Friday, 23 January 2009

EDITORIAL: Does Israel fear its friends more than its enemies?

This article is about George Mitchell, Obama's pick for Middle East envoy:

The peace process has become a facade. Behind this facade, inside Israel, there has arisen a hardening conviction that peace is not possible. Mitchell poses a direct challenge to that conviction because he comes in with the opposite view:

…from my experience in Northern Ireland I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended. Conflicts are created and conducted by human beings. They can be ended by human beings. I saw it happen in Northern Ireland although admittedly it took a very long time. I believe deeply that with committed, persevering and active diplomacy it can happen in the Middle East.
The real question that confronts Israel is not, what can advance the peace process? The question is much starker: does Israel still believe in the possibility of peace or has it become resigned to existing in a perpetual state of war?

Yet to pose this question is to expose the fragility of the security bubble inside which Israel currently chooses to reside. For as much as Israel likes to assume the posture of an indomitable military power, the simple truth is that Israel’s military might is utterly dependent on America’s patronage — hence the threat posed by America as honest broker, as opposed to loyal defender. As honest broker, America cannot perpetually provide Israel with the option of choosing war instead of peace.

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