 26, 2009

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Yes, the 60 Minutes program was excellent. Although the sources quoted about the "goal" of the West Bank settlements and the prospects for a 2-state solution are hardly among Israel's leaders, the truth is that a 2-state solution will be very difficult, especially if Netanyahu is elected Israel's president this year.

Still, very difficult does not mean impossible. The raw materials needed to forge a lasting peace are well known.

Israel must give de facto -- not just de jure -- political power to its Arab citizens. It must give up or at least scale back in a major way its West Bank settlements. It must tear down the wall it has erected. It must share with Palestine effective sovereignty of Jerusalem.

In return, the other side must recognize Israel, stop its missile attacks, and -- yes, the hardest concession of all -- give up the right of return.

As with any other settlement where neither side is victorious, these concessions constitute bitter pills to swallow on both sides. All will be hard to accept and equally hard to negotiate. But perhaps Obama's Arab-American special envoy -- yes, I mean George Mitchell -- can pull it off.

apartheid. yes, we need to keep saying it. over and over and over.

This tells it all:

The Shrinking Map of Palestine


Analysis from a great and courageous intellectual:

Norman Finkelstein

Finkelstein suggests that the Israel-Palestine conflict is among the least controversial in the contemporary world. He argues that a consensus exists among historians on the past, among human rights organizations on the present and among the legal-diplomatic community on the future and how to resolve the conflict.

The hope for a peace agreement is faint at best. As long as Israel demands a "Jewish" state on land that was given to them and them alone, Palestinians will continue to suffer abuse at the hands of the far mightier and American armed Israeli state.

What kind of "democracy" demands ethnic purity?

Mitchell may be an accomplished negotiator, but he's no miracle worker.

I'm well aware of Finkelstein, Harry, but most Americans aren't. That's why I was gratified to see the 60 Minutes report. To date it has garnered nearly 2000 comments, the overwhelming majority positive. That convinces me that most Americans would like to see a fairer and more even-handed policy vis-a-vis Israel/Palestine.

I agree with you, Terry, even if I missed the 60 Minutes report (60 Minutes having devolved into irrelevance for me in recent years).

In fact, it's been my assumption for many years that Americans want even-handed policy, but that they have been misled by the loud voices from the right into believing that present policy is already even-handed. Continuing public support for unqualified endorsement of Israeli crimes depends on the right's ability to get away with their lies and obfuscations. And when people realize that they have been suckered, they will seek vengeance against those who have suckered them.

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