Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 30th, 2013

Is it becoming an Illusion? This “Two-State UN demand” between Israel and Palestine?

The last 3 decades are littered with the carcasses of failed negotiating projects billed as the last chance for peace in Israel.

All sides have been wedded to the notion that there must be two states, one Palestinian and one Israeli.

For more than 30 years, experts and politicians have warned of a “point of no return.” Secretary of State John Kerry is merely the latest in a long line of well-meaning American diplomats wedded to an idea whose time is now past.

You see a barrier in the West Bank city of Hebron, with barbed-wire coils, hills scarred by patrol roads and weather-beaten guard posts, Israel has been shaped like few other countries by its borders.

Josh Cochran
IAN S. LUSTICK Published this September 14, 2013   on nyt Sunday Review: Two-State Illusion

True believers in the two-state solution see absolutely no hope elsewhere.

With no alternative in mind, and unwilling or unable to rethink their basic assumptions, they are forced to defend a notion whose success they can no longer sincerely portray as plausible or even possible.

It’s like 1975 all over again, as the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco fell into a coma:

The news media began a long death watch, announcing each night that Generalissimo Franco was still not dead. This desperate allegiance to the departed echoes in every speech, policy brief and op-ed about the two-state solution today.

True, some comas miraculously end (Not Sharon).

Great surprises sometimes happen. The problem is that the changes required to achieve the vision of robust Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side are now considerably less likely than other less familiar but more plausible outcomes that demand high-level attention but aren’t receiving it.

Strong Islamist trends make a fundamentalist Palestine more likely than a small state under a secular government. (Not feasible: Palestinians are the most educated people in Near East)

The disappearance of Israel as a Zionist project, through war, cultural exhaustion or demographic momentum, is at least as plausible as the evacuation of enough of the half-million Israelis living across the 1967 border, or Green Line, (600,000 just in the newest settlements) to allow a real Palestinian state to exist. While the vision of thriving Israeli and Palestinian states has slipped from the plausible to the barely possible, one mixed state emerging from prolonged and violent struggles over democratic rights is no longer inconceivable.

The fantasy that there is a two-state solution keeps everyone from taking action toward something that might work. (Like what other alternatives?)

All sides have reasons to cling to this illusion:

1.  The Palestinian Authority needs its people to believe that progress is being made toward a two-state solution so it can continue to get the economic aid and diplomatic support that subsidize the lifestyles of its leaders, the jobs of tens of thousands of soldiers, spies, police officers and civil servants, and the authority’s prominence in a Palestinian society that views it as corrupt and incompetent.

2. Israeli governments cling to the two-state notion because it seems to reflect the sentiments of the Jewish Israeli majority and it shields the country from international opprobrium, even as it camouflages relentless efforts to expand Israel’s territory into the West Bank. (That’s not true, this clinking argument, otherwise it would have taken place 10 years ago…)

3. American politicians need the two-state slogan to show they are working toward a diplomatic solution, to keep the pro-Israel lobby from turning against them and to disguise their humiliating inability to allow any daylight between Washington and the Israeli government.

4. Finally, the “peace process” industry — with its legions of consultants, pundits, academics and journalists — needs a steady supply of readers, listeners and funders who are either desperately worried that this latest round of talks will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, or that it will not.

Conceived as early as the 1930s, the idea of two states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea all but disappeared from public consciousness between 1948 and 1967.

Between 1967 and 1973 it re-emerged, advanced by a minority of “moderates” in each community.

By the 1990s it was embraced by majorities on both sides as not only possible but, during the height of the Oslo peace process, probable. But failures of leadership in the face of tremendous pressures brought Oslo crashing down.

These days no one suggests that a negotiated two-state “solution” is probable. The most optimistic insist that, for some brief period, it may still be conceivable.

Ian S. Lustick is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza” and “Trapped in the War on Terror.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 15, 2013, on page SR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Two-State Illusion.

Pictures from the past? Elvis in the army,

The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” was coined by American newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane in 1911.

It’s a simple notion that applies to many aspects of our lives, but especially to historical photography. Sometimes, one simple picture can tell you more about history than any story you might read or any document you might analyze.

These photographs all tell stories about the historical figures or events that they represent.

Once taken simply to document their present, they now help us witness the past. Many photographs only become iconic shots years later, as we understand their importance and historical context.

From historical landmarks and famous people to the basic daily routines of the past, these pictures portray the past in a way that we can empathize with and understand more intimately.

Perhaps the wars, poverty, fights for freedom and little miracles of the past have lessons for us that we can use today?

(via sobadsogood)

Women With A Gas-Resistant Pram, England, 1938

Unpacking the head of the Statue of Liberty, 1885

Elvis in the Army, 1958

Animals being used as part of medical therapy, 1956

Testing of new bulletproof vests, 1923

Charlie Chaplin at age 27, 1916

Hindenburg Disaster, May 6, 1937

Circus hippo pulling a cart, 1924

Annette Kellerman promotes women’s right to wear a fitted one-piece bathing suit, 1907. She was arrested for indecency

Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, 1901

106-year-old Armenian Woman guards home, 1990

Baby cages used to ensure that children get enough sunlight and fresh air when living in an apartment building, ca. 1937

The original Ronald McDonald, 1963

Disneyland Employee Cafeteria in 1961

Advertisement for Atabrine, anti-malaria drug, in Papua, New Guinea during WWII

Soldier shares a banana with a goat during the battle of Saipan, ca. 1944

Little girl with her doll sitting in the ruins of her bombed home, London, 1940

Construction of the Berlin wall, 1961

Unknown soldier in Vietnam, 1965

Bookstore in London ruined by an air raid, 1940

Walter Yeo, one of the first to undergo an advanced plastic surgery and a skin transplant, 1917

Suntan vending machine, 1949

Measuring bathing suits – if they were too short, women would be fined, 1920′s

Martin Luther King with his son removing a burnt cross from their front yard, 1960

Hotel owner pouring acid in the pool while black people swim in it, ca. 1964

Lifeguard on the coast, 1920′s

Artificial legs, UK, ca. 1890

Mom and son watching the mushroom cloud after an atomic test, Las Vegas, 1953

Mother hides her face in shame after putting her children up for sale, Chicago, 1948

Austrian boy receives new shoes during WWII

Hitler’s officers and cadets celebrating Christmas, 1941

Christmas dinner during Great Depression: turnips and cabbage

The real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, ca. 1927

Last prisoners of Alcatraz leaving, 1963

Melted and damaged mannequins after a fire at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London, 1930

A space chimp posing to camera after a successful mission to space, 1961

Illegal alcohol being poured out during Prohibition, Detroit, 1929

Princeton students after a freshman vs. sophomores snowball fight, 1893

A beautiful suicide – 23 year-old Evelyn McHale jumped from the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building and landed on a United Nations limousine, 1947

First morning after Sweden changed from driving on the left side to driving on the right, 1967


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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