Saturday, December 01, 2007

Spot the Error

The Annapolis peace conference sputtered into an anodyne abstraction. What's the bottom line? Here's three alternatives--two of which are supported by syllogism. Can you identify the illogical outlier?
  • Major premise 1: Most Westerners, including pro-settlement Israelis, favor a "two-state solution" to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. This concept traces back at least to November 1947, when a 2/3rds majority of the UN General Assembly proposed to partition Western Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states; the plan was finalized in May 1948.

  • Major premise 2: Creating two states requires the agreement of three governments, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal:
    Unless you bring Hamas in tune with what is happening on the peace side, you are really not fulfilling a basic requirement. One man cannot make peace; not even half a people can make peace. There has to be consensus about peace among the Palestinians for this to go smoothly.
  • Minor premise 1: The view from the West Bank:
    Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority continues to paint a picture for its people of a world without Israel.
  • Minor premise 2: The view from Gaza:
    Hamas on Thursday called on the UN to rescind the 1947 decision to partition Palestine into two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs.

    The group said in a statement, released on the 60th anniversary of the UN vote, that "Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem... there is no room in it for the Jews."

    Regarding the partition decision, Hamas said that "correcting mistakes is nothing to be ashamed of, but prolonging it is exploitation."
  • Therefore:
    Conclusion 1: The Annapolis conference failed; a negotiated settlement remains impossible for the foreseeable future.

    Conclusion 2: A bust-up beats the alternative:
    [T]he conclave [could have been] a gang-rape of a nation on a scale not seen since Munich in 1938, when the British and French allowed Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to have their violent way with Czechoslovakia.

    This time, the intended victim is Israel. As with the effort to appease the Nazis and Fascists nearly 70 years ago, however, the damage will not be confined to the rapee. The interests of the Free World in general and the United States in particular will suffer from what the Saudis and most of the other attendees have in mind for the Jewish State — namely, its dismemberment and ultimate destruction.
    Conclusion 3: It's all Israel's fault. Always is.


Stan said...

Why do I feel that repeated attempts at such a lasting peace are like trying to build a space shuttle with little more than a crescent wrench?

It's a poor analogy, but we keep trying while ignoring the obvious. I'm not suggesting the honest people behind this are ignorant of the ingrained hatred, rather that these attempts do nothing to substantively address it.

Or is a better analogy, banking with Bonnie and Clyde?

Carl said...


Either analogy works for me.

Still, I'm amazed at the number of once-sober people prepared to bargain away security for a false promise of peace. With support from the Bush Administration, Prime Minister Sharon pushed the "Gaza first" proposal as a test case for a larger Palestinian state. Palestinians failed that test miserably. Why is anyone -- Secretary Rice included -- considering rewarding ceaseless terrorism and Jew-hatred?

Stan said...

Why indeed, especially coming from a relatively right-wing administration.