Friday, November 20, 2009

Western-Islamic Confrontation: Palestinian Front

In my overall evaluation of where the world stands in the Western-Islamic confrontation, I concluded that the world is headed in the wrong direction, steadily losing security and failing to find solutions.

In a thoughtful scorecard specifically of the Israeli-Palestinian front, Daniel Levy reached similar conclusions, arguing that Washington not only missed an opportunity to use Netanyahu's insistence on continued expansion of settlements against him--as the justification for accelerating movement toward Palestinian liberty--but that Washington is continuing to dig itself deeper into a hole. Levy's idea is a perfect example of my more general argument that progress in Western relations with the Muslim world would be possible if Western leaders could only think more creatively.

Levy carefully avoided the less polite conclusion that Washington "missed" its opportunity because it actually does not want Palestinian liberty. There is every reason to think Washington would not look too closely if the Palestinian issue just magically evaporated one fine morning. There is also every reason to think Washington would be delighted to see a "one state-one colony" solution, if Palestinian acquiescence could only somehow be purchased.

Levy is right that Washington's tactics are self-destructive, but the issue which needs to be faced is not the quality of tactics but the nature of Washington's underlying principles.

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